Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Amchya Mumbaichya Local trains!

I travel by them, oh sorry, the whole of Mumbai travels by them, the life-line of the city as they call them; fast, punctual, convenient, cheap, no traffic, special compartments, no pollution, reliable, the very spirit of the city, Mumbai local!

Now mind you, traveling in a local is not a kiddy’s job; and in second class during peak hours? Sorry boss, even I would avoid; and I am somebody who has had this as a part of her daily schedule since the last 4 years or so. Even-though traveling by First class isn’t all that big a deal, every journey is special for me. It is not like bus-routes don’t join my place of residence to my daily destination; I just prefer the rail-way better. [No! I am not saying so coz my name resembles that of a train!!]

Now, just a background for non-Mumbaikars :-) .There are three basic “lines” of local railway in Mumbai, yea, one doesn’t suffice :-P These are, the King Central line, the Glam-sham Western line and the Underdog Harbour line. These have various sub-routes and slow and fast types which I shall not get into. So, to reach my college, I have to change a train from Harbour line to Central at Kurla Junction; the most deadly railway station on planet earth!

Across this background, shall narrate my every-day ordeal…

I am late to college, every single day. To reach on time, I am supposed to catch the 6:43 local and I leave home at 6:40 whatever time I get up, Thus, obviously my train is gone. So, I am supposed to catch the next local come-what-may to reach 10 minutes late; and if I miss that, I reach at 8 o'clock for the 7:25 lecture *straight face*

Papa drops me to station; the drive takes 6 minutes, so it is 6:46 already. The walk ahead is that of 5 minutes and my local is that of 6:51, just enough time. During these whole five minutes probably the scariest and craziest thoughts come to my mind! What if the train’s one minute early? What if it’s canceled today? What if the timings have changed suddenly? Etc. You get the picture?

As I enter the station, the announcement of my due train is made. My sensors turn on, but I still don’t run. I walk down the staircase, look at people coming from the opposite direction, switch on my iPod and adjust the volume for the journey, and then! I hear it, yes I do! This is it! The train entering the platform! That is the time when my legs just don’t wait for my brain to give any signals and sprint towards platform no. 3! The train just halts when I board the stairs and my mental stop-watch switches on. “10 seconds”, I tell myself, 10 seconds is the time for which the train shall be there! 10, 9, 8 , first half of the stairs done, 7, 6, 5, yay! I am on the platform, 4, 3, 2, towards the Ladies 1st class coach, 1, 0, damn it… the train’s started, -1, -2, dive, boarded! :-D

Then begins the hunt for the seat, every-day a new trick works. And then I get my 15 minutes of peace before the second more-challenging half of my journey begins, remember? I change trains..

To get off at Kurla is no-job at all! You just have to stand amongst the fellow passengers; even if you don’t wanna get off, you shall find yourself on the platform. When my train has just stopped at the station, the other central line train is about to enter the station in just about a minute. So, I have to go through the over-bridge full of people from platform no. 7 to platform no. 3 in that much time, reach the ladies compartment and also board the fully crowded - over-flowing train! I put the volume of my player on full and run for my life, through the 1000 odd people coming from all direction! The only time ever when I regret being short is this. You see, my nose just reaches the arm-pits of majority men, ahem. Well, but there is also a bright side. I am also lucky for not having considerable height, I can act jerry and run through all these people just by a little excessive use of my elbows :-D

I get off the stairs while the train is still arriving, so yea, mental stop-watch ticks on all over again. I reach, the train stops and a sea of people land on the platform! I wait patiently for people to get in, coz I am supposed to get off just after a couplea stations, so prefer to be near the doors. Train blows its horn, “move inside people!” The train takes off, “make room! I have just some toes inside!” one leg, then both in the pair board in the train, as my wahan picks up speed.

Gradually as the train leaves the station behind, the whole of me is ‘in-side’. I hang my way to Dadar as I hear some-one calling my name, “Shatabdi!” I turn; try to locate the source among the whole lotta people. I notice; there is a little clearing in the surface mass near the wall. I see a hand waving towards me, and ah! I know who it was




Express said...

oh, for the benefit of non-marathi readers..

The title is in mar-lish :-D yea, marathi + english. Means, "our mumbai's local trains" :-)

and I really hope u make some sense outta my rambling here, net not working people, pardon me for being away!

