Public Transport – the life saver of Bombay citizens, but still looked down upon by all of us.

When I started my career, that was the only saving grace and Rickshaws were also a luxury. After my travels all over when I returned to Bombay – yes it was still called that and I still refer to it as that, staying on the border of Borivali & Dahisar one could barely afford anything beyond public transport.

Daily work commute or family travel all was done on public transport, with the rare rickshaw ride thrown in.

Time soon flew, barely 6 months and a vehicle which kept upgrading and multiplying itself and public transport became a luxury 🙂

In the initial days, I still travelled a couple of days a month, the logic being ‘Bad days can return and it is better to be prepared’ My wife who was more accustomed to public transport having worked in Bombay only used to be upset initially but then gave up.

The couple of days a month went to couple of days/a day in a quarter then six months till it reached ‘Let’s try once a year at least’ which was in 2011.

The past year there was no travel and since beginning of the year, have always met people around Andheri/Bandra but I had been itching to try it again.

The chance came when a meeting beckoned in SoBo. Wife said take the car or call a driver, daughter said you’ll never reach. Haughtily I said I will travel and show you.

So, it happened. An AC bus till worli, Ola cabs from there to Nariman Point. The meeting happened, came down and it was 4.10 pm. Was suddenly reminded that after sales call, one used to pick up a Bhel and catch the 4.35 pm Virar train.

Cabbed it to the station, and could not believe the changes – main one being – Where the hell do I buy the ticket from 😉 bought and waddled quickly to an Andheri train, thinking that this would go to platform 6 so no walking 😐

Slow train, half full, looking around people, stations passing by, soon Andheri pulled up BUT platform 3. Climbed the stairs, huffing & sweating.

Took 15 minutes asking Auto guys politely. Finally gave up and told one “zondia kana khanan vazvu Kai” got in and reached home.

Learnings

I can’t travel at peak hours.
The AC bus is super and must be more connected.
Ola cabs overcharged me vs invoice sent and am awaiting a reply.
Taxi and Rickshaw wallahs are mostly haramis.
Traders still travel on trains and conduct business there with multiple mobiles
First class is nice, better seats
Card swipe should be a priority.
Respect for all those who commute.

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends