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Essays on a Life Of a Indian Bus Conductor
God has created men and women. This Bus Conductor, with whom I had the misfortune of travelling, was a fussy one and made the life of passengers miserable, whenever, he could.
I boarded a slightly overcrowded bus. Men, women and children crowded near the conductor for tickets. He was shouting at them particularly the weaker sections where he expected no retaliation for minor things. Suddenly he stopped issuing tickets and refuses to accept the five rupee note, as it was slightly spoiled.
The passenger did not have another note, nor was he willing either to travel without ticket or get down. To break the impasse, I exchanged the note. The process of issuing the tickets restarted.
Intermittently he was almost shouting at the passengers to move forward, to stand erect, as if it was possible, to get into the bus and leave the foot board and threatened to stop the bus, making everyone quite uncomfortable.
Suddenly he noticed a passenger smoking. He almost pounced on that. manand wanted him to throw his cigarette. The passenger was not the one to be easily cowed down. He argued that ‘no smoking’ applied to the front and sitting portions of the bus only and not to the rear portion. One elderly person told the smoking passenger that it is now illegal to smoke at public places. After that the smoking passenger gave in.
The argument continued. The passengers waiting for tickets, some of whom was nearing their destinations, grew restless and had joined in. The altercation ended only when one elderly person told the smoking, passengers that it is now illegal to smoke at public places. After that the smoking passengers gave in.
About the same time, the bus reached my stop. I alighted with a prayer that God may give him good sense.