Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bombay calling...

To all my friends... a Mumbaiite or not... and specially to you Miss R...

After a really long drawn trek, tired and totally sleep-deprived, I reached Mumbai yesterday... To be really frank, off late the glitz of Mumbai was losing its sheen somewhere deep inside me... That Mumbai is something vastly different from any other Indian 'city' seemed too far in reality... (Cut the smile, Ms. R...)

And then like all illusions, even this faded and I was snapped back to reality... And all it took was a night...

Ok... for the records...

Sunday, December 24, 00.15 am
Back from the trek, a friend of mine and I were in a ST bus headed to Dadar. Busy discussing finance and management schools, I hadn't felt the journey to be long or demanding! Somewhere near Chembur naka, there was a heavy inflow of traffic on the other side. I exclaimed the same and muttered to myself about the smooth flow on our side! Suddenly, the smooth and fast ride was cut short... There was a traffic jam! A good heavy jam at 00.20 am in the morning!

Sunday, December 24, 00.35 am
15 minutes ad we had hardly moved; and we were still moving at a snail's pace. I just popped out my head saw that the traffic jam extended to at least a kilometer more, right up to Priyadarshini... I told my friend that we get down at the petrol pump near my grandma's house and go to Kurla station to take a local back. So we did!

Sunday, December 24, 00.40 am
We had reached Kurla station. Paid the 12 Rs. that the meter showed (wondered why he hadn't charged us the night fare, approx. 1.5 times the meter reading). Took a ticket each and went to the platform. My friend wanted badly to eat a 'vada-pav'. We went to the platform just to see the 00.38 am Ambernath local leaving the platform. Praying that the next local should be empty (yeah, locals can be really crowded, even at 00.45 am on a Sunday morning. The indicator changed, and read "00.30 N". That would be a Kasara local (fyi... Kasara is 129 kms away from CST. Yes, that is how long the Mumbai local stretch is.) And, just as we got down the steps of the bridge... the Kasara local started entering the platform. Now, we had precisely 40 seconds (10 for the train to come to a halt and 30 second halt) in hand to get the 'vada pav' and get into the train. We went to the stall. I asked my friend to take position, just in case the train is crowded. Reached the stall and...

"Brother, 2 'vada pavs' and I have to catch this train!"
"Right-ho! Coming up..." and almost immediately, 2 pieces with the pav amazingly chutneyed. i open my wallet... and find just one 500 Rs. note!
"Brother... ", just as I hand it over... "don't have change!"
"Oh! Its just 8 bucks...", he says teasingly...
I plead... looking at the train which just halted... I could get another 2-3 seconds, thats the time the train takes to pick up speed... ;)
And in a flash, Rs. 492 in change was handed over to me... :)

Sunday, December 24, 01.05 am
21 minutes is all it takes to cover the 15 km stretch with 6 stations in between... and exactly at 01.05 am I reached Mulund. Got out at the station, took an auto again from the stand, and reached home by 01.15 am.

What leaves me dumb-founded is the contrast this city presents...

In Chembur, 15 minutes to cover 75 meters... and from Chembur to my home in Mulund 18 kms in all, covered in just 30 mins!

Wondering if I could have gotten home spending 31Rs. and covering 18 kms in 30 mins... in any place in India, forget that it takes place at 00.45 am on a Sunday morning!

That is why I love Mumbai, Ms. R!

10 comments:

Daneshia said...

cooooool! :) absolutely believable.. :) being mumbai... and what abt the mumbaiites? they've made mumbai this way! they deserve a place of honour on ur blog! :)

ani said...

coooool!!! i mean u cudnts have put a man's (or a woman's) luv for mumbai in better words!!! awwwwwwsumly said!!

Ruchi said...

Alllll right!!!!
Mumbai locals rock!!!i agree!!they absolutely do!!
But thats not the only factor for comparision!!!
How abt comparing the peaceful life in "the other cities of India" to MumBHAI!?!!?!:D

Abinav Kumar said...

@dans...u can't really tell a city from its people...

@ani... thnx lady! :)

@ruchi... ;P ... will write something on Pune pretty soon...!!!

Daneshia said...

ok.. so 'the ppl' and 'the place' are not connected? well... ppl create places.. don't they?

why don't i just agree...? :)

Abinav Kumar said...

hullo dans...

what i meant is...'you cant tell a city from its people' ... meaning... u cant differentiate the city from its people..!!! helloo... u never know for sure if the people make the city or it is the oder way round..!!!

Daneshia said...

hmm... righto :)

ishan said...

good one..esp the gujju bhai wallah...loved it....hohohoho

Abinav Kumar said...

thnx man... and wats up in ur end... no blog for so long..!

Nitya said...

Soo true! I realllly miss the Mumbai locals esp. when I've to travel w/o a car someplace (i.e. when I'm alone) and have to depend on the metro system where there are buses and trains at 1 hr frequencies and that too with loooong routes!:(