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Bengaluru and Buses

A Student Commuter's Diary

29 Dec '23
4 min read


Does the thathathathat sound, the sweat, the honking sound and the race for a seat remind you of something? Well, if you've guessed it's a bus ride, then you might relate with my experience in a bus. I started travelling in buses extensively recently. My daily commute to college includes an auto-bus-and-metro ride. (Not to mention the walking to get to the public transport). And it may come as a surprise to most, but I quite enjoy myself on this commute. Through this article, I will try proving why travelling in a public transport (buses in particular) is totally one of a kind experience!

If you've tried travelling in a local bus even once, you must be aware of how diverse the passengers are; ranging from school going kids to old aged people, from students and working professionals to people going out for shopping or people who are new to the city. It's surprising how something as small and unimportant as a bus ride could be a representation of the diversity of our country. 

One thing that's interesting in humans is how some action done repetitively unknowingly becomes a habit. In my case, I recently observed myself doing this huge analysis like process, just to be comfortably standing in a bus or getting a seat (very similar to that of any spy movie where some serious mission planning is being done). 

I observed myself noticing a lot of details and staying alert. I've started preferring to stand in places with lesser people or near a pole to have enough grip and not fall when the bus would take some sharp turn or when the bus suddenly breaks. I can guess which person would deboard the bus at the next stop by observing their movements; gathering of their belongings, straightening up, keeping their phone or earphones back in their bag, looking outside the window to know how near their stop is, holding the pole or nearby support to get a grip while they are about to stand. Maybe this is the skill that I've developed as a habit to help myself get a seat. 

Everyday, I observe many sweet and heartwarming actions- young people offering their seats to the elder generation, some people, especially some grandmas, offering to hold the bags of school kids, daily commuters helping those new to the city with directions and bus info. I am a girl who was not born and brought up in Karnataka and I've spent the past couple of years trying to learn how to speak kannada. And one day, on my way back home, I saw a poster in the bus that was a very sweet motivation for people like me to learn kannada. Now, travelling long distances by yourself and surrounded by strangers and having absolutely nothing to do might really end up making it an extremely exhausting experience. So, you could always listen to some music or podcasts, read a book, or just observe the happenings in a bus. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you might get to eavesdrop in some funny conversations or casual talks, or town gossip or heated arguments amongst the passengers or the conductor and the driver. 

Bangalore is undoubtedly an extremely busy city, known for it's high-tech industry, parks, multiple start-ups, cool weather, traffic and dosas. A person who is new to this city, must know that one of the best ways to explore this city is to take advantage of public transportation. Whether you are travelling in a metro, or sharing a pole with someone in the bus or sitting with someone in an auto, ask them for some advice and tips. You might get to see the parts of the city that you might've missed.

Category : Travel


Written by Varsha Rao