Though I am super lazy & could live easily as an extension to my bed, I love travelling equally. My dad tells me that my face glows when I come back home from any outing. It could be due to losing out on the upper layer of fat due to sweating but for now let’s go with the joys of travelling!
I have never been snobbish about the means of travel though. I am equally comfortable walking or travelling in an auto rickshaw, trains, cab or car. Just don’t ask me to travel in rickshaw pulled by a man (Had to in Howrah, no other option) / on animal back (Again had to. In Manali) I would be too horrified to make them lift such a heavy body!
I am most scared about travelling in a crowded Mumbai Local. There is a fear of you being toppled out of the train and mostly because of the passengers inside the train. (I have also been toppled while boarding the train & people have walked on me) I have been lucky to get away with just a sore back / twisted ankle.
I remember vividly my first day of job. I boarded the train & got a seat too! This was some years back when the crowd was not this crazy. I had not even started enjoying the thought of going to work and I heard a comment. Kaise kaise log aa jaate hain.. Fourth seat ke liye jagah nahin rehti. (The local seats are for 3 people & since the no. of people are more than no. of seats, people adjust their bums to make way for the fourth one) I was on the heavy side so I couldn’t adjust that much. Well I didn’t want anyone to lose the pleasure of sitting & I vacated the seat immediately. I never sat while travelling for almost 3 years after that incident. But did the ragging stop? No sir! People become violent even for standing space. Over a period I had learnt not to listen to any jibes on my weight silently. I could be violent as well. I got into nasty fights. Not only the verbal ones. Once a lady bit me on my hand (see pic below) The scar still remains! Couple of times the fights happened in front of mom (we travelled together some times) & she was worried one day these women would throw me out of the train. She forbade me to travel second class. But mom didn’t know that people could be as violent in first class as well. It’s almost a year I had a terrible incident where in I was hit with plastic sandals by a crazy lady for some stupid space. I had lost confidence to travel in local trains for some time & used to travel by cab (v. v. expensive from my home to office)
All these years of bad experiences have made me very wary to travel in a crowded train. I only travel if there is a sufficient space to stand & do not take unnecessary risks. But on some days you just can’t afford the luxury as you have to also reach work on time. On those days, I am terrified till I get out at my stop & need lots of TLC.
On this days I wish I had enough money to travel to work by car. Till then I will need to keep facing my fears J
Why did I write this post today? No, not to scare anyone from travelling in a Mumbai local. I was just reading someone’s post on how they got a particular scar. And it made me think of mine.