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Friday, 6 November 2009

Slow coach

Traveling by a public bus in the city of Mumbai is always amusing but injurious to the health, especially if you are suffering from BP. It takes lot of tolerance and patience to combat Mumbai traffic and frequent signals.

But, I always prefer bus to taxi for two reasons, one, that taxi is sheer waste of money if you are traveling alone for a longer distance and two, you get to see all kinds of people in the bus and some of them are really interesting.

Today I decided to take a bus from Bandra to Breach Candy, which should not take me more than twenty minutes to reach my destination if there is no traffic congestion on the road. The bus was empty and I got a window seat. After buying a ticket of Rs10 only (I was saving Rs120- taxi fare) I sat by the window reading a magazine.

In twenty minutes, the bus had reached Dadar, which is half way distance to breach Candy. A Senior Person (SP) in the bus was getting impatient and kept looking at his watch. Finally, he got up and started abusing the driver.

SP said, “You drivers are very inefficient, even when there is no traffic, you drive so slow, can’t you drive faster?”

Driver says “This is the speed I normally drive,”

SP-“You need a good driving practice, there is no traffic today and the roads are empty, why are you driving so slow, stop the bus, get up from that seat and let me teach you how to drive.”

And the argument went on and on with SP abusing him all the time, but the driver kept his cool and continued to drive at his own speed. Finally SP realized that he was wasting his time, he alighted the bus when he could take this slow speed no more.

I realized then that the bus was going too slow indeed. Well, what do we expect, for Rs10? Speed at Rs10? Not possible! I looked at my watch. Forty five minutes and only two-third of the distance covered.

Now I was getting impatient too. At the speed that he was driving, it would take me more than one hour to reach my destination.

Feeling helpless, I alight from the bus and take taxi for the rest of the distance.

Tranquility restored with little bit of extra cash for taxi fare.

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