Today there was an all out bus strike through out Kerala. A small description of the term 'Bus Strike' - for those who are not in Kerala. The people here are very dependent on the public transport system we have - that is buses. If the owners of these buses have to make a demand to the Govt., bus strikes are their weapon of choice. Basically they just prevent the buses from running. The public who depends on these buses to get to their workplace/home/wherever are stuck. This simple method has been used time and again to bring this land to a virtual standstill.
Our only hope in such situations are some enterprising vehicle owners - when ever there is a strike, these people will go from one point to another in their vans/jeeps - letting in the stranded public - and taking an inflated amount as the ticket charge.
Due to the small amount of such vehicles(or parallel transport, as we call them) and the large number of people depending on them, these vehicles will be packed beyond belief. Such situations are so common here that they have evolved into a metaphor...
The canned sardines were packed as tight as people in a van at the time of a bus strike.
I kid not.
If you think that this is bad, let me assure you that you 'ain't seen nothing yet'. There is an even worse time - hartals. But more about that when one comes and I have the time to blog it.