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Updated: June 15, 2014 16:33 IST

I am... Abdul Khaleel, Bus Driver

SRAVASTI DATTA
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Round the clock at the wheel. Photo: Sravasti Datta
The Hindu Round the clock at the wheel. Photo: Sravasti Datta

I have been driving buses for 35 years. I am 60 years old and I retire next month. In 1972, I learned to drive and in 1980 I got a job as a bus driver with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). I was awarded by BMTC a silver medal in 1986 and a gold medal in 1994.

Earlier, I used to drive bus number 1, which travelled between Jayanagar and Yeswanthpur. During the last three to four years, I have been driving K-1, which starts from St. John’s Hospital goes to Domlur, Indiranagar, Ulsoor, MG Road and Shivajinagar before stopping finally Yeswanthpur.

The first shift is from six a.m. to 1.30 pm and the second is between 1.30 pm and 9.30 pm. My house is near Nelamangala toll gate.

When Bangalore wasn’t the fast-paced city it is now, there was much less traffic. There used to be traffic only during peak hours, at other times, it was so easy to drive. It would take a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 40 minutes to go from Koramangala to Shivajinagar. Now it takes up to an hour because of the traffic. Cab drivers are rash. Autowallahs too. But two wheelers have increased so much. I think all the two wheelers from the whole of India have all landed up in Bangalore. Traffic is bad, as many would agree, this is because the roads are small and there are too many vehicles.

I am a calm and composed person, I don’t take tension. As a driver, it’s very important to be cool. You must also be very alert. You have to know when and where to stop so that passengers can get on and off safely. If you are even the slightest bit careless, it can be dangerous.

I have three sons and a daughter; all of them are academically bright.

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