We have all heard about the woes, of traveling trains, during peak hours. But traveling in trains in off peak hours that is early in the morning is just as interesting, thanks to our exam timings we get to see, the early morning side of Mumbai locals!!
First of all it takes some getting used to the empty compartments from Borivli itself where I live! During peak hours its really impossible to get a good place to stand without being trampled upon by the Andheri getting-down crowd if you are 10 seconds late! But during the early morning, its quite a surprise to get the most sought after seat beside the window even though you are half a minute late! Even the book sellers are up early, and you get to glance through the books. And even the newspaper vendors are not shouting on top of their voices and you can get yourself to hear for once if you want to buy a newspaper.
The even more amazing part is the people you get to see. The ladies which are in their grumpiest mood and ready to lash out during peak hours will willingly give you a small smile when you come in. even though the rainy season is not here yet, the heavy rains make the seats quite wet as no one is there to shut the windows early in the morning when the rains pour down. The ladies have willingly given their umbrellas to wipe off the water off the seats, to us college students, when they crowd frowning at the wet seat because they cant sit and study a bit during the journey, assuring us it was fine and they would dry their umbrellas when they get off in the office. Sometimes I have even seen, inspite of myself, ladies doing yoga and pranayam sitting in their seats with their legs folded!(I swear I am not kidding) Which without my mentioning is quite fascinating to watch and wonder that people in Mumbai find time to stay fit no matter what!
Also its real fun to sit down the whole journey till Vile Parle as hardly anyone gets in at Andheri. And instead of getting pushed out unceremoniously of the compartment, people usually allow to get you first and wait for a bit while you pass through!
Mumbai locals are real fun just as Mumbai is! And I am really thankful to my exams for allowing me to see such a beautiful side of Mumbai trains!