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Traveling in Mumbai local trains can be a unique experience

Traveling by local train is a small part of experiencing real Mumbai. What makes Mumbai special or different is its people.

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Image: Unsplash / Anirudh

Mumbai local trains are often crowded, hot, and uncomfortable, but they’re also a great way to get around the city quickly. The locals are friendly and helpful, so you’ll never feel lost or alone on your journey. However, there are some downsides to traveling by train in Mumbai: delays due to overcrowding or technical issues can be common during peak hours, and the lack of air conditioning makes for a very airless, suffocating, and smelly ride! Is it fair to say that if someone has to experience real Mumbai life, they must travel by local train at least once in their lifetime?

Traveling by local train is a small part of experiencing real Mumbai. What makes Mumbai special or different is its people. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. Mumbai has enough bread for all those who come here to earn. What one must know is how to adjust to local people and local trains. Recently, a group of passengers thrashed two commuters after they blocked the door of a local train at the busy Diva station in Thane district, which comes under the Mumbai suburban network.

A video of the incident, which took place earlier this week, went viral on social media platforms. The video was captured by some passengers as a local train heading towards Karjat stopped at Diva station. In the video, some people on a platform are seen pulling out two commuters standing at the door of the train. The angry people kicked and thrashed the two commuters and also hit them with shoes, while some passengers were seen trying to save them. A brawl among passengers is not new. Some incidents get noticed; others get ignored.

I have always seen people traveling in Mumbai during rush hour like cockroaches. Humans should not be treated like that; it shows apathy from authorities. I traveled to Mumbai like that once and then never again. Hundreds and thousands of people waiting at the platform for the train, pouncing in before it even comes to a halt; packed locals; people struggling to get in; a million petty fights. But this experience teaches you everything.

Happiness is when the train, pretty empty at night, cuts through the wind, making a rhythmic sound with the tracks, while the cold breeze tickles your cheek. Annoyance is when people just refuse to adjust and start fighting and insulting each other in the worst possible manner. Every minute counts when you want to catch the 8:17 local. Mind you, it isn’t 8:15 or 8:20 either. Miss it, and your entire schedule goes up and down.

There is a popular saying about suburban travel: “It is either crush hour or rush hour depending upon the time of the day”. When the local arrives, the people around you will push you inside the train with little or no effort from you. That is where facing the track helps if you do not want to land on your bumps and get trampled over. Though it is improbable because there is absolutely no floor space to fall on and the other passengers make for a good vertical wall surrounding you snugly, Just as much space as is required, no more or less, for your person to stand. Even if you didn’t want to board that particular plane, you will be pushed into it nonetheless. Now, isn’t that amazing?

There are hundreds of people around you, a lot of them in close proximity; people of all age groups and backgrounds could be your co-passengers. You have to adjust, and so does everyone else. Everyone is an equal here, and you have to accommodate to get accommodated. I have seen a lot of women faint in trains. Suffocation, exhaustion—whatever the reason—a lot of women go out of their way to help. Chocolates, water, a place to sit, even some fanning Complete strangers going out of their way to help is a common picture. And the best part of all, you make new friends. a very unique group called “train friendships. Local trains are the most convenient mode of transport. But that does not mean we can survive without it. Motorists often go on strike or trains stop during the monsoon. Trust me, we suffer a lot. 

Other than that, there is no worry about Mumbai locals; the train time tables have changed now, and local trains have been increased, but the rush-hour problem is not solved because of the continuously increasing population of Mumbai. Daily travel in the local trains of Mumbai mellows down anyone’s temper. There are a number of things that are super irritating and anger-instigating, but if you get angry every day over one such thing, you will definitely get frustrated and give up the thought of getting angry over petty things.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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