Stories about buses

The 126 innocent lives lost were mere collateral damage to them, nothing less and nothing more

Beads of perspiration glistened on his forehead. Wiping it clean with the back of his hand, he stared around. “It is overloaded,” he thought to himself as he pulled his five-year-old up on his lap. His wife had fallen into a slumber. After days of abject disappointment, the call for rescue had finally come. They were being sent outside Aleppo to safer refugee camps. He felt sad to be leaving his village but the gory streets made it easier to do so. It didn’t look like his home anymore. It was like a page out of a war-torn story with red blood anguish and ...

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Will Careem and Uber be able to survive in Pakistan?

The government of Pakistan, both federal and provincial, remains in a deep slumber. It does not counter any illegal business activity but only takes action when the project strengthens its roots in society and provides an alternative to public woes in a certain segment.  It is the government’s responsibility to provide adequate, reliable and secure modes of transport to the public to commute from one place to another. Unfortunately, the government has completely failed to do any such thing and hence, most of the country’s transport is in total control of the private sector. The tram service, which was operating in ...

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Light lunchboxes

His daughter knocked on his door; only once. It was time for work and her school. He got up, stretching here and there, listening as individual muscles came out of slumber. After he was ready, he headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Each item appeared to be dripping. The electricity had been out throughout the night. He reached for the night’s leftovers and packed their lunch, first for her, and then for himself. She came to the kitchen shortly after. She was well-aware of her father’s strategies and how she ended up getting more of the leftovers. However she used to silently weigh ...

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Travelling on a Pakistani public bus is never boring!

I am sure many of you have travelled on public buses in Pakistan or know someone who has gone through the ordeal. In case you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you of what the rest of us have to go through. Here are ten of my experiences while travelling on public transport and the issues many of us have to face on a daily basis. 1. Bus stop? What’s that? Drivers of public buses in Pakistan never bother to wait for their passengers at the bus stops so there is hardly any point in waiting there. And it goes without saying that if you ...

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Help, I am a pedestrian!

While walking in Lahore, I stepped onto the footpath like any other pedestrian. I had only walked for five minutes when I realised that being a pedestrian in Pakistan is the saddest thing that can happen to a person. Apart from the government, that waves away the concerns of pedestrians quite often, car owners also make sure that things are not easy for those walking on the road. This wasn’t the first time I had walked down the street. In fact, I have been a pedestrian for eight years now. I have always been an outdoor person and hence, I enjoy walking and ...

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Stop complaining ladies, men get harassed on buses too!

‘Mardon ko toh koi tameez hi nahi hoti ke bus mien kis tarah safar karna hai!’  (Men have no manners at all regarding how to travel on a public bus) This was a phrase that I came across last week when I was waiting at a bus stop. The words came from a middle aged woman, standing a few feet away from me, conversing with her colleague. On hearing this, a rush of anger took over me, but before I could say anything to her, my bus arrived and I had to board. Dear women, I understand that you get treated badly in our ...

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My adventures on a bus!

My first few encounters with a public bus occurred when I started going to an institute to prepare for my entrance test. My father usually used to pick and drop me, but one fine day he wasn’t home and I needed a ride. In that moment of absolute insanity, I made a decision which became the biggest regret of my life. I boldly declared in front of my family that I was old enough to ride the public bus. I thought I knew what I was in for; a long lecture on the dangers of travelling via buses alone concluding with ...

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Metro Bus Service: A loud, proud day for Lahore?

Every day for four weeks, I have slept to the sound of traffic in Lahore. And I wake up to it, every single day. The blaring of horns of which there are variations you could possibly never imagine or encounter, emanating from vehicles, motorbikes, rickshaws and modes of transportation unimaginable too, form a stream of noises which become firmly rooted in your subconscious, many say.  So far, not for me.  I wince, sometimes even curse when I am alone and long for these weeks to be over so I can wake up in my serene neighbourhood, back in Chicago. And for ...

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Lahore Metro Bus Service: A major step in Pakistan’s public transport

Lahoris, the wait is finally over!  The complicated and tiring ordeal that we were all experiencing for eleven months has finally met its end. Yes, I’m talking about the completion of the revolutionary metro bus system in Lahore. The Metro Bus Project is a monumental achievement for the Punjab government which is going to change the traffic culture of Lahore forever. Taking detours and looking for shorter diversions had become part of every Lahori’s life in the last one year. Because of the construction of many underpasses, flyovers and bus tracks, it would take people forty minutes to cover a distance which ...

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Not so soon Karachi

If the laptop scheme by Shahbaz Sharif was a ‘four’, the completion of Lahore’s Rapid Bus Transit System is a ‘sixer’, that too, on a no-ball. Around a week before the maiden transit system was to be inaugurated, TV channels started flashing footages of the city’s newest achievement. In Lahore, excited locals cheered for this latest development project, while in Karachi, I sat in my chair feeling happy yet envious at the same time. I’m pleased because I know what this transport-revolution will do to the people of the city but I am also overly-jealous since I won’t be able to use ...

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