Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bus Riding Social Commentator

I didn't know their type existed until last evening - I met the very first Bus Riding Social Commentator. It started as I left Thoppumpady around 7 pm and took a bus to Thrikkakara. The bus was a bit crowded (no surprises there) and I was sitting in the very last seat. There was a thin bespectacled man around 45 or so sitting to my left and an older man perhaps 52 with a thick white mop of hair. We shall call them TBMan and BRSC man. So, back to the story; I was sitting quitely minding my own business as usual until the bus stopped at Marine Drive. Normally lots of people get on the buses at this point, especially if it a Pookatupady route bus. A few people did get on the bus at this time. As the bus started a guy ran towards the bus and tried to climb in back door. He missed and fell onto a bycyclist. Seeing this me and a few others were startled and jumped from our seats to check on the fellow's condition. The bus slowed down a bit but then went on.

The BRSC man said not to feel sorry about the guy. He asked us why did he try to risk his life just to get onto what was clearly not the last bus to that route? (that was true). Also why be bothered about a person who recklessly endangers his life? If the guy was seriously injured, then the driver & conductor of the bus would have been in trouble with the law, although it would have been no fault of theirs. Plus would we, as passengers going home after work, like it if our journey home was stalled and we would have to get off the bus and take a new one.

All good arguments from the part of the BRSC man. TBMan was agreeing with him and also with me when I said, that even though I agreed, the thought of a man getting injured was enough to make us concerned. But the BRSC man went on and even critized our government, our education system and in general the public of India. He said that we were worse off than animals, atleast animals did not do harm for no reason. The BRSC man had very good points and I found myself agreeing with him, even though several others in the bus gave us nasty looks. Aboout three stops from mine, he moved to the front to give space to a passenger carrying a baby and disappeared into the night. I hope I get to see him again. It was refreshing to debate with a sensible guy.

Song for the day - "UP" - SHANIA TWAIN