Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dombivli Local

Departure : 0600 from Dombivli
Arrival : 0720 @ Mumbai CST

I generally glance through my Mumbai Mirror till I reach Thane and then have a nap upto Mumbai CST.

Local trains in Mumbai are a life-line for the working class and students in Mumbai. It is very interesting to observe people in the train because that is one time when you are really doing nothing but only looking around till you reach your destination. I have been travelling in these trains regularly for 8+ years now and have tried to describe some types of people that I have come across. These may be familiar characters for you too !

Ardent sleepers: They get into the train only to find a place to finish their sleep. These people have the ability to sleep under any conditions - standing or sitting ! Some even sleep with their mouth open and some snore so loudly that you feel they are trying to compete with the rattling sound of the train. They are an amusement [annoying characters?] for co-passengers too. Some of these will keep on falling on either side to use the neighbor's shoulder as their pillow [this is very irritating - you need to keep your balance guys].

Singer gangs: In most of the long distance local trains, there are singing groups which like to sing all the way through their journey. They will carry portable drums, cymbals etc too. Most of the times, you will find them singing some bhajans but at times, if the mood changes, they could turn on to movie songs too. I find them entertaining at times, but have found that they are disliked by many other travelers.

Students: For students, travelling in local trains is more of a meeting place or a mobile Katta as they call it. They would be on their way to colleges and will be found discussing a variety of topics ranging from sports, movies, latest mobiles and other gadgets, hot babes in their college / coaching classes, professors, studies and could be gossiping about anything else under the sun. Some of them are busy finishing off their assignments or discussing problems among themselves. Most of them would be carrying heavy sacks. They are very lively and interesting lot to be with because they remind you of your student life.

Book worms: These people will carry a thick novel or a book and will dump their heads into it as soon as they have settled down and will never bother to come out of it unless they realize that they have reached their destination.

Foodies: I have seen some people carrying food packets - could be anything ranging from Samosas, pop-corns, biscuits, burgers, soft-drinks, tea, coffee or just about anything and will keep on munching something or the other during their journey. Most of the times, they are those in-frequent travelers who are taking out their family and need to keep themselves engaged, so they think that eating is essential on the train as in long-distance trains.

Leaders: These are the people who look around carefully to find victims. They could start a dialogue with you under the guise of borrowing your newspaper / magazine or just inquire about your mobile phone model. Once you reply, they will try to get into a very high level discussion even though you have met them for the first time in your life. These discussions be on varying topics like Indian economy, Indian politics, social problems and so on. Probably, they ought to be netajis but couldn't become one, so they like to lead discussions within train groups. They would have a lot to say on how the Indian public should have act or re-acted to various situations. They also have all the expert knowledge about what happened in history and what is happening all around the world now. They seem to have all the solutions to the socio-economic & political problems that India has had to face in the past and how that could have been avoided.

I am sure you too, would have noticed a lot on your train journeys. I am feeling a bit sleepy for now but will continue this post soon.....

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