Remembering Mumbai Local #1

M-Indicator App, Just keep it open and be ready! You‘ll be able to find the train and the platform and the time of arrival easily. Everyone told me so. But what they didn’t tell me was to make sure that I put my mobile in the bag and hold my bag tight. Once I found the very right train in the very right platform I had to do gymnastics in one leg to make sure I don’t lose my mobile which was in one hand and my bag which was in the other. #MumbaiLocal Journey begins! Though there was quite a rush, the journey was good and quick. CottonGreen, Dockyard Road, Sand Hurst Road ..Chunabatti, Sewri….the names amused me….and then there was Kurla. I think there is one big Mumbai hidden alone in this place. The sheer number of people who get down and get in here, in this station is humungous. Finally I thought I got a seat…I took my earphones out and was about to enjoy a song when I realized it was the last station. No wonder I got a seat.

Mumbai CST,UNESCO world heritage site, probably is the most visited tourist spot. The footfall everyday must be thousands or may be even more. People rush by, there is no time. If it is to catch the right bus in the morning, then it is to catch the right train in the evening. I have always felt that CST terminal is like a point in relay. The trains barely touch it and then they are off at full speed again…back to Vashi, Panvel ,Andheri…and then back to CST. For them it’s truly not the destination, but the journey that matters.

I looked around, searching for exit. I had to stand and look at both directions. The mere act of standing irritated people. You are supposed to either walk fast or run. That’s the norm. I had to dodge people who were rushing left and right. Finally I found the exit and walked out of the station. I had to go to my office which was near church gate. So I took a bus “CST to CST via Church gate”. I had to get down near Mantralaya. Everyone told me “ It’s very easy, most of the buses stop near Mantralaya”. I got in the bus and took the ticket. Something about me, might have been the way I pronounced Mantralaya, seemed strange to the conductor. I ignored it. I was excited to see around CST, apparently the prime location of Mumbai and the most happening place.

The bus route covered almost every place. It went along Marine drive and the morning sea was just perfect. The small dent in my happiness was that I didn’t know where to get down. There were so many buildings and I had no clue as to which one is Mantralaya. Finally I thought I reached the stop and I rushed to get down. Someone shouted at me from behind. “Ye Mantralaya nahi hai”. The conductor was smiling at me. So I sat down. And for all the stops that came by after that, I used to look back at him and he used to shake his head “Nope…No”! I was getting tensed. He came to me and asked me “Aap ko kahan jaana hai?” . I told him “Petroleum House and its near Mantralaya”. “Petroleum house…” he pondered. He broadcasted my problem to everyone in the bus. Then everyone started discussing.

“She could get down at XYZ stop….” “She can walk from LIC office.” “She had to board the other bus.” “She should get down here…and walk right…then left…then straight…then right…then left…”!!! So much of confusion. I noticed that even the driver had joined the discussion as he was driving. I was looking at everyone as they spoke and I meekly said that I can check Google Maps. Laughter erupted ,Google Maps won’t help you was the consensus.Finally they all came to the conclusion and they told me how exactly to reach “Petroleum House” .And the kind driver totally invented a new stop and stopped there to help me manage and find my way. And Yes!! …I did find my way and I safely reached in time to my new office!
Thanks to Mumbaikaars… Love you guys!!

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