Only on Mumbai Local Trains Will…

….you find ….

– A regular announcement ‘ Do not travel on the train tops, it is dangerous to life’ Tell me any other place where such announcements are done regularly every 4 minutes!

– Another regular announcement ‘Please do not throw garbage wrappers, papers, etc around in the platform. Station is your property, Please help us to keep it clean’ย Its sad na..that even today such announcements have to made ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

– The 5.54 local to Borivaliย will arrive at platform 2 instead of platform 1. inconvenience to passengers is regretted. the announcement comes in at 5.53!

– The concept of ‘Return’ย So what people do to get a seat to sit for an hour’s journey between Borivaliย and Churchgateย is go return. They get up on their station to a train going to Borivali, knowing that the same train will go back to Churchgate in 10 minutes, and hence keep sitting in the train and go back all the way!

– the first class ladies compartment is more crowded than the second class ladies compartment during peak hours

– People hanging out of the train to get some air and as the station approaches they get off, let other people get in and then board the footboard to again get some air

– One side of the line which you presume is to get off doesnt get off but stands just at that place..they are in line for the next station

– There is a concept of fourth seat!ย While a normal seat can accommodateย three people, the fourth seat is the result of ‘thodaย adjust karo’

– You can actually book your seat if you are standing by asking people where they are going to get off and no one else can sit there except you!

– You can buy breakfast, earrings, rubber bands, petticoats, night gowns, kurtas, leggings, slacks, patialas, hair clips, farsan, latest pirated books in the train

– You get up 4 stations before your actual destination otherwise there are chances you can never get down

– You can push, shove, pinch, pull hair, shove with your elbow without any are after all, giving a free massageย to the co-passenger eh?

– You can not make the mistake of getting into a Virarย train if you are getting off at Borivali…how dare you? I have travelled all the way to Dahisar and came back one day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

– You can get stranded for about 15 minutes between 2 stations as the train comes to a stand still..and yet there is no movement around..people are talking as if nothing happened, people are listening to music, whatever, but no one loses their temper..its all a part of daily travel okie?

– You hear the announcer in the station pleading that this train will go to the yard please get off the train, and yet there will be loads of people who will be sitting in the train in hope that the train will take them to their destination till the driver actually switches OFF all the lights fans and everything in the train..I have seen this happen like a million times!

– You actually have a separate group of train friends!

– You can get away asking questions to super model looking girls ‘Are you Andheri?’ย can someone BE Andheri..but I always end up asking that question..instead of asking ‘Are you getting down at Andheri’

– You have a set of ladies who are a group of standing passengers..and can celebrate even birthdays ‘standing’ near the door! yep, I witnessed that

– You know for sure that you can get away without buying a ticket during peak hours because no sane ticket checker will ever dare to board the train during the peak hours

– You need to confirm which side the platform comes for which station!

– You have announcements that say ‘This train will go to platform 8 at Borivali’ and the entire crowd gets off the previous station to wait for the next train which will take them to platform number 2/3 at Borivali because platform 8 is 2 kmsย (okie bit of an exaggeration!) away from the actual station!

Try as I may, I can not NOT love the locals…Its been six years in Bombay and I love every bit of the train travel despite whatever I tell RD about how I hate it ๐Ÿ™‚


PS – Thanks all you guys who contributed for RD’s cause..both of us are overwhelmed…I really dont know what else to say..not knowing us and not even meeting us, but yet giving out for us having faith that RD will complete the run…..*Falling at feet*


About R's Mom

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78 Responses to Only on Mumbai Local Trains Will…

  1. vethal says:

    voila life must be maddening in mumbai. by ur blog u give us a real life kind of experience . thanks for that

  2. Awesome…back here to read your blog posts after a long time and I am already enjoying this hilarious train ride!!!

  3. ๐Ÿ˜† at the free massage!! ๐Ÿ™„ sheesh…I for a change fall at your feet for all that you go through in the locals. I have no idea if I can go through all this as I was even scared to get into one of those dangerous buses in Kerala where it looks like it will topple at any moment ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Your account of day to day things are the best…there is no one like you who can write like this about a daily train ride ๐Ÿ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      Aiyo dont praise me so much okie *Blush*

      Kerala buses are scary by the way..the way people get in and the way the driver drives is definitely scary

  4. Chaitali says:

    “You can push, shove, pinch, pull hair, shove with your elbow without any are after all, giving a free massage to the co-passenger eh?” — LOL
    Well i would like to share a link… actually its a activity which you can plan out with your kid..
    It could be a fun activity for your kid during her vacations..

