Fate has been kind to me. Really merciful.In spite of being born a Bombayite, n brought up as a Mumbaikar, i am quite inexperienced regarding the daily grill of a typical mumbaikar. I am , of course, talking about that marvel of mumbai that is called the lifeline of this wonderous city. Local Trains. They say, if you havent travelled in a local train in mumbai, you havent seen mumbai, you havent lived, you have no adventure spirit. Well, i cannot claim to have experienced the true local train ride. Most of my travelling has been by road, and occasionally by the afternoon weekend train. Which is certainly not the 'Mumbai train experience' . Its not that im not an adventurous type ( how wud i have chosen bitsunami otherwise eh ? :P ).
Its just that there never arose a need to go through that grinding, quite literally. But i think fate decided it was time i had a taste of what i was missing. They say fate catches up with you no matter where you go, what you do. Thats exactly what happened with me, when i unsuspectingly boarded an otherwise peaceful looking green bus that is typical of chennai. Little did i anticipate what was in store for me. Todaym owing to excess of work at ps, i had to leave on time ( :P ) for once. Which is the rush hour. The stop where i board the bus is relatively near its starting point, so it is quite reasonable to board the bus without a second thought. Buti was in for a shock, as in the very next stop, came rushing a crowd as if someone was giving away free gold inside the bus. From then on, there was no lookin back. Bones i never knew existed came into prominance. A majority of my muscles got a free massage in the bus. There was no room for an elbow. I seriously felt sorry for the bacteria that might have been trapped between two people. It was worst at the stops. People losing all civil sense, and it turned out to be a battle of strength between the tide of people trying to rush in madly, and the desperate ones trying to get out. Ultimately it led to typical chaos and confusion, with squabbles breaking out, slowing the bus journey even more. Infact, the only reason i could make head or tail of the squabble was because being slightly on the taller side as compared to the average indian bus traveller, my head was above most of the heads, and at least got few whiffs of fresh air that seemed like the breeze of my life. As only the portion of my body above the neck region was movable, i craned my neck to see what stop had come. With the result that i got a rude stare from some guy who apparently was in a foul mood. He might have been muttering something, but i was too relieved not to be at the recieving end of some mundane local outburt, so hardly payed attention.
At last Mylapore tank stop arrived, and i now was part of the party that was trying to get out of the bus, against the huge tide of people who were lookin desperately for ways to get in.
A few mutterings and shouts later, the other side compromised, and allowed our team ( lol ) to go through.
This ordeal left me wondering at the marvel that was that rickety bus. It looked as if one good kick would do the job. Yet it was supporting almost an army. To say the bus was overflowing with people would be the understatement of the century. Yet, it chugged along. And that, my dear friends, is the marvel. Just like locals are the lifeline of Mumbai, it can be said busses are the lifelines of chennai. I can also now claim to have a near experience of a mumbai local at rush hour. :D
Though i have expressed this in a much more positive way than would have been believed of me by most who think they know me, i assure you this trip has rid me of any whim or inclination that i had, of travelling in one of Mumbai's locals :)