Wednesday, May 10, 2006

8:11

For all those who think that this post might provide some sneak preview behind the preparations of 9/11 and for the other lot who think that this blog belongs to some Al Qaeda operative, please stop thinking on those lines. We are very sad to inform you that neither is this post about incidents on a day before the dreadful 9/11 day nor is it that we are the operatives of Al Qaeda. We are simple fellows residing out of India and look forward to world peace and global cooling. (Global cooling would definitely win us miss universe if we were allowed to contest in them)

8:11 is the local train from Andheri to Churchgate that we take on a day to day basis. 8:11 is the only action we are performing consistently (other than turning up at work and doing nothing). It is basically the story of 3 guys (Rajeev, Baangdu & Yours Truly) taking the 8:11 train on a daily basis to commute to their respective workplaces. By the very sound of it 8:11 sounds to be a mere local train. But before you draw any inferences of your own, let us warn you that 8:11 is not just any local train. It is a full fledged “ecosystem” by itself. Yes, you read it right… An Ecosystem… For the sake of clarity in this case, let us define ecosystem as “any and every form of entertainment that one might require on a train journey”. Let’s roll…

To start off with 8:11 is the kind of local train that one should travel to get to experience the fact that not all of Mumbai local trains are as crowded as they are portrayed to be. This is a relatively comfortable train and hence we all travel by this train and reach our offices even before the janitor reaches the office and begins his daily routine. We always get the window seat and yours truly and Baangdu have an unwritten/unspoken/unstated pact that we share the window seat on an alternate day basis. And poor Rajeev never bothers for the window seat as the air ruffles through his hair and leaves them all disheveled. The ecosystem begins to evolve once we are seated comfortably in the train at Andheri Station.

Our seat faces right opposite the entrance to the station, so first and foremost of our actions would be to gracefully look at women entering the platform. A fat lady buys a newspaper and rushes towards the ladies compartment, a thin lady getting off the rickshaw holding her bag, paying the driver and trying to run to the ladies compartment all at the same time. Some college kids (we often tend to overlook the men at this stage because the only thing that we would look at & interact with, once the journey begins would be them) chirpily having the time of their life. Then there are middle aged ladies in all colorful sarees all running helter and skelter to make sure that they get to the compartment before the train departs. Then there are couples who walk hand in hand and there too we manage to ignore the guys and concentrate on the ladies. All in all, we say it is a beautiful sight. I mean the sight isn’t beautiful; it’s the ladies that are…

Then there is this bunch of kids who roam around in compartments looking for customers who can get their shoes polished by them. The compartments are all properly shared amongst them. No kid can dare to lurk into other kids’ territory. These kids are mischievous and sometimes border onto the lines of being notorious with customers. But they are fun. They look like they are an inevitable part of this train and take that much effort in getting the customer’s legs (read shoes) looking all “chakachak”.

We are then joined by a couple of southie guys from Shree Ram Nagar (a locality near Andheri Station). We call them the “shree ram gang”. These guys talk incessantly in Tamil with intermittent bursts of Hindi and English, the later when conversing with us. The main topic of discussion all the way from Andheri to Churchgate would be the “stock market” & “mutual funds”. We have done some eavesdropping ourselves and taken some investment cues from them. Sometimes the discussion moves into more interesting areas like football and cricket when these topics are intentionally raised by either Baangd or Rajeev or me. But all in all this gang is fun to travel with.

Then this guy walks in, the one who stands outside with a smoke in hand. He walks into the train and looks for a seat that has a neat headrest. He neatly keeps his bag on the top berth and dozes his way off to glory all the way till Churchgate. He wakes up just a few seconds away from Churchgate station. This guy is so damn good that we have named him “Ricky Ponting” for his sheer consistency. We wish we could have had such “beauty naps” in trains every now and then. But with Baangdu and Rajeev for company I don’t think that’s possible in this lifetime. This guy is seen missing from the train for the last month or so. Looks like he has received kumbhakarna’s curse to sleep for 6 months and eat for 6 months. We will be waiting for him for the next 5.

*The train proceeds to Vile Parle Station*

And we look at this weird looking Aunty for just kicks. Baangdu has “discovered” the presence of this aunty at Vile Parle station. We secretly admire her weirdness and then heave a sigh (prolly of relief) when the train moves on.

*The train chugs away to Bandra Station*

There is this uncle who has silver curly hair; hair that resembles the famous Columbian footballer ‘Carlos Valderama’. We have fondly named him “Valder-Mama(Mama is Uncle in hindi/marathi). Again this is a joint discovery of Baangdu and Rajeev. He also reminds us of our funny bones friend Krupal who is close buddies with Alap, Abhi & Paras. Believe me guys, this is krupal when he is old.

