For many people travelling is an activity that they indulge in for either relaxing their mind, to explore a new place, to reconnect with their inner self or maybe just escape the normal routines of life.
But for an average Mumbaikar, travelling is nothing less than a battle won.
Every day is a new opportunity to fight for that fourth seat on a local train, to bicker about the horrible roads, to feel frustrated all over again.
However there is not much a common man, living in one of the busiest cities in our countries, can do to avoid the hurdles of travelling.
The local trains, take this dilemma to a whole new level.
The trains though crowded, though late is the last resort for most of the people living at far away places.
For people in Mumbai, getting home early is more important than getting home safely.
And finally when you reach your destination you feel like a warrior who survived a brutal war.
And don’t even bother to understand where you got that bruise on your arm because eventually you will get used to it.
Some might say that bus, auto rickshaw, bikes, or even cars may be a better alternative, then to you my friend i say, you wouldn’t want to go there as it is a whole different ordeal.
The amount of time than a Mumbaikar spends in his/her commute, can be compiled into a series than would run into 10 different seasons.
Though you cannot even blame the population in Mumbai.
Being the financial hub of the country everybody sees it as the Land of dreams.
People are willing to travel 6 hours every single day for a job in Mumbai.
Every single day is a new struggle and every single person is willing to go through that struggle.
Because we are Mumbaikars.
Though we actually hate travelling and any given day we would spend all our time staying indoors so that we do not have to travel, the amount of pride that we take into saying we are Mumbaikars is an amazing feeling altogether.
We could get into a fight as soon as we begin our day, and later have a horrible day ahead but as soon as we reach home, there is a satisfaction and a voice that tells us in our heads-
‘If I can survive that, then I can survive anything in my life‘.
Although travelling is a hectic part of our work schedules, it does sometime brings little joys to our lives that us happy.
Your mode of transport turning into your makeshift bedroom, the little chit-chats that we have with people and maybe finding some time alone to get be there for yourself.
It feels less of a commute and more of a second home.
The random strangers that you meet and the experiences that you get to share.
The small kid you see talking with such maturity that it astounds you, to the old lady sitting next to you sharing her life story even though you are just busy fiddling with your phones.
And if you get stuck somewhere or get left behind, don’t worry you will find help eventually.
We may have crammed places to fit in but we have hearts bigger than the ocean.
Having said that, weekends don’t last forever and Monday comes back nagging you to get up and run for your destination.
If you ever feel that you have the worst commute ever, then a little piece of advice–
Do travel by our Mumbai locals and I bet you will find your commute much better.
-Written by Shrunga Poojari (Student)