Hinde hogri jaga ide....melhathappa...
Ticket Ticket...Elramma nimdu...
Chilre kodri...Pass thorsri...
Bag side ge haaki...thegdu kayalli itkolri....
[PS:For those who do not follow Kannada,sorry no translations,the fun is here to stay!]
For the past few years I have been a great user of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport services.
[Sumne style ge full formu...onde mathali BTS Bussssuuu anri!]
It has been a one of a kind ride always. My association with the esteemed travels starts from the long queue in Housing Board starting at 9 30-9 45 am for 75A scheduled to leave half an hour later,remember how Calvin used to break the queue or climb it on the hump in front of our flats;) and the 180 at 5pm to Shankar Mutt for tuition,this was during the Pre university days.The hilarious part of the ride was when the guys at the back had to get down and push the junk box of college goers up the hill near Bhashyam circle,the physics and math were not enough to drain their energy!Years later now,when I cross these roads again it all seems so different.The buildings have lost their bricks,the roads have narrowed,lush green trees have fallen down and the only green is the green boards of the dream project of this city,the Metro.Things have changed for a little better and a lot worse.Now there are buses of greens, pinks, reds, oranges and the cooler kinds.Sometimes its a great sail and sometimes like you will never reach home kinds.
The next 5 years was marked with a obligatory bond with the 401 series.The B,E,K,M,P,Q,R,S,Vs and the rest of the English alphabets fill its list.Their sheer callousness in punctuality contradicts their numbers. A lot of these journeys I have spent reading my medical books and frighten inquisitive people sitting on the adjacent seat with weird pictures of the diseases and disorders of the human body. A chatter with Pi was often,about this and about that and about everything under the sun![She is the first and best person who can relate to this post!].
On rare occasions these buses turned out to be a vantage ride when we met our long lost friends from school.As our bodies and minds are squeezed between the hundred souls,the sweat stinks mixes with the jasmine fragrance from the flower seller Granny's basket as she ties those tiny little white and orange ones with her intricate hand movements.I swear I can never do that!
The adrenaline rush in his blood puts the drivers foot on the accelerator and takes us at break neck speed and gives a skipped heart beat only because he wants to race his competitor in front, and there is his equally atrocious foul mouth which brings disgust to our ears. At times if these brown uniforms feel like this is it for the day,the wives and the food are waiting at home and the bus can always stop in between!We have no choice but to get down.
There are times when we come home and look at the back of the ticket and realize that the conductor owed a 93 Rs change for a 7 Rs ticket,you forgot to ask and he was pleased,for it was meant to be so.
Why leave the typical Indian ladies in Kanjevaram Sarees,climbing the footboard like a hill with their fat butts and fatter bags in hand scrutinizing the seats for a scapegoat as soon as they enter and finally find you,they initially lean on you for a minute like you are the Qutub Minar planted in the bus and then look at you,give a wicked grin and say ‘Paapu,Churu Jargamma’.It is fun to hear their family stories ka audio film in public.I cannot forget this one lady with live chickens..live in her bag pecking my hand!!!In the middle of all these are guys and girls exchanging glances;and there is this girl on phone with inches long earrings ,purple lipstick,red hair colour,skinny jeans crying because of her 5Th boyfriend for the past 30 minutes,not that it bothers you,but when the whole bus can hear it so can you!!!
The pickpocketing, the footboard travelling,the school children with their bulky bags,a source of anguish among the travellers.Add a little more to that of the ladies,the gentlemen who forgot to wear Sarees but did not forget to occupy those seats who do not budge come what may. The buffoons and bastards who drool over the fair sex,waiting like wolves to pounce on the girls and aunties alike,who do not know that their mother,sister and wife will also have to use the same means of transport when need arises and there are many wolves like them.
The Grandpas reading newspaper seated in the senior citizen seats,their knowledge reflected on those wrinkles call for respect.And there was this 6th standard girl who always waited for a particular bus only to meet her Doctor Akka,because she always wanted to know how to become a Doctor! The many conductor friends made,a particular one who successfully got all the names of the brands of cough syrups available at the pharmacy and refused to take anything else!
The best part of the ride,a corner seat and a favorite song playing on the radio,a call to a dear one to tell how the day was,a call to tell Mom that you will be home soon and as the winds sweep through my hair when the bus rushes past is definitely a great high,all this can happen provided there is a seat!