|By Shivani Prakash Naik [ Published Date: June 25, 2012 ]|
A lot of amongst us bus travelers long for the days when we will be able to puff up our chests with pride and say, ‘Mere paas gaadi hai, bangla hai, daulat hai…tumhare paas kya hai? (I have a car, bungalow, wealth.. what do you have?)’
But for now, being the paupers that we are, we shall continue to use by far the most popular means of public transport - the ever so dependable BMTC bus. If you’ve ever experienced travelling by buses during rush hours, you know it’s not a joy-ride and sometimes it can be pretty nerve-racking. In fact you’re almost certain to hear an aunty shriek, “E huduga! Nodkond hogakke aagalva? Cultureless fellow!” (Oye boy! Can’t you look where you’re going?)
However it’s such terrible experiences that give you a sense of immense joy when you climb on to a bus with a variety of vacant seats for you and this elation is heightened when you find that there’s a prestigious window seat waiting for You. With the wind blowing in your face and the outside world in a slow-motion blur, you experience a high like no other. You’ve opened yourself to a whole other world the moment you step into a bus.
All you spoilt brats with two-wheelers and mothers who don’t think you’re going to drive yourself into a tree at the speed of 5 kmph or daddy darlings that vigilantly drop you off to college, this article is for you.
Let me take you through the adventure I set upon everyday and the types of people I come across.
You have to watch out for her. If the Aunty-ji decides to stay in your vicinity, you can be assured that your ride is not going to be a peaceful one. The Aunty-ji often really doesn’t want to travel by bus but thoughts like ‘Ishtu doora hogakke sumne duddu yaake kodli?’(Why waste money to go just this far?) take over and she gets on, bulky saris and all.
If you’re standing next to her and you appear reasonably sturdy, she will rest some part of her on you and if you’re lucky it won’t be your foot. In return, she will give you a sheepish smile (her foot is unlikely to budge). The Aunty-ji is usually nice to the Good Samaritan, especially if it’s the plaited schoolgirl, and will offer to hold her bag for her.
The plaited schoolgirl
Given seats, this type can be rather amusing to listen to but standing in a crowded bus, they pose as quite a sorry figure. Bags that could hold watermelons rest on their shoulders with lunch-boxes in one hand and a water bottle in the other. Their being tiny tends to get them bullied by other passengers and the conductor can either be their best friend or their worst enemy. It’s either a kind smile and, “Yen tinde beligge?”(What did you eat in the morning?) or a shove and “Bag tegi! Bag tegiI!”(Move your bag!) When seated, the schoolgirl will gladly and ungrudging hold your bag for you but she will expect the same from you.
Pray and hide.
The ajji, the senior woman, will guilt you out of your seat. When you see her struggling to get into the bus you will suddenly find that you have lost all bodily control and are getting up to offer her your seat. Later, with the side of your face smashed against a pole, you will curse her children for being ungrateful little twats and not buying her a car with a personal driver.
The Hoovammas (gajra-weavers)
They fill the otherwise suffocating bus with the fragrance of mogra flowers but you can forget getting a place to sit - or even a place to stand. They build their own little personal fortress with their giant bag of flowers and they will not give you free flowers, no matter how cute your puppy-dog eyes are. No, not even if you’re 'puss in boots'. The plaited schoolgirl has tried this.
The Good Samaritan
The Good Samaritan reminds you why you are a terrible member of the society. All she wants is to help our senior citizens have a comfortable ride and it’s this innocence that makes you hate yourself. But don’t worry - you will feel better when the Good Samaritan realizes she has to stand all the way till Majestic and that ajji she just selflessly helped has gotten off the bus and offered her seat to her 11-year-old granddaughter’s friend.
You will come across this type if you get the opportunity to sit in one of those two dreaded seats that face the rest of the bus, where the most you can do is stare uncomfortably out of the window until your neck cramps up and you’re forced to face the audience. The owl will blankly stare at you as though looking into the very depths of your soul although they’re probably wondering if all the beans and daal they had for lunch would prove to be disastrous and if they ought to get off the bus at the next stop to avoid an unpleasant situation.
About the Author
Shivani Prakash Naik ,daughter of Prakash Naik, was born and brought up in Muscat, Oman. She completed her studies up to 10th standard in Muscat. Later on she moved to Bangalore where she did her Pre-University Course at Presidency College in Hebbal, Bangalore. Currently, she is doing her IInd year Bachelor degree in Arts at MES College, Malleshwaram, Bangalore with Psychology and Journalism as major subjects. She has been writing articles for past 5-6 years and some of her articles were published in Muscat newspapers and also received awards as weekly winner. Other than writing, her hobbies are painting, music and karate. She is also is a good swimmer.