I rarely commute by the BMTC bus mainly due to time constraint & I need to take at least two buses to reach home from any part of the city. Other tertiary reasons being my perennial problem of nausea during a journey and the heavy crowd in the bus which suffocates me,
A common grouse among people commuting regularly by BMTC buses is that they don't get back the small change that is due to them when they buy a ticket. Either the bus conductor asks them for a 1 Re or 2 Rs coin which the passengers cant fish out from their pockets or purses while they are doing a balancing act in the speeding bus or writes the amount due to them behind the ticket. Out of these , few people forget to ask back the change and few others start looking for the change asked by the conductor to avoid losing a bigger amount. Few people keep reminding the conductor for the money due to them at every given chance until they reach their destination.
On one such occasion, I just decided to travel by the BMTC bus, come what may. So, took a bus from BMTC bus Hebbal to KempeGowda Bus Station. I thought "Oh good. First part of the journey is okay". The second bus that I boarded had very few vacant seats and was about to leave when I hopped onto it. The thought that crossed my mind was ' If buses were this vacant and some fresh air circulated all the time, BMTC bus is the cheap and best mode of transport as compared to the autorickshaws.
Being lost in my own world, I never realized that we had reached Vidhana Soudha Bus stop. Suddenly there was some commotion in the bus. A young college student was arguing with the bus conductor that she had given him a 50 Rs note and he owed her Rs 35. The conductor asked for the ticket, turned it over and said since he had not indicated any amount to be returned on the ticket, he didn't owe her anything. An argument ensued between the commuters. Some favouring the conductor and quite a few favouring the student ( she was a pretty young girl you see :) . Both of them stuck to their ground . The bus was stopped & I thought "OMG why ever did I think of taking a bus today?". Some elderly person advised the conductor to be a little patient and remember if he had by any chance forgotten to write the amount on the ticket.
Some commuters kept on babbling " these conductors make quite some profit by cheating us on the small change" and the conductor was visibly irritated at these comments. However, paying heed to the elderly person's words, he took the ticket from the girl and started checking. Suddenly he almost shouted at the commuters who spoke in support of the girl " This girl is not only cheating me but also you people ". This ticket is not issued today, let alone in this bus. The girl kept arguing that he himself had issued it. The conductor took some time to prove to the people who spoke in the girl's favour that the ticket was not issued by him. By then, the girl had silently got down and walked away.
I was so damn taken aback. How could somebody behave in such a manner only for a few Rupees? It was utterly disgusting. But there were people who remarked loudly that for the first time, they had come across a person who could give back the erring BMTC conductors in their own coin.