It was raining heavily and I was thinking to take a nap when my friend invited me to the city last day. I could not deny him but readily accept to be in the town not later than 30 minutes. Looking for an umbrella and finding none, I left for town in the rain. I took a taxi and reached the city, Thimphu town. The taxi dropped me at the city bus station.
I was half drenched as I had walked up the road in the rain to catch a taxi. When I reached the city bus station, there were people who were fully drenched by the rain. The small spaces that the shops in the premises had were all occupied by the first comers and the late comers had no option but to remain the rain until the bus arrived.
|Bangalore City Bus Station: Where you can wait |
comfortably and board easily.
One of the passengers waiting for the bus was an elderly woman with her two or three month old child in her arms. Except for a towel, she owned nothing. No umbrella. Her child was wrapped with the towel and she stood in the rain. She was shivering coldly. At another point, a school going child had come back from his school. He wore a mud stinted shoe with shabby Gho. He carried a bag that, I assumed, contained books. He was wet. And his bag was wet too.
Similarly, many were standing in the rain. Buses did not return fast. I watched them in the rain for about half an hour. I too stood drenched with them. It was at that moment that I recalled how well passengers in the foreign countries are treated. They not only have efficient bus services but also good waiting halls/rooms (in case they have to wait). Even along the road, where there are bus stops, they construct good sheds with chairs fixed. One can sit, relax, read and write while waiting for the bus.
But this is not the case in our country. Forget about building sheds in the city bus stop spots, along the highway, not even a shelter do we have in the main station where hundreds of people wait daily for the buses to get home after their work in the evening.
I wished for waiting rooms built by the concerned authorities, where by passengers could not only protect themselves from cold rain but also sit comfortably and read papers to spend the otherwise wasted time in fruitful manner.
We talk about building five star hotels and instituting mega projects in our country but we have forgotten (or do not consider at all) what people need in reality. We talk so much about happiness not knowing how happiness can talk so much. We have gone abroad preaching GNH. When they come to Bhutan, believing what we teach, they see such "unhappiness" in the country and thus turn away from us. We are making ourselves fail. It is always wise for a small country like ours to talk small and begin from small.
It is a wonder for me to see that our city is naked and unprotected. Is it because GNH people love rain and enjoy being in the rain (and scorching sun during sunny day)? Or is it because people are happy when they are kept standing in the rain?