Monday, January 9

I love it, I hate it.

This is about my relationship with a vehicle. One that I lovingly call my own but does not belong to me. It's tracks are as dense as the diverse population in Mumbai and birds-eye view of it makes resembles out body's Nervous System.

Between 8:00 to 9:30 am as I stand on a platform, waiting for a Churchgate fast, I pray to God. I know how it feels for athletes who participate in various competition when the gun fires and they have to start their sport. Infact ever regular Mumbaikar knows that feeling. We go through that twice a day when we board a train. So many things in one short minute:

  • Impatience when the announcer says, "The train arriving on platform no. 2 is a fast local to Churchgate..."
  • Hope when your probably standing in the second line and you have chances of getting a place to stand
  • Persistence when the train stops and you struggle to hold the rod and climb
  • Victory when you finally find place to plant your two feet
  • Patience when you couldn't get in and you wait for the next train to come
  • Focus when you miss 3 trains in a row and you don't give up. You wait for the next one and give this one your best ability to climb

When 26/7 floods and 26/11 attacks happened, everyone asked "How are you Mumbaikars so composed about it? How do you return to your lives so fast" I've been thinking about this and I've come to the conclusion that we are born strong and travelling in Locals condition us. You must think I'm a lunatic but think about the feelings I mentioned just above: Hope, Persistence, Patience, Victory, Focus isn't that what you need to move on in life? 

Travelling everyday since the past 3 years and spending 2 hours in the train, I've learnt so much. Mumbai 

  • Locals teach us to 'hang on' incase you were the last one to get in and you're standing on the edge,
  • That it's okay to lean on people and ask for help when you feel like you're falling
  • If you miss a train, it's okay. There is one more behind this one and will take you where you want to go. You only have to wait a few minutes.
  • Sometimes people will push you and call you names but you have to only increase the volume in your headphones and wait till your stop comes. Probably they will get down at Andheri or will leave you alone when they see you're not interested.

When there was this show, 'Ladies Special' on Sony. I was excited to watch it but it was such a downer, I stopped watching it after the 3rd episode.

As for me, Western Railway and I share a love-hate relationship. When I'm late to college, there's always a Andheri Slow (My college is at Bandra, that's 3 stations away), trains are immensely crowded or the trains run at Snail's Pace. I love it when the trains are empty, it's going really fast and I'm hanging near the door as the cool breeze is brushing my hair. I feel like in a Music Video and oh, I love the people. They think I'm a crazy chick and leave me alone.

Mumbai Locals are what make Mumbai what it is. If your ready to listen, it has lessons and stories to tell too. Will you give it a chance?

Till I see you next time,
Karima /bye