Dear BEST Bus Drivers of Bombay

Most of you are associated with notorious driving, bad traffic rule followers and no concern for the people on the road.

Yep, unfortunately, thats how your reputation is.

But honestly, I  beg to differ. I personally think you are great drivers.

Let me confess, I am a closet driver. yep thats true. I am too scared to drive. Driving gives me jitters. I dont drive until its really really necessary or there is an emergency. My husband keeps telling me to start driving, but the very thought of crossing the 100s of flyovers in Bombay, gives me goosebumps.

So, technically as a non-driver, I think you guys are really rockstars. I understand how difficult it is for you. Driving through the almost standstill traffic, maneuvering through the tiny narrow gallis, fighting with the hundreds of rickshaws and bikes and cars which criss cross you, the way the bikers find tiny gaps between you and the pavements which means you need to be alert ALL THE TIME! Mad Eyed Moody, would have been really impressed by your vigilance!

I think driving near the station is the worst thing ever. There are 100s of other buses, people are walking without concern, they show their hands and ask you to stop so that they can cross (I stand guilty of that as well!), plus the crowds that get into your bus!

you need to look through the rearview to ensure that everyone is in. And then God forbid if people are hanging out and they fall. You are taken to task. What about the fact that people want to get down at one stop but there is no place for others to get in..yet you have to stop, slightly race the bus in hope that out of 100, about 10 people get scared not to climb in, ensure that the people getting out are not falling…Gosh! its a scary job.

and  yet, you seem to get more brickbats than bouquets. OF course, I must admit, some of you have been involved in horrific accidents, running over people, etc. But honestly, in my personal experience, I think each one of you is amazing.

Its really sweet of you to stop when R and I are running towards the bus stop, give us a lovely good morning or say bye when we get off. I will never forget the incident when one of you, honked the horn till R and I turned back and waved at you.

You all seem to be super humans as per me. Working long hours, same route and yet being Constantly Vigilant!

I think its amazing! and from this news article I understand you earned about INR 13000 per month in 2010. and this is the advertisement I found for BEST bus drivers.

Wow! thats not a great amount especially in a city like do you manage then?

Anyways, may be its not the right source for salaries and I am hoping you earn a lot more than that. I wonder if any of you ever suffer from stress related diseases and such?

do you fight for going in the easy routes or do you earn a bonus if you take a route which is very crowded?

I dont know if I can ever tell any of this personally, but honestly, I salute you guys.

Please drive safe and stay safe.

Always a Fan


PS – On a Blog Break, will return soon!


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64 Responses to Dear BEST Bus Drivers of Bombay

  1. Now this is getting really interesting 🙂 This series on Bombay people….first it was the working women and now Bus Drivers. How long will I have to wait to read a post about all those handsome young men and their colourful lives eh? 😛 Can you make it pretty soon…like before i go to the hospital so that I can go with a smile and ahem…nevamind 😉

  2. hitchy says:

    I am such a finicky person I am pretty sure I can never drive a bus… with bikes flying around, cars crossing, people running in Mumbai I would probably die of HIGH BP ! lol… it would be too much stress… I am sure it would be a challenge to keep their tempers cool !!!! 😀

    I always have wondered about Truck drivers and their long journeys especially when they are travelling to far off places like Leh.. whenever I would see them going towards Leh from Manali I would always wonder how lonely, how deadly and how exciting their journey must be…taking turns on those curves with such a HUGE vehicle ! gee…

    Sorry I digressed a bit… btw have you seen ICE Truckers ? on TV ? awesome drivers there too na !?

  3. I too have always marveled at how city bus-drivers manage to deal with all the stress that must come with driving a heavy vehicle on our chaotic roads–and of course the job must be doubly difficult in our metros.
    It was heart-warming to read of your experiences with BEST drivers 🙂

  4. This is enlightening stuff. I never really thought about the life of bus drivers, especially in a city like Mumbai.

    Be back soon! 🙂

  5. Smitha says:

    I so agree with you. When I see the conditions that the bus drivers work under, one can’t help be humbled. It’s so tough, they are underpaid, and yet by and large the do a great job – with little or no appreciation.

  6. Amitha Shetty says:

    I have the same problem. I just love BEST buses and their drivers, conductors and always had good experiences with them. But I refrain from being vocal about my love for them when in a group, because it invites harsh criritcism from the rest about how rash and rude the bus drivers are.
    And I completely agree about how the smaller vehicles jostle for space with teh BEST buses and it has to wait forever to take a U-turn or cross. 🙂
    loved your post,mere dil ke saari baat bol di. 😀

  7. Sreetama says:

    I’m loving this RM! You have observed the day to day tasks of the drivers so minutely & penned down so wonderfully! Really salute to them. Honestly I never gave much thought on how tough it is for the bus drivers too. No matter how much we rant about the rash drivings, harsh words & behaviour, never actually paid heed to the pain & stress behind that. You are truly blessed to have such wonderful people around you!

