At the bus stop, we were surprised to find a long queue but we took our places at the end of it. We enquired from our neighbours in the queue and we were told that a bus had just left and another was expected in about 20 minutes time. So we consulted our watches.
It was 5 minutes past 5-00 p.m. and we thought that we shall be able to get the bus at 5.25 p.m. When it became 5-30 p.m. and there was no trace of the bus, we became a little anxious. We were getting restless lest we should miss the show. Now it was 15 minutes to 6-00 p.m. and still there was no sign of the bus.
The whole crowd in the queue was growing restless. People who were formerly looking into the “Evening News” or standing quietly, now began to curse the transport authorities of Delhi.
One of them shouted that D.T.U- stands for ‘Don’t Trust Us.’ Some of the people were looking for a scooter or an auto-rickshaw so that they might move out of the queue and take some other means of conveyance.
Just then the sound of horn was heard at a distance. All eyes automatically turned round that side. Yes, it was the bus that we wanted. As the bus approached the stand, all the people grew restless and when the bus stopped about a yard from the end of the queue, the queue was broken as everybody rushed towards it.
But to our great disappointment, the bus was so packed that the conductor allowed one passenger because only one person had got down there. He also informed us that the bus that should have come at 5-25 p.m. had broken down on the way and, therefore, there was such a crowd.
People again came back to their positions in the queue. There were some damaging remarks and everybody criticised the authorities of the Corporation for putting such bad buses on the road.
There was a clamour and in the midst of that clamour the queue was once more formed. I was 15th in the queue and my friend was next to me. We had stood there now for an hour and we were feeling tired and thirsty. There was no water available near about.
There was no shelter either and people were feeling the warmth of the setting sun. Everybody was anxiously waiting for the next bus. At last another bus appeared at 5 minutes past 6.00 p.m. People again became expectant and there was a general rush.
People were elbowing and jostling each other. Some people who were behind, tried to come in the front. But the conductor warned the passengers to stand in their places. If they did not listen to him, he announced that he would not take even a single passenger.
This had a good effect and the people took their places in the line. Still a well-dressed gentleman tried to force his way by the gate which was meant for the passengers to get down. When the conductor shouted at him, the poor fellow had to go back to the tail-end of the queue.
The bus took just 16 persons and we were fortunate that both my friend and I had been picked up. As soon as we had boarded the bus, the conductor whistled and the bus moved away. But some passengers from the queue or from outside the queue hung on the bus and would not leave it because they had been waiting
for more than an hour. The conductor would not listen to them and so there was delay in the bus. Finally some people intervened.
While this altercation was taking place and the conductor was threatening to take the bus to the police station, we were feeling awfully hot inside in the bus. As matter of fact, waiting for a bus is the most disgusting thing and one’s long hours start at a bus stop are the greatest miseries.