Monday 16 February 2009

Take a ride...

While coming to office today, I was suddenly filled with longing to board a bus and just go where the bus takes me. I know boarding a bus during peak office rush hours and travelling in the crowd is hardly a thrilling idea. But guys can we just ignore the practicality of it and just board a bus. Imagine how much fun it would be. For starters I do not have to go to office, sit in front of my computer and start work. Secondly no Monday blues would hit me. Thridly I get to see the sights of Kolkata. If I were doing this in Kolkata which bus would I be taking? Hmmmm, definitely I would go Maidan side which is so much more greener and then of course Esplanade with all its bustling activites and then river (Hoogly) side, cross the Howrah bridge and enter the Howrah railway station. I would not take a Mini Bus, they are way too small and uncomfortable. Neither those tin buses which has wierd sitting arrangements making watching out of the window really difficult. So I would wait up really long to get a state run bus. Kolkata buses usually have peanut and toffee sellers and those guys who sell an entire office stationary kit (pens, pencils, writing papers, envelopes) all for a mere 10 bucks. So the bus ride would also be fun. Then some beggar would get and sing for all the passengers. And then there would be the usual comments by the irate passengers like "dada tara tari cholun, office ee deri hoyee jachee to..." (Brother driver, please drive quickly we are getting late for office), or if there is too much jostling in the crowd and a man leans way too much over a woman she would invariably say "barite ma bon neyi?" (You dont have mother or sisters at home?). Then the regular passengers would chat about politics, cricket, Sourav Ganguly, Mohonbagan and East Bengal football match, price of fish in the market today etc. And Bongs being Bongs sooner or later a huge arguement would start with tempers flying.

Then I realised that I have never done anything like that in Kolkata. I have done this many times in Delhi. When I was in JNU, I used to frequently ride 615 (the bus which connects JNU to the rest of Delhi) till its final destination the New Delhi Railway Station. We used to get up in JNU and then sit in one of the window seats and relax for an hour, for that is what 615 used to take to reach the railway station. Oh I miss those days!
In fact now that I come to think about it. In Kolkata I had done similar thing in trams. In college, sometimes we would take a tram from shyambazar and go all the way to Maidan via Esplanade or take a tram from Gariahat and go all the way to Esaplanade via Maidan. Seeing the city sitting on a tram is also lovely. Also tram travel has its own novelty-- trams are slower and more relaxed and defnitely more charmed means to travel. Sadly trams have been withdrawn from most roads of Kolkata to make space for the ever increasing number of cars. Just the other day I was telling a colleague who is from outside Kolkata that she should take her young daughter on this tram ride.

These photographs are taken from google.

1 comment:

  1. Tram ride is a relaxing journey where u laugh at those who are in hurry and it feels like u are the king with no work pressure. it should have been promoted and at times i wonder how can the Govt withdraw it when it is one of the unique features of Kolkata. it is like our heritage.

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