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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ML Chronicles #1

No this is not Merrill Lynch.. nor/or Money Laundering.. this is our very own Mumbai locals that I am talking about.

Considering that I belong to Northern part of this country and have spent quite a long time in Saddi Dilli.. I have had my share of dreaded dreams of getting grinded between fat aunties while travelling between Bandra and Borivalli or falling in the gap between platform and train while trying to push myself inside a compartment at 3am in Dadar or reaching Thane while trying to unboard since Kurla. But somehow, since the summers of 2009, my abhorrence and reluctance to use the services of Mumbai's locals trains has diminished in certain ways as i have come to appreciate the efficiency of this unfailing machinery called Mumbai Local.

There are ofcourse other reasons as well.

I like to observe things, and the best part of Mumbai locals is that you get a lot to observe; specially when you have a full half hour kill, have a seat to fit your bill and the seat is not near a sill ;P. I noticed a lot of things during my two month daily summer sojourn and henceforth in every subsequent visit.

It started with purses. I used to travel in the ladies compartment of first class, which is basically 1/3 of a compartment with seating capacity of around 15 women, but carries around 50 during busy hours. I noticed that every woman carried a different kind of bag. In my whole observation period, I never even once came across two women carrying similar bags.

Whatever happened to mass production!

Their unique bags defined their unique selves. The classy fashion conscious ladies carried huge sack size bags with big buckles, and shiny finishes. The professional kinds always had shades of black and carried more stiff material bags, often huge enough to contain laptops. The married middle aged ladies always had two bags, one shoulder bag with normal stuff and another hand bag with eatables. Then there were the young ones who didn't earn enough to buy expensive branded bags but were fashion conscious and hence resorted to cheap copies from Linking road or Colaba. Not forgetting the college crowd, who always had these huge back packs (almost similar looking but never same) with 3-4 layers of chains and never wore them at the back, always in the front like kangaroos carrying their babies in their pockets.

Point is who makes them? And how come they never match for two people.. just like the DNA?

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