Bus Bhaisaab, Bus!


I don’t have too many rules in life, but avoiding the news as much as possible is one of them. I gave up on trying to watch news channels a long time ago, of course, as any sensible person should, and am much better for it. But as a rule, I prefer to avoid newspapers as well, full to the brim as they tend to be of news that only serves to depress.

But a couple of days ago, I found myself with absolutely nothing else to do, and a newspaper lying in front of me.

I twiddled my thumbs and looked out the window, I leant back in my chair and pondered about life, but it was a futile battle. I gave up, picked up the newspaper, and started to read. And within a minute, I started to wish that I hadn’t.

A bus, the newspaper cheerily informed me, caught fire while at a bus stop. My eyes wondered if they should be breaking up with their sockets, but I convinced them to stay invested in the relationship. It happened, the article went on to say, because the driver wanted to fill air in one of the tyres, and forgot to turn off the ignition. This, apparently, developed a spark. I’m no engineer myself, so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the ignition on while the vehicle is being driven?

You might think I’d have learnt my lesson and gotten back to perfecting the art of twiddling my t’s, but I couldn’t resist. I read further. And, I hardly need mention, it got worse. This was, the PMPML reassured us, only the fifth such incident in the last twenty-five days. Ah well, that’s ok then. It’s not as if there’s one a day or anything like that. It’s just that dang one day out of five, that’s all.

Also, the good news is, fully four hundred buses that belong to the PMPML are equipped with fire extinguishers. There are, it would seem, fourteen hundred that are without, but that’s a trifling detail.

When at a bus stop, just make sure that you catch a bus with a fire extinguisher in it. If the bus happens to be going where you want to go, better still, and if you make it there without being an unwilling participant in on a barbecue, well, best of all.

The article, I’m pleased to announce, ended on a positive note. The PMPML’s public relations officer (and do think of him the next time you start whining about your job being bad) assured the readers of the newspaper that they were on top of things. “The incident,” said the public relations officer, not at all pompously, “will be investigated properly.” And if that isn’t reassuring to you, well, you must have very high expectations indeed.

That was, for entirely understandable reasons, the last article I read in that newspaper, or indeed, any other, in all of December. And my December, I’m happy to report, is much better for it.

I am also, on a related note, now exceedingly good at twiddling my thumbs.






#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

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