Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Continuing with Bus Fun, this post is a list of the most popular games played in BMTC buses. The rules are fairly simple, but could be lethally confusing for the uninitiated.

1.Secret Number
When you hand the conductor excess money to buy your ticket, he/she will scribble a secret number on the back of your ticket and hand it to you. To decipher this number, you must subtract the ticket value from the amount you tended. The objective of this game is to squeeze your way through the crowd (only when you are 10 seconds or less from reaching your bus stop) to the conductor (who is usually at the farthest possible distance from you in the bus) and get your balance amount back.

Bonus Trivia: Conductors say this game helps them attend to more commuters faster, but it has been scientifically proven that it takes longer to scribble the number on the back of the ticket than it would take to dig into their bag for the change.

2.Thore See
The commuter boards the bus. The conductor makes eye contact and says "tigit-tigit", to which the commuter says "Pass". If the conductor smells a rat, he says "Thore See". At this point, the commuter must quickly produce the bus pass. If he cannot, he will be flung out of the bus. If the conductor doesn't say "Thore See", the commuter gets a free bus ride.

Bonus Trivia: "Thore see" means "please show" in Kannada. This game is believed to have been inspired by the card game 'Bluff'.

3.Couth Coley
This game involves waiting for a seated commuter to vacate his/her seat. The main challenge is to compete with two hundred other standing commuters vying for the same seat. Other challenges include false starts provided by the seated commuter. A man may pretend to vacate his seat by half-rising, but checking his back-pocket-wallet and sitting down again, or a woman may half-stand, only to adjust her saree pallu and sit down again. During these precarious moments, you have to strategise your leg angle, dig elbows into stronger competitors, or brush your private parts against easily-offended competitors.

Bonus Trivia: "Couth coley" (kooth-ko-Lee) means "please sit" in Kannada. This game appears to have been inspired by the all-time party favourite 'Musical Chairs'.

Note to bus commuters from other Indian cities: These games may be played in bus services across India, but known by other names. I have referenced "BMTC" because of my usage/proximity with them.


subbulakshmistoned said...

When I was in school, I used to fool the conductor with 'pass'. And when he asked me to Thor see I'd act like I was digging my bag hard and say, "Illa, uncle" w/ a puppy face :D

golmaalgopal said...

ROFL vinesh.... :)) I've played Thore See and Couth coley a lot.... nice one there ;)

Prathima said...

This is brilliant! I remember being part/party to these games :-)

Jeevan said...

Apart fun its interesting vinesh! :)

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