After traveling all the way from Ambernath to Santacruz for three years of my graduation, I had had enough. This route covered both central and western railways of Mumbai suburban train network. Attending college meant putting in more than four hours both ways, changing two trains either way, crossing narrow foot-over-bridges, and climbing down even narrower stairs. A few pushes, jostles, and loads of sweats and swears just added to the fun.
The entire experience put me off commuting so much, that it affected all my subsequent plans for my career.
I moved to Pune for my PG, and stayed at the University hostel, a mere 8 minute walk on a tree-lined avenue from my Department.
Later, I tried to avoid commuting by taking a job a 10 minute rickshaw drive away from my home! I happily held the job for three years.
For the next nine months I was in Delhi, I took up accommodation right across the road from my office. Half the pleasure of the job was walking down to office on beautifully cold Delhi winters.
Now I am back home. But I have simply refused to join a full time job. One of the key reasons for choosing to freelance is to avoid the morning rush from my home to VT or Andheri or in whichever godforsaken corner of Mumbai I would have had to go.
So when in my new freelancing avatar I began to travel by train occasionally, all the ‘local’ mania came rushing back. I thought up of this blog in a fast local, somewhere between Bhandup and Ghatkopar on a sunny morning, crushed between heaps of sweaty bodies. I have an idea that most of my subsequent posts are also going to be inspired on the tracks.
And just in case, if most of my thoughts seem disoriented, it’s probably because someone has just pushed me so hard that my bra unhooked, or maybe it’s because someone’s flying dupatta is trying to wring my neck.