Mumbai is best enjoyed in its local trains and in Kaali-Peeli taxis. One of my most enriching experiences in the city has been during the time when I was travelling everyday from work to home in the trains. Mumbai’s local train network is not just the city’s lifeline, it also adds a lot to what the city is. When I was working in Worli and had to travel 60km everyday, I used to take the train and even though it gets hot, pushy, can lead to fights etc. it makes you feel a part of the city more than any other experience or thing can make you feel. People are doing business in the trains (selling vegetables, earrings etc.), working on their computers, eating food (I used to buy Vadapav and eat in the train), asking each other in which station they are getting down (so that the person can take the others standing place or seat) and sharing stories about their daily life. My commute was for over an hour and when I look back to that time of my life, I have only memories that makes me smile. I had many many conversations with a lot of people in trains and also took a lot of pics during the train journeys and I documented those (in a page called QuintVint Mumbai) some of which are shared below:
- This was a day when there was this pretty girl standing right in front of me and I she was nervous as well as smiling at the same time. And out of nowhere she said, Shaadi karne jaa rahi hoon main, bhaag ke (I am running away and getting married). I smiled, she smiled.
- One fine day in the train:
Aunty ek photo lu aapki? (Can I click your picture?)
Meri? Kyun?(Mine? Why?)
Aise hi.(Just like that)
(smiles and says)Main achi nahi lag rahi hoon.(I am not looking good)
Bahut acchi lag rahi hoon. Kitni pyaari pink saree hai.(You are looking very good. I like your pink saree)
( clicks and shows her pic and she smiles)
- Eplinstone road station: From where I used to board my train for home
- Borivali station during morning rush hours. FYI, I didn’t take the train that day because I couldn’t get in. This was one of my initial days and I almost cried thinking how am I gonna reach office today.
- Maria had told me she didnt get much time to read at home as travel from Virar to Dadar everyday took a lot of her time and post that she had household chores. She enjoyed reading and she utilized her train time to do that.
- Jogeshwari Station: The only station (I guess)in western line where you get down from doors on both sides.
- Train in motion(Bandra Station)
- Another day in train
Aapki saree bahut hi sundar hai.Aap jabse train mein uthi ho main tab se dekh rahi hoon.Ab aap mere saamne baith gaye toh bata rahi hoon.Aur aapne sab itne acche se matching pehna hai
Thank you(Smiles).South Indian Cotton Saree hai. Kerela se liya tha maine.Aaj cousin ki shaadi thi isliye pehna tha.
(And then we chatted for another ten minutes)
- After around 9pm, most ladies coaches in the Mumbai Local trains are accompanied by a policeman.
- Andheri Station (Most madly crowded after Dadar)
- People FINALLY heading home after the long commute
- I almost never got a seat when I travel led from work to home, but on the days I did (when we went somewhere else from work and was travelling back home at late night), I took full advantage of the situation and this used to be my default way to sit. 😀
You see , Mumbai local trains are something that defines Mumbai’s lifestyle and the way people live for most of its residents. I personally know people who travel by train over 100 km per day for their livelihood. And when Mumbai local trains stop running (during monsoons, about it some other day), Mumbai comes to hault.
And hence, we had to share this because it is our Lifestyle 🙂