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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Kaushal said...

So now you can empathize with me better !!

Ashutosh said...

zindagi hai to raste hai
raste hai to mushkile hai
mushkile hai to hausla hai
hausla hai to jeet hai

dar se mat daro

jab bhi, jo bhi local mile (including virar fast) kood pado ;)