Pretty long for an affair, don’t you think?
My relationship with the Mumbai local trains started last September when I took up a job on the other side of town. At first, I assumed it would be a temporary arrangement, moving closer to work being the general idea. But laziness and fear-of-seeing-ugly-houses kept me committed to my tiring routine.
Home -> Auto -> Train -> Cab -> Work = 1 hour 40 minutes
Work -> Walk -> Train -> Auto -> Home = 1 hour 55 minutes
Day in and day out for more than a year.
A couple of my colleagues have looked at me pointedly and said – “Wow, you must really love this job.”
But like most relationships, my affair with the local train and therefore my job, is not based on “love” alone.
Like any affair, my tryst with the locals came with its own set of stages.
First came the adrenalin – I can do this. Travel 4 hours a day and survive, I mean.
Then came the tiffs – little hiccups in the journey (like missing my train), that made me reconsider my decision to live so far from work.
Then came hatred – with the Mumbai rains – that made me want to quit. The job, the city, the world, everything.
Then I got used to it. It became routine. A habit. I began to love the little quirks, stories and happenings in the ladies compartment – so much so, that I realised, I may miss it if I quit.
It’s funny when you think about it. How can you hate something one moment, and absolutely love it the next? How can you bitch about it for hours, and then defend it vehemently when another suggests you cab it instead?
A love-hate relationship, that in addition to making me feel really proud of myself – when I realised I had completed a year of this gruelling schedule and survived, it also opened my mind to the world in a whole, new, different way. There were days I teared up with joy on seeing acts of kindness between fellow passengers – the world can be a happy place sometimes. And there were days when I came home bursting with stories of large insects creeping up under salwars and burkhas, driving entire compartments into mayhem.
The local trains can brighten up your day in more ways than one. If you let it.
Also, I lost a shit ton of weight. 😉 One does NOT simply give up on something that helps you stay fit without actively trying. On second thoughts, maybe it’s fear of getting out of shape that’s keeping me addicted to the locals, but that’s a thought for another day. 😛
Over the past year, I have written about these little instances and observations on my Facebook page. And plenty of my friends who’ve read it have asked me to write a book, create a vlog, or simply come up with a comic series on the same. However, I think, for now, let’s keep it on this blog.
Have a look, and hope it keeps you entertained.
Even if you’ve never been on the local, these updates will vicariously let you live the local life. 🙂