Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

What a nifty 50!
ALL the centuries and half-centuries are not being hit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Yesterday, Sunday, December 28 morning, commuters on the Central Railway had a pleasant surprise. Staffers marked 50 years (a golden jubilee) of the Diva to Roha train. The train passes Panvel station on its way to Diva. A puja was performed as the train stopped at Panvel and then, a green flag went up as the train chugged off towards its destination — Roha. And no, we do not know whether the commuters had chaha and poha at Roha as a celebration, but we do know that we routinely pan our local trains. Yet, hitting a 50 deserves a round of applause. Diva to Roha, may you continue rocking (literally maybe, for your commuters) in the New Year.

TRAIN WAVE: A golden jubilee run as banners are put up on the train to mark the occasion
TRAIN WAVE: A golden jubilee run as banners are put up on the train to mark the occasion

That's how we feel
MUMBAI’S public transport landscape is complex. Every mode of transport has its unique points. Take for instance — BEST buses. We think they are similar to local trains in some ways, like for instance, both buses and trains do not wait for anyone and are overcrowded at peak hours. There is one major difference however, and that is the presence of a conductor who wades through the bus — no matter how packed it is. The overhead rope-enabled bell serves as his mode of communication with the driver behind the wheel. Still, sometimes, there is huge miscommunication between the two and that can lead to humourous incidents. It is good to laugh amidst all that crowd. A passenger needs to carry a sense of humour in Mumbai, it weighs nothing and can brighten up the road, like nothing else can. Like, one recently witnessed a conductor on the Byculla-Worli route running after a bus. Impossible as that may sound, this gentleman kept tapping the bus while sprinting but the driver mistook him for a hasty passenger and kept moving with the slow traffic. Ultimately, the conductor caught up with his bus and the passengers had a hearty laugh at what happened. One young man commented that a conductor in this city finally experienced how it feels to chase a bus! Meanwhile, our conductor took a minute or two to catch his breath before starting… ticket, ticket…

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