Enough has been said about ST buses and their quality (rather the lack of it) and how they give you a full body massage when you travel by one. Almost-enough has also been said about the need for the revival of the ST service by giving them more money and phasing out the old buses which have been running since the time the Elves left Middle Earth or Aragorn became King of Gondor or Bilbo and Frodo went with the Elves or the Age of Men began in Middle Earth……; I guess you get the drift. I don’t however think enough has been said about the men who drive these deathtraps. So, as a service to humanity and for the purpose of filling this yawning gap between the not-blamed-enough-drivers and the overly-blamed-buses-which-need-more-blame-in-any-case. (Please ignore the grammar)
I am going to use another reference (out of several) to Lord Of The Rings (LOTR). Tolkien, the author of LOTR, created this elaborate fantasy tale around 1938. The story has numerous characters which are part of different lineages, species, community or breed. Every group has something which is unique and special to them. Similarly, according to me, ST Bus Drivers (STBDs) belong to a community which was sired by a man who was the most intimidating mix of Michael Schumacher, Sebastien Loeb and Shrek a.k.a. Wayne Rooney. They drive fast (Schumacher), they drive quick (Loeb) and they generally don’t care about anything moving – including the one they are driving (Shrek a.k.a. Rooney). Now you would ask, what qualification do I possess to be commentating on STBDs? I, my dear imaginary readers, have traveled on ST Buses for more than a year when I used to commute between my home in Thane and my office – Directi – in Malad. Firstly, I should be given a bravery award for traveling in an ST Bus every single day for an entire year. Secondly, I have to be one of the luckiest men alive to have traveled in these buses so often and still be unhurt. Come to think of it, they are quite safe; the only damage I guess is long term due to the beating your nervous system takes. Finally, I think this is enough experience to commentate on STBDs.
To be an STBD, one cannot acquire training or attend driving classes. After all, Legolas didn’t have to go to shooting school to learn to use the bow and arrow. They are born with this quality and eventually find their way to their throne, inside the grimy, dust covered red and brown colored bus. Just the way Aragorn eventually finds his way to Gondor and sits on his throne. STBDs are supposed to wear uniforms which are basically Khaki Shirts and Pants. They however think it is above their dignity to wear something like that, and you should not be surprised to find them driving shirtless; they do however wear white-as-snow vests to be fair to them. I am not sure if there are any rules regarding their footwear, but I am yet to see an STBD driving with anything on his feet.
These people are the masters of the beasts that they drive and their beasts in turn are the Lords of all such beasts. Much like Gandalf, who was the master of his horse Shadowfax – the Lord of Horses. Only they know the kind what gestures made by their arms and feet will incite what kind of response from their beast. All rules of automotive engineering are put to shame by these great Lords. Exactly the way in which The One Ring defied the laws of physics, making the wearer invisible. I am yet to see an STBD change gears by releasing/depressing the clutch (i.e. pressing it with the foot – ironically this is when the clutch is released or depressed). They just stop revving and bang the gear into its proper slot. I cannot imagine how a 1,000 year old vehicle can take that kind of beating; if only they made stuff like that now.
STBDs also control who gets onto their bus and who doesn’t. If they don’t like something about you, or your clothes are too nice and they are jealous, they just won’t stop for you at the bus stop. You can wave all you want and stand in the middle of the road if you want to, but they won’t stop if they don’t want you in. They have a very strict passenger selection process, so I have heard. Another brilliant piece of engineering on these beasts are the suspensions. I don’t know if they were intended to be so robust or it is just sheer luck that they last one whole day and beyond. The punishment they go through is equivalent to the punishment Smeagol was given by Sauron; and in his case, Smeagol relented during the torture. On the other hand, these suspensions I am sure are much stronger than those on the Hummer even. I don’t see how else it could take the torture dished out by the STBDs every single minute that they are at the helm.
I guess you would agree that these men are truely outstanding.
These Men are unlike any other.
They are the best of the best of the rest.
They are the Lords Of The Roads!