Living in India is fun, you can always expect something out of the blue. After suffering two accidents in the same day, i decided not to use a two wheeler for some time. So almost for the last two months i take the bus(MTC) to my office.
i have to travel about 6 miles. The journey ideally should take about 20 minutes, but in the bustling traffic it takes a little less than an hour. This one hour has been an eye opener. I have learnt the art of dangling precariously on a footboard holding on to a fellow commuters shirt, joust with other travelers trying to get out. If i do manage to get a seat, then the sights and sounds of this city can keep one so occupied.
The MTC manages to find its way through the traffic with minimal effort. I am pretty amazed at the skill of the drivers, they treat the big green monster like a bicycle and zoom around. The MTC edges out all the vehicles to the side and marches on. I have heard our driver call out to the vehicles in traffic “Clear my way for your own good”. Ah, what confidence. Traffic signals would be respected only if there are about ten vehicles in front of the bus, otherwise the creaky bus will keep moving until no vehicle can move either way.
The worst part in the journey is of you are stuck somewhere in the middle, you would be crushed and crumpled. The other day i was stuck inside and that day there were about 100 more than the expected 50 inside. I was standing uncomfortably close to a girl. She gave me the go hang yourself look. Later i found out that she works in my office. I still run away if i see her somewhere inside the office building.
The next thing that one would notice is the advertisement posters plastered all across the city. Some of them have made me laugh my guts out. Try this “Wanted Paying gust inparmaation – never knew information could be spelled like that”, “Brand new used cars for sale ?”, “School of Japanese offers Japanese classes ”, “Mahavir Frut Jush – He meant Fruit Juice”, and so on.
People try to showcase their artistic skills on the seats, the interiors. The most common ones that i have seen are Lovers names inside a Heart. Poor lovers, nowhere else to declare their eternal love for each other. The funniest ones are from the gangs, or the college groups which use the bus. “Laser guys”, “EEE Error Gents”, “Pallikaranai Tigers” are the ones that topped my list. Yesterday i saw a superb one “It was a winking Ganesha(* Ganpati bapa), underneath was scrawled “Not everybody, gets a replacement, Use Helmets.
I have had enough learning, and (mis)adventures as well, so i am back on my two wheeler. Now i have something more to lookout for in addition to other crazy vehicles, crazier MTC drivers and the craziest Graffiti.