Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Goregaon To Churchgate

A piece written by my colleague. Captures the ride wholesomely

It’s a beautiful day when you leave your cozy house in the morning for your day’s work. After you are done with your daily chores and your breakfast, you are all set to go to office.

But my dear friend let me remind you, you are located in a city known as Mumbai. It’s really easy to say that you are satisfied with the work you do. But alas, you can’t say the same about the way in which you reach the place, where you do your satisfying work. Ironically, it’s commuting that takes more out of you than your work itself. And work gets paid, commuting doesn’t.

So, you leave your house fresh as a spring flower, in firmly pressed clothes, hair intact, and with all the potency to face your day’s work. You normally take a cab or rickshaw to reach the nearby station from where the train starts for the ultimate destination, i.e. Churchgate.

On the Platform
You stand all alone in the world of many, gazing the people standing on the same platform as if you have never seen any (You are actually evaluating who are your competitors and how beatable are they). Slowly, the crowd starts multiplying with an ever-increasing rate. And you start sweating by the mere view of it (Not that the Sun is out). You now know, it’s not going to be easy to get a place in the train bogie for which you have shelled out your hard-earned dough.

And slowly, you start devising a strategy that will help you earn a seat in the train bogie. You set your priorities (Maybe, first a window seat, then a right hand seat, standing near the door, etc). After that, you plan your optimal movement in the train while boarding, the total duration of which is not going to be more than a fraction of a second. Amidst all these thoughts, suddenly you hear voices and witness some chaos. Hey, there it is, standing a kilometer away, the medium that will help you reach your destination Churchgate (You already forgot that by now), the TRAIN.

But there’s no time. Remember, it’s no less than an India-Pakistan war. Indeed, all the valiant soldiers are gearing up for the fight of their life, the battlefield is slowly approaching, get in or you are out of the race. And will have to see yours Senior’s angry face. And then lands the battlefield on the platform. But hey, even before you gave the slightest thought of getting in, people are actually jumping and hopping into the train. I can tell you, it’s an unbelievable sight. And you are actually thrown here and there, and you say to yourself, damn the strategy and the seat, will I even be able to get into the train.

In the Transit
Yes, you made it. You started the war on a good note. At least, you somehow managed to hang on to the train. Although, you didn’t secure yourself a seat (I am quite sure about that), you are at least being displaced towards the destination Churchgate. The sight of people hanging on the train can be compared with the sight of red ants dangling on a piece of bread (Although the red ants take some minutes to cover a bread, the train gets covered in a matter of some nano seconds).

Inside the train, you are having the most pleasant time of the day. Reciting all the prayers you can and wishing god that the train completes its journey as soon as possible. It’s only here that you get the chance to determine how your sweat tastes, because anyways you cannot wipe it off (Your hands are entwined in the crowd). Slowly, more and more people start to get into the train and that doesn’t make your life any easier (Now you know the disadvantages of a 1.2 billion population). The moving crowd literally brushes you and converts your well-pressed Branded shirt into a tattered piece of cloth. Some hands above your head brush your intact hair into a muddled bunch of grass (In all the crowd, You feel that you are a wise man that you left your umbrella back home). And your sweat has already decided to give you another bath.

In the midst of your journey you start wondering, why the hell I am in this train. When will I be rich enough to travel to-and-fro in a car? On one end exasperation is building up and someone starts arguing with you on your inappropriate posture. And although you wish to bash him up, you subtly settle the matter (i.e. After gauging the opponent’s size).

Just when you are on the end of journey, literally cursing someone who spoiled the state of your shirt, someone in the rush of getting down stamps his foot on your polished and shining shoe. Before you shout, he’s even left the platform leaving you in despair. Finally at Marine lines, you start gathering your luggage and become ready for alighting the train. You actually start thinking that; I have already lost half my day’s energy (And I require the remaining half while I am on my way back). The train has left you in misery, with a half drenched and messy shirt, muddled hair, dirty shoe, and an exasperated mood.

On the Churchgate Platform - Eureka
Ah! What a relief. You are on the seventh heaven, when you have alighted the Train. It feels the same as when a war gets over. Peace is the word. But as soon as you start thanking your god, he replies you with the blessings of water, i.e. Rain. Enjoy your way to the office!!!

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