June 24, 2017

Is it Really BEST?

An incident happened in Mumbai’s second lifeline – public transport – Public bus; where Bus driver on duty not only behaved rudely with female passenger, but also attempted a physical assault. here, is the victim who narrates the horrifying incident in her own words. At her own request, her identity is kept under wrap;

Who am I – Indian citizen with a lot of zeal to do lot of things. Active animal activist and an engg. and MBA grad by qualification. Studied across India and Unites States of America, worked across two continents but chose Mumbai over any other city.

8th May 2016

Just a usual Wednesday, I was running late so missed my AS-4 bus at the usual bus stop. I knew the usual bus driver and conductor for this time slot, as I have often taken this bus to work. But this day was special because I was late and there was a new driver. I requested my autowala (lets call him AW) to help me get the bus. And boy he turned out to be an F1 auto driver (we must start F1 auto rickshaw racing in India) . My AW quickly reached the next stop where the bus was still boarding passengers, as usual I waved to say that I have to board, quickly paid my awesome AW and got off the auto.

Then guess what? He takes off and exactly then I thought to myself, “I should have been a little taller, poor driver didn’t see me !” Well, my AW was enjoying the F1 chase I guess, so he agreed to take me to the next stop J

Now here comes the exciting part, between the two stops, AW managed to overtake the bus and I almost jumped out of the auto to get it but he again managed to evade. Wow! I know I am short but was the auto invisible too? Also for the benefit of my readers, let me mention AC BEST busses started this scheme wherein they would stop anywhere between bus stops if a passenger is waiting and waving. But I thought I might be ill informed and I am invisible so I should again go to the next stop and make myself visible. This time around the AW parked in a way that the bus driver couldn’t escape, he had to let me in. I quickly boarded and questioned the driver.

He looked like I had touched something really sensitive; I asked him again and then this is what happened:

Me – Kyoin bhaiyya aapko main kab se haath dikha rahi thi, aap ko dikha nahin?ruke kyion nahin?

Driver Malesh – Ignores and continues to treat me invisible

Me – Aapka naam kya hain aur license kya hain ( looked like he was going to burn me to ashes)

Driver Malesh – Kyoin kya kar legi? Tereko koyin chahiye?

Me – (Removed my phone and clicked a pic) that’s when he pushed me and tried throwing my phone

Me – I screamt saying kya kar rahein ho?, pagal ho gaye ho kya?

Me – (Asked my copassengers) do you guys see what’s happening?

Passengers – Nonchalant ( now that’s a talent that I don’t have)

Driver – Stands up and that’s when the conductor comes running

Conductor – Stop pe chadne ka ( don’t remember verbatim)

Me – Main last bus stop se bol rahi hoon rokne ko, aapko pata hain kab se bhaag rahin hoon?

Conductor – Madam jaane do baith jao

Driver – Zyada bolneka hain toh utar ja, zyada barbar/bakbak nahin karneka….( swithces to Marathi which I couldn’t follow)

Conductor – Pacified the standing driver ( who now looked like he was going to beat me up)to drive and finally the bus started

So I sat down quietly because honestly I had no other option at that point in time because the next bus was after half an hour and I had to get to work without any further delay. But I had decided to inform the police so that they nab this driver and make him understand that he:

–       Has no right to touch a woman, forget pushing

–       Has no right to threaten passengers to get down

–       Has no right to deny any Mumbaikar their right to take the BEST BUS

Whether he continues to work for BEST buses or for any other company, he should learn that he can’t misbehave These little acts of violence can mislead anyone to think that they are untouchable and most importantly women can be manhandled.

But I would like to thank the @Mumbaipolice for sending the wireless van, which came late but instructed me what to do.

Bus details :

Driver Name – Malesh ( photo attached)

Registration – 1138 ( The number inside the bus)

Bus # MH01 LA-6794

Bus time – 8.25 from Oshiwara depot

Bus Number – AS4

Identity & Name withheld on specific request of the victim details received by e-mail.

 

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