I started going in the normal BMTC bus recently. Equipped with my headphones and phone too large for normal hands and an almost empty bag, I stand out like a baby with a lollipop in a strip club. From the comforts of the AC in a Volvo bus to the cooling of the body from another man’s sweat is not something a person will call pleasant. As much as I want to bring out some positive point about this journey to make your eyes watery which will result in you sharing this with your friends who mostly don’t give a F (lol I said F instead of fuck) about you or your life unless you are a girl and is posting photos of your cleavage ; that’s not going to be case. In my experience, I will be an entitled spoiled kid.
1) Push and Rush In
You need to push others and rush inside the bus even if you think you can easily get a seat. I was never used to this and I learnt it the hard way that there are preferred seats, seats which if you occupy, prevent you from getting a random guy’s butt / bag on your face. If one doesn’t get a window seat then be prepared for a humid ride where you will feel violated. At the same time, there is no perfect seat if it’s crowded. If there is a lot of leg space then someone will keep their baggage there, even if it’s on your leg.
2) Local language?
Practice sign language if you don’t know Kannada. Also, be prepared to get hostile / fascinated looks throughout your journey. Green alien.
3) Work Out… Say no to list, this isn’t Buzzfeed
I can’t believe I was going to list out points and try to get you people to read this. Interesting how that works and doesn’t even need many creative skills for the title, one like ” 10 Things I figured out in a Bus, No 10 is controversial”. But I will probably end up putting some lame title that people will click ads as they seem better in comparison.
Aside from the fact that traveling via a normal BMTC is an endurance test, trying to gauge your skills in pushing away the crowd, not getting your wallet stolen and not falling down, the main question that has been puzzling me is whether to stand up for old people or not.
I have been asked by an old person to get up so that he can sit. Note that I wasn’t sitting in any reserved seat. This is a seat I procured by waiting for fifteen minutes in the bus stand and by pushing people. Now why should I just get up for someone when it’s crowded and get squeezed for that someone? Couldn’t he catch another bus if he can’t stand? Why did he get into the crowded bus? Or maybe some other means of transport. I don’t believe in karma as such and I did have to get up for the old citizen. I have never felt so violated in my life because of what I went through after standing up. I was pushed against a rod by a fat guy with a bag and then by someone with a potbelly. I didn’t feel any good or any better because I left my seat for an old person. All I felt was the fat stomach on my back. Is it fine to say no to someone like that? I started writing this as I was wondering what would have been different if I had just refused the guy my seat. Mostly would be judged by people around me who wouldn’t get up either, if people were so nice there wouldn’t have been a scenario where he had to ask me for the seat, someone would have offered it, yet if I had refused they would all judge me and brand me as the bad person. Are we all obliged to do nice things to others? Or is it a personal choice to carry on as long as one isn’t directly causing any harm to anyone?
At this point, I realised something very important – I shouldn’t have written this because I can’t seem to understand the purpose it serves.