By Shashank Saurav:
I often use the public transport for commuting from one place to another. By public transport, I mean the city buses. Now the experience of traveling in these buses is vastly different for every person. Whereas people like me look forward to this journey with ebullience (I get to meet my friends), there are many people especially senior citizens who are constantly maundering throughout their stay in the bus. This could be because of all seats being occupied, lack of respect on the part of the younger crowd or the general hot and humid atmosphere of the bus. Anyway traveling in a bus is so cheap you cannot expect much on the comfort front.
Now I will tell you why traveling in a bus is, for the lack of a better word, a hilarious experience. If you keep your eye on the events happening during your stay you will observe different traits of human character first hand.
There will be a section of the passengers who will be standing or even shamelessly occupying seats without purchasing a ticket. They will pass surreptitious glances here and there and will try to remain as inconspicuous as possible. In addition, a few guys of the next generation are tenacious and venturesome. I call them so because of two reasons-:
1. They will travel without ticket and boldly declare that to the conductor. The flimsy reason being that they have to get down at the next stop, which in some cases is a lie.
2. Even if the bus is full, they will get in and hang on to the supporting rod near the door throughout their stay.
Then there are those who are often found seated in seats reserved for women. They might vacate on being requested but their stubbornness and lack of courtesy is there for everyone to see.
You will often find the odd one out moving in the bus without changes. He will have the 100 or 500 Rupees note and will harass the conductor for change. This results in the conductor running around for change and passengers using the situation to get down without ticket.
Then there are some passengers moving in groups who consider that having paid their fare, the bus has become their private property. They will speak as loudly as possible assuming they have a sonorous voice that everyone should hear and the topics will vary. There might be a discussion on the college life in which no one is interested, politics might take precedence in some cases involving a full-fledged debate or even the lamentable state of India in the sporting arena might trigger off a discussion. Anyway, it becomes a bother for people like me who prefer silence.
Other highlights might include-:
1. People busy with their I-pod or mobile phone. They seem totally unconcerned with the chaos around them until their bus stop comes.
2. People who have dozed off. It is funny seeing their head move up and down with the movement of the bus. But be careful they might suddenly wake up and ask whether certain stop has come or not.
3. There is the older lot to watch out. I will not call it funny but it is indeed weird to see some of them speaking to themselves. That might be a habit but the time and place of this event makes for an interesting watch.
These are the passengers who make the interesting list. There are also those who have the habit of giving up their seats for elders and women, which is nice to see. Then there are those who occasionally pay for someone else’s ticket. These I guess form the better and likeable section of the passengers.
So overall, there is a motley crowd traveling on the bus. However it is safe to conclude that no one gets on the bus with prior intentions of causing problems or traveling without paying. These experiences may vary from city to city but the general observations remain the same.
image courtesy: http://www.keeplearning.net/?p=38