    Just check out the link “” you might have visited it.. i just stumble upon it.. while searching for something on google..
    Its a nice and creative blog.. take some time to read it..
    Happy Weekend!!

  5. The Bride says:

    Oh the fond memories of Mumbai trains – the fourth seat, the waking up someone (often pretending to sleep to avoid being asked) to ask where they are getting off, the having to know which side the station arrives, the how-dare-you-get-into-a-Virar-local, buying bindis. Love it or hate it, it’s an experience.

    The “return” thing and the standing near the door and getting off happens here too… that’s just general train culture I think. I guess the people waiting for the train to start is because of the point above it… everyone tunes out the announcer who is incomprehensible anyway and thinks it’s just one of those train-stopping-for-15-minute things.

  6. Lovely post!
    I have experienced all of the above scenarios…but…can’t say it makes me want this fact when I come to bbay, am overwhelmed by these same things I was a solid part of at one time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      That happens to my Appa also..for a guy who spent 5 years of his life studying in Mumbai and who would travel from Powai to Churchgate almost every day for a project work, he sure gets scared in the trains (well that was 30 years ago..but..still!! the natak he does, you should see ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  7. rainmusings says:

    Ah Rm, there is one other place where all this happens – Chennai electric trains and their railway stations :).Though it is not as confusing as the Mumbai trains we have our share of signal problems and what not

  8. rainmusings says:

    Ah Rm, there is one other place where are these things happen – Chennai electric trains and their stations. Though it is not yet as confusing as mumbai train network, we are soon getting there :).

  9. Smita says:

    Long time back when I had come to Mumbai I used to write for a site called Mouthshut, there I had written about my 1st experience of Locals, here is the link (The language is not that good and there wud be many mistakes as those were my early writing days)

    That said, I agree with each n every word that has been written here. Mumbai Locals have a character of their own and we can write pages and pages on it but still have enough to write about them.

    A fren of mine has a group of frenz from train and they went to Matheran for picnic and u know the beauty of it? They do not even travel together now. They used to travel together some 10 years pehle.

    In Thane people keep stand on the bridge keeping an eye on the train, jis platform pe pehle aati dikhi they rush to that one. ๐Ÿ˜€

    From last 2 months I have been travelling without ticket ๐Ÿ˜€ not that I travel daily but its like once in 2 weeks so I do not waste time in ticket line and I do not bother to buy a pass because it will be a wastage. So just like that Bindaas!! I am going WTC ๐Ÿ˜€ Shameless no?

    I have many train stories may be will write it down as a post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lovely read!

    • R's Mom says:

      you used to write for mouthshut..WOW!!

      Isnt that sweet..going to Matheran together :):)

      Oye, dont do ticketless travel okie *gives stern look*

      go on, write a post, you will do a lot better justice to it than me ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Smita says:

        I will stop doing ticketless travelling if they start opening more ticket windows, I mean I will miss 2 trains if I begin standing in lines. And thanks to these lines there are bigger lines at the AVM!!!

  10. archierocks says:

    This, this is the reason I MISS INDIA.Here trains are so boring. Terribly boring, that I sit and file nails in it at times ( okay, kidding). Super post!

  11. LOL at giving a free massage to co-passengers. You have such a cute way of looking at things!:-D
    ‘Are you Andheri?’ Really RM ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Ashwathy says:

    HAHAHAH agree with you on all of this! ๐Ÿ˜€ Only someone who has regularly travelled with on a local will understand the true spirit of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    All except that first anouncement. I was like ๐Ÿ˜ฏ on reading it.
    They must have started that recently…after all the acrobatics kids are doing in the names of stunts and then getting injured (or killed).

    I have travelled all the way to Dahisar and came back one day
    OMG! Really? I usually avoid Virar trains (I get off at Malad/Kandivali) when I used to visit my uncle there, because they are SO crowded.

    – You can get away asking questions to super model looking girls โ€˜Are you Andheri?โ€™ can someone BE Andheri..but I always end up asking that question..instead of asking โ€˜Are you getting down at Andheriโ€™
    THe “are you” part is also missing. Often women ask me: “Malad?” “Bandra>?” “Goregaon?” It’s a question in itself ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜›

    You hear the announcer in the station pleading that this train will go to the yard please get off the train, and yet there will be loads of people who will be sitting in the train in hope that the train will take them to their destination till the driver actually switches OFF all the lights fans and everything in the train..I have seen this happen like a million times!
    I m guessing you are referring to Borivali here. Rarely got off at Boravali usually. So no idea about this one.

