Whose Fault

The other day, R’s daycare opened a bit early and I reached Borivali station just in time to see the Bandra local coming in…now to give a background to non-Mumbaikars

1) On the Western line, the trains from Churchgate (the south tip of the Western line where most offices are) end their journey at two key stations – Borivali and Virar…

2) Borivali is about 30 kms from Churchgate and Virar about 55 kms.

3) Usually all trains going towards Chruchgate are super crowded in the mornings as most population moves towards the office area

4) In the evenings, trains towards Borivali and Virar are horribly crowded

5) Unwritten Rule # 4562 of travelling by Western suburbs trains are – NEVER get into a Virar train if you want to get off at Borivali and before….

The logic being, earlier trains to Virar were few and if they were slow trains stopping at every station, the crowd would keep swelling and there were obviously trains for Borivali which the people of Borivali could catch..then why get into a Virar train and take up the place of a person going all the way to Virar!

Basically for someone who has been in Mumbai long enough, knows of the unofficial war between the Virar people and Borivali people..Borivali people argue that Virar guys come in their train and catch the connecting train to Virar while the Virar guys complain that despite having so many trains the Borivali guys get into their trains and crowd them…

I dont know which group to support..one side of me feels, I would rather wait an extra 3 minutes and get the local to Borivali..the other side of me feels, why should the Virar people fight so much and make life hell for us…

Anyways after the background, let me tell you what happened the other day..

as soon as I saw the Bandra local which comes from Virar, I was tempted to jump in…Now remember that in the morning, ALL trains to Churchgate are crowded…anyways, so I tried to jump in…and then realised that in the first class SIX women from Bvr got in..and after that it was super mayhem..

There was no space to stand…and the Virar ladies had crowded the entire passage and ALL of them wanted to get off at Andheri..so imagine a situation when all cars are travelling in one direction and then a group of six cars try to come in from the opposite direction..there will loads of squeezing, shouting, honking, screaming and grumbling..

Which is what exactly happened!

One Virar lady started grumbling on how we Borivali people think we are very smart and cant even wait for 10 minutes more for the Borivali Churchgate train to come..and slowly the grumble became a chant and the entire troupe of women standing in the passage were grumbling as we tried to squeeze and push our way in…

They resorted to bad words, right from having doubts on our senses to our egoistic, narcissistic attitude to our trying to be smart asses to what not..

If not anything, in six years of travel, I have learnt the art of ignoring and zipping my mouth in the ladies compartment, because I know tempers usually run high and one bad word leads to proper fights...I have seen ladies pull each other’s hair, scratch with nails and what not!

Anyways so I kept quiet, but the lady in front of me started arguing that there is no written rule the Bvr people cant get into Virar locals

Look at the inconvenience you are causing said one Virar lady, couldnt you take the next train

The next train is at 8.10..which is 8 minutes after this one…I will miss my office bus said the Bvr lady

But you are troubling us, we are coming standing all the way from Virar..shouted the Virar lady

Bvr lady shouted back saying ‘what can we do, you try and catch an earlier train’

and it went back and forth…I was afraid it would snowball into a full fledged fight and I tried to make myself as invisible as possible..though its an impossible task with the amount of flesh I have hanging over the bones!

Anyways, finally we got off at Andheri
but I was thinking…

Was I wrong to get in..obviously the Virar ladies were definitely inconvenienced and on top of that they were standing all the way..may be we shouldnt have got in..but again the lady who would miss her office bus would be in trouble because trust me, Andheri is a bloody mess to travel due to the metro construction..

I am confused..whose right and whose wrong…

Of course, I dont take that train anymore honestly…I would rather be 20 minutes late to office than catch a 8 minute earlier train and trouble everyone!

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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59 Responses to Whose Fault

  1. vethal says:

    hats off to the locals in Mumbai. Now I guess I should shut up and not complain about Bangalore. trust me, since BLR has mostly IT professionals, never seen such fights in buses.mumbai must be a different game altogether with people from different backgrounds taking the trains.

