Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Buses and windows

The latest Volvo buses not withstanding, most buses which ply on Indian roads are the older variety, the ones in which windows open and let the air in.

Most city buses (and all trains) have a window at the control of the passenger who sits beside it, meaning, these windows open vertically (like in trains where every window seat has control over a window). Amazingly, there are quite a few buses where windows slide horizontally across 2-3 rows. Therefore, in these buses, for every three rows, there is a row of seats that has no control on windows and have to be at the mercy of those ahead or behind. The erstwhile Pune Asiad buses were like this. On many an occassion I have found myself trapped between a row in front and a row at a back both of whom wont allow the window to be opened - result, me in the center, sweltering and sweating.

Windows can be asymmetrical only if they do not have to be opened, as in air conditioned buses, but if they have to be opened, like in non air conditioned buses, why have them asymmetrical in the first place? The whole point of a window seat is to have a window at your control.

Some smart alec must have thought about aesthetics and forgotten functional value. (More on this some other time, now that I got started on it.)

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