The Majestic Bus Stand
One of the nerve centres that links our city to the rest of the country is the central bus stand, which is called Majestic, after a movie theatre of that name..indeed, that whole area of Bangalore is called Majestic!
So here’s a visit to the Majestic Bus Stand. As you go in, the sign, illuminated at night, greets you:
And you also see the sign of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, with its logo of the double-headed eagle, which has come down to us from the erstwhile Wodeyar dynasty:
Here are some more images from this bustling terminal….
Here’s one of the Rajahamsa (“Royal Swan”) services which will shortly be departing….
All over the terminal area, you can see the diesel monsters waiting to take passengers to both nearby and distant destinations….Shimoga, Bidar, Jog Falls, Ooty…the list of names evokes beautiful images of other towns, other bustling cities…it fires the imagination to see those names!
One of the important parts of the bus station is obviously the Traffic Control Room:
Incredibly, under this, if you look closely can see, apart from the Rest Room for Staff, you can also spot a sign for a Hair Dresser!
Here’s the cloak room; I don’t know how safe it is to leave luggage here, but I suppose it must be, because there was quite a crowd milling around in front of it….
Several other amenities have been provided for the travellers’ convenience….here’s the Advance Reservation counter…
..just look at the heavy bag that those two are carrying between them!
Here’s the drinking water provision, with a pigeon perched on the sign!
And there are many of these phone booths (er, STD stands for Subscriber Trunk Dialling, and ISD means International calls…local calls are also advertised. Recently, BSNL has slashed the rates remarkably, nothing like a little healthy competition from the pinnacles where they were fleecing their customers…in 1996, an international call used to be around Rs.120 a minute, and an Internet dial-up connection cost per year was Rs.18, 000 or upwards!)
There are a multitude of shops and restaurants catering to travellers’ needs:
You can see the fruits, the aerated drinks and mineral water, the biscuit packets and other assorted stuff!
And here are the morning’s newspapers, being cycled in…
And alas, not all amenities are always usable…here’s the “May I Help You?” counter…it’s empty,and there seems no one is there to help…..
But some other facilities are truly innovative…old seats from buses which probably have been scrapped are now scattered across the terminal, providing comfortable seating for staff and passengers alike. What an economical usage of material!
There are two really excellent maps of Karnataka on the wall; this one is a road map, notice Sholapur at the top…We talk about “roadmaps” for so many other things that it is nice to see an actual roadmap, for a change!
And another one giving distances from Bangalore in kilometers:
I loved the beautiful art work on both the captions and the maps themselves; it was very artistically done.
Such an incredible variety of people traverse through the terminal, with jobs and purposes that one cannot even begin to visualize…here is a bangle seller, carrying his colourful, fragile wares!
I wondered where he was bound!
One of the things that did impress me was the general cleanliness of the Bus Stand. Everywhere were people sweeping up the constantly falling debris (our civic sense doesn’t seem to be of a high order!)…and I was very happy to see that waste was actually segregated:
Non-biodegradable waste goes here:
and bio-degradable goes here:
There are such signs, too (er, more observed in the breach, I am afraid!)
But at least the intention is there!
And it was excellent that the cleaners were issued strong rubber gloves:
But there was only one problem…they picked up from both the separate dustbins, and put the waste all together in those wheelbarrows! So the segregation is only in name and completely useless!
Certainly, some of the other services like the public address system, or pointers to various bus bays, are not always followed, and leads to confusion on the part of the travellers once in a while. But overall, I felt that the Majestic Bus Stand is an efficient place where the common man, or woman, can begin or end a journey to other parts of the State or country, with reasonable comfort and ease!