Mumbai Local trains are the life-line of Mumbai. Mumbai would not have been Mumbai, if not for its never stopping Local trains. You cannot be called a proper Mumbaikar if you have not travelled in Mumbai Local.... or so the feeling everybody have. When I shifted to Mumbai from down South, where life goes at a medium pace, not too slow not too fast, Mumbai's fast paced life, that rush was shocking for me as well as exciting.
I wanted to explore everything , go everywhere, do everything!!! Life would be so much fun, or so I thought. In January 2013, after 3 months of arriving here, we i.e., me and my family decided to try the local train journey. We went to the railway station and were shocked to see the station. There were people, people everywhere. The ticket counter was so long that Hanuman's tail would have looked a bit shorter in front of it. Finally after half an hour of struggle, we managed to get the train ticket.
We went to the platform where the train was supposed to come and found more people there.My daughter's reaction was...... tears. Yes!! She started crying and begged us to take her home. She was terrified of the people and the station itself because of the untidy way it was kept. Belonging to place like Shimoga where we have a clean railway station, she couldn't believe that railway stations can be like this.
Finally after convincing her about the journey, we started waiting for the train. And the train arrived and suddenly we felt that there was a commotion. Everybody in the train wanted to get down and everybody on the platform wanted to get into it. Me and daughter held on tightly to each other. There was no way we could manage to get on to this train. We let the train go and thought of waiting for the next train. And the next train arrived and we realised that this is the way of getting into a train.... just go with the crowd... and we decided to try it. But this time too we were unable to get into it. Even my husband too was unable to board into the train.
Then came the third train, and yet we were not able to board it. It was getting frustrating now. The fourth train arrived and we rushed to board it along with fellow passengers. Hubby dear finally managed to get into one train where as me and kiddo were still struggling in the crowd. We both started to panic as the train was going to leave and we were still on the platform. Hubby somehow managed to get down.
We waited for a few more minutes ..... trains would come and go and yet the crowd never decreased. Finally we were tired by just trying to board the train that we decided to say quits and returned back.
We laughed about if for a few weeks ... no months and never again tried the mumbai local again till a year. Then suddenly in February, hubby dear just wanted to try the train again. Though we were reluctant, he convinced us that this time it would be different. He told us that this time he has done some research and promised that it would be a hassle free journey. And we decided to go with him and with lots of fear in our heart went to the railway station. We got the tickets within minutes... yep.. no Hanuman's tail this time thankfully :D
The train that we were going to take was going to start from our station itself and not a passing train. Yet, me and daughter were holding on to each other tightly. There was enough time for us to board the train and get a comfortable seat and look out of the window and all. Slowly our fears vanished as the train started. It took just 50 minutes from my station to CST, which normally takes nearly 2 hours in the car. When we got down at CST, there was pure joy and excitement. Local train journey was in fact fun and an eye opener.
I saw two or three kids ,who were almost my daughter's age got on to the train in one station and got down in another on their own. By seeing them, whatever little fear me and daughter had, vanished and we laughed at ourselves. Now I am excited to travel in train again now.I am not hesitant about the local trains anymore. I may not be able to board the train like others do on the passing trains which stops for just an minute in every station, but definitely there will be more train journey in the future.
I will be writing about my experience of living and exploring Mumbai every now and then (Pssst... not regularly... mind it :P )