Local train journeys are not a cakewalk, and people who travel everyday are the ones who deserved to be hugged. It’s not easy to willingly get manhandled my people on a daily basis and come home with a new scar each day, but they survive amidst all this madness just to make it to work on time. There’s cut throat competition when it comes to survival in local trains, it’s like a battlefield. A slight mistake and you’re in for a lot of insults. Sins that you should never commit in Mumbai locals –
1. Claim seats to two people
If you’re not familiar to this barter system that is existent in Mumbai locals, let me tell you what claiming the seat means. If at all you’re lucky to find a seat in the local, you are expected to bestow the pleasure of sitting in a Mumbai local upon a candidate after you get up. The selection of candidature is purely on first come first serve basis. Whoever fights their way and enters the compartment first, gets to claim the seat. For any first time traveler who is unknown to this system often ends up giving their seats to two people. You know what follows? Endless verbal abuse directed towards the person who even dared to pull off a stunt like this. Unless you want to be killed by a voodoo shut these ladies would do, don’t claim your seats to two people.
2. Enter the compartment with long open hair
There’s a reason why it’s called reel life, there’s nothing real about it. The actresses you see on screen with perfect hair flowing in the wind when they enter a train, let me tell you it’s all bullshit. Firstly, your hair won’t look pretty, you’re going to look like Chewbacca. Secondly, the people in the train are going to make your journey a living hell for travelling with untied hair. The minute even one of your hair touches the tip of their nails, you’re in for a lot of insults. Suddenly, all you’re going to hear from everywhere is “baal hatao”, and traveling won’t be the same anymore. Unless you want to be looking as angry co-passengers ready to turn you bald, always carry a rubber band.
3. Get in a Virar local for Borivali *gasp*
People travelling in trains from/to Borivali go through a lot of discrimination on daily basis. The gates our blocked so they can’t enter the train, they’re always told how there are a million trains from Borivali that they can take instead of getting into one coming from Virar, but the most deadliest of them all is not being able to get down at Borivali. People have zero tolerance when it comes to this. You’re asking people to disrupt the three queues they took a whole 20 minutes to figure out. Firstly, if you want to get down at Borivali, you are expected to stand at the gate even before the train starts. Secondly, if you’re going to stand up late, you can’t expect people to be warm towards your late realization.
4. Carry a huge bag
People in Mumbai locals get irritated when they see more human beings entering the compartment to occupy more space, which is directly proportional to reduction in their comfort. So you can only imagine how they would react if a non-human, non-breathing object gets in their way of standing comfortably. Carrying a huge bag is something you would do if you have a lot of guts, as there’s no way you’re going to survive the whole journey without being told a hundred times that your bag is enormous. “Kyun chaddte hai itna bada bag leke” is what you’ll be hearing from 70 different passengers, all acting like your bag is an alien specie that has invaded the earth.
5. Stand in the Andheri line
If you’re a daily commuter of the Mumbai locals, you’ll know that there is a whole system involved in it’s proper functioning. The people who get down at Andheri own the damn place and anyone who tries to mess with them, has no respect left by the end of the journey. So these Andheri people surround the whole gate area even before Mira Road. The whole passage is just 4-5 different queues of people getting down at Andheri, and god help you if you’re in that queue and don’t have to get down. They’ll push, squeeze, rip and kill you for doing this unforgiving crime that you committed and tried to delay their process of getting down at Andheri.
Chala chala pude chala.