Bangalore has many nick names- India's Silicon Valley, Garden city , Science City , world's best known back office (this term is applied to India itself in a larger context), to state a few. And all of them seem apt. There is also one called ‘the Pensioner's Paradise’, I am not so sure whether it is apt in today’s times.
It is a city with a modern outlook and a modern population- friendly, and quite fashionable and trendy. To mention all my experiences and observations, about Bangalore, this one post won’t suffice. So, I will break them into many posts and write about them now and then.
First, to talk about transportation, the promptness of service is commendable. One thing really sweet is that the drivers stop when they see someone on the road gesturing for the bus to stop, at least in my route- the Hosur road, on the way to EC; don’t know much about other routes. The ventilation is poor though, I have seen many people feeling giddy coz of the poor ventilation, more so if the bus is crowded.
One irritating thing about bus travel is that no matter how crowded the bus is, the conductors will try to go through the crowd of people, pushing them aside, and stamping people's foot. So, next time bus is crowded, and the conductor approaches you, what do you do? My advice: move as far away from the spot asap, for which you would have to do the same thing the conductor does, pushing aside people, stamping feet! (Sigh).
In Chennai, the conductors don’t move around much. They just sit in the seat assigned to them and people pass money to the conductor and he/ she passes back the ticket and the change. This process is a complete relief compared to the practice here and seems flawless as far as I know. It would be much better if Bangalore also adopted this strategy.
And then, there is hardly any checking, that is to get hold of people who don’t buy tickets. In the four months I have been here, checking has happened only once. A person I knew, a fellow student from my training class (who later became my friend), got caught on that day :)
Anyways, the point is there is hardly any checking. So, this gives scope for conductors to cheat, some conductors get money from you without giving you the ticket. Oh and I should mention, they give you generous concessions for your travel.
And then, there is this concept of driver cum conductor. Yeah, you are right, the driver distributes the ticket. The driver just parks the bus in some lonely spot, takes out his bag and starts distributing tickets. And you are left to wonder “don’t these people value time!”.
It’s irritating, especially if you have to go someplace important and on time. Though I have witnessed this several times, I remember the particular day when I returned from home one Monday morning; the bus was held for about half an hour, at four in the morning. I couldn’t afford the luxury of sleep since I was travelling alone and had to be cautious about my belongings and all. Had I gone with one more person, I would have slept (Sigh).
I tend to deviate. So, this ‘practice’ should definitely be done away with. But then, like bus travel anywhere, here also it has its ups and downs I guess. Enough has been said on bus travel I think, I will talk more about Bangalore as days go by. It is a captivating cosmopolitan with lush foliage, flowering trees and its salubrious climate makes it a beautiful city to live in.
So far, staying in this city has been fun. It stands two in my list of favorite cities (first ofcourse is my 'singara' Chennai). I had so much fun with my friends here. We were quite a bunch. And our favorite dialogue ‘Naanga anju per, engalukku bayame kedayathu’ (we are five in number, we know no fear :))- yeah right, we ‘sutufied’ (copied) that dialogue from the movie ‘Khaka Khaka’ (plagiarism, I guess… he he).
Now looking back, all those moments seem golden, coz three of them left Bangalore; two got posted in Chennai and one in Cochin. So, it’s just two of us now. I keep telling myself, I should simply make new friends here. Looking forward to happy days!