If you have lived and loved Bombay all your life, an experience in the local train comes as naturally as breathing. Me, personally, have infinite memories in a train. Some old, some new, some happy, some sad, but memories none the less.
It takes sheer dedication to travel in one of those dilapidated pieces of junk. Whether it is lectures, exams, office to rush to, there is a saviour round the corner every 2-3 minutes. No wonder it is called the best connected rail around the world.
But getting into the train itself is an ordeal in itself. College is always at an unfortunate time of about 9 am. Thats when the actual capacity of the train triples or sometimes quadraples. Shocking but true.
To perform this task, you either need inhuman strength of body or mind. You need the patience to either let go of atleast 3-4 trains or need the physical strength to push about 20 fully grown men, hanging out of the blessed door, possessing the odour of a million skunks together, and get your toe inside the train.
Once you are in the train, enjoy the massage, make sure you breath once in a while (I know its tough amidst all the “perfume”), get your toes and other vital body parts squashed and numb-feeling and pray that you know which side your station comes.
Time to get out of the train and hopefully your misery as well. Once you are out, make sure your balls, wallet and dignity is intact. Make sure you wait till you get some blood flowing in your body and then breathe the fresh (fresher) air outside.
There you have it. Your first successful journey in the Bombay Local. Love it or hate it, it is a vital part of every Bombaykar like myself. As I said, Memories are made often in this train.
A wise man once said, “If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.” You might not actually be a millionaire but you will definitely feel like a million bucks alright.
Bombay meri jaan, Local train humaari shaan. 🙂