Skip to main content

Traveller's guide

Pain and pleasure of public commute

Morning/afternoon/evening scene
Delhi bus stop/metro: "Abbe hatho hatho hatho....(move, move, move)" Someone comes screaming from the back, pushes you aside and hops on to the bus. No queues, no making way for the elderly or mothers with babies. Inside, you find a seat if you are lucky. If you are a woman, too many would love to lean on you along with the song and magic bus swerve. You survive a bus ride, you have learnt the first art of survival here.

Melbourne bus stop/tram/train: The bell rings, train's arrival announced, people line up and give way for those alighting. Train moves. Complete silence. Everyone is busy with their ipods and other gadgets or their eyes are in perpetual read mode.

Vehicular breakdown

Delhi: Bus comes to a halt, nobody knows what has happened. Suddenly driver is surrounded with a volley of abuses for delay. Driver tries to stop other buses to transfer passengers. There is utter commotion. Some want their money back, haggle with conductor. It's not a pleasant scene. Money once given is hard to get back.

Melbourne: "Ladies and gentleman, this tram has met with a slight problem, Please change trams to one on right, " comes an announcement inside. Passengers alight in queue, get on to the next tram and within minutes you have resumed your journey as if nothing happened. 

Luckily, I am in a pleasure zone this time!


Anonymous said…
rita said...
i am sure you will start missing the noise and chaos in india !!!meanwhile have your fill of the orderly ,disciplined life there and enjoy and keep on writing, you have a way with words, you can twist ,turn ,mould, etc and make any topic very very funny and interesting.

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…