All my friends are filled with anxiety and inquisitivity about how I am able to adjust at Kolkata to add that I have lived in Mumbai city for last three years that is inclusive of the fact that I stayed where I’d dine three nights at McDonalds, rest two at Mafco Chinese corner and Sunday’s at my aunt’s place.
While my college friends were in kolkata they despised the city more than Mika as a singer but today in the evening while I was coming back from my uncle’s place I fell from the cycle rickshaw on which I was sitting as it was hit by another rickshaw and I realised there are some things which are so typical of Kolkata and you would never find them in Mumbai.
Cyclerickshaw- A carriage on which only two people can sit although with much discomfort and a lanky man or a boy would ride the cycle. A three tires rickshaw which doesn’t pollute air, the cheapest mode of travelling (you always have the chance of bargaining) and during rainy season they put a plastic sheet on top of the roof which has to be held by the traveller with his foot on it, the roof of the rickshaw during day times acts as sun protection and also the holder for the passenger. People who haven’t seen this kind of rickshaw can relate to the scene in Main Hoon Na where Shah Rukh Khan is riding a rickshaw to catch the mobs getting away in a Qualis!!
Auto rickshaw- Now my friends would ask me what is so surprising about an auto rickshaw, of course you won’t realise the fun unless you experience it. The auto rickshaw is the normal one but the abnormal part is 7 people sit on the rickshaw. Yes seven and the numbers can increase to 13 if kids are sitting. The driver seats two people beside him on the left hand side and one on the rear end that is the right hand side corner. As rickshaws don’t run by meter system fares sometimes vary according to the driver’s wish and if you don’t hop the rickshaw without coins (big notes like 50,100 can never be entertained) you would be thrown out.
3. Trees on Platforms: to save the trees from being cut down, platforms are designed in such a manner that the tree provides shade to the people and aligning to the tree trunk plastered cement seats are made where people sit with much relief. And you might not be shocked if you see boys riding there cycles on the platform. That is one of the most common scene here and you keep asking the question, “isn’t there any railway official?” no, ofcourse not half the times the RPF’s cycle are stationed aligning to a tree…see how helpful is that tree on a platform!!!
4. No firstclass compartment in Train- However rich or poor you might be, you have to compromise with the fact that Kolkata is a place ruled by the socialist thus there could be no differentiate between. No First class compartments for those who are willing to pay and only 2 ladies compartment which are filled with wild cats who just need to smell where the fight can begin.Man O man!!!the gate rule is the most important factor, the rule of standing on the gate is, there are selected people who come everyday and u cannot question them and incase you do you will be kicked( dignified version of what they actually do!!) out.
5. Buses- these blue coloured state run buses with yellow line imprinted as a scar on its body design, is the suicide machine!! Two conductors ride on a single bus, and deliver a ticket which 0.5 cm in width and 5 cm long, unique ticket as if it was a paper piece taken out from rough notebook although I could not dissect where they get it from!! The drivers rush so fast that one I was going to thwart off the bus..as it collided with another bus. These people are reckless driver who have a pressure to pick up more passengers and end up throwing those who are already inside the bus!!!
These five things I have noticed in proximity because I have been a victim of all these and if I introspect four unique things are about transport medium!!!
PS: Swarup, this one is specially for u!!!