Another Day, Another Bus On Fire- Life In Our Cerebral Megapolis

Bus Safety
Image Source: Youtube

Another bus burnt down the other day…

If you happen to be from out of Pune city, this statement might cause you some consternation. How on earth, you think, can a bus burn down?

Has some sena or the other opened a new franchise in these parts? Has Sanjay Leela Bhansali decided to make another movie?*

And then, on further thought, you may begin to feel mildly alarmed. Another bus implies that this is not a one off occurrence. There seem to have been more than one of these combustible buses.

If, on the other hand, you happen to be a Punekar, you might yawn a little on reading the news.

You will of course check the entire article to check if anybody died, and be glad to know that nobody did this time around. The rest of it isn’t really news, you’ll think to yourself if you are a resident of this cerebral megapolis (smart city isn’t a good enough phrase for an urban agglomeration with self combusting buses) – and you’d be right.

You’d be right because this is the seventeenth time a bus has decided to combust in just the last two years. Yes, you read that right – in our city, buses up and self immolate at the rate of a little less than one a month.

One can imagine hordes of excited tourists in the not too distant future, settling themselves down at busy traffic intersections throughout the city, hoping against hope to catch one of these none-too rare sightings.

“What do you mean you saw a tiger in the wild”, they’ll harrumph at their neighbours at their next get-together. “We saw an entire bus on fire in Pune city.”

Pune’s politicians may jostle for an entry into the Guiness Book of World Records – seventeen buses in twenty-four months is not to be sneezed at.

There’s some place in the United States that hosts a festival called The Burning Man. Pah. Amateurs. We go in for entire buses around these parts. And none of that weakling annual business – give us some time, and we’ll be up at one a month before you know it.

For me, personally, the best part of the report was the photograph of a policeman inside the charred remnants of the bus, apparently in there to investigate. “Huh”, you could see the poor man thinking to himself, “How in the wide world did that happen?”

And of course – of course! – nobody has the faintest idea.

There is, however, some good news where all this is concerned. The authorities, ever alert to the crisis, have responded by installing fire extinguishers on their buses.

Don’t roll your eyes, just yet, dear reader – hang on. There is a twist to the tale: these have been installed on “almost all” of the buses.

Meanwhile, you’ll be glad to know, FC Road now has broader footpaths. Makes sense, actually, if you think about it.

*I’ll admit I feel like burning down much more than a bus at the prospect of having to sit through a Bhansali movie, but that’s neither here nor there.





#All views expressed in this column are the authors and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same. 

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni