Common Things People Notice While Riding Kolkata Buses

“A bus ride is like being in another world” – J.A. Redmerski. Surely it is, especially when you ride the buses of Kolkata!

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One just not simply call Kolkata as the City of Joy. The modern Kolkata is crossbred with its old culture: where it’s colourful tradition are still preserved, the ancient houses whose walls are aging beyond colonisation era is still breathing, the renewed Kolkata roads bifurcates into smaller old streets which again branches to ‘paarar goli’ where the hand-pull rickshaw still gets its passengers, where the entire city lights up with immense joy when the season calls, ‘Maa asche’ and sheds farewell tears with ‘Subho Bijaya’.

And, in this joyous city, the transportation system also has its own uniqueness. For longer journeys, office and school rushes, or for any purpose, Kolkata buses are always at your service. And no matter where are you going, the bus ride you take on gives you a whole new experience every single time you take a ride, even if the ride is a five minute one. It’s like a whole new world with various types of people, engaged in some peculiar bus culture –all encapsulated within one single bus.

So let’s check out some common things you will notice while travelling in Kolkata Buses

1. Time to Hang on : Jhule Jhule Jawa Bus Jatra

If you see some bunch of people hanging on to the main doors of a running bus, then yes, you are at Kolkata. The city faces so much rush every single day especially in the morning and in the evening , and the result is: too much of people in the bus! Somehow you have to reach your destination on time. And it’s no use waiting for another bus with fewer passengers in it, because there aren’t any! So it’s an everyday stunt for the daily passengers to hold on the bus railing and fly along the speed on the bus.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

2. The political debates : Rajnoitik torko

If you are in Kolkata, then no wonder you will notice some political discussions and debates by the office going uncles and elderly people. No doubt even women take part in it. And if you are on the bus, the political debates starts with a mere complain regarding the ill-managed busy streets, buses, conductors and crowded passengers. No matter which political party they support, the tone of the debate intensifies with the bitter criticisms they point out.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

3. The Bus and the Bustle: Unnecessary jhamela

You are in the bus, you got a window seat; looking out at the picture perfect scenic beauty of the city. Everything is going on smooth. Suddenly you hear some chaotic verbal battles among the passengers or with the bus conductor. Relax, that’s nothing new in Kolkata buses! The passengers are definitely going to start verbal fights either amongst them or with the bus driver or conductor. They complain regarding the overloaded bus, stampede, rush driving, slow driving and everything that’s not perfect!

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

4. The Fast and Furious: Rastay Rastay Road Race

All of a sudden you will notice the bus speeding up and within minutes you will also notice that the bus is gearing up its speed faster than a roller coaster. It’s all up to overtake another bus and it can even fly to make that happen. Have a happy journey!

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

5. Taking extra passengers: Passenger tola

‘Passenger tola’ –a common profit making activity that every bus does and never listens to anybody who complains about it. The bus keeps on taking passengers, even if there is only an inch of space for you to put your one leg properly. It will keep on taking more passengers pushing and smashing all the pre-existing ones unless there is no space for even an ant to pass through. The queries of the passengers, “Dada aar koto lok tulben?”  seems all in vain.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

6. Common Dialogues of Conductor: Conductor-der Common Dialogues 

If you ride any bus in Kolkata, you are most likely to hear some common dialogues of the conductors. The locals and daily passengers are used to hearing it daly. You will hear some dialogues like:

• “Dekhi dada bhara ta din”
• “Chepe daran..Aro Bhetorer dike chepe daran!!!”
• “Dekhi didi aapnar ta”
• “Ar ektu chapun to”
• “Aaste... Ladies namar ache”
• “Bus faka ache... Taratari kore uthe jaan”
• "Sokal Sokal khuchro hobe na.. Khuchro din!”

This will be in your daily routine if you travel via bus in Kolkata.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

7. Common Dialogues of Passengers: Passenger-der Common Dialogues

There are various types of passengers you will notice while travelling in a bus in Kolkata. However there are some common dialogues which you, as a passenger might here from the other bus passengers. Quite interestingly, these are very common seven if you travel on to different buses. You will hear people saying things like:

• “Ei nin, bhara ta katun”
• “R koto lok tulbi? Mathay boshabi naki?”
• “O dada, bus ta ebar jore chalao”
• “Bekar signal khawacho kano?”
• “Lok maarbi naki? Ektu aste chalate paro na?”
• “Babba ki bheed!”
• “Ei groom-er modhye ebhabe jawa jay?”

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

8. The Slow Speed

Though most of the times bus runs slow, there are times when bus is slower than a turtle. It’s especially when there are less passengers or when it’s making some serious strategies to pick up some more passengers from any particular place. We, as normal passengers get furious to see the bus running slow while we are in an extreme hurry to reach our destinations on time. “Dada jore bus taanun” is what comes out as our enraged advice.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

9. Helping hands

The people of Kolkata are way too sweet and helpful. Even if they start a fight all of a sudden, but if you are nice to them they are surely to help you. You will find people giving their seats to elderly people, kids, ladies, pregnant women or just any random person without even asking for it. Or they are ready to take your bags so that you can stand inside the bus with a good grip. They will even inform you who the person to be leaving the seat soon is.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

10. The Surprise Brakes

While you are having a smooth bus ride, even if you haven’t got the seat, we must aware you with the fact that it’s not going to last for long. You might often get some surprise brakes. Due to the busy road conditions, the bus often decelerates all of a sudden even when not expected. And that’s the time when you will receive some stampedes. Even people can fall upon you. So just beware and hold on tight and keep your mind alert always.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

11. Some common Types of people you will notice in the bus

There are pretty much the same kind of people who travel in Kolkata’s bus. You will be able to relate to if you have taken a ride in the bus of Kolkata at least once. 

• Office people

Now there are two sorts of office people who generally travel: Government employees and Private Job holders. Both have one thing in common while they are in the bus: the tension and frustration.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

• Bald Kaku (Bald uncle)

I can bet on this, you are sure to find one; at least one bald uncle in the bus travelling along with you.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

• Tuition class goers

Generally travel in groups, going for tuition. Or the plot can be twisted, they might be bunking the class!

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

• Kids

A crying kid on parent’s lap is one common thing you can notice often.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

• People with Headphone

They are the people who avoid the entire hustle bustle that’s going inside the bus. They take out their headphones, plug in with their phone, tune in to their favourite music and they are off to travel.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata

• Hawkers


Hawkers will come while the bus is standing for a long time in the stoppage or in a jam. They are the saviours of your boredom, hunger and long wait. From orange and coca-cola candies to nuts and other dry snacks they sell it all. Some even sell notebooks, safety-pins and many emergency items that you might need. They are the best in diverting your mind.

Image Credit : Oh Kolkata


Comment(s):

Santosh K Tudu

17 Dec 2017 09:53 AM

Dear Sujata, ये atricle मुझे लाइव कोलकाता दर्शन करा देता है। Supperb ! Cheers ! -Santosh


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