For the last 2 weeks, I have struggled to tell you. To tell you that I have become a fan of BMTC – Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s public bus system. I wanted to tell it humourously. I wanted to let you know in a self-deprecating, albeit conceited tone that I am traveling by bus to save the environment. I also played around with the idea of preaching you on why you should use public transport as well.
But, I failed. I can only tell you that every morning when I walk to the stand to hire an auto, a big white-and-blue monstrosity stands there invitingly. With a sprained ankle, I promise myself not to strain it further and travel in an auto every morning. But, it’s hard to resist the option of hopping on to that big, gentle mass of painted sheet metal.
I usually don’t resist. It is a delight to travel in the bus, especially if you have found a seat to plonk yourself on. You can entertain yourself with colorful characters. You can indulge in guilt-free eavesdropping. Or, you can pack yourself a headache or two, by attempting to read small-print through large-jerks. You can also play my favourite game while seated – how to last longest without touching any part of the bus that may or may not have been touched by unknown stranger’s hands that have arrived from an earlier residing spot on the unknown stranger’s person.
The other less charming benefit for me has been the complete isolation from that annoying menace called Bangalore Traffic. I am happy I have managed to extend my valuable life-span by a further few hours. I can assure you that traveling by bus is zillion times easier than going through the clutch-and-press routine, repeated ad nauseum.
The flip side? Years ago when I used the bus more extensively, my constant fear was that I’d be engulfed and suffocated by the mass of huge people on crowded buses. As a taller person now, my constant fear is that I’ll have to “nose” over a mass of short people on crowded buses. I have often wished on those instances for my olfactory sense to disappear. Also, as mentioned, there are passengers who have found an alternate use for the furniture present – a giant wiping device for dry ablutions of all kinds for the said passengers.
Yes, it is not all ha ha hee hee, but I still love the BMTC buses – the “old” blue-and-whites, the brown Pushpaks, the airy Volvos – the whole lot. I also like the fact the bus stands are so much better – cleaner and swankier. Shivajinagar Bus Stand has this huge detailed bus-route map of Bengaluru that you can spend hours with. Their website (which is down now for some reason) also has a comprehensive route information system, along with schedules that is not perfect but is still immensely useful.
Now, to the second part of the title of this post. Doughnuts. I only want to say this – If one ever develops an addiction to doughnuts like I did (this could involve any or all of the following – walking 2 kms just to reach the nearest ‘Donut Baker’ shop, experiencing elation at the idea of eating doughnuts soon, spraining one’s ankle in one’s quest for having doughnuts, changing doughnut shops just because one didn’t want to become a familiar face at that particular shop), I suggest one should eat 7 (yes, 7) doughnuts at one sitting to rid onself of this addiction. One and all are welcome for this useless piece of information.