I was walking on the… (Read it carefully)...ON THE MARINE DRIVE yday in evening. The "THE" is used to convey the idea that Marine Drive is the most aspirational residential address in urban India. So there I was. It rained, I was drenched but it did not matter much. The shoes got soiled, water seeped in, but the feeling was divine in that breeze and the showers. Fitness freaks were running with their dogs. Ha...Their dogs were cozy inside raincoat.
Half an hour of walk and I reached Charni Road station. Entered the train, obviously there was no place to sit. There was a place to stand, so I took off the raincoat. My shirt was wet. The fan was teasing me. Despite my 6 feet height, I couldn’t get any air from it. The windows were shut as rains had wreaked havoc. In minutes, I was off the best-ventilated part of Bombay and I was on to the worst. And, it was so bad that after few minutes, I couldn’t figure out if the drops on my brow were thanks to rain or my sweat glands. And, there was continuous pressure to adjust co-passengers. There was a passenger comfortably sitting and reading newspaper. Bastard was giving me a disdained look, when I happened to touch him. Motherfucker, if you want so much of comfort, tell your wife to turn whores and spend their money on a Merc. I couldn’t say anything to him. I was sure that with my size, it was easy to figure out that I am from north India. It would have been easier for that bastard to abuse me in marathi and also invoke the sympathy of his state brethen. I kept mum.
Came Dadar and it was like sea of humanity desperate to get on to train. I wonder why filmmakers work so hard on the screenplay of movies made on the subject of partition. For them, it’s much easier to visit Dadar Station, where the stage is set for another round of division. There wasn’t enough space for my two arms to hang around my big belly. So, I had to raise my hands and I cant tell how envious I was of a man who was sitting and playing games on his mobile. From behind, an old man kept cribbing "aage ho jayo" (please move ahead). I told him "agar aapko jagah milta hai, toh aap jaao na" (why don’t you go, if there is enough space for that).
Came Santacruz, I was still two stations away from Andheri. But, I started gathering my stuff - a polythene bag and a raincoat. I told the guy standing next to me that I had to get down at Andheri. That was to check if he was kind enough to exchange places so that I move few steps ahead. He smiled awkwardly. What was his smile for? Was he empathizing with me? Was it the kind of smile, you give, when you hear something impossible? Who knows...But another man did exchange his place with mine. May be my innocent face did the trick. I had just four passengers standing in front and it was certain that the mission was achievable. There was a surd, who perhaps wanted to get down at Andheri. But he was late and of course was uncertain if he would be able to get down or not. This is what I hate most. When you know that you are in Mumbai Local, isn’t it your duty to plan your exit well in advance. But few of us keep on shagging on our seats and expect the crowd to make way for us as if we are monarchs. A bloody monarch in a public transport, Fuck it. The surd's bag touched my ass twice. I had to tell him in unequivocal terms of his misconduct, else his bag would have touched other parts of my body too. I told him "even I have to get down at Andheri with a kind of angry look". He said, "did I say anything". As if he had not said it, I would have let him shove his back up my ass. My foot. I ignored him. There was a lapse in my concentration for few seconds and I realized my one leg would be in train and the other on platform, for a deluge of desperate passengers were eagerly waiting to board the train at Andheri. One wave of passengers desperate to get down and another wave desperate to get in. As with other things, this might seem beautiful from air. It would seem like union of two rivers. While this union produces music, the union of human waves at train stations brings cries, screams along with it.