Naya Daur at Bhopal

Director B. R. Chopra’s son Ravi Chopra has converted Naya Daur to a colour film, the Bhopali remembers with nostalgia the era when about 10,000 people from Bhopal thronged the Budhni ghat (near Bhopal) to see Dilip Kumar and Vayajayantimala shooting. This film was essentially about the struggle of a tongawallah (horse cart driver) against the motorized vehicles being launched. The hero saves the day by making a new road, helped by Vayajayantimala to the tunes of Saathi Haath Badana, on which he races his tonga to reach the destination before the motorized vehicle. The songs from the films like “Ude Jab Jab Zulfen Teri”, “Yeh desh hai veer jabano ka” and “Maang Ke Saath Tumhara” has been a legend since release in 1957.
If only Ravi Chopra had looked around, he could have found a new story for his colored “Naya Daur” in Bhopal. The quintessentially Bhopal mini buses are being replaced by all new swanky Star Buses christened the “City Bus” run by a body called the “Bhopal City Link Ltd”. The City Buses are ultra-modern buses with modern low floors, ample leg space, wide glass windows, 44 seat 2×2 theater type seating and 40 standees, anti skid Vinyl Flooring, CFL lighting uses fully computerized Electronic Ticketing Machines for issuing daily passenger tickets. The buses are soon to be connected using a GPS based system that would display the next scheduled bus timings on boards mounted at the bus stops. Competing with these state of art buses, the local mini buses first resorted to violence attacking the new city buses. That did not bother the city bus operators much, and now one can see many mini buses sporting advertisements to compete with the new city buses. In a loosing battle for space the mini buses will soon be moved out of city to the city suburbs. Unlike the “Naya Daur” the city planners have planned a new road corridor for the city buses exclusively. Bhopalis however will miss the trademark “Lo bada lo” and “Chale Chalo” of the mini bus.

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