The Mumbai Local Microcosm

Guest post by Barnaby Haszard Morris:

I’m standing on the busy Mumbai Local around noon, politely refusing repeated offers of a seat, and I’m trying to avoid this filthy body of water as it courses around me. It sits up one end of the carriage for a while, forming a shallow pool between the doors, then suddenly we hit a corner and the water’s shooting over my feet again. If I stand with my heels flat and my toes slightly raised, the water doesn’t reach over the threshold of my chappal soles each time it streams past.

I look at the shoes of the guy next to me – immaculately polished black leather, to match his expensive-looking pants and shirt – and I’m simply glad to be wearing shoes that didn’t cost me a fortune. He’s talking on a mobile phone, like a number of other guys in this carriage. Notice that I said ‘a’ mobile phone, for it is merely one of several. He has the one pressed against his right ear, then two more – which look to this Nokia user like Android phones – bundled in his left hand. The bag hoisted over his shoulder looks heavy. His glance darts between their screens, as if expecting an alert at any moment, while he talks constantly into the one against his ear.

Lots of people are talking constantly in this carriage. One group of men, clearly strangers, are debating in Hindi over whether we are going to Victoria Terminus (VT) or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) – which are of course different names for one place, the busiest railway station in the world. Another person talking constantly is this young hipster with his arm around his girl. (Yes, there are women in this carriage, but only a few.) This guy just will not stop talking into his girl’s ear. He’s jabbering on and on and ON and on without pause, an ear-to-ear grin fixed throughout. He was already talking when I got on at Vikhroli, and he’s still going by the time we reach VT/CST. The girl doesn’t seem to mind a bit. I’m guessing she’s enjoying the attention.

My hearing switches focus to the call of the latest moth-eaten wandering vendor to dart up and down the carriage. (The water doesn’t seem to bother him.) Each vendor has their own particular – and often peculiar – method of calling out their offering, and this guy keeps saying what sounds to me a lot like “black magics”, over and over again. When he goes past me, I realise that he is in fact yelling “mathematics”, unless he considers his stack of mathematical formulae books to be an extension of the dark arts. Having swept up and down the steadily less packed walkway a couple of times, he darts out the doors as they’re hauled open at the next station, presumably to sell his “black magics” to the next carriage.

Continue reading at the original post location.

Mega Block timings today

Harbour line mega block timings between Andheri / Bandra and CST, both directions 10.45 am to 4.00 pm.

Harbour line trains from Panvel/Belapur/Vashi for CST will run on main line from Kurla to CST between 10.40 am and 3.54 pm and will not halt at Currey Road and Chinchpokli.

Local trains status now

3 pm update: Central line trains running very late (arnd 45 mins) and slow
3 pm update: Harbour line trains running 7-8 mins late

Local train status at 11 am

Western line trains running on time

Central, Harbour line trains late again today

Central line trains are running 30-60 mins late due to heavy rains.
Harbour line trains are late by 20 mins.
Update at 9 am, July 14, 2011

Local trains' running status after Mumbai Serial Blasts

July 13, 2011
Western line: Trains running as per scedule. Update at 9 pm, reported from Charni Road station.
Central, Harbour line: Trains running a bit late. Update at 9.30 pm, reported from CST station.

Mumbai Blasts Emergency / Helpline Numbers

3 Explosions took place in Mumbai around 6.45 pm (July 13, 2011). The blasts happened at Opera House, Dadar Kabutarkhana area and Zaveri Bazaar.

Emergency Numbers: 022-2262 1980 / 1983 / 5020, 22641449

Hospital Numbers:

KEM: 022-24136051
JJ Hospital: 022-23735555
GT Hospital: 022-22621466

This once, I am not going to have any posts displaying my angst and expectations from the government. What's the point? Kasab was caught last time and is still alive. So even if someone is caught now, we'll only be spending crores to ensure the safe survival of the person.

Central, Harbour line trains running late today

Central line trains are running 5-10 minutes late and Harbour trains are late by over 10 minutes today (July 13, 2011). Update @ 9 am.

Kalka Mail Accident Death Toll Rises

The first reports of the Kalka Mail derailment yesterday mentioned that 20 people are feared dead and around 100 people injured. Who would have guessed by morning the toll will rise to as high as 66! Over 300 are reportedly injured.

Hope care is taken that the injured people get instant treatment and pray no more people are found dead in the debris.

 Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Express derailment - Helpline numbers

Double Train Tragedy in a Single Day in India

It was hard enough to believe the tragic New Delhi-Howrah Kalka Mail derailment news earlier today when another train accident at around 8.20 pm shocked me.

