Lesson 1: Follow the crowd– Stifle that innate rebel, don’t take the road less traveled and get into the habit of running behind the multitudes who are going the same way- they never stop,but will always take a breath to tell you the right platform before they rush along again.
Lesson 2: Adaptation is the only key to survival- You might feel like a dude if you have an M-Indicator app in your smartphone but trust me, the first available is not always the most efficient. Experiment with combinations of fast and slow trains and eventually, you’ll learn how not to be late .
Lesson 3: Listen to advice- The seasoned traveller will tell you when you ought to queue up well in advance and when you should just stay back to avoid being crushed by the tsunami of people who prize a seat more than the elixir of life.
Lesson 4: Focus: You might think the battle lasts only while you are on or near the train. You could not be more wrong. For all the dreamy people like me, consider this a warning. If you dawdle on the platform and bridges, you will get pushed and jostled and glared at, all at the same time. Never come between a Mumbaikar and his train.
Lesson 5: Relax– Yeah, I realize it seems like war. But trust me,
it isn’t rocket science. The local is not just about the destination- the journey has an odd charm, giving one a flavour of the city and the people it is home to. Be it the strangers who’ve made friends because they travel together each day or the vegetable selling ladies who give me toothy smiles when I sit down on the floor next to them, the local experience gives you something the most expensive car can’t.
A sense of peace amidst the chaos.