“Was the bell brought from your house?” for those of you who travel regularly in KSRTC buses, this question must have come your way at least once.
Packed to the fullest is how most of our KSRTC buses are, and collecting yourself and your belongings and alighting at the right destination is no mean feat.
Generally, a commuter has to shout out to the conductor to ring the bell in order to get down at her station. But a commuter’s feeble voice may not reach till the conductor who would be haggling for change right at the end of the bus.
The result: the commuter would be forced to get down a good 5-10 minutes away from her destination and walk her way back. In some dire situations, a brave soul might just get up and ring the bell to stop the bus.
That is it! She has committed a huge crime that is sure to be reprimanded with verbal abuses from the conductor, which is likely to improve any layman’s vocabulary in sledging.
Fearing this backlash, most commuters stay silent, hoping that the bus would stop on its own or be caught in a traffic jam, so that they can alight from the bus without much hassle.
A Keralite from a village in Kottayam has an interesting solution to end this tug-of-war over a narrow string on which our dear bell hangs.
Why not give the right to ring the single bell, which is meant to tell the driver to stop the bus, to the passenger? And the conductor can use his discretion to ring the double bell to decide when the bus should continue its journey.
Both parties can be happy and the bus can run its course without inviting any skirmishes inside the bus. Do you agree to this simple solution?
(Jhony Joseph of Marangattupally in Kottayam gave this suggestion in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column of Malayala Manorama published on March 4, 2016)