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Wish list for an ideal city bus.
[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]
If you drive with eyes wide open, you must have noticed that more and more fancy-looking low-floor CNG buses are plying on Delhi’s roads. A few years more and Blueline buses may become history. Perhaps. The Delhi Walla prepares a wish list of what an ideal dream bus this city deserves.
Let there be spacious, padded, pushback seats, with ample leg space. Each seat should have a seatbelt and a newspaper (International Herald Tribune of course).
Windows 'n' Curtains
The large glass windows will facilitate a more pleasurable sightseeing especially when the bus is rushing past landmarks like India Gate or the Lal Qila. However, since Delhi offers quite a few non-aesthetic scenes in its neighbourhoods, it is safer to have curtains too.
This will be convenient for standing passengers. Walking to the conductor's seat too becomes easy.
Big Screen TV
A plasma screen television will keep the commuters from getting impatient during long traffic jams. Music channels may be preferable to news channels whose breaking news may excite and exhaust the nerves needlessly.
A token-operated vending machine placed close to the entry door in the back will help commuters refresh themselves with refreshments. Mineral water bottles, sandwiches, fruit juices and chocolates should be replenished after every few stops.
Police, Hey Police
It is necessary to have a cop dressed in all his regal glory throughout the bus route. His presence may restrain the basic instincts of possible molesters.
No matter how fancy your mobile phone or laptop is, the battery dies out just when you need it most. Charging points installed at the back of seats will make the commute truly productive.
Any morning commuter in DTC buses will tell you what her co-passenger had for breakfast (parathas with aam ka achaar?). A room freshener will not only mask your stinky secrets but will also keep your nasal cavities safe from unpleasant foreign fumes.
Extra crowd will render the air conditioner impotent. It is important that the entry door should refuse to open at stops when the bus had reached its maximum capacity. The exit door too should be so automated that it shut off if some jugadoo tries to sneak in from there.
Each bus should have one or two private cabins, with pricey charges, where chairs can be turned into beds. It will be a huge relief to those who travel daily from Ghaziabad to Gurgaon. It would also help those who...well, let's keep that private.
Delhi wallas will love her. The sari-clad hostess (no mini skirts please, this is Delhi) will fold her hands in a graceful namaste at each stop and would request commuters not to push, shove and grope fellow-commuters' body-parts. She would also instruct how to tie the seat belt. Actually, a road hostess would be a good subsitute for conductors. Everyone would buy tickets then.