It’s been nearly a couple of months since I stepped out of Bombay and you know what? I have never seen a place like this! My God, the life in Mumbai(older name is Bombay) is mechanical, lightning fast and of all things not good for a guy who thrives on laziness, the time keeping in this place is second to none; so I had to adapt to that and curb the sleep and the lazy attitude. * Just shook my head frantically when I was scribbling that down * . Anyway, this is neither a description about the city nor the lifestyle of the people living in the city rather about the trains that commute to different places and are THE lifelines to the people living here and beyond.
These trains are the Mumbai sub-urban trains as many would call it. If you want to see an entire workplace , this is the one. There is this one thing that stands out in accordance to these trains and that is the fact that they are PACKED TO THE RAFTERS AND PEOPLE STILL FIND SPACE!! Dear me, I was dazed and left in awe by looking at the sheer volume of human population in each compartment, the number of people who get in and out of every stop and the time frame of stoppage at every station.
My train journeys happened on the harbor line (Mumbai is divided into various lines for reaching the various places (Western , Central and the Harbor lines)) which tends to be less of a mess and gives a me an inch of space or more to breathe than the other lines where the people go to extended extents to get onto the trains. I really struggle to explain to you, my friend about that daring lack of space. Yet the city runs, the energy? The trains feed on the energy of people day , after day, after day. There are three different compartments, one for the ladies,The first last compartment and a general compartment. Each crowded with one philosophy – accommodate more people. The feature of the trains , you might ask? The getaway speed is ridiculous! If you want to run and catch a running train that has just left the platform? Think twice before you leap.
Anyway, let me give you a glimpse of how it was with the train timings , the fight that I had with the timing every day. The monotony, joyous in its own right but never for me. There was one train at 7.13 AM , if I caught this train, I would be early to work ; so early that I would have to open the office gates. Then, there was this train , at 8.14 AM . If I took that train, I would be late! . Sigh. Well, as cringeworthy as it may sound, there was a train at 7.33 AM . Blasphemy! And there I was, cursing the train every day, from the guy who made the train work ,to the guy who sat next to me in that train. Such .. never mind. Astute train timings I should say. If it displayed that the train would arrive at this time, it is the case of the archer hitting the bulls eye when asked. Flawless in maintaining the timings. When they were flawless, you can imagine me trying to catch the train by running to the compartment, puffing and panting and occasionally missing the ONE train I was supposed to catch. Irritating but fun.
So apart from all that, these train journeys always gave me something to ponder, something to admire, something to share. Yet sometimes, the trains, the people, were reviled by the inner me. Somehow , just somehow , for many , many locals , without the train, there is a vacuum . For others like me who last stepped on the local train not so long ago? Without the train, I can only share what I have in store and that aplenty, experiences and good ones too.