Backbone of Mumbai – Local Trains

One of my blogs was about Comfort Zone and how coming out of it will make achieve goals, right?

Mumbaikars are known workaholics. Needles to say, many of us travel a lot to reach our destinations.

Talking of that, we’d do “Ubering” or take an OLA or to some extent the ‘kaali-peelis’, buses and rickshaws. Thinking that’d be faster?

If I were to ask you a question, which is the fastest option to travel locally within Mumbai?

Local trains of Mumbai?

Ever thought about the people who travel in the Mumbai local trains daily?

Want to come out of your comfort zone and have some adventure?

Go travel in the Mumbai local.

If the local trains had some endorsement song, it’d be ‘Fevicol Se‘ 😛

Pushing, Shoving, Twisting and Turning.

This is Mumbai Local Trains.

It is the lifeline of Mumbai. They link every nook and corner and are always jam packed with busy Mumbaikars in a frenzy to reach their destination. I feel that to get into the local trains of Mumbai you require skills, technique and persistence.

And no wonder people take up the local trains to commute. It is on par with the Japanese trains in terms of time. One person with me was travelling to Ghatkopar and over the phone he was telling someone that he’d reach in 15 minutes and exactly after 15 minutes, he’s at Ghatkopar. Much wow right ?

According to a Mumbaikar, if you have not traveled in a mumbai local, you have not visited mumbai, you have not lived, you don’t have any adventure spirit.

Sounds cool?

The whole network carries around 6.1 million commuters on a daily basis

 

I hardly used to travel in local trains. Till my junior college days got over, I had travelled only 3 times in a Mumbai local. And believe me, my friends hated me for that. They always used to call me ‘Bade log‘ (Big People in Hindi)

But hey! Things have changed! I do travel in local trains now frequently. And one thing I’d like to say to the people who commute daily via a Mumbai local : You deserve a salute!

 

What is Mumbai local?

The sea of people, the need to travel, the situation of chaos, time running out of situations, cheap, comfortable transport and randomness is what Mumbai local trains are all about.

Each railway station is a small town in itself, shops, people, stained walls and floor.

Like the stations are an old reflection of the deteoriating phase of life, where hibernation is the best possible state of life. The stations are nothing but structures made of sand and stone. Knee deep tracks, waste, spent life and uncontrolled emotion that crept itself beyond reason and hope.

Let me tell you my experience in a Mumbai local :

I went in the second class compartment when I travelled first. Oh boy, that whole compartment was the textbook of Unity in Diversity of Mumbai. Different types of people with one thing in common, the frenzy on their face.

I was clueless about what was happening around me. One person was talking sweetly over the phone where the other one was yelling over the phone, one person is grooving to some song and someone else is laughing to his hearts content watching a video.

Someone came upto me asked whether he could sit on my seat. Who knew that would be the biggest mistake of my life?

I got crumpled standing in that crowd and out of the blue someone will start yelling or fighting and I’d be like : Oh. Whattay wow!

Out in random, someone will start singing thinking they’re the next Arijit Singh and one grumpy man will tell him to “Shut up” and a fight will erupt there.

Mumbai local is just like Dragon Ball Super. Cannot be predicted at all!

 

After all this I reach my destination. But the drill is not over yet. The main thing is to get out of the crowded train. It was no less than a Survival of the Fittest task. I somehow came out and I stood there looking at the train. I cannot explain what I felt at that time. It feels good that you did something out of your comfort zone also at the same time you feel how did I pull out this miraculous stunt?

I’ll just share some things which I’ve learnt while traveling in a local :

⁃ The bone-crushing load of humans in the first class and the second-class compartment is the same during peak hours – the difference is just the quality of seats or deodorants of people who you scratch with.

⁃ You must give some reason (not if someone is very elder to you) if someone asks you for your seat because if you leave all you’d have to do is to stand in one place and our Mumbaikars will do the rest, gently push you with respect and verbal love that you just can’t resist.

⁃ It is okay to stuff your earphones in your ears and go to sleep as soon as you get a seat. If you fall asleep, you will be awakened by a fellow passenger only at the last stop of the train.

Sounds too much out of your comfort?

I know people who travel through all this daily.

When people say “Life in Mumbai”, bubbling and buzzing all day and night, is quite unimaginable without the local trains in the metropolis.

They’re the veins of this city

 

Try it out once. Despite the entire struggle get in and out, the memory will remain etched in your mind forever. You’ll surely love this flipside of Aamchi Mumbai!

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