Saturday, October 23, 2010
Captured by Women in Mumbai Local train – A true story
Droplets of rain fell onto his face washing away the sweat generated by the body. His eyes were steady, looking far at its target, calm and confident. He moved into the crowd smashing big and small shoulders that were a hindrance to his goal. He was disturbing the non-violent queue that moves non-stop at a constant rate but they had no time to react to the intruder. He looked into a small window and gave the woman sitting on the other side a 50-rupee note. They exchanged glances and the woman returned a white paper and little money. A gentle smile appeared on his half shaven face, signifying his achievement. He was wearing a brown T-shirt, Kolhapuri chappal, was 5 feet 9 in height, with a silver shaded big watch and holding a while roller sheet that resembled to a missile. He placed his hands into the left pocket of his pants and took a black coloured device that was shining in the light emitting from the either sides of the bridge, covered at the top. He clicked on the white button of the device and it displayed few codes on a rectangular display after which he started running. He ran until he got into a train filled with passengers on all the sides. Soon the train moved with a roaring sound that shifted the passengers an inch from their initial position.
Gopu looked at the man with his round, brownish eyes, indicating the position on a seat that was vacant due to a passenger who got up for the next station. The man moved the body rapidly and in few seconds, he was on the vacant seat. The train started moving faster and reached Dadar. Gopu turned towards him and said “Abs I think we are moving on a wrong track. This train does not seem going to Mumbai CST”. I got up from my seat and found that we were travelling on the western line rather than on the harbour line. “This train will stop at Church gate, be calm as Nariman point is near to it”, it took me few seconds to think and convince him. I was also worried for few minutes after hearing that we are routing on a wrong track.
A day before today, we got into a local train that took us to an unknown place and was heading towards Panvel. Realising the fault we got down at the next station where we had to pick another train to Mumbai CST. Gopu asked me to confirm the train and be on time so we do not face such problems the next time. The train reached Church gate and we moved to a nearby stall and asked for “nimbooz”. We were tired after the slow motion walking for impressing girls, train journey and we thought to have the modern-era nimboo pani.
It was the Ayodhya decision day and we decided to leave early around 2.30 Pm. There were rumours in the town regarding the chances of protests and problems considering the output of the decision. A reporter from Indian Express stopped us at the railway station and asked our opinion about the D-day and whether problems are expected today. I said that we are not sure about the problems D-day would cause but are sure about the consequences we would have to face considering we are as always late for the meeting. He smiled and we headed towards a nearby Cab that could lead us to Nariman Point.
Nariman point was calm and busy as always, with Gopu’s “chaddi girls” walking on the roadsides listening to music and without exposing the feeling that something unexpected could happen. Elrico Fernandes was living in Mumbai since his childhood and said us not to worry as the situation is under control and Police department has taken every precaution to avoid problems. We met Elrico at Nariman point on the first day. He is a good chap with a long, slim body, little curly hairs, rosy lips, teeth within who become our “Mumbai-ka-dost” few days ago.
It was 2.45 Pm and we hurried for the railway station. We were happy to find the train to Andheri which was about to leave the station. We ran towards the train and it started moving. I asked Gopu to be fast and was running behind him to confirm that he gets into the train safely. I saw him getting into the train but I was too far to reach his compartment and the train started moving faster. Wind started blowing inside my ears and it become darker in front of my eyes. I jumped from the platform onto the left and somehow managed to catch the steel bars and get inside the compartment. It was like Tom-Cruise jumping in the Action Movies. I bet Ram Gopal verma might have signed me for his next movie watching this action sequence. My heartbeat went faster and I was in a COMA state where I was not able to react to the environment.
(Image credits: classifieds Rekha Inc.)
It took me few minutes to relax myself and then I moved inside. I heard some voice “oh shit! What’s this” and I moved my eyes towards the voice and saw a compartment full of women. They were all red, green, yellow, blue saree, jeans and salwar wearing women who were staring at me as if they have seen an alien. I was astonished to see all women and at the same time afraid, when I witnessed it was women compartment. I thought, “amma... today I am gone”, the breaking news for tomorrow’s Mumbai Mirror newspaper would be that a boy was killed in a train by women in Mumbai”. Soon women were there on my left, on my right and everywhere I could see except outside the door.
(Image credits: Chapatiexpress)
I felt they are going to push me out of the train and I said to myself “please don’t do it, it could be your son, your husband and your never seen boyfriend in this situation”. I was thinking like Steven Spielberg though the women were busy staring at me with no intentions to throw me out. I think they were happy to see an opposite gender, handsome, cool and brave enough to enter their kingdom (I think... they might not :) ). I was studying in a mixed school from my childhood and never felt a feeling of insecurity and fear. This was a horrible situation and I either could be be put to jail or fined high. I hope the women understand that I was in their compartment unknowingly and that was the reason they did not make any noise.
I was there for 10 minutes and I jumped to the next station as soon as the train stopped. I got into the compartment where Gopu was seated and felt like I found Nirvana. I narrated the complete story to Gopu who was worried for my absence. He started laughing after completely listening to the things that happened with me. I still laugh when I think about the situation and my anxiety in the Mumbai local train.
I use to respect women but the respect increased further after the good approach they showed towards me. It all happened in duration of 10 minutes but I felt as if I was there the whole day. Mumbai gave me good memories but the one I could never forget in my lifetime is the local train journey.