    But I agree with you…. love them, hate them…you just cannot ignore them ๐Ÿ™‚ Mumbai locals!

    • R's Mom says:

      no no the first announcement is on at least for six years now..ever since I started using the trains….this is common especially in Virar bound locals!

      LOL on Malad, Goregaon?

      Yep at Borivali I have seen it so often ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. The fresh air syndrome ah ha liked that as we wud do it just for pleasure but on a bus.. dangerous though…

    Oh yes the adjust please syndrome… Thoa side maarna…

    And no travel ticket I like that… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lovely points to me it sounds a adventure . Imagine doing all that here on a train…

    • R's Mom says:

      pretty dangerous..I often used to wonder why people didnt move inside!

      In London, I made a fool of myself so many times getting up 4 stations before, going and standing near the gate, jumping into the train as soon as it came *looks red faced*

  14. lifesong says:

    I have experienced all that you have written about. Travelling in Mumbai locals is an experience … but not for the faint hearted ๐Ÿ™‚ Boarding and getting down of the locals is a challenge in itself ๐Ÿ™‚
    I had recently traveled with Cheebu and it was a pretty bad experience. Had written about it here:
    Certainly not safe to travel if you have kids with you.
    But for most Mumbaikars it is a necessity and fastest option for commuting…

    • R's Mom says:

      Gosh thats so so scary…you know lifesong, I travel often with R in the train..have been doing it since she has been like an year or so..but one rule I have is, NEVER travel during rush are not only causing trouble to yourself, also to the fellow passengers!

      I hope Cheebu is fine now!

  15. ashreyamom says:

    mumbai train is one of the major reasons why i am not relocating.. somehow now my hubby is been put on a project in mumbai.. hope i dont have to travel much if i re-locate.. :P. i will get crushed and might land up having too many fractures.. ๐Ÿ˜›

  16. Nithvin says:

    ‘You can actually book your seat if you are standing by asking people where they are going to get off and no one else can sit there except you!’ Very true..happens in local buses also..very innovative way,no?
    ‘You can push, shove, pinch, pull hair, shove with your elbow without any are after all, giving a free massage to the co-passenger eh?’ so well put, in true RM isshtyle ๐Ÿ™‚ **pls note: full credit goes to RM only and no one else, not even the ‘brat’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ **
    I have not visited mumbai. When I do visit it some time, your blogs on mumbai will surely be like a guide to me..

  17. NBose says:

    Hey RM…I have never been to Mumbai…and heard lots of stories of Mumbai locals…your post made me feel as if I have travelled there ..:-)

  18. Wow! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Only a person who travels regularly in the Mumbai locals can write about it this way.

    I have always wanted to travel in the Mumbai local, but never got the chance to do so. I have never even visited Mumbai, except for just landing at the airport a couple of times to go to Lonavala. Sad, I know. These are on my bucket list, hope they happen soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I did travel for a short distance last year on the Pune local, but that wasn’t like what I have heard travelling on Mumbai locals is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • R's Mom says:

      Arey you should make a visit to Mumbai…hop down here for a weekend when you visit Ahm na..then from here you can go to Bangalore…we will have fun travelling ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. summerscript says:

    Wowwww… super post ๐Ÿ™‚ enjoyed totally!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I have travelled only once I think.. And I don’t remember a thing. People just pushed me in and after 15 mins they pushed me out.
    Hah! Fourth seat!! Experienced few times. Some ‘really good’ people offer “the fourth seat” to me in bus. The space won’t be sufficient to fit two full legs..One side of the body will be dangling without support. So I mostly reply “its ok. I will stand” with a smile. But some people are really really good that they won’t leave you until you occupy the 4th seat and fall down once ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. chattywren says:

    Lovely post, I was reliving it all! Jostling with the crowd, trying so hard to get into the Churchgate bound Virar local – they just won’t let u in for some reason, it’s as if you’ve done a crime living in Borivilli! I am one of those who had a first class pass and used to get into the general ladies. And loved to eavesdrop on all the conversations going around me. So many slices of life, miss it. Don’t know if I will ever be able to jump into a train while it’s still approaching the station as before though!!

  21. Seema says:

    Loved this post RM! Like many already said, it was written in truly RM signature style. Only you can observe such mundane and routine things which are so part of of our daily lives but often unnoticed and then jot them down so beautifully! Mmmuah.

