It’s been over a month and I had already started feeling like I was a Mumbaikaar. I had travelled to almost all places and local train didn’t scare me anymore. I was comfortable…even confident enough to direct other hapless passengers and help them to know which train heads where.
Things went fine and were finally constant. But as they say “The only constant thing is Change”.
Recently I had moved to Ghatkopar where my cousin stays. I was travelling to CST from Ghatkopar and I was happy because there were fast trains that ply in this route. I would be saving 10 whole minutes and I was sure I would be able to travel more comfortably. So that fine evening I got down from my office planning how the evening would be with that whole extra 10 minutes. I got into the train which was proudly standing in the last platform as if it was ready for a race. I boarded it and stood near the door hoping that the wind would blow on my sun harassed face. People, as usual, started asking where I had to get down. I pleasantly told “Ghatkopar ” -that far away land which was 4 or 5 stops away. There were quizzical expressions and I was approached again by one lady who told me that Ghatkopar platform is on the other side. Their expression was if I had boarded a completely different train and I had to take a taxi and rush to another station. All I had to do was move about 5 feet and stand on the other side of the train. I appreciated their help and I said calmly that I know that I have to stand on the other side and shall do so in some time. I thought to myself that I am no longer a newbie here and I can figure out things myself.
Came Byculla, I did not budge. Then came Kurla. I stood my ground but so did all the ladies in the Thane queue. Then ensued a fight. Kurla v/s Thane. People who were to get down at Kurla fiercely pushed their way towards the door demanding that they have to….they just got to get down. If people who were supposed to get down at Kurla were shouting that why Thane log have to block their way then it was countered equally fierce by people who pushed them back saying “All you have is this train? Why couldn’t you board another one..This is a fast one!”.By this time around 50 people were standing in that 5 feet of space I thought I will make it.
I got scared by then and decided to ask for help. I whimpered..”Ghatkopar”. A lady turned around and asked me completely shocked “ Ghatkopar”.I had the expression of “Guilty as charged”.Though she was kind at heart she was very strong and tough .She pulled me out of the thane line and wedged me into the Ghatkopar one.
There is one bad thing about fast trains. They are fast. When it reached Ghatkopar station there was so much of rush for people to get down that people who were standing behind me fell over me and I finally managed to wrench back my limbs from the crowd. I thought I had lost my bag. It usually is very heavy and it weighs down my hand. But supporting around 2 to 3 ladies who were leaning forward, now it felt a lot lighter. My lovely bag just dangled weightlessly now. Long Live Einstein and his wonderful theory of relativity.