Being a passionate writer and photographer, Google Keep and mobile camera are the most used apps on my phone. My work invites interaction with different people. And whenever people hear that I’m from Mumbai, two things are the most heard responses – Mumbai Vadapav and the Local Trains. Well, if you have been to Mumbai, no doubt the first is the local budget food that you can see in every nook and corner of the Dream City. And the other, the lifeline of Mumbai transport for 7.5 million people in a population of 22.5 million.
As my ideal commute to work was by train, I thought of capturing the stories of Mumbai locals through my lens. But before that, just an ode to this city and what it feels to live in Mumbai.
AN ODE TO MUMBAI
For making me strong.
For making me courteous.
For giving me solace
For being my rocking arm.
For teaching me lessons, the hard way.
For teaching me about brotherhood.
For making me complacent.
For making me generous.
For making me adaptive.
For making me believe,
In love after despair,
In hope after discourage,
In optimism after pessimism,
Just as sunrise,
After the dark night.
A Mumbaikar waited for the local train on Bandra station when he was 25, going for his first day of work to Mumbai CST. He’s 50 today and heading towards the last day of his work post which he will be retired. The Mumbaikar looks at the local train for the last time as he gazes an incoming train. A plethora of memories and thoughts – from his first journey to his last as they flash in a time-lapse in front of his eyes. A nexus is ingrained between the Mumbai locals and the Mumbaikar. A feeling of oneness and integrity encapsulates him with the local trains of Mumbai.
LIGHT HEADED / CONTENT
Mumbai is known as the city that never sleeps. 98% of Mumbaikars have an average daily travel time of 1.5-2 hours in local trains according to a research conducted by MMM (Meri Mumbai Mahaan) Foundation. This time helps them complete the sleep they have missed on, as a two-way commute will give them a spare time of more than 3 hours. So, hardworking people of Mumbai, sleep as long as the Mumbai local train rocks.
25,000 passengers have slipped/fell/jumped from Mumbai local trains in the last 10 years, according to an RTI report of 2015. With the government’s efforts, new trains with maximum passenger carriers have been initiated, what has drastically improved is the traveling skills of a Mumbaikar.
Surviving the overpopulated train journey – a regular day’s start for an ordinary Mumbaikar.
DIVIDED BY CLASS
A picture of two men separated by class – First Class and Second Class, the two different compartments in the Mumbai local train.
THE WINDOW SEAT BOND
The bond between siblings for the window seat.
Well, do read a fictional story on this picture here – Depression
THE LAST GOODBYE
Unaware of destiny, he bid her the last goodbye.
Hope you enjoyed this journey of Mumbai locals through my lens.