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Now playing MUMBAI LOCAL

Taking a train in this city is a dramatic experience, Priyanka Talreja narrates the script

Vela ka mela
The term ’Vellagiri’ took birth on a railway platform. While you wait and wait and wait for the train to arrive, you can catch a glimpse of vela log without a garb of pretence. Most have their index finger stuck in their nostrils – exploring the treasures it has in store for the day, while others prefer to stare. Some will somberly stare into nothingness (budding Einsteins) while others find more interesting objects, like a lady’s leg, face or six inches south of it.

Herd mental-ity
Just as the train arrives, you will notice that the thought process of the whole crowd works like a team – like the werewolves in Twilight. Now it is one huge pack with a motto to ‘push and push till you succeed’. And, this is how they barge in. But mind you, each person in this herd is highly self-centered, as they will happily tread over your body, in case you fail the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ entrance test.

Smelly cat, smelly cat…
The team spirit evaporates the moment you’re in the train. Each individual can now occupy only a space of two steps, one hand gripping the handle/anything it finds, and now play scarecrow for the rest of your journey. In this immobile situation, humans feel the need to relieve themselves of any additional baggage they are carrying, but the only thing they can get rid of is… any gases (#ounwin!)? Gas! Adding to this, you will be subjected to the poop smell as and when the train passes through sensitive spots. And closer home, is the smell of freshly brewed sweat, for your nose only!

Fear for ears
While travelling, your ears get the royal treatment too! You will hear screeching jingles of vendors, which have, many a times, inspired Anu Malik! But the favourite for beggars, till date remains Pardesi pardesi from Raja Hindustani. Apart from all these, there are the regular noises like deafening chatters, absurd announcements, shrieks by a lady (for varied reasons, including cockroaches and mice, etc) and of course, the farting noises.

World War III
The knack of picking a quarrel is the most integral part of local train travel – an art mastered with experience. You will witness a fight every time you travel. So do not get caught off guard if you find yourself in the middle of a huge war. These generally occur due to lack of space, pulling of hair, difficulty while entry/exit.

Expect the unexpected!
Yes, this is a weird advice but trust me, this is what you need to do the most! Out of nowhere, you will feel a hand lingering close to your back pocket, and you will be confused if the person behind you is a homosexual or is trying to steal your phone. (If you happen to be a homosexual, feel free to make full use of the opportunity) If you are straight, then dude, deal
with it!

Phorum Pandya and The Fourth Seat

“Excuse me, would you shift a little,”
I said.
Three pairs of eyes stare at me in unison as if I had told them I had AIDS. Reluctantly, slooooooowly, the first butt moves hardly an inch. The centre butt glares at me again. Pointing towards the third one, who chooses to ignore by looking out of the window, she says, “Jagah kidhar hai?” Failing to realise her bag is unnecessarily resting on the seat.
When I was a fresher, I let them win. But I ain’t no fresher anymore. I turn a 180 degree, and ‘balance’ my butt on the half inch they have sacrificed for me. Taking a deep breath, I push. Now, I turn my head back and glare. The winner takes it all. You never get a fourth seat.

Saurabh Datar and The Cat Fight
Witnessing an astounding cat fight (*evil satisfying grin*) at Dadar station is 3rd in the list of how to kill time (first being trying to stay put, and second being trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s foot or touching someone in the wrong place). It was the door of the second class ladies compartment of the 19:14 Karjat train. When it is a Karjat train, you only do one thing. Stay away. Unless you have the misfortune of staying in Karjat).

I just reach platform 4 at Dadar.
19:14: 28
Train arrives at station.
Two women, among the many, (try) to get down while double the number of women try to get in. Hair gets pulled and feet get stamped.
Woman # 1: Beats the hell out of someone with an umbrella and her purse.
Woman # 2: Assists above with bare hands and her deadly claws.
Victim retaliates by pulling hair of assailant. I take out my phone to record the momentous occasion. I remember that it doesn’t have one!
Timeline unimportant anymore. Train starts to leave.

Woman # 1: Saali, kutti, kameeni, neeche aa. Dikhati hoon tere ko.
Woman # 2: R***i, baal kheechti hai! (Enquiring, my dear lady?)
“Victim” (from the door): Bhikari ki aulad!@#$% (and sadly fades away)
Woman # 1 (with double the vigour): Saali, doob maregi tu. Tera poora khandaan jal ke raakh ho jaye! Khaadi mein gir ke mar ja.
Woman # 2: Bi**h. Chhod yaar. Chal jaane de.
Woman # 1: Baal kheechti hai saali. Phir kahin milne de. Usko to leti hu main baraabar se.
Lesson: Stay away from a woman’s hair. Brrr.

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