Rajesh said...

Was really good...loved the narration...me too a train traveller to college...so cud relate very much..

the way u portrayed those 5 minutes was jus too good...esp the mental stop watch stuf..loved it... but i board the train on time...my train is at 705 and coll at 830...1 hour journey...so no probs...i leisurely chat 4 a while at coll n then go 2 class...n i leave frm home at 650...dad drops me....a 3 min drive...so not as tough as urs :)

Overall...nice read...

SwAThi.... said...

Lol,It reminds me of the time i used to take the bus route to my college....The running,the pushing and elbowing... :) Although it was not as tough as urs is...

Sweet memories this post of urs brings back :)

SwAThi.... said...

Btw wy does ur coll start so early at 7.25am ??

Sach! said...

Jiggs!!!! :)
While reading th epost I was searching for some weird characherstics between the lines, but it was at the end.
Inni subah tu uthti kaise hai? Main to kabhi na jaa paon!

Alok said...

Boarding a 2nd class compartment on a harbour line train from Kurla is one of the most Brutal experiences I've been through (the Maiden concert tops my list though). \m/

Anonymous said...

Oh god, it's as bad with Delhi's bluelines buses. I get squished and squeezed from ALL sides :P

Sutta said...

People who live in other countries "have to" travel by train. They don't have any other choices. :P

BIG Omi said...

another Ruia-ite .. :)

actually this whole train thing is such an amazing experience.. especially for daily travelers .....

Leaving home at 8.07 for the local of 8.23 which arrives at 8.12.. thanks to all the train mates .. they always keep a seat reserved for me.. damn .. mumbai trains rock..


Express said...

@ Rajesh
Did you just say tht you reach before time? how d u do that???!?? plz plz, gimme ur expert tips, pretty pleasee!!!!

u ve collg at 8:30! ha!
I can easily manage 2 reach by 8 :-D


@ Swathi
oho, welcome back :-)
ask them at Ruia college! i dunno wht they get outta torturing innocent kids early in the morning. This year lectures, I lie and I am taken in...last year if I turned up at 7:26, i used 2 b thrown out..

but maybe thats why I bothered 2 go on time :-D :-D

Express said...

@ sachi
did u just say tht my blog-posts r weird? :-0

acha koi ni, yea jiggs....and me waiting 4 her rxn :-P

and main uth jati hu yaar...5 baje bhi uthne mein kuch nahi hai...ye bas ready hoke collg kon jaye!

bas last yr hai..aadha toh ho bhi gaya :-D

@ alok
brutal? nah..its fun! :-D
but maybe I say so coz I am used 2 it now :-P

comparing local train travel with maiden concert are v? aahh! joy!


Aditi ''Jiggs'' said...

ohhh mumbai local trains
well i am thinking abt writing abt them too
thanks to my yesterdays's experience n 'mumbai meri jaan'
well yesterday after the elections n everything i was hangin out with alisha, shreyas n anshul in colg 'btw i got elected' :P till abt 6 30, so had to travel back in the rush hour :(
buri halat hogaee sandwich ban gaya mera :P

n its been days iv meet u in the train i guess mera time aur bhi deer se hogaya :P

n ofclurse shatabdi express will like trains :P :P

Express said...

@ Ki
haha! but no gal, I travel in ladies compartent. and if ever I board gents, I have this security circle around me...squishing squeezing toh durr ki baat, looking and touching bhi seldom hota hai :-D

I need 2 write abt this! will come, gradually! :-D

glad gr8 deal tht u cud relate. How I wish I cud travel with my lover-boy too :-(

@ sutta
kya kare, pvt helicopter nahi dilata na hoi.

and vashi is prolly the BEST places one can live in mumbai! :x :x :x!

Express said...

@ big omi
yes they do!

and lucky u, I usually have 2 travel alone mid-way...which route?

btw, whom else d u knw 4m ruia?

P.S. Ruiate and proud! R-U-I-A! ruia ruia!!!!

Bhai with Chai said...

ladki, college at 7.25? are they or are they mad? meko bata unka pata, bhai sambhalega!
I mean.. NON-SENSE! idiots.. ullu..

My classes start at 9 or 11. I'm sure your classes end by then or else lunch break is full on! :D
I've got used to the 9 to 5 college thing..and I generally reach on time or some minutes earlier (even when it takes an hour to reach college in the morning!) :-)
*pats self on the back*

I could very well see the whole bhagam bhaag, so good job done!
It's similar to the Metro trains ka scene in the capital, but are the local trains air conditioned like the metro?

