I believe that no one becomes a true Mumbaite unless you travel by the local trains. To reach my new office, I take the local train to office every day. The comforting part is that I travel against the traffic and hence do not face the huge crowd.

The first day of my local train travel, I was sceptical and scared –worried about getting lost in the crowd, not being able to find the platform, getting into the wrong train etc. Within a month of travel my perspective towards the train journey has changed completely.

I know the route, the train, the platform, the timing, the seat and just about everything related to the travel and more importantly I love the time that I spent in the train!

Because of the travel, my mornings begin early. That in itself makes one fresh for the entire day!

Some interesting incidents!

Today I happened to get into a train from the platform that I usually use at Dadar. As soon as the train reached Ghatkophar which is one station away from Vikhroli (my destination) – I saw a huge crowd getting into the train – which was quite unusual. Not paying attention I continued sitting on my seat only to realise that that particular train was scheduled only till that station and would take off on its journey back to Dadar and onward to CST. Luckily realised it just before the train started!

Daily commuters are very particular on the seat they occupy. I have been glared at by many for occupying the seats they usually sit on. I gracefully ignore them and continue sitting where I was.

I board the train from Dadar which is one of the largest stations in Mumbai. Sometime you get caught in the crowd that you are forced to travel in the direction that you don’t intent to go! I have been subject to such maddening crowd many a times!

I do now realise the real meaning of the ‘fast paced’ life in Mumbai. Everything second here is important. Being late for 30 seconds may end up in missing your connecting train, preferred seat, availability of cabs and many others.

You get to observe people coming from various backgrounds, lifestyles, temperaments, age groups travelling together in a box compartment. Some listen to music, some read, some sleep, some play games on the mobile, the regular crowd update each other of news/gossip. If interested in observing people this is the best place to be!

As a part of the journey some people become a part of your daily routine. The guy at the stall in train station from where I take my stock of ‘bourbon biscuits’, the couple just outside my office from where I buy a ‘kadak chai’ on my way to office are some. Beyond a few days you don’t need to even tell them. The couple at the tea stalls pack the tea for me as soon as they get an indication that I am walking towards them! Oh they give me a little more than they usually give – the benefit of being a regular customer!

Shall keep posting the interesting incidents of being a Mumbaite!

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