Mumbai’s local trains are popularly known as the lifeline of the financial capital of India.Carrying more than 6.1 million passengers daily, the local train is the fastest mode of transport available to you. It requires skill, technique and persistence to get in and out of a Mumbai local train.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.
Pushing, Shoving, Twisting and Turning
While surfing the net, I found a good blog on mumbai local trains.The blogger very well explained his experience of travelling in a Mumbai Local Train.I am just forwarding his experience to you and look forward for your incredible experience with mumbai local trains.
”The sea of people, the need to travel, the situation of chaos, time running out situations, cheap, comfortable transport and randomness is what Mumbai Local Trains are all about. Stations are like small towns in themselves, shops, people, sipt stained walls and floor, dirt kissed surroundings, often stamped by flesh and skin, rarely by footwear. The stations are old reflecting the deteriorating phase of life, where hibernation is the best possible state of life.
Over used to the core, neglected out of love and the un-willingness to pay taxes, Mumbai train stations are anything but structures made of sand and stone. Knee deep tracks, stink of blood, waste, spent life and un controlled emotion that crept itselft beyond reason and hope.
People, the beauty and the beast of Mumbai are everywhere, red, blue and green rule anyday, speak of anything they think of, women, the most common topic of discussion, music, be how they de-crypt it, Women have a seperate compartment to avoid the hassles of men, they all wait patiently at the platform like all of us, but only watching what other women are wearing, be it clothes, be it jewellery or tops, they would see them, with all the attention they can, remember them till they have a notion about it and then jump to the next thing that catches their curiosity. With magazines wrapped with utmost care, bags protected with the wrath of their unknown thought process, they wait patiently for the train.
The air in the station is warm, filled with dust, moving always, irritating, fart mixed, evaporated sweat, odour and happiness. Feeds the people with life and things they have to think and go through, Always moving as different trains push them away with neglect they linger on nearby waiting for their turn the next time. Humans are very ignorant of its presence, all they do is cut it right through by walking into its face everytime. The light of the train exposes the dust particles that concealed themselves into darkness and know that its time to settle at an onther place. As the train makes its way into the station royally, people move away and take their best shot at getting into it.
The train has its own constitution for itself, along with the web-embedded compartments, where fans turn only to burn electricity and are of no other use butcut the occasional finger that heads its way. The hand rests serve little purpose, all you can do is learn to lean on to someone effectively, if not, then learn to lean onto 4 people at a time. Sometimes, if there is no place t ostand, you could somfortably stand on someone else’s feet and keep them juggling or they relly wouldnt appreciate it well. The hours termed “RUSH Hours” are the most wonderful times to travel in the local trains, you would experience a variety of life existing in the compartment, the local slang, cigarrette butt’s warmth, the pushing of the body to the no-place-zone, vying for a hand rest.
Getting into the local train is an art-in-itself, wait patiently for the people inside the compartment to rush out like the water out of a leak from a tank, gushing with all the force it could to free itself from the walls, that held it back. Getting in is equally tuff, you dont really require any effort to setp into the train, all you have to do is stand at the right place and at the right time, the energeti c Mumbaikars will do the rest, gently ( pardon the pun ) push you into the train with respect and verbal love that you just cant resist. There are times when there is no place and peole actually sense that, which is a wonderful thing in itself, and all that people would do is to cling to the entry door and look out of the world and see Tracks, dirty tracks, full of shit and puke. They enjoy the air that runs through their hair.
Women in the local train are really wonderful to look at, beautiful attire’s hug thier bodies, perfumes linger when they get down, the curious look when they see their fellow passengers, the physical work load they carry, the gentleness with which they treat everyone, respect they have for the others, trying not to make an eye contact with the males in the next compartment, their footwear always ready to slap the occasional stalker and their hand ready to smoke the occasional cigarette. they got it all, looks, attitude, arrogance, anxiousness, boldness, beauty and others. So this is how i look at the local trains, wonderful, full of amazing people who always have something to share with the fellow passenger regarding anything anytime, never empty of the filth, the stink, the memory of the last visit. Its all in there.”