Quote Un'Quote

Life is Unfair
Everyone Struggles
Let's Not Make That An Excuse

January 22, 2008

Travelling in BEST buses

The one thing that people identify with Bombay (I prefer to call it that way), who come from outside is the red buses that they see in and around the city. The red buses known as BEST has become an integral part of Bombay that we, Bombayites identify with.

A service started by the British, one can also see the red buses plying on the roads of London. Most of my travelling needs are taken care by BEST. I preferred to travel by bus as school, college and my working place happen to be nearby. I sometimes prefer to travel through BEST than by car/auto. Its fun travelling on BEST. One can often see the funny side of life, sometime even embarrassing ones. in it.

It all starts with the queue of the bus. Sometimes the queue gets so large that it starts pouring on to the road. Even if the bus get fully occupied, there are people who still try to cram themselves in. In Bombay, time is money. A lot of time is spend on travelling especially with people who travel from far away place to reach their work places on time.

There are three types of people who board the bus. The first one is the Obedient who always stand in queue to board the bus. The second one are the Pushers who tries to get in between of the queue or try to board the bus before the Obedient one when it comes to the bus stop. The third one are the Runners and my favorites. For these people, time is everything. They cannot bare to see their bus going away in front of them. For them the race has just began which ends with boarding on the bus. Who says we need Marathon to keep our citizens fit and healthy. The BEST buses have been doing it for a long time.

The BEST is a good way of travelling in and around the city. Sitting besides the window seat with the wind blowing in takes that tiredness all away. Once you get on the bus, your guide throughout the journey will be the bus conductor also known as master. He can be friendly, helpful and even gets angry if you don't have the exact change for the bus ticket. If you don't have it, then be prepared to get an earful. In a crowded bus, be prepared to make some space for yourself, as every space is occupied. All kinds of incidents takes place in the bus. For a women travelling in a bus can be a nightmare. Its hard to understand what kind of pleasure do the perverts get who try to touch the opposite sex. No wonder the buses have a few seats reserved for them. There are times that these seats are also occupied by men unless they are reminded that they are ladies seat. As of me, I never sit on ladies seat even if no one is sitting over there. I prefer to stand all the way. Though the women have to be reminded that these seats are privilege given to them and are not their birthrights. I once had a funny incident over this. I always make sure that I don't sit on the ladies seat, and happen to sit on the senior citizens seat (which is one seat ahead of it). This girl who happened to be talking on the cellphone turns towards me from no where and said Ladies Seat (Like I happen to take something that belongs to her!!!). I enjoyed the reaction that she gave, when I told her its not a ladies seat. She was checking out for the written sign on the back of the seat.

One can also see the human side of the people when they offer their seats to older citizens. If you think that getting in the bus was tough, then getting down is also not easy. You will be lucky if the bus is not crowded, you can get down easily. The real challenge lies when you get through the crowd and make you way to the exit door. Moving through the crowd is akin to the hurdle race where you have to bypass each hurdle to reach the podium. You will meet all kinds of people. Some people talk so loudly on their cellphones, it makes one wonder if they are thinking that they are travelling in their personal car and not a public transport. The couples will seat themselves at the back of the bus to have their personal moments. The AC buses that has been started is a hit with the couples. Sometime you even end up making friends by travelling on the same route or see love blooming in the air. Though in the recent time BEST reputation has been tarnished with accidents, bad behavior from the conductor. This has not deterred the common man from travelling through BEST.

The BEST has in its own way made its mark. What needs to be seen is, can it live through its day.

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