May 8, 2009

"Mumbai Local"

I run down the building stairs,
hop into the rickshaw -
the beginning of my day!

The roads pretty empty,
The pervasive 'Michael Schumachers' - race through,....
screeeech.... finally halts at the station.

I jump out,the 'kangaroo' active -
take two stairs - reach the bridge.
"Tock - tock - tock"
The sound of my coming,
Thanks to my heels.

"Excuse -me please", "Side - Side - Side"
"Damn, can't you see where you are going?"
"What the heck, you stamped on my feet" ---
Amidst these verbal clutter,
I squeeze my way out of the rat-hole
and manage to surface on the platform..

ANNOUNCEMENT ---"The train arriving on platform No. 3 is slow local for CST".
Everyone gets geared up to enter the battlefield -
yes, it is a war of who manages to make a furrow through
and find a place to park one's bum -----
Bags fastened around the shoulders,
Saree 'pallus' shoved,
Precariously hanging 'dupattas' hog-tied,
The long tresses rolled up into what resembles a "cock's tail"--- e
everyone takes their position...

There the train arrives - in 10 seconds,
there is a massive exodus from the train,
and our "warriors" bundling up into the train.

The train chugs out of the platform.
"Aat ja (Get inside)", "Madhech kashala ubhi aahe (why are you standing in the way)",
"Majhi saadi soda, Majhi purse soda" (leave my saree, leave my purse),
"Vedich aahe" (you are nuts),
"pressure aa raha hai", (I'm not sure which pressure, they imply, anyways)
pechche se dhakka aa raha hai!!!!
Abuses flying from one section of the compartment to the other...

Suddenly, someone's screaming -
"mere baal", "majhi kes soda" (Leave my hair)
Some fellow-commuter, failing to find support to hold her weight,
is doing a 'Tarzan - Act' - उन्फोर्तुनातेलीhanging on to some poor soul's plaited tresses.

Bursts of laughter lighten the tension,
some empathize with the 'lady in pain'.

From some corner of the compartment,
songs pouring out, seasoned with beats & claps,
The marred - by - fate 'Lata Mangeshkars' and 'Sunidhi Chauhans' emerge -
their talent at display.

To accompany them,
there is the "Marathi - Bhajan" band doing their thing with dholaks and bajas.

Your mind can switch between the Bollywood and the Spiritual
Its an "a la carte menu", free of cost - any takers?

Already past 3-4 stations,
still trying to pave my way inside - manage to push through all sizes of arses -
getting a "not-so-needed" massage..

From a mile away,attempts begin at reserving a seat -
"tumhi kothe utarnar" (where would you be getting down)?
Seat dya ho mala (Give me the seat, ok).
After this "Kaun Banega Seatpathy"
the lucky ones - win the much coveted seat.(It's worse than standing for the elections)

Commuters, comfortably ensconced in their seats -
the sleep-deprived or the "perennially struck by anaesthesia" lot"
awaiting their prince-charming" (their respective stations)

You look down - (open-mouthed sleepers)
right there, you can see the pit of one's mouth and count all their 32.

Some comfortably stretched on someone else's shoulders --
while they sleep like a baby,
the discomforted ones - swear under their breaths.

And then others, sway in every possible direction --
guided by their unperturbed sleep.
The gravitational forces are its peak in their case, I guess

Then there is an ongoing parade which happens --
people from diverse demographics,
strutting their wares - fruits, vegetables, dresses, clips, bangles, cosmetics etc etc..
oscillating from one end of the compartment to the other..

You also get a peek into the lives of the not-so fortunate ones --
Small innocent children - begging, sweeping inside the train,
craving for a few morsels of food.

The oldies rigged by the fate of life,
struggling to live the last few breaths of life..

It's a few stops from my destination -
all queue up at the exit.
Well getting off the train is not a concern --
the crowd acts as an escalator,
just stand,they will do the needful...

P.S: Can't think of anything today, too pooped out. Hence, cross posting a write up from my blog.Hope you like it. I guess buddies from Mumbai will be able to relate to this post better..


  1. heard of mumbai local before n nw read ds so vry interesting review.. Wl sure travel in it if i evr come 2 mumbai !

  2. yu write superkewl..
    *leave my saree*

  3. lol..i know the experience of mumbai trains i kinda liked traveling by them

  4. great read...
    Love the way u described everything from streets to various kinda people in the train..
    Havent travelled by it so far...

  5. wow! loved it! apt description of at goes on in da mumbai locals! brilliant! :)

  6. @ Prats,
    You should sure try the Mumbai locals. It is hmm.. fun :)

    @ Freelancer,
    Yes, for me traveling is a daily affair, and it gets too hectic at times, but nevertheless fun it is

    @ Arun,
    This was from a ladies compartment perspective, no idea what is it like in the gents :D

    @ Mav,
    Thanks buddy. I guess you would be able to describe the experience in the gents??

  7. if i come to mumbai, i will try! :D


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