    • R's Mom says:

      Actually vethal as they say’ the only difference between the first class and second class in Mumbai is that ‘in first class the gaalis given are in English and in second class they are in Hindi/Marathi’

    • Nithvin says:

      @ Vethal: Aiyoo..just try getting in to a bus to KR market/Majestic, you’ll know the other side of travel of BLR buses 🙂

  2. Well, I guess I’ve no right to comment since I’ve never been in a Mumbai Local at peak hour myself but here’s what I feel :

    1.The next train was after 8 min and that is lot of time for someone in a hurry to reach office, so the Borivli ladies were not really wrong in boarding the virar train. If the next train had been coming only after 1 or 2 min then maybe the Virar ladies would have had a point.

    2. Of course the Virar ladies were inconvenienced–but that is the nature of the beast. Nobody expects to travel comfortably in the locals at peak hours. The fact is that therer are too many people and not enough trains, so the trains cannot but be crowded. Grumbling is okay but calling names is asking for trouble.

    • R's Mom says:

      but that is the nature of the beast. – so so true 😦 thats where the problem is…Bombay’s infrastructure is running 20 years behind what it should have been 😦

  3. I’m with the lady who said there is no written rule that people from Borivali shouldn’t get onto the train from Virar. After all, everyone has different timings for work and different reasons for catching certain trains. It’s an individual who might choose to catch a Borivali local to get a seat but if one is in a hurry to get somewhere, they will catch whatever train is available. I must say though, ladies probably fought a lot more on trains than men…and I still haven’t understood why!

    • R's Mom says:

      Oh yes PB…I have myself experienced it…

      In the gents compartment, if someone is running to catch the train, there will be 20 hands holding on to catch him and ensure he is safe onboard..in the ladies compartment, the ladies actually poke you with their hand bag or elbow to dissuade you from getting in..why? I have no clue!

  4. Ashwathy says:

    I don’t know what to say! I mean …the train can be used by anyone at whose station it stops. There is no unwritten rule that only Virar ladies and not Borivali ladies should be in Virar – Churchgate trains.

    But then for comfort’s sake, the lady can also wait, or try and getting in earlier to one of the Borivali locals too.

    I don’t know…who are we judge? I personally feel this is one of the situations where there is no one right side…. 😐

    • R's Mom says:

      I personally feel this is one of the situations where there is no one right side – Exactly..this is how I end up feeling every time something like this happens 😦

  5. What?! People really scratch each other with their nails and pull each other’s hair in the locals?! Kudos to you, woman, on putting up with this every single day! I don’t know if I could do that – day after day after day. 😦

    About your question, I think everyone has the right to board ANY train that they want, going anywhere, as long as they pay for it. It is not anyone’s fault if someone is inconvenienced by it, and there is no need to feel guilty about it. But then, we can consciously try to avoid inconveniencing others as far as possible. This is just the humble opinion of a highly protected girl, who has never travelled in a Mumbai local. 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahah! TGND…in my pregnancy, I have been hit on my stomach despite screaming that I am pregnant, I am pregnant..its crazy at times…most times, people are really sweet and nice, but when tempers run high, no one cares..having said that, I should admit here, that I have had ladies help me a LOT during my pregnancy travel…a LOT seriously!

      • //in my pregnancy, I have been hit on my stomach despite screaming that I am pregnant, I am pregnant..//
        OMG 😦

        • R's Mom says:

          Yep..it did happen..I was not visibly pregnant may be about 3 months or so…I got into the train at Andheri since it wasnt too crowded…but a surge came in Goregaon and I tried to go back, but got stuck between the push and pull..I kept screaming please let me go please let me go, I am pregnant, but no one cared..they actually hit me on the stomach and I was crying when I got down (May be thoda melodrama bhi tha!) anyways then I went to the gynac and he scolded me like crazy..dont take such risks etc etc…after that I would make it a point to take the ladies special as much as possible!

