Today, there was a private bus strike in West Bengal. (In protest of section 304 A on drivers involved in fatal accidents. Section 304A is non-bailable).
Luckily for me, the long (about 45 minutes) commute to my place of work has lots of shuttle autos plying. I usually avoid these since they are much lower than buses and whenever they are stuck at a signal or in the middle of a jam, passengers in the auto end up choking on the exhausts fumes of buses lined up on either side of the auto. Throat and lungs seem to be on fire, eyes water, especially in the evening. Today I took the first auto which came along and reached home faster without stopping at any jams. But I did have to walk from deshopriyo park to our home (about two stops for buses). It was good exercise and above all, the thing to cheer about was...less pollution. Afterall, nearly 22,000 buses were off the road including 12,000 in Kolkata.
I was one of the luckier ones no doubt. Many have had to face enormous difficulties (buses are so much cheaper than autos and do not ply on many routes)....but the idea of a fractionally less smoggier Kolkata, calls for CELEBRATIONS!