I made an emergency day trip as some urgent work cropped up in Office in Colombo, while I had taken a few days off to work at my own and more productive pace at my forest retreat in Ratmale. So I took the 5.15am bus (SLTB) from Kaduruwela to Colombo, which arrived in Colombo at 11.30 am! The Fare was only Rs249 so the Conductor famous for no change keeps the change out of Rs250.
The problem was that I unfortunately found the seat right under the speaker of this new State Bus, and the music was put on so loud, that 6 hours later when I had alighted, I was almost deaf!!! There is NO other word to explain, but torture of the worst kind that I had to endure throughout the journey.
I know the people of Sri Lanka like to enjoy music at all times even sleeping time! However this decibel range, should be punishable, but more importantly today’s youth the driver must have been twenty something, realize that there are other people who are not in the same mold. I think consideration of others is severely lacking in youth today, as they are NOT parented and no one shows them the way of right and wrong and consideration of to others who may not be in the same frame of mind as them.
It is due to this social ill, that we may need rules to ensure that the peace of the average person is not severely disrupted by ignorance, and callousness at the extreme.
Personally, I don’t know for whose benefit this music is? Is it for the Driver and Conductor who are used, want, and immune? Or for the passenger who is harassed, and cannot even speak on a mobile phone for this shriek at the back. My ears were ringing when I got off the bus.
Another point to note that those who make the rules DON’T travel by bus. The secretaries in the Transport or the Ministers, who are blissfully unaware of this interference to people’s basic rights. Further the commuters themselves don’t realize they can make a stand. They are not strong enough, and their organization does not take this into consideration, when making other demands, or don’t believe this is sufficiently important.
The result is that thousands, no hundreds of thousands of us travelers daily are inconvenienced by this roar during the journey and seem to accept as inevitable and one they cannot do anything about. I would see if we can have NO sound designated buses, then if there will be a clamor, or no drivers to drive, as they need this as part of the opium for them to drive!!!