  6. Phew…. ushappa !
    this is one vicious circle, no?

  7. journomuseed says:

    You are a prolific blogger, aren’t you R’s Mom?? Amidst all that you manage to accomplish through the day, you post too!! I’m in awe…Oh and by the way…Andheri guys crib about Bandra guys crowding their locals, Borivali ones crib about Andheri guys and Virar cribs about Borivali..that’s how the cookie crumbles…Btw, R’s daycare is in Andheri and you travel from Borivali to Andheri everyday to drop her??

    • R's Mom says:

      Aiyo…dont make me blush..aisa kuch nahi rey!

      No no, R’s daycare is at Borivali..I drop her there and then go to Andheri where my office is…if I took R with me in the train at peak hours, I will be murdered in the next 10 days…its a criminal offence to take kids in such rush hour yaar…

  8. Nithvin says:

    If people from Borivali are not supposed to get in to Virar trains, why are the trains even stopping at the Borivali station? I agree with the lady from Borivali who asked the Virar lady to catch an earlier train if she felt inconvinienced by the Borivali crowd..I guess everybody is right or wrong in this situation based on their preferences..

    Of course, I dont take that train anymore honestly…I would rather be 20 minutes late to office than catch a 8 minute earlier train and trouble everyone!-that’s the wisest thing to do and stay away from those messy early morning arguments!

    • R's Mom says:

      arey what if people from Virar have to get off at Borivali :):) thats why the stop rey 🙂

      I guess everybody is right or wrong in this situation based on their preferences.. – Thats so true!

  9. Smita says:

    Ah! They managed to make you feel guilty eh?
    Accha tell me if you get late by 15 mins are you not inconvenienced?
    So if you can think about their inconvenience why can the feeling not be reciprocated?
    Who owns these trains?
    There relatives? No?
    Yours? No?
    Government? Yes!
    So it is as much your as it is theirs.
    Who runs the train?
    There relatives? No?
    Yours? No?
    Government? Yes!
    So it is as much youe right to get in the train as it is theirs.
    Even I have heard about the unwritten Borivali Virar rule and am also amazed by the way people follow it. The sad part is that the rule is followed not because ppl donot want to inconvenience others but because there are such rowdy people travelling in the trains that you want to avoid such pathetic situations.
    My point is being empathetic is good but people shouldn’t make a hue n cry over things which can be avoided. Anybody who is braving the train crowd should understand the value of time, they shud understand that if it is imperatvie for them to take “this” train only then the same can apply to others as well.
    I wish people here were more tolerant and would see sense.
    And you my dear should not feel guilty for useless things. Catch the train which comes in front of you, as far as Local trains are conceerned you need to be selfish! Period!

    • R's Mom says:

      Muah muah muah to you for this comment…trust you to make me STOP feeling guilty..but sometimes Smita, I do feel really bad for the Virar ladies…so much distance to travel and to keep standing..I so wish the Govt would do something about improving the infrastructure drastically!

      • Smita says:

        I also agree with you about the situation being bad but that doesn’t give them the rights to abuse others. See everyone has a bad day but it doesn’t give you the permission to get away with anything. We need to be more tolerant in general.

    • Tanishka says:

      For local trains you need to be selfish… So true Smita… You have said it all, can’t agree more…

  10. Shweta says:

    I seriously don’t think u did anything wrong.. Metro cities are crowded.. people living there have to live with that.. just because people from a location A have to travel for a longer time does not mean any body living in location B is responsible for it.. if u r so pissed off about the travel shift to a place nearer to ur workplace.. besides.. There is no said/written RULE or LAW (not that they are followed) not to board a train coming from Virar or whichever place that may be.. Had that been a case.. make sure the train does not stop at any stations coming midway and even if they do.. No boarding is allowed and people can only alight.. !!

