Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Eternal Search for the Other side

The light warmth of early morning sun gracefully touches me when I get up in the morning.The mobile buzzes the morning alarm, set for 6:30 everyday. Rarely do I get up at that hour.7:30 AM is the average time to start the drill for the day.Rushing to brush,excreate bowel and bath, time flies fast.Not a second to think about anything else.A quick stop for the morning tea and a brisk walk to the bus stop is all I have got. Sitting on the double decker, which charges along like an angry red bull,red signal lights serving as flares, I finally reach the station after a 17 minute mad drive. The rush has just begun.
Andheri station is a swarm of activity. Thats a trivial comparison. Its more like the migratory bisons across the vast expanse of the Sahara. One slip and most probably, you are history. The queue to catch a bus back to the place where I boarded, extends all the way to the overhead walkbridge.From a bird's eyeview, its like a gargantuan swathe picking up people from one place and depositing them in another, in a mechanised way.
If reaching the station is trouble, then reaching the platform to board train is a race. A nerve wracking race at that. More so, when trains going towards Borivalli and another towards Churchgate reach the adjacent platforms simultaneously. There are no words to describe the people's onslaught right after getting down the slowing local.In a flash, the entire foot over bridge is swarmed with people rushing to be a part of the ever-elongating bus queue. You barely get enough space to put your foot down the stairs. A troubled race to reach the platform pales in comparison to the war that is waged to get into the seriously overcrowded trains. As per the latest statistics, an average of 4100 people commute on a single 12 car local train. Thats about 341.6 people per compartment. A normal compartment can seat 78 people and an equal number of standees. But this figure is just double the permissible limit. Add to it the sweltering summer heat and the copious sweat, I end up reaching the station like a cloth wrung out dry. The heat and crowd is so very energy sapping that even 3-5 litres of liquid leaves me thirsty for more.
A small swig of lime juice from the shop at the station entrance is sufficient to help me dash to the waiting taxis which zoom away with its precious load of passengers to our work places at Cuffe Parade. The adventure is still not complete. The final frontier is the ascent to my 11th floor office, wriggling my way through a metre long queue for the lift. All this is for what? An inner voice says, "never mind, there is something better in store for you".
The same thing is repeated in reverse when going back home.
On the way to work and back,the only thought that goes on over and over again is that something good, something better awaits us. The very soul of Mumbai is in its ability to squeeze more minutes out of the available 24 hours a day.People dangle dangerously from the train roof tops, just to be in time for their work/college. Mumbai is hungry for more, the hunger to succeed, to earn and more importantly, somehow find the blissful other side of life.
I too trudge along, hoping that one day, the golden gates to the other side will be thrown wide open.
As people believe, Grass is always green on the Other Side.

1 comment:

devil said...

ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan,
zara hatke, zara bachke
yeh hai bombay meri jaan