The Mumbai Local


The Mumbai Local
          Lacs of Mumbaikars travel by the local train everyday. Mumbai local is called the Lifeline of the city. The over-crowded trains witness many stories, quarrels, debates, discussions, games, songs and 
bhajans (a proper bhajan with dholak and cymbals!). They say, "Don't be a part of the crowd, lead the crowd." This does not apply in the Mumbai local. You have to be, infact you are a part of the crowd when you travel through the over-crowded trains. I got a chance to become a part of this crowd when I joined college. I found out some rules that came into being as the crowded trains went on becoming over-crowded.

  • There are two three-seater benches facing each other between which generally three to four passengers stand. The first person from the window should be given the first priority to be seated if anyone gets up from those two benches.
  • Fourth seat is allowed on the three-seater benches. Unless nobody is standing between the benches the fourth seated passenger is not allowed to shift his place if anybody gets up from those two benches.
  • The first person standing between the benches has to help; keep the luggage of every passenger who wishes to keep his luggage on the carrier provided above the window.
  • In First Class, all the rules apply as above but there is an extra rule which says that No fourth seat is allowed.

          I traveled in first class for two quarters and found out four things;

  • The rules are better followed in First Class.
  • All the passengers in the first class have the pink paper - The Economic Times in their hand.
  • There are only two coaches, so the crowd in the peak hours was same as second class.
  • Somebody pulled out my earphones from my pocket while boarding an over over-crowded first class bogie of a fast train. 
         
A Second Class Coach. 
          The third and fourth points are the reason why I decided to travel in second class slow train from the next quarter. I define the period as quarter because we used to take quarterly passes to get extra discounts on the fare and to save on pocket money! College days were fun. We used to call the bogie adjacent to the ladies compartment as the 'Video Coach!' Boys would generally prefer to stand in Video Coaches for obvious reasons!
         
          Some sleep, some talk, some eat, listen, read, study, write assignments, some think, laugh, smile, discuss, some play radio on loud volume, some try to start the fan with their comb in the local train.The Mumbai Local sees to it that everyone in the crowd individually reaches their destination on time. I miss travelling in the local trains and being a part of the crowd... errr over-crowd. Looking forward to travel in the local soon.

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