Skip to main content

Run Bus . Run .

Using public transport can , apart from saving a lot of money , throw up a lot of interesting stories to tell . What may ,from the outside , seem like a monotonous , boring ride , actually is a very entertaining journey ! You'll see lots of different types of people. Old , young , new born , loud , shy , funny , serious , suspicious and so on ! You may find nothing in common with them except for your destination , but you might actually have a lot of similarities . You just don't know what yet !

It's about half past 7 on a pleasant wednesday evening . An old rickety bus squeaked to a stop in front of me . It's almost full . There are a couple of vacant seats at the back  . Vacant seats are a rarity in the late evenings , so it's probably my lucky day,  I thought to myself .
The conductor walked up to me as soon as I got on to the bus , not allowing me enough time to claim my seat before someone else did . I forced my way to the seat and the conductor followed me . With a subtle shake of his head , he asked where I wanted to go . "B.P.L" , I proudly replied . He ripped a ticket from the bunch and asked me for the exact change of Rs 7 .I handed him a ten rupee note . He looked up and frowned , as though I'd asked him to sit through an entire season of  The bold and the beautiful . He wasn't an intimidating figure . He was about 5'6'' , slightly bulky with unkempt hair but he made sure that everyone knew he was incharge . He turned the ticket around and scribbled 3 on it and slapped it on my hand with some sort of contempt .
You know how they say technology can be misused ? Well , there was this one bloke blasting bad music from his phone and that , for me , figures in the top ten misuses of good technology .
There was the frail old man sitting with the support of a stick . His face was wrinkled and his hair , or whatever was left of it , was grey with a few traces black here and there . He was trying to fall asleep but the shuddering of the bus made that close to impossible .
There was an energetic flower-seller speaking so loudly over her phone , that even my best attempt to not eavesdrop , failed .The lovely smell from her basket of flowers created an atmosphere of pseudo-calmness in the rickety bus .

At every signal , the bus choked , spat and stalled . Forcing the driver to open the engine box and quickly set everything in order . And then , at one signal he failed . The adamant bus refused to respond to the frantic  revival attempts by the driver . The conductor walked over to the engine box and tried something himself . By now , all the passengers in the bus are  craning their necks over to see what was happening . The music stopped , the old man smiled ( I'm pretty sure he did ) and tried to catch some sleep and the flower lady had rushed up to the front of the bus to give her opinion to the driver ( or so it seemed ) . Then the conductor turned around and declared that his attempts had failed . There was an air of disappointment in the bus . Everyone had been anticipating a last minute recovery , much like in the movies  . He then announced that the bus would start if everyone got off and pushed the bus . There was a sudden increase in the buzz in the bus . We all looked at each other with excitement ! Everyone wanted to be a hero and save the grand old bus and get it running again .
The conductor got off first , followed by about 10 young men . And then they pushed . And pushed . And suddenly the bus gasped and shivered and started once more ! A spontaneous round of applause went off for the "brave" young saviours and soon , the atmosphere was back to normal . Slowly , the excitement wore off .
Couple of signals later , the bus choked again , and a couple of hundred metres later , rolled to a standstill . The conductor and driver got together again . Trying to recover the bus . I stood up and slowly moved up to the front to see what exactly they were doing .All of a sudden ,  I sensed some activity behind me and turned around . Only to find that the bus was empty . This , my friends , is not a horror story . Everyone had just run away . Apparently , no one wanted to be part of the rescue anymore ! Not wanting to be left behind , and besides , I doubt if I could have helped too much in moving a bus ( I'm not the perfect definition of strong )  , I left too .
I was quite close to my house , so I walked along , recalling the sequence of events that had just unfolded . Was it the fault of young men like myself that the bus lay there now , screaming silently for help ? We saved it once and could have done it again but maybe the grand old bus had run his course .

Maybe next time , I'll lend a hand and single handedly save the bus . Yeah Maybe..Next time....


Post a Comment

constructive criticism welcome !

Popular posts from this blog

Diwali: Be a Hero

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. We celebrate so many festivals that at times it is difficult to keep count of what we're really celebrating. Different people look at this differently. For school kids, it means plenty of holidays. For their teachers, it means less time to complete the syllabus. For employees, it means a day away from work. For their employers, it means a drop in productivity. But there is one festival that really stands out in a calendar year. For years, I've been told it's the “festival of lights” but that isn't an accurate description of what it is any more. I'm,of course, talking about Diwali. The story is familiar to everyone. (For those who aren't familiar with it, there's a VERY concise version here : The Diwali Story). Diwali is, like almost all other festivals, a time to celebrate. And at least for as long as I can remember, it is also the time when environmentalists everywhere feel like they have the most hopeless job…

Aarushi, we're sorry

The Aarushi-Hemraj double murders or the Noida double murders was one of the most famous crimes in recent times in India. The subject of an enormous amount of media gaze, the investigation in the case was unprofessional, to put it mildly. The truth is, the investigation was shoddy, incoherent and provided very little answers. In the end, after multiple twists and turns, the court found Dr Rajesh Talwar and Dr Nupur Talwar guilty of the most sacrilegious of crimes. That of the murder of their own daughter. Before getting to that, here's a quick recap of the incident itself.

14 year old Aarushi Talwar was found dead in her bedroom in the morning of the 16th of may, 2008. Her parents suspected their domestic help, 45 year old Hemraj, who was missing and filed a complaint with the police. Police started the investigation in the case and collected evidence from the scene. Among those, was a bloodstained bottle of scotch on the dining table. The door to the terrace was locked and Dr Ra…

Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?

This article was originally written as part of my unfinished submission to the nine dots prize. Maybe next time I'll actually submit something. 

“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we've ever had.” -Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder and CEO,
In the year 1947 when John Bardeen and his team at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey were busy inventing the first transistor, Harry S Truman was on the campaign trail with almost every prediction indicating that he would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey in the elections that would be held the following year. Meanwhile, somewhere in Illinois, Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Howell were celebrating the birth of their first child, a baby girl they named Hillary Diane Rodham and nearly 7000 miles away, 300 million Indians were celebrating their hard-fought independence from over 200 years of British colonial rule.

The invention of the transistor…