Picture this incident – The driver of a PMPML bus that was quite vacant, shut both the doors of the bus at an overcrowded Sanghvi Fata bus stop, so that people couldn’t board it. A boy, 15-16 years old, protested and asked for the door to be opened. The conductor did not listen, and barked that there was another empty bus behind. As we had already guessed, there was none! As this bus tried to make way through the heavy traffic, 4-5 ppl including the boy, again caught up with it, and began yelling that they had been waiting for over an hour there, and they must be let in. The driver and conductor didn’t budge…so the boy stood in front of the bus and blocked its way….Quite some traffic was accumulating behind us, so I thought the boys would be let in..To my horror, the conductor and driver not just kept the doors of the bus shut, but threatened the boy that they would run him over, if he didn’t make way for the bus. This screaming, yelling and abusing went on for a long time…vehicles kept honking behind us and a decision had to be taken by somebody..Finally the boy, frustrated as he was, picked up a large stone fallen on the road..That, made the driver change his mind, and he opened the doors of the bus. Once the boys entered the bus, there another round of abuse. Th boy tried to talk rationally, explaining that had the bus been full, he would never have demanded to board it…but since he was being continually abused, he started abusing back…the whole scene turned very ugly, and ended only when the boy in question alighted the bus at his stop, albeit not without some ugly verbal exchange with the driver.
In the meanwhile, like all other passengers in the bus, I sat silently watching the whole episode, agreeing with the boy from within, yet saying nothing to the driver and conductor, who were clearly in the wrong!!
When the driver didn’t open the doors, I could have protested; when he threatened to run the boy over, I could have protested;..but no, I sat like a statue, just like typical Indian public, who I keep criticising for such attitude of theirs!!
I felt ashamed of myself today……