The Mumbai local, taxis & autos
Second thing that defines Mumbai is its transportation infrastructure. Mumbai is a city where driving your own vehicle can be a real pain in the ass. Hence, you would find huge number of people using trains, buses and autos.
I am sure coming from Delhi and being used to Delhi metro, Mumbai means of transport would not entice you that much but trust me the story doesn't just end there.
Every day going to office in Delhi, I have to haggle with the auto-wala for the fare because they simply refuse to go by the meter. May be that's the reason for the pumped up day I have in office after that. Anyway, so landing in Mumbai and taking an auto from the station close to my cousin's place cost 15 bucks and to my surprise, auto-wala took just that! Ya, no haggling and no keeping the change business!
Now, that was cool! I covered many a distances by paying 15 bucks every time and no frowning expression from the auto-wala even once. Same with the taxis. Wherever you go, you will find those black-yellow Fiats and now many Santros and WagonRs.
Coming on to the lifeline of Mumbai. The local train. Believe you me, you have to take a ride in one of these to experience true flavor of the city. Board it any point of the day and there is a different scene.
I always boarded the ladies coach and it was a world in itself. You see middle-aged Marathi speaking women with kids who are docile and remain seated all the time; a girl looking tired after the day's work boarding the train from Chembur and getting down at Vashi, all the time happily talking to her parents on phone who live in a different city; bunch of college-going girls chirping away; some reading; some sleeping; some eying the empty seats and some just looking around.
Then there are women who are selling exciting stuff in the trains. Exciting, really! Like fried snacks & eatables, hair accessories, earrings, combs etc. They board the train with their wares, put it on some seats or hand it to the anxious, prospective customers and sell! There are fisher-women who board the train in a separate section with their baskets.
And then you will see many women standing at the door of the train and lost in their thoughts. I found it so dangerous but they made it look like easy, effortless and filmy!
There was never a dull moment in the train journeys. Either it were two women fighting for some odd reason or a very enthusiastic little girl selling hair-clips, who flashed that beautiful smile at me.
I found travel in Mumbai a lot cheaper than Delhi. Fares of autos & taxis may be same as in Delhi but they go by the meter and don't overcharge. Local train fares are really cheap and I bought the ticket coupons once which lessened the task of buying the tickets every time.
To me, if you have not used the local means of transportation, you have not experienced the city. I boarded Best bus so many times for a longer distance just so we will get a ride around the city. For example, boarding the bus from Siddhi Vinayak to Mantralya. Amazing views on the way!
So, next time you are in Mumbai do take that train ride. Or board the auto. They are not just pocket-friendly but they show you the city the way you should see it.
|The colors in the train compartment. Don't miss those bindi and hair clips hanging on the handlebars!|
|The ubiquitous kaali-peeli taxi|
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.N8wnb19v.dpuf
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013. - See more at: http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/#sthash.N8wnb19v.dpu
|The famous Victoria Terminus (VT), now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)|
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013.
P.S They even have a cool app for train timings and everything! And everyone seemed to have downloaded that in their phones!