//net not working

:D *evil grin*
*mogambo laugh*

:D :P

Express said...

@ Jiggs
Oho, chupi rustam! congratsss!!!

ladies n gentlemen! presenting 2 u, LR of VPM for 2008-2009! parrddyyyyyy!!!!

6:30? sshhiitt! dadar jaaneka! and kya comment hai boss! impressed...do do new article..

ha ji, express toh hu!

Express said...

@ bhai with chai
:x :x :x
sabko itni khushi kyu ho rahi hai mere internet problems se!

acha koi ni, ho-le, khush ho-le beta; hamare bhi dinn ayenge...

and oh ohh...bhai, kisi aur ko pitwana hai, *details sending*

thanks for the compliment ladki ,

Arv said...

wow... everyday seems to be an exciting adventure for ya... take care mate.. cheers...

gunj said...

kya baat hai! no list this time! step wise bana sakti thi though :P

n dat routine of urs is scary!! i cant even imagine smething like dat here in delhi! metros are crowded fo sure but not so maddening!

BIG Omi said...


btw .. this was a superb post.. m from central railways suburb called thane.. and i work in CST town side... so its amazing relaxing journey.. bothways these are terminals ... the very routes starts from here .. so I always have a seat reserved..

these train groups have become integral part of our lives, inne?

Ashish Surana said...

God Bless You :)

and for me I never moved in buses/trains to reach my college coz i used to live in college itself :D :D !!!

I hv been to mumbai n local trains too and its glad to see that everyone uses every second of their day sooo efficiently !!!

Anonymous said...

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Visit this site and experience the new ways to find the trains and their availability

Express said...

@ arv
yea :-D very exciting indeed!
and I don't have 2 eat spicy food 2 keep awake, train travel wakes me up major!

cheers 2 u too! :-)

@ gunj
haha, nahi yaar, kitna list banau..variety is the spice of life baby :-P
and those metro things are air-conditioned! global warming! :-D

I am so used 2 them tht its entertaining now and not maddening :-P

Lifes fast in mumbai baby..aaja ;-)

Express said...

@ Big Omi
ahh! kismat! thane-CST..main terminals man...
matlab hamare half routes over-lap kartein hai..high five!

train is integral...groups? good 4 u....i ve made friends with the trees n houses on my route though :-)

and who r the other ruia bloggers re? bata nah....

@ Ashish
Hey, thanks!
and yea, iit-wale...ggrrrr

and yes we do use time efficiently..first use even the microsecond possible for extended sleep and then train toh mil hi jaati hai nah :-D

waiting 4 a train is so outta fasion :-P

Express said...

@ narain
huh? related comment but oh so vague..

wait, are u a fake?

or r u being too sweet 2 help?

but boy, why on earth would I need new trains and their availability? I already know wht train I should catch, its only 'how 2 catch' thts the problem :-P

or did u confuse local with long-distance?

arrghh, forget it..

thanks for the visit.

BIG Omi said...

@ Narain - Its a wonderful info dude.. but its really irrelevant here.. we student traveler .. generally know most of the train routes with their timings..

@ Shatabdi - * Hi5 Back*
gotto search buddy.. will let ya know..

trains are integral.. but these buddies are really awesome.. i simply leave my breakfast midway..in order to catch 8.23... u should see me running.. lappi on the back .. an apple/ 5star/ Icard (without which attendance nahi lagta)/ grabbed in one fist and other with TOI .. ekdum typical late latif.. running thru those gangways.. to reach platform no.1.
ahhhh.. its 4 min of thrill...

Sach! said...

hey Bhai thanks for reminding :)
Congo weirdo babes...for net thing...
hum khush hue!!!

Anonymous said...

Lover boy and I are usually staring at each other from over the heads of people! :P

Scribblers Inc said...

isnt it intresting that you are named Shatabdi and trains seem to be so much a part of you life?funny i say...great writeup!

Scribblers Inc.

Express said...

