Buses can be scary places at times indeed. But hey, we could complain all that we want; there is no denying to the fact that well maintained public transport is our key to a relatively sustainable future. I happen to use BMTC ( Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) almost every day to and from work. I keep getting my share of yelling from the conductors for change every once in a while and have not got an answer to where I can get all the change they’re asking for from, yet. I get to see different kinds of people daily (whenever I life my head from my phone); the chatty ones, the noise ones, the sleepers, the rude ones, the workaholics, the constant snackers, the ultra-well dressed ones, the creeps, the phone addicts, the readers, the smile-at-alls, the perpetually lost ones and whom not.
Most of all though, interest me the conductors. Their job is definitely very challenging and tough days are bound to leave them agitated. Some of them are a bundle of joy besides all the chaos and an absolutely pleasure to ride with. There are some others, who just somehow start their day super grumpy; would surely not want to meet them towards the end of their day’s work.
Here are some conductors whose buses I took many many times and who particularly stand out to me:
- Zen mode conductor: So this conductor doesn’t crib, doesn’t yell, doesn’t shout, renders change down to every single rupee, reads the paper while stuck in traffic, maintains the safety box in the bus in perfect condition and surprisingly, doesn’t smile much. He surely has attained some amusing state of mind. The kind of conductor most people would like to take a ride with.
- The filmy one: Well, it’s not his behavior, it is simply his attire. He always looks like he stepped right out of a Kannada film from the 90s set up in a Zamindar set-up, him being the zamindar. From his big mustache, to the rings on his hand and his very-movie-star-like voice (don’t know how else to describe it).
- The queen: Well, if you have ridden buses numbered 500D a lot, you would surely have met this energetic woman. She is constantly talking throughout the journey to the commuters in English, that could put your English to shame. She refers to females commuters randomly as Mary, Elizabeth and what not to draw their attention and has certain other nomenclature for the men too.
- He who wants to send me elsewhere: So I take this particular bus at least twice a week in the mornings. The conductor asks me where I want to go to and every single time, before I can hand out the money or even tell the destination name fully, has already printed me a ticket to Antarctica or Brazil and then yells at me for not being loud enough. Every single time.
- The happy guy: This guy welcomes you to the bus like he were inviting us for dinner with his family. Makes small talk with all. Keeps sharing stories from his past, some related to happy childhood days and some other to accidents he met with as a young guy, once he is done issuing all tickets. No matter what his stories maybe, he someone manages to make them sound happy.
Those would be the 5 that come off the top of my head. Any on yours?
Also, next time your take a ride in a BMTC bus, please try and figure out if any of those CCTV cameras actually even work. Thanks