Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mumbai Local

Statutory warning: The piece of writing may not inspire non-mumbaities!!!

Accepted my blogs are becoming too Mumbai-centric now, but the fact that I had just been to aammchi Mumbai should make you guys excuse me for a while. The city has an intoxicating air and an effect so strong that it will take me a while before I start writing about the other roller-coaster rides of my life.
It’s hard to imagine Mumbai without one thing- the local trains. Those who are from Mumbai will agree more on this than anyone else. On an average -a typical Mumbaite travels one hour (at least) everyday in the locals and believe me this monotonous journeys can rarely ever bore you. I remember the time when I used to catch the fast local from Dadar , every day after college around 1800 hrs .
This time when I went to Mumbai, I couldn’t help get the taste of the local train- trek again. Things haven’t changed much. The fast local ( the ladies compartment) is packed with a hodgepodge of women – some have just finished their work-shift at the call centre and occupying the standing area near the door with their expensive i-pods and are decked up for another party .Then there are the gold-laden women wearing blank expressions and with at least 4 kids each doing gymnastics around their bodies , (I think they are returning from some wedding- the only theme around which their lives is crafted) .
The office-going middle-aged ones are who sit down on the floor, cutting bhindi with their knives with the expertise of a chef and they are in a group chatting about their bosses/husbands/neighbours etc.. .you name it and they have an opinion to share! Then there is the juvenile gang of girls who seem to have just joined college, with an awkward sense of dressing as they are now at the experimentation stage after shedding their grey and boring school uniforms. The spark in their eyes while they talk about their new-founded “love of life” is worth a look. There is one more species, the ladies selling bhel-puri , and wada pav – I call them the plucky of all. Their business sense, selling skills and customer service is something to learn from.
The crowd is mind-boggling, and the cat-fights for the seats even more so. Wish I was an artist to capture each colour on to the canvas….but all I can do is write about it.:).
As many stories as the people…To experience the city of Mumbai… travel in its local trains - get a glimpse of the mélange of people here and their lives…and believe me you will never get bored …Its The city that never sleeps and you miss out a lot if you sleep a wink!!

13 comments:

Sarang said...

Too bad u've restricted yourself to the ladies' compartment. A few add-ons from the other compartments:
1. There are the couples...the possessive guy desperately trying to protect his beloved from the rest of the junta, face-to-face, and hands glued to the steel-rest behind her shoulders.
2. The musical beggars...extremely talented lot...can play the dholak and sing simultaneously.
3. (only after 10 PM) Middle-aged men, hopelessly drunk, sprawled on the floor right in front of the entrance.
4. Mumbai locals also offer you the best exercise ever...all you have to do is stick to the gate opposite to the one you're supposed to get off, in peak hours.

pooja said...

yes sarang point taken! i agree i cud have added the others ..esp. point no. 2 ,bt i din want 2 mix up more men here !!
(it was something i actually wrote while travelling so missed out on the imagination part ,may be!)

ritu said...

very well written.
i felt as if i really boarded the local train.
missing mumbai meri jaan

Arpita said...

" well written..it connects wid we mumbaities widout a doubt"!!
and connects with meeeeeee trulyyyyyyy...;-)))))))))

Nithya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nithya said...

beautifully descriptive!!! i think this is the best of the lot. i mentally imagined myself on the train.
no doubt if u want to see mumbai in a glimpse local train is the place. write more of this stuff,i am loving it. no probs if it is abt mumbai. ;)

pooja said...

muaahhh..thank u :P

R3d3MpTioN said...

hmm... intrstn... though I would not know much about the ladies compartment I think I agree to most of the points that sarang made..

Though the bhajan mandli is something else a early morning train catcher would be more more acquainted with, and they mostly board the last compartment which is virtually booked for them.. they are really really good .. and if ur so besotted by the mumbai locals, theyr definately worth a dekko..

Also a regular at the trains are the card players who have their seats booked for years and god help the person who tries to either argue about the claim to the seat or the person who tries to disrupt their game..

btw.. am a first timer to ur blog .. nicely written ..will deifnitely visit again..

pooja said...

thank u r3d3mption..! sure do visit again:)

R3d3MpTioN said...

well .. I sure will.. drop by at my blog sometime too.. [:P]

shruti said...

eloquent, flamboyant, beautiful... if not on canvas, in words u definitely hv captured/described everything so vividly... good job!! :)

Anshul said...

even if u r nt an artist ur writing painted the scene b4 my eyes... a very beautiful piece of writing... nice blog..

pooja said...

thank u shruti and anshul :)