Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BMTC Bus

I just happened to board a very crowded BMTC bus on Saturday night and here are my observations.

The BTS bus is one of the most unique creations on this planet. It's singularity lies in the fact that, it can consume people infinitely, somewhat on par with black holes (though black holes don't consume people). When I saw the bus approaching towards the bus station, I felt that it was as impossible as to raise the dead, to board the bus. For the bus was overloaded to such an extent that there were people literally hanging out of the entrance. We use a term for that...footboard, "Maga ivattu footboardalli bandhe!" is a common phrase which translates to "Son, I came hanging out of the bus today!"

But the best part is the kindness and the support you get from the people at the footboard. Each one of them is a gentleman, they get off at every bus station and make way to others who are boarding the already jam-packed bus. So they pushed me inside the labyrinth of human beings, so closely attached to each other that even a mosquito would suffocate and die in that heat. The whole place smelt of sweat and spirit, since people were gettin home after a busy Friday.

This is one place where the Netwon's first law of motion (Statement: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.) fails miserably. I was in an inertial standing state and the driver applied the brakes as hard as he could, so I was acted upon by an external force of deceleration and that force failed to even shake me. I was so well packed and protected by the crowd.

Even though the bus was full to brim, the bus stopped at every station where not a single person alighted, but instead the bus got packed more and more. The weak hearted ones like me stepped in and regulars were hanging outside on the footboard. Probably it's a lotta fun to hang on footboard, but the BMTC drivers maneuver their buses as though they're driving F1 cars on pot-hole filled Bangalore roads. The seated people were the luckiest in the lot, with breezy windows open beside them they were the comfiest among the crowd.

Conductor of the bus is one helluva personality whose penetration skills are to be highly appreciated. Even in such a crammed bus, he can move around and sell tickets with an awe-inspring deftness. There were few drunkards who kept screaming at him for stopping the bus and issueing the tickets outside, but he was so ignorant about those curses that the clamour died down automatically after sometime. And when he doesn't have the required change to give back, he scribbles something on the backside of the ticket, that closely resembles some runic alphabet which only he can decipher and handover the right change at the end of journey.

It was a nice experience to be inside the infernally jam packed BMTC bus, without any worldly pleasures for few minutes. It's a harsh reality that every lower bourgeoisie class have to use such crowded, chaotic and comfortless means of commutation to earn their breads.
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