    Like in Delhi.. People are so competitive while driving.. no one follows lane driving.. people honk and shout and what not…

    • R's Mom says:

      if u r so pissed off about the travel shift to a place nearer to ur workplace.. – Awww! you are too sweet Shweta..but trust me, shifting near Churchgate is a dream that we suburbs people cant even think in the next 20 jamans :):)

      I loved your idea of no boarding only alighting..awesome idea 🙂

      • Shweta says:

        I understand ur view of not being able to shift … so u have accepted it and living with it right.. 🙂 u don’t make a fuss about it.. but rest of the people do.. what i was saying was for them not people like you… who won’t just shout and get into a fight verbal or otherwise over such trivial issues…

        about the Idea.. the authorities must take some action if this is a regular practice … people can raise concerns or send in requests or something like that (if that may work out)

  11. Smita T says:

    Dont worry darling… you were not wrong in getting in the Virar train… if you think you have made a mistake, then you are making mistake every day by travelling by these super crowded trains itself… so dont worry… take it easy… its just how it is…

  12. Forget Bout right or wrong… Think input ur convenience you wud be better taking off a later train just for ur own sake…

    What say..

  13. My Era says:

    I think since you are thinking on these lines, you are definitely trying your level best to not be a trouble to the people from Virar and are trying to be as considerate you can possibly be. But we are all human beings, with practical and human limitations to everything we do including nomatter how early we get up, there are days when we are still running late.

    It is a matter of public transport which is developed to be used by people from all stations and to all destinations. Had it not been that the train you boarded on wouldn’t have stopped on any other stations (including where you got down) and would have been an express one (like they have many such trains overseas especially at office hours.

    So don’t lose your peace of mind over this, though being considerate is a good human value and you are already paying enough consideration to it, so it not a matter of whose fault it actually is. 😀 😀 😀

    • R's Mom says:

      But we are all human beings, with practical and human limitations to everything we do including nomatter how early we get up, there are days when we are still running late. – Muah for this 🙂

  14. Scribby says:

    I know all the unspoken rules of Virar bound trains and the logic in Virar people…thankfully had never had to face this situation myself but had heard a LOT of such ironical stories… 😦

    It’s just nothing but population and the timings and the distances which are at fault 🙂 not people…people react only according to the situations,me thinks!

    • Scribby says:

      typo in the first line: * “logic” running in the minds of Virar people…

    • R's Mom says:

      It’s just nothing but population and the timings and the distances which are at fault not people…people react only according to the situations,me thinks!

      Its so so true 🙂 you hit the nail right on the head! I wish the Govt would do something more about the infrastructure!

  15. summerscript says:

    Public Transport + Peak hours == crowd crowd crowd!!!
    When there is so much crowd, it is natural to get irritated. But Arguing will make it only worse.

  16. techie2mom says:

    People who plan infrastructure of our cities are at fault..With cities densely populated & interior regions under developed, this is bound to happen. Then it comes to survival of the fittest. Less resources for more people tend to make people more ruthless & then of course tempers will be running high!
    Thankfully i have never traveled in mumbai local train during peak hours, but i can understand that everybody is in a hurry & when missing a train means missing a connecting bus then definitely someone would want to catch the coming train without worrying about others. Similarly others who think that the facility was for them then in turn they will rightfully feel angry about the situation.
    Only solution seems to be better infrastructure, but that seems to be taking very very very long time to develop in our country (By the time the proposed infrastructure in place, the population increases manifold making the new infrastructure inadequate). So till then, The Jungle Rules………
    And seriously hats off to you guys for going through this everyday….

    • R's Mom says:

      Only solution seems to be better infrastructure, but that seems to be taking very very very long time to develop in our country (By the time the proposed infrastructure in place, the population increases manifold making the new infrastructure inadequate). So till then, The Jungle Rules – you got that exactly!!

