December 22, 2006

Bus Drivers

Travelling by bus is an experience by itself.... The other day I was on my way to work and I got into the 201 - (which all Bangaloreans know almost goes everywhere ;)). This was a driver I recognised .

I am very good at faces. I can identify a face that has changed over the years . Now this driver I remembered was the religious sort. He used to stop at the Madivala market and pick up flowers for the idols he had in the bus. He also liked to talk to the elder generation.

I got place behind his seat. There is a tiny shutter open on top. This is a lovely place to stand under, enjoying the cool breeze as it wafts in. So there I was, enjoying the occasional wave of cool air on my warm skin , standing there look at people hustling to work, college students with their tiny bags slung across their shoulder, holding big books in their hand :D, school children struggling to carry their (big and ready to split at the seams) duffels , working women with umbrellas etc..

Something was different today in the bus. Everyone was standing in some organised fashion. There was no elbowing, no people hanging half in half out........... That was strange. I was pondering about it, when a lady wanted to alight in a place where there was no stop. Now these requests are normal. Usually bus drivers accomadate these requests. What happened here though was different.

He told the lady that he would not be stopping in a place that does not have a stop. When she was standing very near to the footboard, he admonished her about her hurry to get off, without worrying about saftety factors.

He refused to let a passenger alight while at a traffic signal. Then he started his trademark conversation with an elderly woman. He said that people these days were scurrying around, hurrying to get somewhere and being careless in the process.

He said he did not want to earn a good name from passengers by yielding to their requests if the price he paid in return was their safety. I was amazed. I mean it does not take long to just halt the bus . But this driver worried that his passengers should not fall to the other vehicles travelling in crazy speeds.

He might never come across as people person, but a caring heart he has