Inspired by RM’s train tales, I wanted to write my bus tales too.
There are two types of buses. Red and blue. Supposed to be ordinary and express, but both go in same speed and crowded. I very rarely get a seat to sit. When I sit, I enjoy observing others. But, when I don’t get seat, it’s nothing but multitasking for me. I have to hold my handbag, lunch bag, dupatta adjustment, making sure I don’t stamp anyone or get stamped. Of course swaying with the bus and facing jerk with all the brakes and stops. At times, I call my husband and shout on top of my voice as he wouldn’t hear what I am saying on phone, or just nod to whatever he is saying as I don’t hear anything properly.
College girls: there is a group which gets down few stops before my stop. They generally discuss about the portions, test, labs and experiments. You can find out if there is an exam that day or not just looking at the kumkum on their head and no extra clips on their head or no hairdo. Oh hairstyle as they have uniform for the college, that is the only place where they can show their style.
it’s nothing but multitasking for me. I have to hold my handbag, lunch bag, dupatta adjustment, making sure I don’t stamp anyone or get stamped. Of course swaying with the bus and facing jerk with all the brakes and stops.
Sales team: there are few sales girls and boys , mostly in early twenties get in at different stop but make sure that they get into same bus and stand or sit nearby. These people will not move even if there is vacant seat as they keep talking throughout their journey. If I get struck between them, you just ignore their conversations. Most of the time its really hilarious, they way they pull each other. You just stop laughing, but still you need to maintain the decency of not over-hearing their tête-à-tête.
Office staff: few oldies, they enter with proper leather handbags, cotton saree, plated hair and jasmine flower. A typical south Indian traditional working women types. They are the only people who are skilled of vacating the men sitting on women’s seat just with a stare. Lady conductors are their friends.
School kids: poor kids come with such a big bag and lunch bag. They would be struggling to get in and push all possible hurdles with their bags. The worst part is that, they try to open their bag and take their bus pass in the crowd.
Vegetable vendors: the bus would be already crowded, and vendors bring their big baskets and gunny bags. They generally put it near the entrance next to driver’s seat.. Anyone entering the bus, will make a comment or pick up fight with the vendors. If it’s the basket is with fish or prawns in it. Never mind you are going to stink all day in office.
Somehow the buses in vizag(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visakhapatnam) don’t follow any kind of discipline like Chennai. As in, there is no proper ladies and gents section in vizag buses unlike Chennai. Chennai, men get in and get out from rear end of bus. Women get and out from front side. So there is no bewilderment even while waiting for the bus and no falling on top etc. conductor sits in his place and ticket and money is passes. So, the pushing is avoided. Frequency of bus is more in Chennai. Of course I can’t compare a metro to small city.
If it’s the basket is with fish or prawns in it. Never mind you are going to stink all day in office.
So after all that, I get down at my stop pushing everybody aside, smelling like rotten vegetable. The bus does stop at the stop unlike Chennai, where you need to stand few meter away from stop to enter into the bus, as the bus never stops at the bus stop. ( I remember vivek comedy in one of the Tamil movies on this bus not stopping at the stop).
Photo courtesy: http://www.crestock.com/image/2262659-Public-Transportation-Riders.aspx,http://www.waybeta.com/news/50031/live-action-cartoon:-make-up-superman-without-fear-or-favour-to-squeeze-bus-_-lenovo-notebook-review/