*We are past Mahim and are just about reaching matunga Station*

All eyes are transfixed outside the window as there is a superstar to be seen. The superstar of the 8:11 local. Though he doesn’t travel by the 8:11 local he still stands out to be the superstar of the same. There is this "perenially punctual" guy at Matunga station who is always standing there in front of our window. This guy is either talking to himself or reading out the newspaper loudly to himself. Whatever he does, it is a monologue. There is no second person, third umpire or fourth umpire involved in it. And that is a worthwhile scene. This person is missing ever since the day we decided to capture him on camera. I think he is out on a maternity leave. God bless him with a good child (preferably a one that speaks to others).

Those, my dear bunties and bublies, are our daily dose of madness. The journey that is so full of weirdness, wackiness and of course happinesss, all the way from Andheri To Churchgate. Chalo abhi bahut pakaya…

adios…

17 comments:

IdeaSmith said...

Heeheee...let me, another frequent train traveller (on the lines of frequent flier) be the first to comment!

Beauty naps are possible...all you need is very deaf ear-drums, near-absent sense of smell (since your compartment invariably faces the loos) and a hard skull (protection from knocking elbows and bags that tumble from the upper berths). Rest assured this is the best way to keep that hard-earned seat....for some reason, no one disturbs a sleeping train traveller.

*Jhanak jhanak...dhuan uthaye re*

The Comic Project said...

don't you have any "dekha hain pehli baar..sajan ki aankhon me pyaar...tikki tikiti tikki tikiti" in the train?

Bombay Addict said...

Howlarious ! Superb ! That man smoking tho'...I wonder if he was caught and jailed because last I heard, smoking at railway platforms was banned.

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

U have converted a monotounous journey to be some fun ride on a coaster...BTW Mama is a malayalam word too, mom's bro...!!!! Me itna seriously kyon pad raha tha.....weird...! U fixated me and I was drean=ming of being in the train looking at so many people!!!!

Lord of all Things said...

Im back!! from long long hibernation btw this reminds me i have to postabt me in mumbai.... just dropped in to say hi:D

Why Am I said...

haha awesome macchi..as in not fish:)...hope i get to do the train journey one day!

Why Am I said...

haha awesome macchi..as in not fish:)...hope i get to do the train journey one day!

raxterize said...

apun 7.51 from borivali. One of these days I will lagao the detour and catch the 8.11. Kaunsa pilatpharm?

iyer education said...

~idea~ never knew beauty naps called for so many basic requirements... i prefer to stay ugly ;)

~TCP~ dekha hai pehli baar & pardesi pardesi are a passe... i think Himesh is the trend in trains too :)

~bombayaddict~ the guy was smoking outside the platorm, near the entrance... :)

~scribz~ it is not a monotonous journey at all... it is fun... and everthing is in the eyes, just like your profile pic :)

~lord~ you have had a long holiday... now you manage all your pending lectures in shifts or whatever... i want them done by next week :)

~why am i~ you SHOULD do it sometime or the other... its an EXPERIENCE...

~raxterize~ u into s/w? "what platform" is very typical to s/w engineers... jokes apart... pilaatfaaram no 6...

raxterize said...

"u into s/w?"

For a moment I was alarmed as I thought you were asking about my ahem...sexual orientation? Like s&m ? I even thought that maybe s/w must be a new fetish. But I relaxed substantially on reading on...

Nice one by the way....The joke, I meant.

d4u said...

Travellin by train and jus observing people..u jus dunno how time passes, or should i say how the station passes:p I have missed my station quite a few times in the chakkar of observing people;) Nice post!!

Known Stranger said...

wow.. you got the memories of my 7.40 train from dombivili to VT.

infected said...

Bro,

You forgot the 10 minute wait on Khar station. The ant-like line of people in the entrance passage never seems to stop and yet the station is surprisingly barren.

I love the "Bunties and bubblies" .... I love you, bro ... you're da best ....

iyer education said...

~raxterize~ pliss to educate about the details of "s/w" and "s/m" et all wrt sexual orientation... all forms of education are welcome here :)

~d4u~ next time onwards try and observe the people and the stations at the same time :)

~known stranger~ we are originally from dombivili right from the BC era and we shifted to andheri only in the AD era :)

~infected~ bhaai, very good observations, lets have tullee for the same :)

Sensorcaine said...

ha! couldn't keep away from the Shree Ram nagar guys could you? the iyerocity shines thru'. And thanks for the info about the 8:11 on platform 6. vital information for Hubby's navigation to office!

KJ said...

morning Ladies Special from Mira Rd
Evening 6.22 from C'gate to Virar... window seat pucaaa...

ahh those memories....

:)

KJ

Kusum Rohra said...

Morning 8.20 local from Shahad to kurla and if that is missed 8.39 local form shahad, and if the is missed

Then DARD_DI_RUB_RUB a.k.a washing clothes at home :(