Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day of Life in Mumbai - 2

Words: 729
Reading time : little above 3 mins

One fine evening, we were lucky enough to get a chance to return home early from a training session but even we didnt knew what was in store ahead..

I was with one of my colleagues, who also stays at Borivali, the last stop on the suburban local route for most of the trains. We found ourselves waiting for a train at Matunga, the station next to Dadar while coming from Churchgate. The time, described by many people as the 'peak time', but frankly speaking, I never find any difference in the crowd levels at any time of the day, maybe its a bit more crowded at peak times. One of the slow trains ( here slow does not refer to the speed but rather to the train which stops at every station) arrived in quickly at the station and was fairly less crowded so to enable us to at least find an easy entry (the most difficult part of traveling in local trains). We were always wanting to catch a fast train so as to enable us reaching our destinations faster and to the effect of which we decided to get down at Bandra - the next junction where a fast train would stop.

Few men were struggling to enter the gents compartment in the fast train to Borivali standing at the Bandra station but finally decided to vouch their hopes of catching the next train thus staring the 'indicators' for the next train time. Observing this from the overhead footbridge, we were highly regretting our decision to get off the slow train in anticipation to catch a fast train. The next strategy was to take a slow train again as there were no hopes of the crowd waiting for a fast train depleting , which made us to go to the slow train platform. But as bad luck was at its best, we found ourselves waiting for a train with horde of other people too. There were absolutely no chance of catching a train and we thought of not prioritizing the travel so as to risk our lives.

When in a race, the car runs out of fuel, it ends up in the pits to fill more fuel to end the race and thats what literally was happening in our case. The next step was to take a mere crowded train to Andheri, 3 stops ahead and thus inching us more closer to our targets. Andheri falls exactly the 5th station from Borivali and is the next junction for fast trains to stop. But getting down at Andheri to catch is not a smart deal, as Borivali fast trains generally are the same beyond this stop. i.e. stopping at all stations.

Now if I again say that we got down at Andheri to see the same situation of the trains going to Borivali I would be pretty much redundant. But thats what the situation was...
One stroke of luck and some rush of energy accumulated from the day's gained calories, and not to mention the sacrifice of our neatly ironed shirts which were pretty much in shape even in the evening, helped us barge into a train. I was struggling with my bag encapsulated between me and others in the compartment, but getting the bag out of way was not without some irritation from the other co-travellers. A person wanted to get down at a upcoming station and was moving towards the door, now one of the other person was irritated and started blaming the person for pushing him. The travel is incomplete without encountering at least one or two such war of words sessions between people trying to prove their point in these over crowded trains.

Dodging hands moving to catch hold of the overhead support bars is another valiant task in a local train. You actually never know which hand from the hundreds around might hit you.

Borivali station was just 10 mins and the train had almost emptied almost 3/4 its load on the second last station, Kandivali with the remaining people just trying to overcome the oxygen shortages their lungs were facing for about an hour, and thinking that one more day of travel in the local trains has come to an end..
Me standing at the door, recollect the memoirs of the journey to home creating ripples of many thoughts....

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Thursday, May 01, 2008


"Alibaug was more of a being together with friends rather than a more relaxing trip" - Amit, Colleague

"I had never experienced so many emotions in a such a short span, that when we started the trip there was excitement and happy ness, but when it ended I felt as if something close to my heart was ending" - Jaypreet, Colleague

Total Words: 537 words
Estimated reading time: 2 mins 14 secs

Alibaug, situated around 60-70 miles from Mumbai, is now becoming a major residential hub for the people of Mumbai more than a tourist spot. The district, Alibaug, is a collection of about 60 small villages seems to be attracting people from Mumbai for weekend relaxation trips to investments in farmhouses. The land prices, till now, has helped many people grab up places in Alibaug. Also real estate developers seem to be keen on building hamlets/farmhouses. Some developers are also expected to be providing an exclusive yatch service to Mumbai, since mumbai is just 20-25 mins away by sea route..
With the excitement of going with the help of waterways, we one day decided to end up in Alibaug, for a weekend trip for nothing more than some time away from city life.. So we all decided to meet up at Gateway in Mumbai one morning to make it convenient for us to take a ferry to Alibaug. We all boarded the ferry, which costs you around 60 INR for a 60 minute ride to Mandhwa jetty. The ferry takes you through the numerous ships anchored around the Mumbai sea face, some of them being naval ships. A little bit into the sea and the skyline of Mumbai is a mesmerizing scene, which makes you thank yourself for boarding a ferry to Alibaug.
Alibaug's main village lies another 30 mins ride by road, after the ferry drops you at the Mandhwa jetty. The ferry providers deploy their own buses to enable you to cover this road distance. After reaching Alibaug, the main task was to look for an accommodation, which we havent done as the plan was instantaneous and we had hardly any time to do our bookings. We found a pretty decent resort "Ravi Kiran" which was situated near to the main chowk in the town.

The same evening saw us leaving for a nearby beach, it was supposed to one of the better ones in Alibaug. To our surprise, the water were too dirty, as compared to the waters at Diveagar... maybe because of the proximity to Mumbai.. So instead we had some plans of playing beach cricket. We snapped the gear required on hire from the adjacent shops and had our game started in no time. In an hours time all were tired and ready to chomp on bhajji's and some hot tea. The dinner back at the hotel, saw many cuisines being ordered in a haphazard manner, which is many times a fact when we all find ourselves together for dinner in some restaurant. One side of the table was indulged in savoring the food, but the other side was discussing "horror" stories.
Back at the hotel, all gathered in one room for gossips and timepass. How time passed by in that whole night, in which hardly anyone slept would take me another blog to describe..!!
The next morning, we had to pack our bags to get going back to our homes, back in Mumbai. The return journey was a more thrilling one as we experienced a high tide on our way back. A ride on a ferry during a high tide cannot be explained in words.. The ride was the most enjoyable for some whereas some where just wishing to be back on shore at the earliest..

To Get there:
  • By Waterways
    • Ferry - INR 60 to Mandhwa jetty and bus at no extra cost upto Alibaug
      • Expected Travel time :80 - 90 mins
    • Catamaran
      • Air Contd - INR 110
      • Non AC - INR 60 - 80
      • Expected Travel time : 50-60 mins
By Road
  • State transport
  • Private buses plying on the route
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