    Got reminded of my visit to Mumbai more than a decade ago. My Amma had taken three of us kids who might have been 8, 6 and 4 respectively (almost). We were visiting my Athai and family. Our Athimber (right) used to make us travel by Mumbai locals. Imagine my Amma and Athimber taking us three kids in Mumbai locals to visit millions of my Amma’s relatives who were in Mumbai then. I still remember how cranky my bro got one day and slept on the floor to protest ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. RajK says:

    Hi! It’s been a while (over a decade, actually) since I travelled in Mumbai trains, but it looks like nothing’s changed. (Except, in those days, leggings were not available on trains :-))
    BTW, you from A’bad/Baroda? Me too!

  23. anisnest says:

    wowww… had a good laugh before starting weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks to you RM..

  24. Pepper says:

    Every time you write about Mumbai.. I feel oh so proud! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. Aaah! Local trains have changed only a little since I last travelled in one. I used to go to Mulund in the noon especially to get my pass renewed or buy tickets because the queue there would be manageable.

    When I would travel regularly by locals, I always travelled by first class. For once in a while travels, second class but with coupons punched. I used to suck at ‘catching’ seats and my friend would do it for me.

    After moving to the UK, I have travelled by local trains just ONCE in 6 years. That too in gents first class with AB. That’s because my getting into the train skills have rusted owing to the lack of practice.

    • That said, as appalling as the crowd may be, I don’t agree that you cannot travel by local trains for a daily job. You can and you get used to it. You do find out your comfort zone, your dabba/timing/seat with practice. I have never complained about the locals as long as they were my primary mode of travel. It is the best you can get considering the crowd that we have there.

      Also – once you have travelled in Mumbai locals, you can travel anywhere. It makes you quick on your mind and feet. It makes you adapt easily and makes any other travel a ‘happy ride’ in comparison ๐Ÿ˜›

    • R's Mom says:

      Is there a ladies compartment in UK? I wasnt aware of that…I thought there was everything general ๐Ÿ™‚ only ONE time in 6 years..what do you use then? the buses I guess

  26. Tanishka says:

    I have done all of that and somehow I love it… I just love to travel in the local train… Akthough those free body massage sessions get killing sometimes but chalta hai… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Random people discussing movies, books, music, politics, TV serials, office, TLs, and everything under the sun… I enjoy listening to all those conversations… ๐Ÿ˜€

    At least you ask are you andheri, I simply as “Kanjur” ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. DI says:

    Reminds me of that song ‘ Aamchi Mumbai’, it had this line ‘ Platform number 2 ki gaadi ab platform number 4 se jayegi’. I have travelled ONCE in a Mumbai Local and I swear I thought everyone was out to kill me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I guess it takes a lot of getting used to!

  28. Oh this one brings back memories RM! I never knew about the ‘return’ concept though…possibly because on the Harbour line there were no fast trains so it probably wasn’t worthwhile? Dunno. And I remember how I did take a first class pass once during college and realised it made more sense to continue with second class because the first class was so crowded even when I took a starting train so that it was more feasible to get a seat in the second class. And I got asked too whether I’d get off at Kurla or Vadala and always with a big smile I’d say VT! Hehe…I generally travelled from the first to the last station and my friends and I would get sadistic pleasure in letting people know that!

    I travelled on the western line once to get off at Santacruz to visit my grandma and it was a nightmare!!! I literally got pushed out of the train…something I hadn’t experienced in my comfortable rides from the first to the last station…

    • R's Mom says:

      I am not sure..may be in Harbour line it doesnt really work ๐Ÿ™‚

      Gah to your sadistic pleasure :):) heheheheh

      Western line I think is the worst..but again the central side people say, theirs is bad as well…

  29. Scribby says:

    and you can buy veggies too ๐Ÿ™‚

    gosh!!! Mumbai meri jaan! Have been there and seen that…though my stay in Mumbai was luxurious [said all the colleagues, especially those who traveled from Mira Road/ Mulun] considering I used to travel by auto and my office and flat was just around 10-15 mins distance ๐Ÿ™‚ but I have traveled a bit in locals and I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it…travelling by local in itself is a separate ‘life’ at Mumbai…

    leave alone locals…once you’ve lived in Mumbai you can live anywhere and get things done however ๐Ÿ™‚

    You know right I LOVE MUMBAI!!! sigh ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Sneha says:

    This is so true! Actually laughed while reading this post ๐Ÿ˜›
    Thoroughly Enjoyed ๐Ÿ˜€ Experienced all of the above ๐Ÿ˜‰

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