Every city comes with its own hue – Dark and Bright. Mumbai – the city of dreams – is no exception. Like its exuberant days sometimes and unpleasant otherwise, are the suburban trains, especially for someone unaccustomed to the well-established system of Suburban Local trains in the city.
Every facility comes with its pros and cons. So is the case with these trains. For some it is an abode of cheapest mode of transportation, while for others it is altogether a meander flaunting its over crowd and complicated arrangements of coaches, at least for someone who’s getting on the board for the first time ever.
Being new in the city myself and boarding these very trains for daily commute, all said and done being a spinster, it is no less than rocket science for me to analyse the working of locals while surrounded by uncivilised throng. Every single day, I find myself loitering around the ticket counters and platforms just to hop on to the right train to lead me to the desired destination. Yet with each passing day the city has started accepting me and I feel at home.
As the major crowd is made up of people hailing from all over India, almost all share a common emotion of outlandishness, consequently leading them to help each other by acknowledging their respective queries. Platforms and coaches are apt places to experience Unity in Diversity. Nevertheless these are the worst places to experience the bitter most episodes.
My memory allows me to recall a strikingly outstanding incident I encountered while traveling in these mystifying tubes sprinting over iron rails like a robber fleeing to save his life.
It had not been three days, while travelling by train to Borivali I came across a sister-like girl in her 20’s belonging to my motherland and descent; even till date I could not come to conclusion as to what on this earth made me seek help from her. I was apparently in search of accommodation and was hustled to the extent of giving up all hopes. It was at the outset of this phase she appeared to me as a mercy from Almighty. The plight I was in, compelled me to believe in every single utterance her mouth enunciated. She presumed all the way long to guarantee me a home on contract for eleven months, and as token money she procured 4000 rupees which is four-fifth part of amount I was carrying while leaving home to Mumbai. The very next day the identity she had provided of herself became as extinct as if she never existed.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)