Mumbai Locals.

         Since I travel for 2 and a half hours daily in the local train,I decided to write about it.

         The heartbeat of Mumbai…Mumbai Locals.Even though the trains are always running late, they are the fastest mode of transport in the city.
From annoying aunties who talk all the way from Borivali to Churchgate at 6:15 am to the future engineers and doctors studying in the train who think even one hour of extra studying will help them pass the exams; you get to see all kinds of people of the city, in just an hour of travelling.And you will always find a group of ladies who talk non-stop to each other.

         But what kind of people you see depends on which compartment you are travelling in.The Mumbai locals are divided into 2 classes, the 1st class where you pay 10 times more than 2nd class and see quarrels happening in English and more I-Phones and Samsung phones than you would see in an Apple or a Samsung gallery and the 2nd class with people having phones you didn’t even know if it actually existed,but I feel second class is safer to travel at night as there is always a lot of crowd there.
There is also a General coach and a Ladies coach. While females rarely travel in the general coach, perchance if a female gets into the general coach, people give her deadly looks for taking away a seat and ofcourse since they have no other work to do in the train they STARE at her.

         Travelling by trains during the peak hours is the hardest thing in the world.I remember when I had first started travelling in June 2015,I used to feel as anxious as a teenager who has an important exam to give when I used to see the train approaching. Initially it wasn’t easy but as time passed I did manage to become an expert in how to get a seat in the train during rush hour.
But even if you get a seat in the train you won’t be at peace, there will be always be a lady trying to fit on the fourth seat or everytime the train stops at a station there will be people asking you that when are you planning to get your butts off the seat (Where are you getting down?).
I see ladies reading holy books. It reminds me of the movie, “The Burning Train”, where passangers are praying to God to help them escape. Also there are students solving Maths and aunties cutting vegetables  in the train which honestly reflects the meaning of the line, “Mumbai is a busy city”. And people here don’t want to spare a single minute from their busy lives.A few months ago, a lady sitting next to me in her 50’s was listening to a Bhajan (Holy chant) on her earphones and I could hear it as I didn’t have my earphones with me and suddenly she started clapping loudly next to my ears which clearly annoyed me. With no earphones I was surely having a bad day. A few days back another lady started doing the breathe-in and breathe-out yoga exercise by Baba Ramdev, which scared the hell out of the girl sitting next to her, she must have been really busy that she had to do yoga in the train.

         It’s not all bad when you are travelling by trains, it also helps you save your shopping time, from children’s colouring books to novels, from corn to brinjals, handkerchiefs to beautiful blouses and braclets, necklaces and key-chains; you see a variety of things sold in the Indian railways.

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34 thoughts on “Mumbai Locals.

  1. Had been a Bombay resident for 6 months in 2013. Your article made me reminisce about the wonderful feeling the city used to give me. The crowded locals may be a pain in the neck (sometimes, literally) but they have given me memories and images of the city I will never forget. Thanks for writing this article and taking me down nostalgia road.

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  2. Read your post after such a long time.I can relate to it so much,even I started travelling in trains in august.So in the beginning I used to catch the early morning trains to avoid the crowded ones,but after a while I got so the overcrowded trains that i didn’t even bother about itπŸ˜‚

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  3. Mumbai rocks! Tho’ I can’t survive for more than 2 days there…I mean there’s so much to see and do…but the people..! Very stressful… πŸ™‚ Love the trains… I travel in the afternoons when I’m in mumbai when there is no rush…don’t even talk of rush time…PACK OF SARDINES

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  4. Hello Drishti, hope you are doing great. Wonderful to read your work after a while. I cannot say that I have the experience of travelling in Mumbai locals but your wonderful description has formed distinct images in my mind. Maybe one day…but I feel uncomfortable amongst this sort of a crowd. Take care and have a wonderful day or night (whenever you happen to read this comment).

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  5. It’s nice to read about our local trains from a girl’s point of view. Having travelled in the ladies compartment as a child (because my mother always wanted to keep an eye on me) and now travelling regularly as an adult sometimes in the general compartment (mostly in first class just to avoid heavy crowds), I would like to say that there are few things that define mumbai like the local trains do. It’s something else altogether!

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  6. Thanks for an update of the Mumbai locals. I left Mumbai 12 years back. Those days running late was rare and there was no scene of vendors in the train. That time to travelling was a most difficult job. You should know and practice how to get in the compartment, getting a seat you can’t think of. Whatever it is, except travelling by local train during pick hours, Mumbai experience is very good.

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  7. I’ve been to Mumbai a few times and haven’t yet been on the train. I am looking forward to the experience from what you have described, I love people watching.

    If you get a chance could you please look at my blog: voyagearoundtheworld.wordpress.com. I am just starting off and would really like your feedback. Thank you πŸ™‚

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  8. Even I travel for 2 and a half hours daily#in second class πŸ˜….You just reminded me my flash backs and it’s so true about the ladies gang in the compartments πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

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