Train travel in India.
THE ride of your life.
There are 3 types of train travel possible.
Type 1 : Local Train
Probably the most disgusting and claustrophobic mode of travel by train.
It’s a struggle. Against a monster. A monster with a thousand heads and two thousand arms and legs and a mouth that can breathe fire at you.
FACT 1:There are around a thousand people in every compartment during Mumbai peak hour.
The battle begins on the station when you wait for the train to arrive.
Somehow, everybody knows where the door of the compartment will be when the train stops. And everybody is standing there, a little away from the edge of the platform.
The train arrives, and 5000 people around you steel themselves for battle.
Suddenly, the train stops. If you haven’t been to the gym ever, sorry bro but you just ain’t gonna make the cut.
So the macho men (read me) barge and shove everyone in the way and get in the compartment. Your troubles just started, dude.
The train moves (how nobody knows – engineering miracle). You find a spot amidst all the people and squeeze in your muscular frame and stand there.
You dare not move. Not even to control a sneeze or a cough.
If you do, get ready to:
1. Suffocate to death.
2. Be trampled upon by an army of mad people.
If you escape 1 and 2,
3. Bleed from your ears as you hear the entire compartment abuse atleast 7 generations of your ancestors. And yes, they start with you of course.
The monster has surrounded you. If you move, it will breathe fire on you. So, you remain in a state of self-imposed paralysis until the next station comes. And for your sake, you pray the monster had enough cash to buy a deodrant.
Eventually, it does. You heave a sigh of relief, a momentary one as you are once again squashed from all sides. But you really won’t feel anything as you have lost all sense of touch. It is dead, temporarily.
After some time ranging from half an hour to two hours depending on your destination, your station comes along.
This time, you have to violate Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus. Yes, poke the sleeping dragon in the eye. Hell, you have to otherwise you’re gonna have to miss your stop and endure all the crap you just went through all over again.
So you muscle your way past a horde of frenzied commuters and onto the platform….your Elysium, your Paradise.
Check yourself for any signs of damage, such as bleeding, most notably around the feet and ear area. All fine? Get ready to hop on the Long Distance Train!
Part 2- The Long Distance Train…….comin’ up!