  8. Deeps says:

    Wow that was very sweet of you to have acknowledged the bus drivers of bombay, RM. Havent had a chance to travel in Bombay buses, but from your post I can sense that they can teach a thing or two on lane and sane driving to their ferocious counterparts in Delhi!

    I think the traffic scenario in Bombay in general is quite organized as compared to cities like Delhi.

  9. chipmunk2890 says:

    happens happens but all are rushing to do der own chores, not only bombay this chennai is suffering same, our people getting a pay less than 12k per month, yet they are happy with what they have! its pathetic they wont have a proper food place to eat and mainly water! mg! i wonder where they ll drink, I carry a water bottle with myself for my conductor and give the bottle away so atleast they ll drink in the due time!

  10. meenamenon says:

    Interesting series u hv here! Ur comment on MadMoody reminded me of the entrire HP series tht I finished reading last week… borrowed the idea from u n yea loved each moment of it 🙂

  11. My Era says:

    I have to agree RM driving in India is very stressful and on top of it if you are driving a public transport in a crowded, ever-rushing city like Bombay more so.
    A wonderful post 🙂
    Be back from break soon….am waiting 😀

  12. Mathangi Vijay says:

    Hmm a nice and interesting series on Bombay. I know its so easy to criticize but their life as such is such a difficult one. But however, the Brutal accidents do give me Jitters when I think about it! I also believe that only our experiences will aid in our judgement. I am glad that you’ve had good experiences so far and hope you continue to have such experiences!
    Btw, Why on a Blog break??

    • R's Mom says:

      I can understand getting scared of the accidents..they do bother me as well…but 99% of the times the drivers are really nice and work under such stressful conditions..

  13. I agree BEST drivers are impressive…but only if you are on their bus! 😛

  14. Ashwathy says:

    Blog break?? Phir se?
    Now what? 😐

  15. SJ says:

    Hey RM – You are going on a blog break…Hello ma’am – how do you expect me to time pass at my office – without your blogs…… 🙂 just kidding…Will Miss ur blogs ..get back soon RM.
    I know RM – I’ve travelled my entire life when in Bangalore on BMTC busses (earlier was BTS). In Bangalore we have the front section of the busses for women and rear for men’na…No hard and fast rule..but people just follow it…So I always got be in the front section of the busses seeing how the drivers drive and manage – Awesome ! Hat’s off to our Indian drivers !
    Now when I compare our Indian drivers with the SMRT bus drivers in Singapore – the later have such a cool job..because here everyone follow the traffic rules + queues RM, so it’s comparatively so easy !

  16. ashreyamom says:

    so yesterday was train and today bus.. tom rickwala??
    anyways driving is a problem for me too.. read here..

  17. metherebel says:

    Wow.. I like this Mumbai series! The working women of mumbai and now bus drivers. I am excited to know who would come next in your series!

    Your posts are so positive. You think of the bus drivers, the ordinary women and appreciate them for their work. Not many of us including myself would even consider this. Stay always the same RM 🙂

  18. garima says:

    hey come back soon plzz,ok?

  19. This is what it is a STUPID Minister sitting in a AC office does nothing but bring the nation down earns so much and here a hard working person gets a measely sum.. Its not right is it

  20. deepM says:

    I can completely agree with you for all posts on Bombay series. 🙂

    Please please come back soon okie?

  21. anisnest says:

    nice series appreciating different kinds of people around.. looks like RM is in appreciating mood I mean you are always but particularly not irritated with anything recently? Keep that up.. 🙂

  22. Pepper says:

    They are skillful drivers and great people. My only grouse with them is that they are too impatient. Most of the them jerk the bus to life while people are still boarding/alighting. I’ve known old people who are too scared to be the last to get in or get out of the bus, cos they are worried they might not be able to balance and hold themselves once the driver starts moving, while they are not fully inside/outside.

    Or maybe, I get more annoyed with them when I compare them to drivers in the US. Their courtesy and patience spoilt me.

  23. Swaram says:

    Hmmm we forget to acknowledge so many ppl in the mad rush of our lives na? 🙂 Nice post RM!

    And be back soon 🙂 Hugs!

  24. chipmunk2890 says:

    he he @SJ well said Rm thats true my office time goes easily with R and Rm post 😀

  25. Love this Mumbai people series, how can I take a blog break now that I can read you daily, This is unfair.

  26. telugumom says:

    It has been a long time since I rode buses in India, but I do agree to your post. It is a stressful job with very less pay!
    Come back soon from your blog break!!

  27. Ramya says:

    abey… when r u coming bak?!! Missing u 😉

  28. Comfy says:

    I for one have always been a fan of bus drivers in the fav. city. I mean after all I have been in buses in Delhi and having lived through that I would say Mumbai buses are uber safe.

    I am with you on how difficult it is to drive that big bus and that too around mass of people and traffic and no space to drive. I give them all the credit.

  29. Jazz says:

    HI RM, long time, no update, seem to be busy, missing R tales. 🙂

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