Saturday, January 9, 2010

Top of the Train

Local trains have always been my fascination. No matter how much crowded it is, no matter how stinky it is, I love it.

I love it because, without it, there was no way of transport across the city. Everybody doesn’t have a vehicle. And even if everybody did have a vehicle, no one would be able to move due to the roads being completely packed with cars and bikes.

I love these local trains even more because they are so rare. The dirt is often cleaned. The doors are always open so that you can leave your body freely outside holding the pole and experience the wonderful wind blowing on your face, irrespective of it, damaging your hair.

The most emotional aspect of the train is, when they go real fast when you’re already late. It feels patriotic. Feels that the trains actually care about you. J

I am a specific fan of fast trains very late night. They are almost empty and hanging from those trains let you see the entire colorful lighting of Mumbai in the dark, cold sky.

Sitting in a train is never boring. you can always stare at the people around you. Listen to their talks, conversations, and its always interesting! You can actually tell about their whole family, what people in their family do, their family problems etc by the time you are out of the train.

If a youngster is sitting next to you, u can tiptoe their sms’s and find things hilarious. Like that day, I was reading the sms’s of a girl sitting next to me and it said things like “shooonoo my shweetooo looveee u.. and will always be with u.. missing u sooo much” ROFL. Its really hilarious to read all that. Then the girl goes like “I know your lying. All this is just fake. I hate you. “ Hahah. And it goes on and on. The entertainment is never-ending. Sometimes, you wish to not get out of the train even when your station has arrived.

If you’re lucky, you can get to see ladies fighting in the ladies compartment. The type of slang they use, the way the talk, its absolutely funny! It will cheer you up in the worst of times! :-p

When the small boys come with the huge trays filled with earrings and clips and all such female accessories, its fascinating to see how ladies pay 10-20 rupees for rubbish stuff. You can actually see yourself talk in your mind “Who buys such stuff??” and the lady next to you has already bought it!

Once I was listening to two girls talking and one of them was like. “You know he was looking at me and I didn’t know what to say, I was blushing sooooooooooooo much” Lol.

Once, I overheard two girls bitching about their professors and it was amazingly funny. I have even participated in many random conversations and made random train friends. It’s cute.

If you happen to see the men fight, its more amazing, and rare too, but it can also turn out to be horrid. Nevertheless, it keeps the boredom away.

When I see lot of crowd, I always wonder what each one of them must be doing, where they must be going, what pressures do they have to bear to travel in such a miserable crowd, earn money, go home and cook food, take care of children. Life is surely tough for some people.

It is really fun when your standing in the crowd and some bitchy woman is continuously irritating and pushing everyone, and you share “such-a-bitch” smile with other women. :-p

Once, there was a miserable crowd in the train and as usual, I was on my iPod. Some woman started pushing me, telling me to shift. As there was no place, I paid no heed to her. Then she pushed me hard. I shut the iPod, looked at her, and started speaking in English with heavy American accent. She had no clue what to say. I pretended as if I knew no Indian language. She gave me a few slang in Marathi and walked away. :D it really works.

Its one of the most amazing feelings, when you get to hang out at the door, and your listening to songs on the iPod simultaneously. The wind comes on your face, the scene outside is continuously moving and you have beautiful songs. It feels bliss.

I always wanted to travel on the top of the local trains. It was one of the many things I want to do before I die. Well, so a day like any another, I went with my brother to Dadar. Coming back, I got a sudden surge of craziness and I was like. “Lets go on the top today”. Totally unplanned, we climbed up the train at Dadar station. UP, meaning on the roof!

As I climbed, I was totally unsure of where to sit, what to hold. And the train starts within seconds. The train started. I was hanging on the ladder, which goes up. It was amazing. I slowly climbed up the roof. I sat on the roof. It was then, my brother shouted, “NOT THERE! THERE IS A WIRE!”

I got scared, but I experienced the few minutes of joy at the top. The world seems beautiful. Mumbai seems amazing. You see the people boarding on the train from the top. You see the city, the rail, everything from up. The part of the crowd you were, till yesterday, is seen as a whole today from up. The wind is moving on you, giving you tingling feeling of excitement, joy, the fun of doing something wrong, the fear of getting caught, its AMAZING.

Also, at the top of the train, the train bogie moves left and right with an alarming velocity. It gives you a feeling that you will be thrown away at the sides if you don’t hold tight. Its not a feeling, you WILL be thrown if you don’t hold tight.

So I came down at the ladder again. As the Byculla station came, we got down. And I started walking like any other person of the road. I looked around for a second. Smiled at myself. And I actually jumped over there with joy and screamed!

It was amazing.

What is the use of living a dry life for 100 years? Instead, live a exciting life, risk every moment, smartly of course! That’s what I believe in!

P.S. – That does NOT mean anyone out there should read this and go on top of the train. It is extremely risky and life threatening. As good as attempting suicide. Please guide experienced before thinking of such a task.

P.S 2 – The fine for climbing up on the train if your caught is 500rs per person.


  1. This is great, except for the following part :
    If a youngster is sitting next to you, u can tiptoe their sms’s and find things hilarious. Like that day, I was reading the sms’s of a girl sitting next to me and it said things like “shooonoo my shweetooo looveee u.. and will always be with u.. missing u sooo much” ROFL.

    Thats exactly the kind of smses/talk you do too :D, granny.

  2. haha.. come on.. duke.. dont embarass me. plus, i dont "love you" everyone.. and.. i dont even have a boyfriend to do all that! :-p omg.. y m i defending myself! hehe

  3. That Was cool, thats my way too, take life as it comes....

    can feel the emotions in ur writing...

    shine well...

  4. haa, i miss locals in mumbai..
    evn i havnt gone on top of train (n probably will neva do dat since i saw a vid of wat happens wen u touch da "wire" )

  5. hey, nice to see you share my love for local trains.nothing can match the experience of travelling in them! good writing! i'm happy i stumbled across yr blog :P