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November , 2017
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A Journey in the RTC bus[1]

Travelling in RTC bus is no joke. credits : Libran Dranzer


Pushing and pulling, hell lot of people, fights over petty issues, foot-boarding and common man’s cheapest means of transport is called R.T.C (Road transport corporation) BUS! A journey for a little while in this bus takes one to an entirely different world. Methods of dealing with co-passengers and conductors are simply not normal, they are something very peculiar. A bus, which although has a definite schedule never arrives on time and is most often crowded, very rarely empty and is full of different sorts of people from all economical classes.

The first and the foremost thing you need to have in your wallet before entering an RTC bus is rupee coins. They maybe any but should be enough to buy you a ticket to your destination or else the conductors are often angered if you hand them a 100 rupee note for a ticket which would cost you somewhere between Rs. 7-15. Nikhil.K, a student of SNIST says, “It is not like the conductor won’t have the change, just that he thinks it is your duty to keep the correct amount for the ticket. It is my opinion that people who travel often should keep the change keeping the conductor’s situation in mind, especially in crowded buses, but how on earth should the rest know about how much change they should carry. They shout at those people also, chiller ledaa!?” A short-tempered conductor wouldn’t mind flying out abuses if you are female and if you are a male, well there is high probability that he asks you to get off the bus. Female conductors are no exception when it comes to this episode. If at all they are kind, they give you the change and in certain cases, they write the amount they have to return you on the back of the ticket and if the passenger forgets, the money goes into his pocket. Ramesh, a bus conductor laments,”It is most irritating when, early in the morning people give me 20 and 50 rupee notes. How and where from should I give them the change?  In my opinion, it is basic manners to carry some change if you want to travel in RTC buses.”

After you enter the bus, the first thing any passenger would do is look for a seat to sit down and relax until their destination is reached, but in

A crowded RTC bus

A crowded RTC bus credits : Libran Dranzer

most of the RTC buses, this wish is not granted since they are often crowded. So, you are actually considered “lucky” in case you get a seat. Keerthi.P, a student of GRIET quips, “I started travelling in RTC buses after joining college only and one of my friends who used to travel regularly told me about the difficulty to get a seat. I didn’t consider it then, but later I realized how true it was!” It is not really a big deal to stand, but what’s worse is that they get so crowded; you won’t even have space to let your feet support you. The ladies section is just fine but the men’s section is pitiable for the travelers, yet funny to watch. Leave aside having place to stand, you find people foot-boarding-at least 8 people on a foot-board. Sometimes, the ladies section also faces the same condition. Divya Kamath, a student of GRIET recollects, “I hadn’t known how foot-boarding feels until one day I myself did so. I knew the bus was over-crowded and sort of intentionally got in. I was actually foot-boarding- hugging the rod with one hand while the other draped around another foot-boarding woman’s shoulder, one foot on the footboard while the other dangling out of the bus. It was indeed a worthwhile experience!”

It is funny how the buses get crowded so drastically. They collect more and more people at every bus-stop and the funnier thing is that the crowded buses get more and more crowded. One can clearly notice that the number of people getting into the bus is thrice the number of people getting off the bus! Ultimately, it becomes so jam-packed that you get sandwiched between two people. Shruthi.K, a student of SNIST says, “I was literally smashed between two women, one who was totally sweating and the other carrying a college bag and pressing it against my back. It was horrible. I was so tight between them, that even if I were in that position without the bus floor, I would be floating in air rather than the gravity pulling me down.”

It gets hell suffocating with less oxygen entering in and more carbon-di-oxide filling the bus-environment and in such a case, someone who really deserves sympathy is the conductor as he has to push himself through the crowd and give tickets. He wouldn’t even be in a situation to place his hand inside his big old-fashioned bag. Over crowded buses tilting to one side is not an uncommon sight anyway. Ultimately, it looks like a diagram of “closely packed atoms in a solid substance” in school science textbooks.

Fortunately the mens' section is empty credits:Libran Dranzer

Fortunately the mens' section is empty credits:Libran Dranzer

There is more to this. As the men’s side gets more and more massed, they obviously tend to move towards the ladies’ section and this of course is the best chance for some perverts to grab. Jyoti.S, a student of Pragathi Degree College recalls, “Once, when my friend and I were traveling, a man was constantly pushing himself over my friend. Despite her requests to him to step back, he persisted. Ultimately, she drove him back by stepping hard on his feet with her pencil heels.” However, not all women are so brave; most of them accept it as another plague while travelling in an RTC bus.

The most hilarious thing however is the cat fights! Women, as a matter of fact shout out abuses at each other. What’s all the more surprising is that these women wouldn’t even have known each other earlier and it is amusing as to how two strangers can fight over a petty issue, that too for such a short period of time. However, they fight as though they’re long time enemies! Vandana Reddy, a student of GRIET  says, “I recently came across one such fight where one woman accused another of stealing money from her purse. She was yelling abuses at her. The accused obviously got offended and asked the woman to check her bag. When she didn’t find the money in her bag, she accused the woman next to her. It was very funny to watch the three of them yell at each other. The conductor was patiently trying to stop the fight, but in vain.” Ultimately, a patient bus-driver, conductor or the co-passengers are the ones who have to stop it all.

There’s the good side of traveling in this bus too. People, who travel everyday by the same bus, get to meet the same set of people, some of them who eventually become good friends. They give you company in the bus and there are lot of things two strangers can discuss when compared to what two friends can. Rohitha.S, a student of VNR VIgnan jyothi institute of engineering and technology says, “Most of the time I travel with my friends in college bus. Sometimes, when I miss it, I travel by RTC buses and at that time I have the company of the people whom I everyday meet at the bus stop. That way, I have a couple of friends from the other colleges.” Students claim that although the bus journey is abrade initially, one easily gets used to the rash and rough ways of journeying in this bus. Where else can one find so many varieties of people!

RTC buses at Lakdikapul credits:Libran Dranzer

RTC buses at Lakdikapul credits:Libran Dranzer

At last, it is suggested to those people who never have traveled by an RTC bus is to get a joy-ride in this large-sized public vehicle.  It can be tiring but is more of fun. It is no less than an adventure. It is just not possible to experience all the above things else where. So, every one of you out there, make an effort to travel by an RTC bus, at least once. It IS worth a try.

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