Travelling in Mumbai Local Train

Posted: December 18, 2013 in NaBloPoMo

My first flat was at Bhayander and then I shifted to Mira Road, a suburb of Mumbai. Mira Road got all the facilities of Metro city, have good numbers of populations and all other required facilities. Reliance provides the electricity along with Tata Power and all the roads, drains etc. are maintained by well-organized municipality. The only problem in this suburb is local train. Initially when I shifted here, the main problem I found was only travelling by train as there is no terminal station here like Bhayander. From Bhayander there are some trains that starts but they get packed there in Bhayander only and for Mira road people, except leaving one after another with a hope that the next train will be a little bit empty to accommodate myself, there is no other option at all as by BEST buses also, it takes almost one hour to reach Andheri and it’s not that buses run empty. They are also fully crowded. Ther are another options also like taking an auto or getting in to a cab but these are not cheap and so cant be afforded on daily basis if there is no fixed sharing partner. So for me, the only option left was getting a train from Mira Road station and reach andheri at or before 9am. For that, I have to get in to a train not later than 08:30am. Now the calculation is I need to catch a train in such a way so that I can reach Andheri atleast by 9am or else I will be late for my office.

Ok, now come to the 2nd part as now we have reached a point where the timing has been fixed based on the destination.

While staying at Bhayander during my initial days in Mumbai, I picked up a train, I meant to say, I found one train suitable for my travel, the train was at 08:25am from Bhayander. Let’s get a complete details of the train at forst, then I can give details of my travelling. The train is a fast train from Church Gate to Bhayander and so after Andheri, it haults at Dahisar and Mira Road. People who are frustrated for leaving train one after another, they reach dahisar station by 7:45 to get that train to travel just opposite to their direction, the same thing happens with Mira Road people also. People reach platform by 07:50am to get that train and get a proper position to stand at doorside, or to get window side seat or some othe places inside the train. People happily ignores to have breakfast or any other important jobs to get that train as that’s the last train from Bhayander where people can get into or else the trains coming from Virar become jampacked even before reaching Bhayander. At Bhayander, the tiny fillers are also get packed by some lucky traveller and for mira road people, except seeing one after another crowded trains, no options left. I used to reach Bhayander Platform by 08:15am to get a place in that train which departs from the same at 08:25am. Slowly people started knowing me as daily passenger and then I also started communicating with people as slowly I also came to know that without being in a group, there is no hope to get into a train during office hours. People started calling me ‘Babumoshai’ and I happily started enjoying that and as a result, within a few months, I became their team member. A few guys of my age became my travel partner and our routine became as follows,

  1. Wait for the train to come
  2. Let other passengers get inside and wait infront of the gate for all other members to come
  3. When everyone reach the gate, then stand in such a way so that outside people think that we are trying hard to go inside but all our try is going in to vain
  4. Some strong person and well experienced in forcing people to go inside will come in rescue of all other members and make a space to stand just at the gate.
  5. Those who will stand at the gate, will fold their handkerchiefs to cover their hair for two reasons,
    1. To keep the hair cleans and free from the dust
    2. May be to get a thrill of acting like super hero.

When I shifted to Mira Road, this was one of my concern as I was afraid of getting into a train from Mira Road and I was also not ready to start more early in the morning to get the return train to reach Bhayander like all other frustrated people do. I thought of using my old relationship to work. I told my friends that they must keep some space for me so that I can get the train from Mira road and they promised me to do so but after a few days the thought came in their mind that if some people can get the return train, then why royal treatment for me? They started opposing and I also felt bad, thinking they are right. They can miss morning woods in tension but they don’t miss the train. I also started travelling to Bhayander and get the train from there and then waiting for another 15mins to start finally for my office.

Mumbai train don’t get late for any god forsaken reason if there is no serious problem like derailing of train, major power failure etc. Mumbai trains don’t wait for anyone, you come in time, you will be reaching your destination in time, but the pressure of getting into a train, the problem of missing a desired train and hopelessly waiting for one another packed train to come have forced people to do something like, now people travel in group. They travel in group and keep in touch with everyone even while not travelling also through some social networking sites. They invite other group members in their own family functions. They distribute sweets if their son or daughter pass an exam or get married. They go to some ill group members home and buy horlics. A religion takes time to settle, a political party needs a common understanding to grow up but a local Mumbai train can unite a lot people and make them feel like being in friends. It’s a short term relationship on daily basis and a long term relationship on necessity basis.

Even if I buy a car, still I will miss the travelling by train. So many times I got wounded in train, got scratch mark in hand, legs, spoiled a new dress but still I love it, because I got a lot new friends in my life and moreover, I got to see some new sides of our struggling life.

18th December, 2013

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