Kolkata is a very busy town. Particularly at the bus- stop, a large number of persons roam. The place is too crowded. Thousands of people travel by every day. One has to wait for a bus here for hours toggled. Even if a bus arrives in time, it is difficult to board it. There is a lot of pushing and jostling.
One day I had to travel by a bus from Kolkata to Barrackpore. I reached the bus stop at about 5.30 A.M. Many passengers were waiting for bus. There was no queue. After sometime my bus arrived. It stopped at a distance of about twenty yards from the stop proper. As soon as the bus stopped, the waiting passengers made a mad rush. Somehow, I pushed my way through the crowd and succeeded in boarding the bus. In the meantime the conductor whistled and the bus started.
The bus was packed to capacity. There was hardly any room to stand. Two or three well dressed young men were hanging on the foot board. Inside the bus, I felt suffocated. I could not move even. I found my balance in unstable state. To make the thing worse, the driver applied the brake every now and then and the standing passengers were thrown of their feet. The conductor was taking delight in the plight of the passengers.
At the way-side stops, the driver seldom stopped the bus at the appointed places. He would knowingly stop a few yards away from the stop proper. Poor men, women and children who stood waiting sit the stop, had at run a good distance to catch the bus. But very often the conductor had signaled the bus to move before anyone could Board it. At some stops hot words were exchanged between the conductor and passengers.
At last the bus reached Barrackpore. As soon as it stopped the crowd of waiting passengers blocked the door. It was after a lot of pushing that I could get down the bus. My dresses were spoiled. The dresses of other passengers were spoiled too. It was a difficult journey by bus.
The experience is still afresh in my memory. When I go to any place by bus, that sad experience in past come to my mind and begin to trouble.
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