I switched on the television at night to see news about the Kalka Mail accident and was surprised to see some station names that had no connection whatsoever with the derailment. Another train had derailed in India - Guwahati-Jagannath Puri Express... Seriously!

Looks like a nightmare, and I so hope that when I wake up in the morning I realise it was a terrible nightmare. Things can't be so bad, so sad.

While over the last couple of days, we hated the fact that Mumbai local trains services were horribly affected with just 1 day of heavy rains... while we heard 'tragic' incidents of people stranded in trains and at stations for a couple of hours... suddenly today all of that appears like not so much of a big deal. Suddenly the 7/11 memories are revived.

Deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. Let's pray there are no more casualties.

Guwahati-Puri Express derailed - Helpline Numbers

Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Express derailment - Helpline numbers

Allahabad: 0532 2408149

Aligarh - 0571-2403055/56

Fatehpur: 05180-222025, 222026, 222436

New Delhi: 011-23342954 , 23341074, 23967332

Kurja- 05738-253084/85


Guwahati-Puri Express derailed; Helpline Numbers

8 bogies of Guwahati-Jagannath Puri Express derailed today (Sunday, July 10, 2011) in Kamrup district of Assam, between Rangiya and Kokrajhar, injuring around 100 passengers as per the first reports.

Since at the time of the accident the train was at a slower speed, lesser casualties are expected

This is the second train accident in the day. Earlier today, a Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Express derailment had shocked the nation.

Here are the Rangiya HELPLINE NUMBERS for the Jagannath Puri-Guwahati Express derailment:

Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Express derailment - Helpline numbers

Today (July 10, 2011), several bogies (12) of the New Delhi-Howrah Kalka Mail derailed near Malwa railway station, near Kanpur / Fatehpur, UP. As per the latest news, over 125 people are reported injured and 20 dead.

The relief operations are in progress. Few trains are deeclared cancelled.

Kalka Mail Derailment Railway Helpline Numbers:

Allahabad: 0532 2408149

Aligarh - 0571-2403055/56

Fatehpur: 05180-222025, 222026, 222436

New Delhi: 011-23342954 , 23341074, 23967332

Kurja- 05738-253084/85

Trains running (crawling) late today

The rains have delayed the trains a lot today. While the local trains were running 15-20 minutes late in the morning, they were crawling at noon. Reportedly, one of the harbour line trains took 45 minutes to reach Kurla station from Chembur! Also, people have been reaching their destination station around an hour late given the long waiting time for the trains to arrive as well as the way they have been moving today.

If you have any latest updates, do share on the comments section here or on our Facebook page.

Bhajans and prayers in Mumbai trains

There are our Main Gods, Rain Gods and then there are Train Gods!

The busy Mumbai life leaves us with no time for anything... not even for prayers. So some Mumbaikars have made the local trains their temple!

Rightly so, since these trains do fulfill some of our wishes like reaching work just a few minutes late, reaching back home, staying in shape (running on FOBs, lifting luggage with one hand while streching the other hand to hold the train handle...). And what could be a better way to pray to the Almighty - utilising the long commute hours. So some local train commuters, equipped with books, pictures of Gods, bongos, manjiras and the memorised and popular bhajans, sing along in a group while occupying acertain 'fixed' area in the compartments.... every single working day!

Good, for it might please the Gods who might enable these people fulfill their small and big wishes. But what about those who are studying in the trains for their exams, thinking of an idea for the next client pitch, having a headache or catching up on the sleep the busy Mumbai life has deprived them of? Well who cares?

Now, MS Gopal aka Slogan Murugan from Mumbai managed to get us some great pictures of the bhajan routine in trains (more pics). God bless him!

Click on M S Gopal's blog for photographs and stories from the city that's always on the move.

Lost and found: Bag full of cash in train

Thanks to the alert cops!
Two GRP constables returned a bag containing Rs 47500 and important documents to a student who had left it behind in a Titwala-bound train. Read more about the Hindustan Times story here - Cops return bag with cash, books found in train

FOB Delayed, Trains Delayed!

Location: Diva
Date: July 5, 2011
Incident: Protest by Commuters
Demand: To get an FOB constructed on time
Result: Trains delayed, FOB might still not be ready in time!

Commuters who want an important Foot-Over-Bridge (FOB) to be functional by August 31, protested at Diva Junction yesterday leaving the trains delayed in the morning. In the absence of an FOB directly leading to the east side of Diva station, commuters are left with no choice but to cross tracks. Need we mention that this is directly proportional to accidents!

CR officials have reportedly said that due to rains the FOB work cannot be completed until September end!

Experience Slow Motion in trains until Sunday

Following the derailment between Cotton Green and Reay Road on June 2, 2011, the Harbour line trains will run slower than the regular speed until July 3.

So plan your schedule by keeping that buffer!