From the bustling streets of Mumbai to its local buses, my journey as a lady bus conductor has been nothing short of exhilarating. I embarked on this adventure with excitement in my heart, ready to tackle every challenge that came my way. Little did I know, it would be a rollercoaster ride through the heart of the city.
The First Day
My first day on the job was a whirlwind of emotions. I remember donning my crisp khaki uniform with a sense of pride and anticipation. As I stepped onto the bus, the excitement bubbled within me. The bus, painted in the vibrant colours of the city, felt like a microview of Mumbai itself - diverse, chaotic, and full of life.
The Problems I Faced
But the excitement soon gave way to the harsh reality of the job. Navigating the overcrowded streets of Mumbai, handling the ever-impatient passengers, and ensuring that everyone paid their fare was a daunting task. The city's relentless traffic and unpredictable weather were added challenges. The Mumbai locals, known for their fast-paced lives, didn't always make it easy for a newcomer like me.
The Judgmental Stares
One aspect of the job that caught me off guard was the judgmental stares I received. People often questioned my ability to handle the job merely because of my gender. I could feel the sceptical eyes and hear the whispers of doubt. But I was determined to prove them wrong, to show that a lady could handle the chaos of Mumbai's buses just as well as anyone else.
Sadly, the challenges I faced didn't stop at judgmental stares. Harassment became a part of my daily life. Some passengers thought it was amusing to make inappropriate comments or engage in unwelcome advances. It was disheartening and infuriating, but I couldn't let it deter me from my duty.
Coping and Overcoming
Coping with these challenges was not easy. However, my love for this job and my commitment to my passengers kept me going. I learned to develop a thick skin, ignore negativity, and focus on providing a safe and efficient service. I confided in my fellow conductors and drivers, who offered support and advice. Together, we formed a team, always looking out for each other on the chaotic streets of Mumbai.
Doing a Great Job
Over time, I grew more confident in my role. I became fluent at handling the crowds, managing the fares, and ensuring that the bus ran smoothly. I found immense satisfaction in helping passengers reach their destinations, no matter how hectic the journey might be. The smiles and words of gratitude from passengers made all the hardships worth it.
Being a lady bus conductor in Mumbai taught me resilience, determination, and the ability to rise above stereotypes and prejudices. I am proud of my journey, from that nervous first day to becoming a dependable conductor on the bustling streets of this incredible city.
My story is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the women who work tirelessly to keep Mumbai moving. We face adversity with courage and continue to prove that we are just as capable as anyone else in this vibrant, bustling metropolis.
(This article is rewritten by the author after an interview with the female conductor. It's part of a series on Medicicle, where we aim to discover and share unique stories and perspectives at workplaces that often go unnoticed.)