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Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Conductors of the local buses in Kolkata nowadays say “Chole ashun, chole ashun. Sibkhali, Sibkhali”. Initially I was very confused and thought. “Like New Town, is there a newly created place in Kolkata called Sibkhali?” I thought very profoundly, “Where can I find the place on the map of Kolkata. Even I thought the place might be somewhere in Bengal. I knew there was no such place in the Eastern part of India. So I tried to make a google search but I found nothing.

Later I found that every bus conductor shouts these few words at the top of their voices when the bus stops in any stoppage. Then I came to know that they actually say “Seat Khali” meaning “Seats are empty”. So the whole phrase means “Come on up. The seats are empty. Fill them up.” So from now on any bus that has empty seats in it must be called “Sibkhali”.

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