Friday, December 07, 2007

KSRTC & me

I shifted my home out of Bangalore 2 years ago, where I was born & brought up. My new place is 65 kilometres away from Bangalore. My work is still in Bangalore itself. (Where else will I get the same pay). My daily commuting is thru the State run Inter city Buses or KSRTC in short.

The time for commuting is 4 hours daily. The frequency of buses is very good. My last bus is at 2:00 in the morning & first bus starts from 5:00 in the morning. I have a bus pass ( i.e monthly payment) , so I need not have to carry the change or hard cash when I travel between these towns. So it is safe for me.

All North & Central Karnataka buses out of Bangalore move thru my path & so I get to spend 2 hours either way with those people. The interactions with those people have given me insights into the life led by a common man who is disturbed by the swift growth of Bangalore & the cost of living in Bangalore.

Initially when I started commuting I used to spend time on my own reading something or just napping. But later as the commuting time increased due to traffic congestion, I began to get restless in the bus. My bum used to ache because of sitting for 2 continous hours. So I started this habit of initiating a dialogue with a co-passenger, & if his reaction is positive then continuing speaking with him till my stop came.

Most of the information I got were really good (both for my personal life as well as for professional life).

Some days I meet villagers who had come to Bangalore all the way from their villages to sell their products. They come here hoping they will get a much better price if they sell in Bangalore.
They would have loaded all their grains or vegetables or fruits or flowers in lorries & came along with it. When they try to sell it in Bangalore, the real profit on their product would have gone considerably down .(due to reasons like Lorry charges, their boarding & Lodging charges, return ticket charges etc.).

So while going back they would be unhappy & sad about their existance. To add more pain to their insult, they would have seen how this IT & BT is creating so many wealthy people. Can you imagine a family of 5 in a village having a land of 2 acres has a annual income of 20K. This is much less than many induvidual monthly salaries in Bangalore. The cost of everything in cities is so high, these people get lost in thought. Even drinking water which is given freely and with good warm heart in villages to any passerby is a commodity in city.

The sadness, frustration on their faces while returning back is quite evident on their faces. Even Conductors on the bus feel for them even though this is a daily sight for them. Just think if you were in his position. What would you be doing ?