Friday, December 13, 2013


  1.           We, in Mumbai, measure distance in units of time. Ask an average Mumbaikar, "How far is is point A from B?" and pat will come the reply," By bus it will take about an hour and by train just 10 minutes." Trains are our life line, they are the fastest means to travel in the city of dreams. We are all averse to travelling in packed trains and yet, given a choice, we would travel in 10 minutes rather than take an hour of bus ride. We measure distance in  units of time for the same reason. In Mumbai, time is one commodity that no one seems to have!

         Wondering how so many of them will get into the train? You have to see it to believe it!

          My day starts with catching a bus to the station. Luckily, I live close to the first stop and manage to get a seat and this journey isn't much taxing.
          I catch the early morning ladies special usually. Initially, they were just faces and then they became people you know just by their faces. You know them by their destinations, you know them by their choices, you know them by the books they read on train, you know them by the way they fight for little reasons, you know them by the music they listen to. It becomes a community. Slowly, you start getting chocolates on their birthdays, exchange recipes with them, talk about shopping, discuss your college or work problems! It becomes a bond that is just as simple as being a travel partner.
        I specially love the nine days of Navratri when the entire city follows the color code. In ladies special, it is a festival that is celebrated with must gusto. Almost everyone sticks to the color and you feel oddly included in a sense of unity, a comradeship..

       There are days when I give ladies special a miss or it gives me a miss and I have to catch another train. I travel at between 8 and 9 am and recognize many faces that travel at the same time.

Like the ridiculously dressed aunty ( seriously who wears all bright yellow clothes and 2 sunflowers in the hair?)
Like the aunty who matches every thing to perfectness. I wonder how she finds so much time to dress up!
Like the girl who waits with her man for the train. Every day they wait in silence and part with a slight hug.
Like the girl who just went to Hongkong for her honeymoon and came back with a bag full of footwear :P
Like the aunty who somehow misses watching Bade acche lagte hai and asks everyone "Kya hua kal" :D

     I love travelling in trains in the noon. It is that time when many vendors come to sell their goods, mostly accessories and painting books and toys. It is fun to search through the stuff and buy them cheap ( You can buy a pair or earring for 10 bucks which you would otherwise buy in malls for 10 fold the amount!)

    The evening trains are very hectic. The college and office crowd usually get into fights. The frustrations of all day are taken out of petty issues. It is like they deal with their stress by shouting at each other! For some, the physical activity drains the body of any irritation and you just go home and eat like a zombie and sleep.

    It has been more than an  hour that I m back and still I m flopped in front of my laptop, unwilling to move my muscles that are exhausted by hanging on to the handles of the train!
    For me travel is all about moving ahead, with your thoughts occupying you, a picturesque flipping in front of your eyes. That picture can be of beauty of just your fellow humans and their emotions.. It is the process of learning while you are passing..

    What is travel for you readers?

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is travel. 



Anonymous said...

Vivid description of amchi Mumbai. Measure of distance in units of time is so true and by God, you took me back to teh gud ole days in the the locals no matter how crowded..I shall be back in the city for good and I know I will. Now, you have given me reasons to cheer:)

Sreeja Praveen said...

That was a colourful travel, dear:) I can very well picturise the aunties and scenes you have portrayed so well. Good one !