16 ‘dhaasu’ characters you’ll definitely encounter if you take the Mumbai local
Mumbai’s lifeline, the local train, sees millions come together to travel unimaginable distances day in and out.
For those who use the local trains, getting into a Virar or Kalyan fast is way tougher than even getting into an IIT or IIM. That fight to catch the 8.01 am local from Borivili to Churchgate, that chaos over the footbridge while making your way to the platform, those crazy decibels of people yapping away to glory, the train arrival announcement that most Mumbaikars can repeat in their sleep, and much else becomes a part of every local train traveller’s psyche.
In these jam-packed trains, you come across some unique people and it doesn’t matter which station and at what time, you’re sure to meet them over and over again.
1. ‘Greenpiece’ aunty
Oh wait! I don’t mean the lady selling vegetables. I mean the lady cutting them! This aunty couldn’t care less about who’s looking at her or what people think of her. All she does is chop, chop, chop!
2. Machiwaali mausi
If you’re nostrils suddenly start quivering, you ought to know that your compartment has been transformed into the Sea Kingdom. What’s worse, these fisherwomen settle down right at the entrance! Grrr.. .Make some way, woman!
3. Mumbaicha James Bond @ Casino Royale
This group does not need to even lay their cards on the table. Standing or sitting the card games go on. And, believe me, it is not as innocent as it looks, big stakes are seemingly involved. The faces at the end of the game tell all!
4. The visionaries!
Found in most places, including the insides of a local train. Their eyes do the talking, but is anyone listening? Not really!
5. The bhajan mandali
Showcasing a noteworthy lack of talent, they can break the sound barrier, and your repose, slam at 6 in the morning. While their devotion is to the almighty, you send a prayer yourself — and, it is not for wishing the bhajan mandali’s well being.
6. The sleeping beauty
What starts with eyes closing ends up in eyes rolling! After a tired day’s work, all he craves is some rest. But his nap becomes others’ comic relief. Whether his head sways from left to right, he nearly falls off his seat or he sleeps peacefully on his neighbour’s shoulder – this sleeping beast is always around to entertain you.
7. Oh wait… we have a Vishnu avatar too!
8. The train shopper
There ain’t any rocket science to this. Put a window shopper in a local train and there you go… you have your train shopper. After checking out each and every item available with the seller, all she will end up asking for is change for a 100 bucks!
9. The motoring mouth
Those calls keep coming in. Most times you wonder if there is anyone even talking at the other end. It often appears as if your fellow traveller is talking only for the benefit of people around. But yeah, in Mumbai no one really cares! So keep yapping, buddy.
10. The train of thought
Voraciously reading either a book or the newspaper, his eyes won’t even blink. While he is engrossed in a swimming pool of words, his neighbour reads the front page. He may pass out reading, but the people around continue peeping in.
11. Mobile beautician
Who has the time in a city like Mumbai? Well, practically no one. Even that poor aunty beautifies herself in the crowded train. Guess what, she’s mastered the art and doesn’t even need a mirror! Way to go!
12. Kissa kursi ka
If you had an issue with the reservation quota system… you are not doing enough to stop this in the Mumbai local trains. Even before the train halts at a station, people jump in and reserve their seat. ‘Kidhar utarna hai, Kidhar utarna hai’… is all that you can hear. That poor thing sleeping next to the window is jolted out of his/her dreams and why? Only for a reservation!
13. Too hot to handle!
Never played it? Jump into a crowded local train and you will exactly know what I am talking about. The beginners will struggle, but the pros would have mastered hanging in there despite not having even a square inch of space into which to wedge their feet.
14. The traintube
It’s not those who are listening to music who are unique. It’s those who sing along with it that stand out. He croons on top of his voice and in some cases even enacts portions of the song. Guess what, he is your in-house Youtube. Watch and be entertained!
15. ‘Galti se mistake ho gaya’
If you are a Mumbaikar and you received atrocious marks this semester, you could conveniently blame it onto the bumpy ride your teacher had while correcting your paper in the local train. With her reading glasses on and a collection of red pens stuffed in her leather bag, you can only hope she has a joy ride the next time around.
16. Is Superman ke Tevar toh dekho
I rest my case.
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