Prejudice Doesn’t Exist

Public transport is both the boon and the bane of our existence. While some people survive purely on its availability, others like me can only push back our tears, pull our socks up and hustle through the sweaty, grinding mess and pray it gets over soon.

Evidently, this is a vent post. Yesterday, my scooty’s tire went flat so I ended up taking the bus back home. Although I was in it for less than 5 minutes, the journey was unpleasant to say the least. People shoved each other with no care whatsoever. It was so crowded, there was no space to actually move to let others get down.

After going home, I lamented about it to my friend Nikhil. He put the thought of writing about this nuisance on the blog. I was considering it, and after using the bus yesterday morning, my opinion became all the more strong.

Early morning, getting into a bus is the last thing one wants to do. All wide awake and fresh in the morning, the bus kills all the cheeriness in you.

The conductors are grumpy and rude. More often than not, they don’t return your balance. Very sneakily, these people are robbing you slowly.

My biggest complaint is that the buses don’t have a limit. They let in any and every person that wants a ride. Bud drivers don’t care if people sit on each other’s heads. They will still take people in. Being in such close proximity to strangers is not in anyone’s best interest.

Who knows how many bacteria are floating around in these unclean spaces? Half the people using buses are wage workers and laborers. They step into the buses all grimy and greasy with sweat and dirt. This is the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of diseases.

Moreover, so many people are heartless and selfish here. Young college going children take up all the seats and old, frail people are made to stand.

Take today for example, on my way to college, I stood until I found an empty seat. The moment I sat, an old man stepped into the bus. He remained standing since no one was ready to let go of their seats. When the driver hit the brakes, the old man jolted and fell. Everyone looked at him, but no one actually made a move to help him up. He had hurt his elbow and it was bleeding slightly. Quietly I got up and gave my seat to the old man, cleaned up the blood and put on a band aid.

There were nearly 45 people in the bus. FORTY FIVE PEOPLE AND NOT A SINGLE PERSON BOTHERED TO LEND HIM A HAND!!! Is this what we’ve come to? Have people really lost all care for others? I can’t say I’m any different. There must’ve been numerous times where I’ve snubbed people outright. Yet, today was my wake-up call. All it took was one blessing from that old man on the bus.

BMTC buses need changes. Moreover, PEOPLE in the buses need changes. It’s the need of the time. People need to become more humane. I’m not asking for big miracles. All I’m asking is for small gestures to show people that there’s still hope in this world for humanity.

I understand that the entire route for this post has changed. I started typing this yesterday on Nikhil’s suggestion and today my experience has given me a reason to release my frustration on an even graver topic.

The complaints on the hygiene and cleanliness of public modes of transport is not a snobby spoiled girl speaking. This view is presented by someone who wants a decent, safe and societal form of transportation. My laments about the poor old man today is coming from a young 16 year old who is completely capable of standing for one bus ride.

This is directed to others my age, all the college going crowd. Why is it that the youth is always sitting and the adults and the old are always standing? Why can’t one student give his/her seat up to give some relief to an overworked adult? That hurt oldie wasn’t given a seat because he wore tattered clothes. This is precisely why I crib about buses being crowded. If they had a limit on the number of people, everyone would find place to sit and no one would have to fight over a seat. Monetary status and age wouldn’t decide who sits or stands.

While such changes can’t possibly be made in such a buzzing, busy city, making sure that the frail ones have seats is DEFINITELY possible. The young should quit being selfish and oh so mighty. Once in a while, think about the people around you, the ones who work their butts off to feed their families.

My father’s always telling me how important it is to respect people who give their sweat and blood to sustain a livelihood. Day and night they slog and the only time they can actually rest their feet is while going to work or back home. Yet, even then we fail to give them those precious few minutes of rest.

Wake up people. This is serious.

Signing off,

Aditi Rao

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