Rimi’s Reality TV: Ten Ways to Doge Fares on Calcutta Buses

This was my Facebook update yesterday afternoon, when, for about ten cold-sweat minutes, I had thought my honour and my skin were both lost to me. I was delighted to see that my plight bothered my dear social media friends not even a little.

It’s why I adore them.

Anyway, here’s the update:

I just realised that I am aboard a bus, minus my purse. Oh, god. NOW what do I do?

The very gratifying responses are in the comments below. A working knowledge of Bengali will help immensely.



  1. Wait till you’re near your destination. Taar por haat paa chhNurhey kNaado. Jonota traahi daak chherhey bus khali korey debey. Taar por aar ki, (nijer) gaaley aangul rekhey, aapon monay dulki chaaley, ektaa toppa’r shur goon-goon kortey kortey neel digontey’r dikey egiey jaao.

  2. with a *sudden realisation* look on your face…..ask the conductor to stop and tell him…”stop stop…this is not the bus u wanted to board….!!!and you have come so far!!! OMG !” and jump off!

  3. Stay inconspicuous, don’t have phone conversations where your scathing wit draws your neighbours’ attention. Ek side-er conductor ke dichchi debo kore katiye namar shomoy ulto side diye neme ja, keu ter-o pabena.

  4. I once left a bag with all my money in it in a village in Tamil Nadu. I went back, and it was still there. Hope you find your purse.

  5. SUCH brilliant ideas. Thank you, Zeenat, Uncle J., Guriadi, Jhuma, Ishani and Soumik. I’ll save them for the next time, because as Hrileena points out, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. As it happened, I found an emergency stash of a hundred bucks in one cranny of the bag, where I had hidden it for exactly such an emergency. I am well aware of my weaknesses, thank goodness.

    • (1) I love the entertainment on public transportation too much. (2) I absolutely do NOT want to take on the task of driving in Calcutta, and I absolutely do not want a driver invading my space. (3) At the current rate of dearness, I couldn’t afford to run my own transport for more than two weeks a month 🙂


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