A chapter from the Life of a Local Train Commuter

Local trains in Mumbai are known as the lifeline of this financial capital of India. And it couldn’t be truer. But I can’t help but notice (I’m a regular with Mumbai local, you see) that commuting in Mumbai local has now become more synonymous with fighting for your last breath than anything to do with lifeline! If you are a regular too like me then you will know exactly what I’m talking about and if you’re not well you should read on to be enlightened.

 

Mumbai local is spread across the entire city in the form of three different lines (Western, Central and Harbour) But here we are concentrating on western line and especially the busiest station of this line, Andheri. So here how it goes, since I travel in the opposite direction of the traffic (i.e. Churchgate to Virar) I comparatively feel comfortable than the ones traveling in the traffic direction (Virar to Churchgate). But we all have to get down at Andheri station which is the 2nd most crowded station of this entire city coming at 2nd place only after Dadar. And there are few who will debate that.

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So getting down at Andheri station and coming out without getting brushed, jostled, pushed, pulled, and stepped on is IMPOSSIBLE! Even if you walkout with 10 bodyguards which you won’t because a) you’re not SRK, b) if you were, you wouldn’t need to travel by Mumbai local, c) even if you were SRK and decided to travel by Mumbai local, you will face one of the above situations, d) there is no getting around it.

 

One fine day (yesterday) when I got down from the train on my way to office, I faced quite a few of those situations. But I did what people travelling in trains do, DGAF! So while I’m hurrying on trying to nudge others and find my way, I felt a tickle on my arm. Realizing that this was a new situation, I turned and there it was, a florist guy holding 2 big flower bouquets obviously out to deliver. So adding the ‘tickling’ to the Mumbai local situations I moved on.

 

Just after coming down from the Footover Bridge there is this nasty bottleneck (irritates me every freaking time) that I have to cross in order to get to the other side. While trying to find a gap for me to walk faster than the snail pace this bottleneck forces people to adopt, I saw through my shades a giant hand clad in white swinging towards me. The move seemed kinda like the one you see in Matrix movies. So yeah, reflexively my arm holding my cell, shot up and blocked it and belatedly I realized that it was just a very tall guy trying to wave at someone on my other side. Stupid stupid man! Everyone crossing that sea of people should do the waving, hugging and stopping for whatever activity only when they come out of the station and isn’t blocking people.

 

Finally, after all the nudging, ducking, blocking and hurrying, I was out of this giant station. That felt like a breath of fresh air. But no matter how suffocating, annoying, and frustrating it is to get out of the stations or entering them, one can’t avoid Mumbai locals. It’s the fastest way to commute in this city. I would choose this over the traffucked Mumbai roads any freaking day!

If you have any of your interesting experience of Mumbai locals to share please do in the comment ‘section below.

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4 thoughts on “A chapter from the Life of a Local Train Commuter

  1. Yes.
    When i visited Mumbai once, I was travelling from Dadar to Louge(a station b4 Khopoli) and as said by others and seen in movies there wasn’t too much of crowd at 7:44 A.M.
    I boarded but yes there was no seat except 2 so we adjusted in that only.
    Slowly and gradually till i reached Karjat i saw people pushing each other not to get to the seat but to make place for that fixed meeting point of everyone
    After a while i saw they made place fr each other then i realised they take some extra space just to make their friends sit
    Then they took a pack of cards and started playing and as they reached their destinations they hamdover their game to others and it happened continously till i got out of local
    I realised there’s a family outside family fr everyone and it doesn’t require any classification
    The classification is just I know you and I dont know you(but still i know you)
    This human nature touched me and that was the first memory which made place in my heart of Mumbai Trip :))

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  2. Farhat, i get down at Malad but i have my college in panvel. So i hit the busiest station in the city, hands down – – “Kurla”. When the train halts it’s like the army of 300 vs the persian army! The love of footboard travelling is what mumbaikars can’t get over. I find it most absurd. I have written a post on my first metro ride, you should check it out. It will definitely bring a smile on your face!

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