Returning to the Old Collectorate building to again register my presence as a foreign national, my bus met with an accident.
Now I find Bhopal buses excellent, although the old clunking diesels are the nightmares of environmentalists.. In the madness of traffic that is India it seems miraculous there are so few. Atleast I though that until I read their were 142,000 road deaths last year in India.
It is not the first Accident I have seen here. I have seen women bumped off the back of scooters unharmed and once a woman grazed as she fell off a bike valiantly holding onto her child. A passing retired colonel picked up the baby took it to a nearby hospital and paid the bill without a word. A passing doctor told the woman to be quiet – her grazes were very superficial her crying was distressing the child.
But from the bus, I cannot say who was at fault. My first instinct was the bearded driver of a four wheel drive had squeezed into to tight a space between the bus unable to see him. Then again, the grinding of metal suggested perhaps the driver was turning into a drive way. Perhaps he was side swiped by the bus.
As the bus engine cut I saw the offended man march with self righteous indignation back from beside the bus, I guessed he had taken the numberplate. I realise he had parked across the buses path.
Soon voices raise. Indignant grabs at the bus driver protected behind a door. Then sharp grabs, and shoves A half hearted tussle to pull the driver from the bus. It seemed more to get public attention but few men in kurta seemed interested.
So instead he began to let down the driver right front tyre as we piled out the bus onto one that followed close behind, hoping to find my ticket deep in the confines of my pockets.
Uneventfully finding the Special Branch Police Office I await until my old friend Deepak Nayak, can process my Residency Certificate, which is fine as I am reading how to use the iRMS machine for our new clinic premises we will soon move into. A new recruit is uncertain but fastidious in his attempts to help me meanwhile. Another superior guides him but the file remains unfound.
“Deepak will be here 5 to ten minutes. I am new.’
A latte at Cafe Coffee Day, and I again traverse the routine of a bus conductor, with th added novelty of a random ticket inspection by a supervisor who crosses them with a biro. Orr when, stopping fo a change of conductor, the bus, sightly onto the road, remains stationary as buses behind blare their horns in frustration.
I suppose the increasing heat before the monsoon raises passions as well as air temperature.
Oh well, at least the bus trip was interesting.