Kerala wanted to transfer a bus, but a woman's phone call about 'chanku' saved the day

RSC 140 is back in the Erattupetta bus depot and has now been renamed Chanku (heart) bus, and has big red hearts emblazoned on its front and back.
Kerala wanted to transfer a bus, but a woman's phone call about 'chanku' saved the day
Kerala wanted to transfer a bus, but a woman's phone call about 'chanku' saved the day
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"Why did you take away our bus, sir? It is our chanku (heart). We cannot bear this separation. Please bring our bus back soon." 

Johny CT, Inspector at Kerala State Road Transport Corporation depot in Aluva, could not quite believe what he was hearing over the phone – a young woman had called him up and said that she and other passengers could not bear the pain of being separated from their regular bus.

The bus, RSC 140, that had been plying in Erattupetta-Kottayam-Kattappana route for the past four years, was shifted to the Aluva depot earlier in April. Although another bus was allotted to the depot, the woman, a degree student from Kottayam district, said that regulars of the bus couldn’t come to terms with this “unbearable loss”.

Days after this telephonic conversation went viral on social media, KSRTC MD Tomin Thachankary issued an order shifting the bus back to the Erattupetta depot. RSC 140 now has a new name – 'Chanku', which in local slang means 'heart' and is back in the depot, starting from Friday.

Plus, the bus now has a big red heart with the word Chanku painted inside it on its front and back.

KSRTC Chief Traffic Manager Anil Kumar took to Facebook to announce that RSC 140 will from hereon be called the 'Chanku' bus. 

The Chanku bus

A regular passenger of the bus, the woman tells the Aluva inspector, "Are there no other buses in Aluva, sir, that you have taken our bus? We love RSC 140 too much and we cannot bear the pain of it being taken away from us!” 

"Why do you have so much love for a bus?" Inspector Johny asks in the conversation, clearly puzzled. 

To this, the woman says that even if the government wanted to transfer the bus conductor or its driver, it was fine by the passengers. "But not RSC 140. It is our chanku. Don't tell me anything, we need it back," she says. 

While Inspector Johny could not solve the woman's problem, he then suggests that she and the other passengers file a petition with the KSRTC MD. 

And sure enough, a few days later a letter from Tomin arrived, congratulating him for patiently listening to the woman’s complaint, and informing him the bus would be brought back to the depot.

The bus conductor, who goes by the name of Sameer Erattupetta on Facebook, had also written about his bond with RSC 140 on the social media website earlier in April.

"This bus was the place where so many people shared their joys and sorrows, the bus that people waited patiently for. From now on, all those people will remain with the new bus. But RSC 140 is an emotion that is unparalleled. RSC 140, you continue your trip with new passengers...let's hope to meet soon again," Sameer had then written.

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