Lost in Mumbai local!!
Mumbai local is the most fascinating mode of travel in the city of Mumbai. People who live there sure know how to get into the always crowded trains effortlessly. Mumbai local is fast and the travellers – faster!
As the most populated city of India, Mumbai has the air of urgency and about 7.5 million Mumbaikars seem to be rushing to their destinations via the local. The local trains are as busy at 12am (midnight) as they are at 9am! Yes, you read it right! There are people from all walks of life – school kids, college students, office goers, elderly people and other travellers. People travel in the local for various reasons – to reach their destinations on time and faster, to avoid the traffic jams on roads and some people – to get the taste of the local!
If you are a tourist, you will be most interested in the Western line, where the major attractions lie. You may be surprised at how the whole system works. There are trains to different destinations every other minute, yet the crowd never seems to get less, especially during peak hours. This perhaps is also the beauty of the Mumbai local, which brings together people from so many different backgrounds at one place. People waiting for their train, people waiting for their stations – all become known faces in some time. Frequent travellers have their own set of ‘train friends’ they can chat and laugh with, till their station comes. The buzzing Mumbai life can be wholly seen in these trains.
Here are a few facts you must know about this enchanting train system to travel with ease –
- Find your own way – yes, you will have to find your own way into the train and the crazy compartments. No one will welcome you or give you way!
- The precious seats – you will know it when you travel regularly… the seats are precious, more so than your own life! People go insane and even have heated exchanges for these seats, specially those who have to travel long distances from one end of Mumbai to another.
- Survival of the fittest – it takes a lot to exit the crowded train when your destination arrives. There will be dozens of people blocking your way out, while others are trying to get in. All in all, it is a deadlock and if you can manage to get through – well you have mastered the art!
- Special compartment and seats – while the ladies’ compartments are separate, they too are flooded during peak hours. Ladies still do have the advantage of travelling without worrying about someone touching them inappropriately in the crowd if they get on into the ladies’ compartment. For the differently abled, there are special seats. Most people are compassionate enough to sacrifice their seats for such people. (Yes, humanity exists)
- The poor first-class for the rich – yeah, the poor soul with a higher price, not many prefer to travel in it. So, it is boring and you wouldn’t get the feel of travelling in the Mumbai local!
- Strangers become friends – over time when you see the same faces again and again, you smile and then talk with them, a new relationship brews up and after a few months, you would possibly have a whole gang! This is when you will really start enjoying your journeys and be lost in the charm of the Mumbai local.
- Relax and travel – don’t mess up during peak hours, if not required. Go at a time when trains are less crowded, say around 12 pm. The best place to go around this time is Churchgate, where you can meet the famous ‘Dabbawallas’ who pack around 2 lakh lunch boxes every day with lightning speed, flawlessly. You can also see all the important places like the Gateway of India, the Taj and a walk along the footpath to reach Marine drive, which is Mumbai’s esplanade.
Travelling in Mumbai’s local is an experience in itself, where you will find different people, some good, some not so good and it is the same for frequent travellers and tourists. You can enjoy your ride with a few adjustments and the right mindset (keeping in mind the above points). People sing, dance, laugh, share their stories and have fun together in this short journey of their day and make the most of their time!