  17. Maddie says:

    Growing up in Borivli I know the train rules. I was warned never to catch a Virar train by my mum when I started college. I agree Virar people are overbearing and always frustrated for reasons best known to them but there is no such rule who should take which train, it is a matter of what time is convenient to you. In Mumbai we live our lives around the clock and no wonder the frustration shows up in fights on the trains. 😦 Sad situation

    • R's Mom says:

      Hey welcome here 🙂

      Glad your mom taught you the right rules..Rockstar she is :):)

      In Mumbai we live our lives around the clock and no wonder the frustration shows up in fights on the trains. Sad situation – This is exactly why my Appa wants us to shift out of Mumbai 🙂

  18. Deeps says:

    Gosh what a mess! Maybe a suggestion to the railway authority to ply more Virar trains so that the frequency is balanced out? Gosh I am certainly not the best person to give suggestions here! “Of course, I dont take that train anymore honestly…I would rather be 20 minutes late to office than catch a 8 minute earlier train and trouble everyone!” I would do that too if I were in your place.

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahha! Deeps…I dont think the ‘suggestion’ can be even done looking at the over crowded lines and stuff…the need of the hour is definitely hard core strategy and planning and working on those plans like crazy..only then will the infrastructure in Mumbai improve 🙂

  19. Amit says:

    I have never been to Mumbai but have relatives there and I have heard about this earlier.
    I remember when the Delhi Metro started, people went completely crazy and they still are. They would not allow people to deboard the train and rush in as if it is the last train on Earth. Finally barricades were constructed at interchange stations and on every compartment door a DMRC employee was stationed who blows a whistle and ask the people to behave. Its funny at times, but people mostly listen to them. Still, I am so frustrated at times travelling in the Metro that I can understand what the Mumbai crowd goes through. And that somehow calms me down.
    Another funny incident was when the first coach of the metro was turned into a ladies compartment but men still travelled in it despite numerous announcements in the station and train. Finally DMRC stationed policemen at each station who actually used to slap all the men coming out of the ladies compartment. Now no one even thinks of going in them.
    I wonder at times why we are so impatient even though the next train is 3 minutes away?

    • R's Mom says:

      Hey Welcome here 🙂

      I think its a very Indian mentality..mainly to do with the sheer population…to be honest, when I went to London and travelled by the underground, I actually rushed right in the front when the train came because I was ‘warned’ that the trains will be crowded…trust me, their defintion is crowd is what we in Mumbai call ekdum khali tha!!! I was embrassed by my behaviour!!!

      • Amit says:

        Haha! Yeah I have done that in the tube too. 🙂
        The biggest problem in tube was that they do not announce which side the doors are going to open, so once when it was jampacked, I actually threw myself on people to get out.

  20. anisnest says:

    hmm tough situation.. there is no right or wrong.. The maximum we can do is not to harm others when we don’t have to so I would decide based on my situation..Assume I have a micro-managing boss who raises his eye brow even I step into work by 9:01am, assume I have an urgent appointment then I will board Virar train. If I can make do with a little late to work and there is no pressing urge I would rather board the Bor train. We can at least pacify our own conscience by this way right?

    • R's Mom says:

      The maximum we can do is not to harm others when we don’t have to so I would decide based on my situation – Yep…I guess thats true!

  21. Comfy says:

    In between this mess, I am feeling sorry for myself because I miss Mumbai so much. I must be crazy to want to take one of these trains. 😳

  22. The Bride says:

    The main party at fault is the stupid government which cannot provide proper basic infrastructure. And then the Virar ladies are in the wrong. It’s fine for nice people like you to out of the goodness of your heart take the next train because you’re feeling sorry for them. But for them to expect it as their birthright and become rowdy and abusive is just wrong. If they feel so strongly about this, they should channelise all that frustration and gherao the Western Railway CEO person till he comes up with some solution for them. Or their local MLA who should be able to get this stuff done for them. Picking on poor other women commuters, who have their own difficulties (it’s not like Borivali – Churchgate is a short ride either), is just plain old bullying.

    • R's Mom says:

      The main party at fault is the stupid government which cannot provide proper basic infrastructure – Thats so so true..like RD says ‘ Mumbai infrastructure is 20 years behind where it should be’ !!!

  23. kayemofnmy says:

    For your sake I hope the metro which is under construction is ready soon. Neither Borivali nor Virar, to my mind are wrong and yet, they end up fighting for a little space. Wonder if the frequency of trains can be increased. Borivali and Virar should unite.

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