Friday, November 26, 2010

Being Friends:

The two girls came and sat in front of me in the first class compartment. They squeezed themselves in between the kids sitting there. Both were thin....not like girls who would starve themselves to size zero. They did not seem to come from an affluent or even a middle class family and were barely adults. A thinnes arising from being too young and not eating much.

Both sat next to each other, arm to arm, leg to leg. There was this strange closeness between them. One girl was whispering into her phone while the other leaned in to listen from the outside. After some time, I heard her tell the other girl "Rahul ko nau baje ka time diya hain." That's when I noticed her bright pink lipstick and cheap shiny shoes that you get from the roadside.

The kids and a few commuters left. They still sat as close to each other...not moving away. I overheard snippets of their now soft talk. "Jab paisa hoga na...." "Paise aane ke baad main sabse pehle.......machine kharidoongi" "Kya hain..." "Mera favourite....khareedna hain..."

Two stops later they got down hand in hand. I could only wish that they remain as close for many more years to soul sisters. There was that innocence, that closeness and understanding still left in this world. So different from the "me" centric friendships of today.

A strange nostalgia started setting in.

Monday, November 01, 2010

It Finally happened!

The thing I have been terrified of. One of the reasons I had avoided traveling by locals for a year after coming to Mumbai.

I got stuck in the surging mass of hysterical women and could not get down at my stop. It so happened that I was at Mira road one day waiting for a Churchgate local at 6 in the evening. It was 20 minutes later that a Borivali slow came. Not wanting to waste time, I decided to take it, little realizing that hundreds of women would be getting in at Borivali to go to Virar.

Though I did manage to get down, I was thrown right back in and like a ragged doll was tossed about here and there by the ever increase mass of humanity. With not even an inch of space to maneuver myself and slowly rising claustrophobia, I managed to grab hold of the hand rail. Thankfully true to the nature of local travels, I got pushed out at the next stop at Dahisar even before another mass of humanity could surge in.

I have heard stories of peak time travel and seen people doing it day after day. Some even find it fun. This, to me is the acid test which makes one a Mumbaiyya. For me, the line stops here. I guess I can never become one.