@ Big omi
post kar lo yaar :P, everyday schedule pe...well, my vishesh tippani..
1. breakfast pura kiya karo yaar..thats y i miss the train :-P
2. 5 star suba subah? i dunno wht makes u chocolate crazy ppl do tht! peth mein keede ho jayenge!! neway, main toh pu-re dinn mein bhi ek pura 5 star na kha pau..don eat chocolate u see :-)
3. kismat toh dekho yaar...lecture mein mere liye seat hoti hai...train mein? not yet..n 1st class ladies ki bitches ho-ne dengi kya...

neway...good 4 ya!

@ sachi
tum log mere sexy internet connection n 24x7 connectivity se jalte ho!!!

congo weirdo babes, LOL!!!!!


Express said...

@ Ki
oohhhh....i see...well if i try n extrapolate the situation 4 me..i am pretty sure it shall b complicated coz..

1. he wudn't b able 2 see me!! mesa jerry :-D
2. i wud just walk out..arrghh crowded buses!
3. 1st stop se seat kyu nahi lete :-P

neway...kismat toh dekho yaar...
*am happy*

@ Scribbler's Inc
haha! yea..
absolutely proud of my name.

and isn't it common among bengalies? eikhane aami bolte thaki, keu bissas-e kore na! :x

thanks :-)

Anindita said...

:D :D

Kurla??!! You are one brave girl! ;)

Express said...

@ Anindita
yes :-P
u travel by trains?

wht route?

Anurag said...

dat's why I prefer bus anyday....even if it comes half an hour late :P btw the Harbour line rocks....

Suggestion:Catch a Vashi Bound cst...Seat mil jayegaa :P..Err however I don't know the timings...Wrong advice I guess :D

Anindita said...

Not much! :D I like my starting bus! :D :D :D

Trains are normally welcome on a rainy day! ;)

Express said...

@ Anurag
Haha! seat ka koi problem hi nahi hai beta. And central line mein seat expect karna is stretching it a bit too far :-P

and glad u knw this peice of info, no train in my timing, but if i go a lil later, thats exactly the trick :-)

bus? oh.
good on ya.

@ Anindita
hmm...for me it would be a complete waste of time re..bus.
Train is so much more better.

and rains and trains together?
aah! *nostalgia*

Bhai with Chai said...

@ sach!
LOL! ;-)
anytime ! :D

Soham Chakraborty said...

I hate kurla .. My wallet got stolen there ... I lost my Iron maiden ticket there.. though I bought one more again ...:P

6:40 in vashi that means 6:20 wala in kharghar ... baap re.. so early ... never..I hate all the stations after vashi.. - mankhurd, govandi , chembur.. tilak nagar is peaceful though.. kurla is the baap of all stations.. helll...
Now imagine this journey with a bag of books, clothes and laptop!! ,that's my part of the journey.

Express said...

@ Bhai with Chai
mere sisters hi mere against plot kare hai! :-(

:-P :-D

@ Soham
Hey! welcome back!
and this time warm one :-P

How I wish I was the person who stole the pass from you :-D

wallet! shhaa! I lose wallets every-where :-D So, I won't blame kurla. :-D

With lappy, books and clothes!!!! why!! I toh keep half my stuff in my locker in college. Books, yes, rather all the time. And when I wear indian, trust me, the duppatta almost strangles me each day! why carry clothes btw? *confused*

anyway, aleast central mein you travel opposite the crowd!

and If I were you, I would get off at belapur and take a starting local. Anything for convinience man!

keep coming by more often!

Soham Chakraborty said...

At kharghar there is no crowd, but as the train approaches kurla ,it picks up the crowd (mainly after vashi) and so i stand instead of siting so that i can get off the train.
clothes because i come home on weekends, i give back my clothes to be washed as i dont wash them here in iit.aur humare colg me no locker system , it is a jail system instead where u r forced into 8 by 6 rooms.
And my journey ka sabse frustating part is that i dont get any auto for iit from kanjurmarg, uff ye autowales..train journey is nothing in compared to walking the dangerous slope from kanjurmarg to iit.. uff

Express said...

@ Soham
hmm, tough life!
Going to powai from harbour is an absolute pain! I go just once a year and thats enough of an experience.. I used 2 always wonder, why u live on harbour! But then u come home 4 weekends..

I carried a 3Kg killer book at peak afternoon hour by 2nd class 2day man! wht an experience! my back is gone..dead n gone.. :-P

And you travel at absolute peak hours I guess, good luck man! harbour rules, central sucks! :-P