Thursday, April 24, 2008


Yesterday i had to go to thane from dadar, the jam packed central line, where people hanging in the space between the train bogies is a common site. And there i was trying to find which is slow, which is the fast train.. finally i located a train which was starting from dadar, and it was full.

People hanging from the doors, a mumbaikar won't even look twice at them because its usual. But for me its always intimidating and marvelling both at the same time. Intimidating because of the risk and marvelling due to the tenacity of mumbaikars who travel daily in a similar fashion.

I let go two such overful locals!

finally boarded one which was full in the same manner but alteast i could get into it. This is a huge fast exodus. 30 seconds and about 50 people cram into a single bogie and mind you the people get down also in the same 30 seconds.. its maddening.

People push, some fall, luggage is thrown in different directions, fists might fly, shoulders might hit... no wonder we dont like rugby or american football so much... mumbaikars have to do this thing daily.. and yes even ladies have to! of course in the ladies compartment....

By the time i reached, which i found out was a slow train later on, it was already 10 pm. My crumpled shirt which i had forgotten to iron started straightening due to the pressure of people standing next to me. I know this sounds funny and yuck at the same time. Mumbaikars say that you can easily fall asleep without falling down in such full trains... :)

I attended the function and then again started on my way back... at around 12.20 am... Could not wait for long for a train taking me to dadar so took one which stops at Kurla (in between thane and dadar). Went to kurla and took the 12.51 am train to CST. 12.51 am and still quite a number of people in the train.. amazing mumbai.... it never sleeps... it just relaxes for a couple of hours.

I could have taken the cab back to Shivaji park from dadar station but it was 1.10 am and i felt like taking a walk to my room.

Mumbai in the night, taxi cabs along the road with drivers waiting for their fare, streetlights shining the streets polished clean by the heavy traffic, dogs lurking nearby barking occasionally, people like me travelling in the night... and silence.. which reminded me of the Simon n Garfunkel song - Sounds of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

Mumbai... its a pleasure to see it when its calm and peaceful.. just for a few hours of the early morning.. and then it gets back.. looking forward to another day!

1 comment:

Gaurav said...

very true....
amazing never sleeps..

this reminded.. i don't remember if you were there when we had gone to IIT powai for some quiz contest and we had taken passenger train that reach mumbai at 3 or 4am.. we got down at Ghatkoper and there we found food stall that served us Hot Samosas... man.. those were tasty...
yes Mumbai never sleeps and Mumbai never lets you down..