Sequel to previous post:
As we see the arriving train from a distance, people start moving around, adjusting to their positions. Bags and purses are fastened, and dupattas are tucked in. I always take the third first class compartment (video coach) and pretty accustomed to all the regulars there. As the first two I class dabbas pass you get to hear some comments – that the train is full, or empty. Funny how things are seen in binary: if the doors sparsely occupied, the train is empty, else its packed. Local trains in Mumbai run typically at 140%-210% of their rated capacity and stop for 10-12 seconds, so no matter how able bodied you are, you cannot get in unless you are habituated.
With huge efforts, the entire platform filled with people is sucked in the train, and we depart. There is enough space inside to rest your foot. If you are lucky, you can stand comfortably on both feet. If you are blessed more, you can read a book, or a newspaper folded in a style particular to Mumbai.
Thane station. Disgrunted protests by people in the compartments about Thaneites boarding “our” trains, when they have got exclusive trains for them. But resultant, there is better space, and reading is comfortable.
Kurla Station. My destination arrives, and about 20% of the commuters are emptied here. While you manage to squeeze out, eager to breathe in the open, your clothes and your hair are in a mess. You start ascending over the foot overbridges while trying to comb your hair and get your appearance neat.
My bus is standing at the bus stop! 313 Kurla Station West to Santacruz Station East. The smiling conductor greets the regulars and hands out the ticket before I pay him four rupees. Back to reading the book, usually bookmarked by the ticket I just bought.
“IN” time recorded by my office computer. No fun until tomorrow!