61 BEST Years !

They are called the BEST buses. Well, if you thought they they had an adjective as a brand name then you are mistaken. BEST stands for Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking’. I didnt quite know that electricity board and the bus transport system were with one body !

If the heaving masses of Mumbai commute from one end to another, it is either by the the trains or the buses. The variety that drives through to work & occupy the most parts of the road is but a minority !

The BEST buses are the kings of the roads. Much like the lions of the jungle, they stride the roads with a certain majestic air driven partly by fear that is engineered by statistics ( of casualties ). And when they rumble along, you sure do ensure they go past without a problem !

To look out of the windshield and to see the massive dirt filled tyre rumble staring at you with a dismissive feel has the potential to freeze whatever little of courage that rests with you ! A couple of weeks back, one them overtook me on the left and ‘tapped ‘ (to be read as dismembered) my rear view mirror on the left.

I stopped. Got out, picked up the remains of whatever was left, calmly got back and drove. A deer doesn’t complain that the lion bruised his leg. He thanks his stars for other mercies.

I have never ceased being amazed at the amount of work put in by the drivers and conductors of these buses. The routes that they ply and the roads that they take to cover those routes, are truly pheonomenal to complete day in and day out ! ( To remain on the Mumbai road for 8 hours a day, by itself in an achievement of sorts ) !!

Today, BEST celebrates its 61st anniversary ! And boy, did they use the opportunity well !?!

So, it sure must be special ! They want Big B to travel by BEST buses.( To spread awareness. Nothing else. His films continue to do well). They want car owners to travel by BEST buses, so that the number of cars on the road can come down. That sure is a tall order. Car owners are not going to take to BEST buses because the Big B is taking the bus once in his recent lifetime. A lot more is going to be required ! Like higher fuel prices !

One piece that i find rather unique to Mumbai buses are the manual indicator adjacent to the high raise of the driver’s window. To indicate a right turn !

In these days of electronic indicators, voice alarms and digital maps, this is one manual device that continues to turn heads. And other vehicles too !

Heres to many more years of BEST driving. But this sure is one place where you don’t mind the BEST getting better !

8 thoughts on “61 BEST Years !

  1. for so long we never had a double decker bus. then about 5 years ago came the double decker express bus, but somehow I dont like it. Its doesnt have the buzz in it…maybe the london decker would be nice…or the open top indian bus…like the one in that santosh movie…

    gosh i need so much to come to India sar…!

  2. Priya says:

    A drive along the seashore and window seat can pass all dreams together for you Kavi. Good Luck.

  3. This post reminded me of my BEST travel in Mumbai in early 80’s. I thought BEST meant some BOMBAY…STATE TRANSPORT. Anyhow,it is true that these drivers are great. I appreciate your thought. Definitely for a city like Mumbai BEST is doing the best service.

  4. HOBO says:

    Work from Home is the only solution.
    I dont know why people visit office when most of the work can be done through homes specially if the work is related to technology/internet.

  5. dinu says:

    ahaa !! getting creative with buses too 🙂

  6. Kavi says:

    GP : you have a home here ! Just let us know !!

    Priya : i would imagine so !

    Balaji : Welcome back..its been such a long while !

    Oh yes, the drivers, they are truly amazing !

    Hobo : Thats a good option ! Indeed ! Its a different culture though. We need to get there !

    Dinu : Whatever moves catches the marketers attention !!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    the side bar is nothing…..you forgot the horn they use… ( Bhonpuuuu..)
    also…hw cn you forget the bell that the conductor uses to communicate with the driver..
    BEST JUGAAR I must say:-)

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