Growing up in Mumbai, the local trains always fascinated me. The undying spirit of Mumbaikars, the bundled energy and their persistence amused me as a child. This love for Mumbai Locals, led me to choose a college 30 kilometres far and each day I would look forward to my train journeys. I have been travelling now for 14 years in the local train and each day teaches me something new. Now you may wonder, what a train journey and that to a crowded one could teach me. But there are some very profound lessons I have learnt and some of them I am sharing with you all, today.
If you are travelling by train and happen to stay in Badlapur, Ambernath, Titwala or Virar, then each microsecond counts for you. If you miss one train, then the next train comes after 20 minutes (if they are on time). Train travelling teaches you to manage your time efficiently and effectively. I learnt to prioritize the important tasks and get them done quickly, so that I can catch my regular train and reach college/office before time.
If there is a Will, there is a Way
“Move inside, don’t push. There is no space here to stand”, shouted one lady. “What move inside, there is no place to stand inside”, another lady shouted. And within seconds, it started raining heavily and guess what, the ladies cleared the footboard to close the door. Few moments ago there was no place to stand and everybody was pushing each other and now, the compartment could easily accommodate 10 more ladies. That clearly shows us that if we are really willing to do something and it is highly important to us, then we surely will find a way or make one.
Travelling is fun
If you are a Mumbaikar and travel by train regularly, then you have a separate set of friends called, ‘train friends’ and trust me this is the best friendship to have. The one hour train journey felt like just 15 minutes with my friends around. I would easily get a seat the moment I boarded the train. We as a group would celebrate birthdays and festivals in train compartment. Amidst all the chaos and crowd, it taught me how to have fun and celebrate.
This is one of the most important lessons that I have learnt over the years. At times no matter how fast I ran, I couldn’t catch the train. I had to let go and wait for the next train. Momentarily, I got upset, but what amazed me was when I started to let go, the next train would always be empty. In life too we might have to let go of certain things and who knows, maybe what follows could be the best for us.
Apart from these profound lessons, there are some practical tips that I would like to share.
- If you are boarding a train from any of the junctions, especially in the Central line (Thane/Kalyan/Dadar), do stand on the bridge, until you see the train arriving. I am sure you don’t wish to waste time and energy by climbing the stairs, unless you seriously wanna lose weight.
- Before getting into the compartment, do ensure that you tie the Dupatta/Stole properly or might as well; keep them in your bag. Also tie your hair to avoid unnecessary breakage.
- While getting down just stand, the crowd will push you and you will get down at the station, easily.
- Sports shoes are the best, when it comes to train travel. They are comfortable and no matter how much someone stamps on your feet, you will be safe.
- Trains are the best place to introspect. So do carry a book or listen to music and trust me creativity flows, instantly. You could also get some amazing ideas for your next blogpost or a short story.
A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found “Outside the Kitchen Window” (firstname.lastname@example.org ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book reviews.