Local train at midnight

This Friday, we friends made a last minute plan to go for dinner. Bandra seemed comfortable for all of us (after much argument of course) and so it was selected as the destination. Obviously, as it was a weekend, we went to dinner a bit late as each one of us was working that day. Late - considering that I was the only girl and had to go back home alone as the rest stay in South Mumbai.

We finished our indulgence in gluttony a rather too late. And then there was this thing about Mrinal must drop me home as it was almost midnight. How I hate being a girl 'dependent' on others when it's pretty late for women to travel in Mumbai! So we decided to take a local train as that would be the fastest mode. However, the gents’ compartment was too crowded even at almost 12 in the night, that forget me but it was impossible even for Mrinal to get into it. So I hurriedly jumped into the ladies compartment just as the train was about to leave the station and bid goodbye to my sweetheart.

Surprisingly, at midnight, the ladies compartment of the local train was 50% occupied. So I felt very comfortable. For once, I felt that it's actually not 'too late' for women to travel alone. Perhaps it was an exceptional day, perhaps not, perhaps 'late' is just hyped... I'll only know when I travel more frequently at such odd hours. Anyways, so here's a list of all those who might give you company if you happen to travel in the western line around midnight:

  1. A police constable (at least he was present that day)
  2. Women, in groups, who are either vegetable vendors or labourers. One thing's certain, with them around you, no one will dare take any panga
  3. Women travelling alone, but confident and comfy enough as that might be a routine for them
  4. Women travelling alone, not very comfy as it's not a regular travel time for them. They will either be already busy on their mobiles or receiving constant calls of "where have you reached?", "don't get so late next time" and so on
  5. A little mouse completely active and wandering beneatch all the seats. Perhaps he's sent by Lord Ganesha to ensure that each one of us stays wide awake and alert ;)

So that's about it. And one important tip:
If you need to travel very late in the night, please catch the last ladies coach that's meant for women 24 hours. It's generally occupied and you'll feel safe.

4 comments:

geveN said...

I lived for a few years at Santa Cruz, within sight of aircraft landing at the airport....the new international airport was not yet constructed (1970-71).........and about Mumbai locals...this is easily the only place on this planet where you can be lifted up by the "force/momentum" of the crowd around you and deposited into the train!!

Geve

geveN said...

hi Anuradha, I have been trying to leave you a reply in Google help....where you have complimented on the Taj, but the reply is not coming through there..........so thanks here!!!
google is a huge faceless......

geve

Anuradha Khanna said...

Thanks Geve. The fact about Mumbai trains is that, crowded or not, somewhere deep within our hearts we all love them. We might curse them, but then we all depend on them as well. No wonder, local trains here are called the lifeline of Mumbai! All one needs to know is the trick to get in and out at the right time or otherwise know the the appropriate non-peak hours.

geveN said...

hi Anuradha,

have you seen the Youtubes on mumbai locals ........some are really good, showing people singing bhajans.
Geve