Friday, March 14, 2014

Mumbai Local - The lifeline of the City

So after Dungarpur, Kota, Ahmedabad & Hyderabad cities, my life landed me to 'Mumbai'..and certainly I am going to stay here for longer than any other places I have stayed at. Often, when talked about Mumbai, trains are one of those obvious topics which come in conversations and people always say that not every outsider can get accustomed to the local trains in the city.

So, just out of interest, rather than the usual buses, I decided to take train on my way from home to Bhandup to Andheri. I was bored of sleeping in buses and I wanted to give myself an assurance that even this is something which I can do – what if I save some minutes or let's say just to counter argue my hubbie when he says that “you may not be able to do it”!

So an overview of my journey is like this - I have to first reach the Bhandup station from my apartment, take a train and reach Dadar station..change my train and take Andheri local…reach the station and take a bus from the station to my Office!! Ufffff…so that’s the shortest description I could jot comes the longer one which took place yesterday –

My husband always says that it's just a 10 minutes walk up to the station from our home, so I thought let me save a few bucks, take a morning walk and at the same time verify if his watch is right ;) So as I started, it was all very okay in the beginning...but suddenly I hear a bus driver honking at me...I was on the left side of the road, totally left..then what was it that I was doing wrong?? Any guesses??? can't!! Actually I was walking "slowly" Oh read it correct! I noticed people around me, they were all seeming to be in hurry..walking as if trying to catch up on something..none of these people made me feel that it was early in the morning - it was for me at least :P ! So I started to walk briskly, unable to though catch up with a few around me - be it ladies or gents or even elders..!! I reached the station somehow and punched my tickets - luckily no queue there!! There was a fast train supposed to arrive in a few minutes and as instructed to me I stood where all the ladies were standing, to be able to get into the ladies special compartment. Oh wait, btw how did I know that there was a train - so all Mumbaikars who have a smartphone and travel via trains/buses will definitely have an app installed in there mobiles - "m-indicator". Thanks to the developers, otherwise it would have taken me another 10 months to remember the timings or to be able to read those almost-never-working notice boards, indicating train schedules and timings..understanding the expected platform pattern itself is gonna take a while..A few days back, I kept on looking for platform number 12, while it was the count of DABBAs attached in a train "FACEPALM" moment!

Anyways so the train is approaching and slowly I am being flanked by women around me..Everybody is looking at the train - that's it! So not Womania type..perhaps Mumbai Womania type ;)! As soon as the train stopped, as instructed again I had kept my bag in the front and started to try to get in...I can never get the perfect words to describe it but I was laughing...yea again right...I was laughing... All literate, beautiful and elegant women out there turned into bullies and all they wanted to do was to grab a place to keep their pretty-feet, on the rim of that train compartment, so in the next step they can pull their bodies with all the power they have, leaving everyone behind and get in! Ohhh...myyyy...Goooodddddd!!!! For all the "Friends" sitcom fans, thus "Jenus" familiars out there, believe me it was exactly like so - the reaction...followed by HA HA HA!! :D And yeah, I was one of them, I made my way in but this wasn't it! I made a huge mistake, I was still standing close to the door. My falling breathing capacity was the proof that there was no room inside to even attempt to move inside but I was against the local train lawww...The woman close to me, asked "Where do you want to get down?" I said - "Dadar" and here she was, red faced, with a rejection in her eyes, pushing her eyebrows closer she shouted - "Get out of my way, I have to get down next..blahh..blahh...pata nahi kaha se aa jate hai..blahh..blahh ctnd." She was really cursing me :(  I moved in, somehow putting my steps on someone's leg or bag or duppatta...grabbing my bag tightly and checking for my wallet every now and then..Wait, there is more..On the next stop a lady sitting right next to me stood up to get down and I dared to take that seat..How could I make another mistake in this much short span of time and break the LAW again!! Suddenly a woman nearby shouted at me and said "This is my place..I had told her already, get up from there!!" I was baffled, I chose to not argue on this and stood up. Although this was enough of an experience already in this somewhat 20 minutes' journey...a similar incident took place. This time, I preemptively stood up saying "Please, don't shout..I am getting up!!" Finally the destination came, I was thinking about what actually happened - actually smirking! But but wait, so did I get down on my own?? Oh come on, nooo ways! I was pushed down and up at the same time from different directions and different set of womanias...This time even I was part of the downward side of the group and with all the calories I had saved from last night's meal (this inspires me to take breakfast everyday..:P ) I successfully jumped out and was moving..moving with the crowd..I wasn't aware of the platform from where I was supposed to take another train so I checked with a couple of people and followed the crowd..The stair climbing part was again challenging and thankfully I managed to do it! The latter part of the journey was smoother and I reached my office all sweating and feeling heroic at the same time..Yay! B-)

I narrated this incident to a few of my colleagues at office and I felt that I should blog about it..So I am doing it now! :)

The return journey was eventful too but this time I was rather prepared..One thing which strangely I'd never noticed earlier and the Mumbai Local experience made me notice is that even "Women feel hungry - for food of course :P" Ya, I had never seen women eating like the women in the train were eating, before, so man-ly it was!! Surely they were all very tired but aren't most of the women are seen as representing the opinion that one should eat only home food and for that matter not even eating in places like train..?? My Mom does..given it is not FREE ka Food ;) and it was a cultural shock for me..But it made me happy somehow..So why should I not have it..I ate too...Mausi ki Bhel Puri!!

That was all about the day, and perhaps I will always laugh, thinking about it..and probably no more local trains for me..My bus takes the same amount of time and I can even doze off there..;) You win Darling :D

Hail Mumbaikars! _/\_