I’m sure every Bangalorean who has ever travelled by a bus can relate to this. I’ve been relying on BMTC buses these days and during the inevitably long journeys, I’ve never once fallen asleep, even though I’m usually tired to the bone. There are many reasons for that such as the bus being so crowded that I’ve to stand throughout the commute, the chaotic noise of the traffic outside, the constant chatter among the passengers and so forth. However, the primary reason is (and will always be) the horrible driving. Out of sheer boredom (and a healthy sense of self-preservation), I observed the habits of BTMC bus drivers and classified them into four categories.
Sir ‘Honks a Lot’
If there’s one person who can give you a splitting headache and leave you irritated for the rest of the day, it’s the bus driver who can’t keep his fingers off the horn. While it was installed as a safety device, the only use it is put to right now is to make people want to go deaf. Their primary aim is to keep honking till the vehicle in front of them gives way. If you think it’s a privilege that seats are reserved for women at the front, these men at the wheel will make you think again.
These are people who think they’re trapped in the movie Speed with no ending in sight. They happily ignore all kinds of laws such as right of way and just-turned-red traffic signals. Adrenaline junkies are the most satisfied passengers in this scenario. The only upside to getting on a bus with that kind of driver is that you’ll never be late. On the other hand, you’re always wondering if you will be a different kind of late and reach another destination altogether by the time the ride is over.
Cuss word after cuss word gush out of the mouths of these interesting individuals who can’t keep their temper in check. They are characterised by a fierce competitive spirit, an amazing range of slang vocabulary, the inability to walk away from a shouting match and the constant need to yell driving advice when not called for. If you think this sounds like going on an adventure, you will take that back when you get late because the bus driver stopped in the middle of the road to give someone a piece of his mind.
The Good Guy
Finally, I come to that rare breed who can actually drive a bus and are nice enough to stop till all the passengers get in. They’re the Dravids of bus driving – cool, calm and graceful under pressure. They switch off their buses at signals, speak politely – no, wait, that can’t be right. Who am I kidding? They’re fictional beings who may manifest at certain times, but you can be sure that you’ll never see them again.
We Bangaloreans love to flirt with danger every day as we plow our way through the insane traffic at peak hours. While it’s a universally acknowledged truth that your vehicle is polluting the air you breathe, I’m left wondering if the greener method of taking the bus is really a safe option. The number of times my heart has leapt out of my mouth when an accident is narrowly avoided is enough to convince me never to step out of my house. If only a few driving and anger management (not the one with Charlie Sheen, no) classes could fix this – hold on, it actually can.