Life lines of Mumbai...

Tim Crosswell By Tim Crosswell, 15th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2vntte43/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Trains

You might have perceived them as crowded but Mumbai local trains are special. Many adjectives have been attached to them – crowded, chaotic, efficient, (mostly) timely, etc. However chaotic and crowded they are, there are patterns in the chaos. There are rules and norms – mostly unwritten.

What it is ?

Those who never have been to India or have never been to Mumbai City, this is for them. The sub-urban trains in Mumbai have a pet name "Local". They are especially made for Mubaikars (it’s a local word which means resident of Mumbai). Some of them are new and some of them are old. They wear different colors according to the lines they follow. Mumbai suburban railway has many "lines". One of them is called Western. Guess why? Of course because it follows the western coastal areas of the City. One says I am "Central" because it finds itself in the centre sandwiched between Harbour and Western line. Do you want see them in a picture. Come with me then but follow this link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Suburban_Railway

My initial experiences...

I remember the day when I first moved to Mumbai and of course it was new to me. I had heard of Mumbai Locals but had never seen them. I was very eager to see them what actually they look like. I got the opportunity on very day I was traveling to Mumbai. In the very first sight, I felt as if these trains are another “concentration camp” but I didn’t know that they are actually lifeline of Mumbai and bring Mumbai to life. Since Mumbai is crowded like other metropolitans of the world, more people aboard the train than alight. Though they safe and fitted with all the safety instruments, the people make it unsafe for you at times if you are knew to Mumbai. Not because you may fall prey to a pickpocket or somebody may kill you but because there is so much rush in the morning and evening hours.

What it really is...

You might have perceived them as crowded but Mumbai local trains are special. Many adjectives have been attached to them – crowded, chaotic, efficient, (mostly) timely, etc. However chaotic and crowded they are, there are patterns in the chaos. There are rules and norms – mostly unwritten.

While I have been there for two year, my journeys used to be short and on an average didn’t last more than 20 to 30 minutes. If I am lucky I can get a seat and catch some sleep. If I am still lucky, I can get some place to stand at the door and enjoy fresh air. Otherwise I don’t have much choice. If I look at others (especially if straight in the eye), that is a gross violation of privacy and only results in dirty looks back. If I have a newspaper to read, I have to fold folded vertically. If I am standing on the way, I will have to get down once the next stop comes otherwise you will automatically alight from the train as force of the people longing to alight is so powerful (so it’s better not to stand on the way). Basically there are not many activities one can do apart from looking here and there.

A funny economic thing...

What you will certainly notice are the all sorts of advertisement as there is no strict policy of placing advertisement inside these compartments. Full to their capacity and overflowing sometimes, these trains best climate for those who have nothing to do and have become bored of life futility. They get their clients automatically. You will find all sorts of advertisement in there from astrologers who “can solve any problem from financial to family within 12 hours and that too 100%” to tea and tobacco chewing products.

A few days after when you have travelled enough trains in different part of the city, you come to know that there is another astrologer who can “solve all the problems within only 10 hours and too with 100% surety”. This is the height of competition. Then you come to know about another one who offers you additionally a “cash back” if he fails to solve your problem. Then after some days you come to know about who provides you “101 % solution and a guarantee card”. This story goes on. Possibilities are endless same as… there are endless possibilities of growth in Mumbai.

What I could not understand despite having an M Phil degree with me is that why each advertisement of such astrologers needs exactly two mobile numbers. Why not only one. If somebody who visit Mumbai and experience a travel in Mumbai Local and could find out why exactly two mobile numbers are needed, then please inform me. Rest of the stories some other day…keep reading and posting comments.

Tags

Advertisements, Funny, India, Life Experience, Life Journey, Local, Maharastra, Mumbai, People, Trains, Travel, Travel Tips

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author avatar Tim Crosswell
Interested in cultural diversity, nature, trekking

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Comments

author avatar Neha Dwivedi
16th Aug 2011 (#)

awfully right! :) Mumbai ki local trains mein chadhne ki zaroorat nahi hai log tumhe khud hi chadha dete hai! wonderful share !

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author avatar Tim Crosswell
16th Aug 2011 (#)

and also you don't need to get down the train, you shall automatically come out of it. hi hi :)

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author avatar Tim Crosswell
16th Aug 2011 (#)

Geeta. Do you know how to insert more pictures in here. I could insert only one. Please help me.

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
16th Aug 2011 (#)

well writing in paragraphs will help you to accommodate more pictures.And i really think you should start splliting up your articles in paragraphs as it will make your work more readable and flexible .

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author avatar Humza
12th Sep 2011 (#)

Wow interesting, here in pakistan we get to see ads related to infertility and its solution and the name here in karachi which I have seen in a million places is junaid bengali who is some aamil baba, gosh its ridiculous and irritating.

Even at stops ppl like hawkers throw a ton of small visiting cards sort of thin gs related to some bike ads or stuff..

Interesting read aditya, surely trains have become the lifeline of India and especially mumbai and they really add a discipline to the transport surely

thx for the share, its wud have been better if u wud have addedd a link to the mumbai train article at wikipedia

copy paste the link like u have done, select it and click on the 'add link' option.
there ul see three options, click on the 'internet url' option, there copy paste the url in the text box and u have created a link.

then instead of copying pasting the link, readers will just have to click the link in ur article and they can see the article.

happy writing and thnx for the share :)

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