Whether we travel intra-city or inter-city, do we ever think about the person who is behind the wheels and is responsible in transporting us safely to our destinations? We at TicketGoose, would like you to meet some of the unsung heroes who have been playing a pivotal part in our lives every day.
N.H. Hidayathulla Khan is no ordinary driver. The 35-year-old has had the opportunity of transporting the Indian cricket team in his bus. Khan, who has been driving for the last 10 years, is a Volvo bus driver from HKB Travels. His current responsibility is driving passengers from Bangalore to Hyderabad. With the experience of driving vehicles like Ashok Leyland, Tata, Volvo multi-axle and Mercedez Benz buses, he has travelled to Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Pondicherry, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. He dotes on his wife and two children who are based in Bangalore. He leisurely spoke to TicketGoose on his experiences so far. Excerpts.
TicketGoose: You have been driving for a decade now. Have you taken your family along in the bus you were driving?
Khan: Yes, my family travelled with me once. They were very happy with my driving skills and enjoyed the journey thoroughly. Seeing them content, I was very happy.
TicketGoose: What has been your memorable trip so far?
Khan: It has been far from memorable, it was a truly a proud moment for me. Three years ago, I had the privilege of driving the Indian cricket team from their hotel to the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. I couldn’t contain my joy when I was entrusted with the duty.
TicketGoose: How do you feel sitting behind the wheels transporting passengers to their destinations, to their loved ones and to their places of work?
Khan: I know how precious a person’s life is. Before I start my journey, I think about the passengers’ families, who will be waiting for them at the end of the journey. I also think about my family, who are dependent on me. These thoughts are my driving force and keep me going.
TicketGoose: You have been at the driver’s seat for quite some time now. What do you like about your job?
Khan: I got into driving because I love being behind the wheels. And the fact that I am solely responsible for all the passengers’ safety is what I love the most about my job. After every journey it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I was successfully able to transport all my passengers safely.
TicketGoose: What are the challenges you face in your job?
Khan: My job itself is very challenging as all the passengers’ safety is in my hands. A simple blunder can cost not only my life but also that of the passengers on board. So, the greatest challenge for me lies in avoiding accidents.
TicketGoose: If you were a passenger, given an option to travel by a train or a bus which would you prefer?
Khan: Travelling by a bus is always comfortable. I would love to sit on a bus and enjoy the luxury of being driven by another driver. Moreover, bus journey is a luxury these days because several buses have come up with modern amenities. There are even toilet facilities in buses now.
TicketGoose: Would you like to say anything to the passengers that you transport every day?
Khan: Sometimes if some passengers’ luggage is misplaced in the bus, they tend to blame the drivers. So, I would say do not blame us when your things get lost. Also, co-operate with us if your bus reaches your destination a little late because safety is our top-most priority than speed.
TicketGoose: Tell us about some interesting places you have driven to, which people are not aware of.
Khan: I love the Bangalore to Coorg route. It is so beautiful with lots of greenery and the coffee estates add to the scenic landscape. Unfortunately, passengers have to just enjoy the view from their windows. They cannot actually walk down to the coffee estates and enjoy.
TicketGoose: What according to you is your company (HKB Travels) doing for travellers’ safety and fun while on the bus?
Khan: My company’s agenda is customer satisfaction. We are always told to concentrate on punctuality and safety before anything else. We also provide water bottles and snacks for passengers in the bus.