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My first experience with Mumbai local train peak hours

Summary: New things are scary, what happens when they end up the bad way?

A day in my life

User Rating: 3.8 (1 votes)

Every one faces a new phase in life. Recently I got an opportunity to explore a new instance in my life, I got an experience of travelling in a local train during peak hours(“You see I din’t have an option..office hours changed and I was forced..” *sighs*). I was shifted off to general shift in work, so I had to be in office by 9:00 am on a Monday morning. Initially I was  looking forward to the whole idea of having fun travelling in a rush train.

I stay very far off from my office, so I decided to leave at least by 7:45 am, so I woke up at 6:45 am(“You know right, makeup takes time..” *duh*). My train was at 8:15 and that would get me to the destination station(Thane) by 8:56 and then I would take my bus and reach somewhat by 9:20 I had thought. So I had this perfect plan in my head.

So my perfectly planned day started. I woke up at 6:45 am as I planned, I instantly started getting ready(“nah, I am kidding..lol..me the lazy one.. I sat and slept off again and woke up at 7:00 after my mom said her famous dialogue “If you want to go to office get ready! Else you sleep I won’t wake you up.”, but I said perfect day..haha..!”). Then I had my breakfast and left on time.

I got an auto in time, reached station by 7:55 am. I was expecting a large queue in the ticketing counter(“That was because I wasn’t smart enough to think people running at that time daily would clearly buy a monthly pass than stand in a queue and get late”). There were not too many people. I happily brought a double trip ticket and got to the platform.

Now in so many years of being in Mumbai, people always told me the least crowded line of trains is the harbour line. And since that was the most common thing I heard I trusted it. I expected peak hours would a little crowded than the normal time I used to travel at. And seeing my platform a little less crowded than at that time I assumed maybe what people told me may not be true at all.

Until 8:15 when the train started being visible at the far end, there were not many people around me(” competing”) to get in the train with me. So I was happy. But as soon as train began to come to a standstill, I suddenly noticed I was standing between a crowd(“I still have no idea how that happened”). Then the train stopped, there was a nice “who pushes whom the best game” and we all got into the train.

Now the train hardly had any space for me or anyone, we all crumbled in and fitted in. It was like I had to be there were I was, else people would get irritated with me(“Yeah for hitting them with my bag or my hand or such falling on them”). As stations approached I anticipated a dip in the amount of people getting in, but there was a rise instead. With every station, I froze bitterly. The best way to explain what amount of space issue we had is by comparing two instances. When in normal hours, people would be like “I will take your seat when you get up”, here in peak hours I heard a few women say, “When you leave the place you are standing, I will stand”.

Now in some way or other, by the time the second last stop approached, I got a seat(“Yaayie, window seat”). I was enjoying the view and my travel without realizing the disaster to come. I noticed people getting up 10 minutes before the station was to come(“Yeah I was thinking, these fools..!”). But then as the train was slowing down at the station I began to notice the crowd that was waiting there(“Oh crap..!).

I got up from my seat. Tried fitting into there queue to get down but what happened was they were not letting me get into the crowd. So I thought to myself I will get down at the end(“Big mistake..!”). I somehow got at the end. I saw the crowd that was waiting to get inside the train. They waited like a pack of wolf waiting to feast on an innocent sheep.

Since I was one of the last people to get down and even otherwise, while I tried getting out, the mob of women standing at both sides of the door just pushed me into the train. My bag got stuck in the crowd. It was the most horrible experience. The crowd had zero patience. It was something I had already seen(“The patience part”), but never this. Then finally I pushed my way through then. Luckily I had my bag with me too.

Then I looked up at the stairs to the walkway up. I had only seen a crowd on TV so huge in some big temples in the country, but I was in the middle of one such crowds. There again I dint have to walk, a fleet of 15-20 steps, people made sure they took me with them up(*sighs*).

Moral of the story: If you want to survive in trains like the people who daily use it do, just push people without any reason and stay ahead.

Oh and about my perfect plan.. I reached office at 10:30 am.

train

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One Comment


  1. Syed Usman Haniel

    August 2, 2018 at 4:56 PM

    Wow! Written like a dialogue. While reading it, I could actually experience the struggle and the worry you were carrying in your mind.

    One of the things that I’ve learned from your experience is ‘Survival of the fittest – Darwin’s Theory’. In such experiences you got to be hard or you’ll be pushed back.

    Nice to have read your experience! 🙂

    Reply

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