Bombaywallah & Mumbaikar Discuss (8): BEST Buses Are Not Romantic Anymore!
Two friends – Bombaywallah & Mumbaikar – discuss the modernization of BEST buses and the death of romance in Maximum City.
Mumbaikar: BEST is becoming modern. It has installed smart card systems in 200 of its buses and will install it in the rest of 3400 buses in three months. (link)
Mumbaikar: Not only that, it is also installing global positioning systems, PCO systems, CCTVs, and drop boxes by Hutchison Essar in its buses. They are especially excited about the CCTVs; they say that the CCTVs will help them counter the terrorist threat.
Bombaywallah: Are you sure their already falling apart buses will not collapse under the weight of all this gadgetry?
Mumbaikar: Come on! Stop being a townie all the time! I’m sure you haven’t ever been in a BEST bus!
Bombaywallah: Actually, you are wrong. I have been in a BEST bus, a double-decker one at that, on their tour of the heritage buildings.
Mumbaikar: You know that doesn’t count!
Bombaywallah: And I have had a shiver run down my spine every time a BEST bus has swerved suddenly towards my car, metal hanging from it at all odd angles. That counts surely. And I have heard you talk about your romantic rendezvous on the upper deck of almost empty double-decker BEST buses. Don’t tell me that doesn’t count either.
Mumbaikar: Now, you have made me sentimental. We were in college then and took the same bus everyday, from Girgaum Chowpatty, all the way to Santa Cruz, where she lived, and then back to Dadar. While the lower deck would be crowded, there were fewer people on the upper deck, and sometimes, there was no one apart from us. We held hands everyday and even kissed for the first time in the bus (sighs). Now, they are planning to phase out the double-decker buses, because there is inadequate demand for them.
Bombaywallah: No empty upper decks and CCTVs elsewhere; BEST buses surely aren’t romantic anymore!
Overheard outside the Lal Baug Ganeshotsav mandal, as a police constable struggled with the CCTV system in his patrol vehicle. (link)