Sunday, July 6, 2008

Calcutta Bus Guide



U have a bag on your shoulders. But it feels really light and of no purpose other than to show everyone that u are going to college (or school, or office ). Some days , your head starts reeling and u feel as if u haven’t swallowed everything which was given to u during your ill-timed lunch ( because 10 am is not a time for lunch, people !) if u are lucky and have a caring mom( or even more caring wife ) at home , a very hot Tiffin box is certainly packed in your bag . touching your bag in the wrong place can make the impostor’s hands burn ! “ bag thief repellent food” ….. fancy !!

So u r staring at the signal , and u beg it to become green so that the buses come pouring in. and all this while u r standing under a tree trying to dodge crow shit or u are close to getting boiled alive when u were standing at a hot bus stand … having an advertisement of a semi-naked model sporting gold ornaments. U stare at her and envy her … even you wish u were semi-naked in the heat.

U have done it again ! thought so much that u have lost track of when the buses had started pouring in one-by-one at your feet … literally to sweep u off your feet, or squish u if u are not alert enough. U dodge the buses , while at the same time you keep your eyes open for that one magic number which you are looking for. In due time you see that magic number on a bus , and start running towards it. But what is this ! everyone who were standing beside you in the stand , all of them start running at the same bus ! is this some joke ? same bus …all of these people !

You do not think, you have much more important things , like getting on the bus for a change! Even though you manage to run to the bus , you are dismayed because the bus is already full … well at least to the maximum capacity it is equipped to handle. But if people will hang out of the bus with nothing but one and a half feet on the foot board and claim that they are riding the bus !! its capacity does increase. You also do the same … you get on the bus , I mean you put one foot on the footboard , hold onto a rod and hang on for dear life !


Follow my lead and do everything that I say. You must realize that your first priority at this point of time is to try and squeeze yourself in the more crowded but relatively less jeopardous interior of the bus. That being said , the correct timing and the ruthless “only me” attitude will definitely give you an edge . here is what u do .

Keep your eyes open for any , I mean even the smallest , movement in front of the door. Most probably its someone who is stuck inside and wants to get out at the next stop. Don’t try anything funny while the bus is still moving. Wait for the stop to come. Now, wait for everyone to get off the footboard. In spite of hearing shouts like “ get off the footboard; gate er saamne bhir keno koren” etc, don’t get off the footboard.. at any cost.

As soon as the people get off, its time for us to switch into action. Dash … literally dash inside the interior. I know its dark , sweaty and smells bad , but trust me u cant break a jaw here. And you know the funniest part ? if you are careful enough , u can actually find yourself in a position where holding onto a rod isn’t necessary because you are packed there. So u can enjoy “suspended animation” as well as how a solid molecule feels!

The interior is dark , so its advisable to carry a torch if u suffer from night sickness.

The interior is full of a strange mixture of perfume and bad odour and bad breath. It is advised u carry some smelling salts , just in case u need it. You will also probably end up with a headache due to the scarcity of ventilation ( what happens to me) , u either need to walk for 15 minutes after u get off , or carry a saridon to get rid of the inevitable head ache. I prefer walking . I don’t like drugs. It is also advisable to carry a towel . even if u come from Namibia , trust me this heat is something u have never ever experienced ( and most probably wont again if not you are stuck with something .. your job or studies )

Lets talk of your valuables and their safe guarding. Mobiles and purses are the usual forte. This guide does not cover diamond rings …( ride a car u rich diamond ring wearing individual)…. Out of context.

Important: checking that your valuables are there all the time is not only your fundamental right , but also a necessary step u should take to prevent any loss. If your cell rings inside the bus, just let it ring. You don’t want to flaunt your costly cell in front of the finger smiths in the bus

Ohh ! look ! you are nearing your destination ! its really the standing rule that you must start moving towards the exit when you are about two stops from your destination. It must be mentioned that don’t take the rule for granted. If you are somewhere right inside the bus , three stops is a better option.

Technique : use your ELBOW. Push , shove, balance .. do everything with your elbow. Elbows really help… they are fast and they hurt a lot ! you should also start wriggling like a worm when you come near the exit. This is essential if u want to exit with a bag on your shoulders ! otherwise in all probability your bag remains inside and u come outside !



This is the final part. So lets not hurry and waste all our fun . try not to get on the footboard (again!). there is a high chance you will get pushed off the board and die a very painful death. Try not to hurry. Yeah you are late for your job , or school ,or whatever , but your limbs cost more , trust me.

Taxis and auto rickshaws are something you should keep your eyes open even when u sleep ! needless to say look out for them when u get off. They have a tendency to move very fast in places there isn’t any space to move . getting knocked by a auto rickshaw will not earn u any compensation , sympathy from your loved ones , yes , but its not really worth it !

SO NOW , U R READY. Go out there .. and face the world .. make me proud !

p.s. if u think this is just a very lousy piece of writing , or anything else , please comment. :P


amrita said...

how enlightening... atruly helpful guide for dose like me who ride a bus once in a blue moon..lolzz.....

suchetana said...

hmm...really a vry vry helpful guide fr riding buses here.....this should b published as a guide book fr those new would b daily pssngrs...lolz...

Anonymous said...

you are really great man ! you have a flair for writing , such a mundane topic and u write it with such a different approach . keep it up

rimz said...

hehehe, really very true..especially elbows realyy play a very helpful role in a thronged bus,i can tell dat as i m also an experienced bus-traveller.

For girls~ dont dare to get up in a very crowded bus in a salwar or any flared dress, ur orni is den, for sure goin to hang u or some one else...:P..
[i do evn wonder how most women carry off deir sari, n get down well along with it from the over-crowded bus.....]

acidVox said...

the author of this blog is unable to answer ur doubts .... beacuse i have not tried wearing sarees and urniis .. onno mohilagon .. help this damsel out !

rimz said...

u idiot, toke k sari n salwar porte boleche..??
i jst said something from my behalf...none wanted u to clear d doubts on wearing sari n salwar...
well if u wanna take dat thing dat way, i cant help dat man...:P

arko said...

perfect scenario of a crowded bus...

The Dark Side Of The Moon said...

For spoilt ones like me,who avoid and dread this form of transpotation to the max possible extent,it is indeed enlightening!i shall abide by it.But trust me,with us,girls..there should be an addendum!I'll work on that. :D

TurbulentMind said...

what apt description!!true to the core..