Miss Bombay

  Here she comes
  Bending and cruising like a snake
  Smooth and fast like a ferrari
  She is the lifeline of bombay and the only vehicle composing music on its go...

  India's first train ran between mumbai and thane in 1853 and i board the train from thane to mumbai daily .As dawn closes in, she begins her journey carrying farmers and the poor from villages who carry their luggages and baggages with their products to be sold in the city.Of course bombay would not cheat them.They will find more customers here than in any other part of India.Else why would Dharmaraj , the tamil whom i accidently met while inquiring about a hospital nearby had come here 11 years ago with his wife, not knowing Hindi , selling snacks (muruku) in Bombay and making a living.He has two sons, one of whom has done medicine and the other engineering now.Who could be a better father than him?But why would he come to this crowded bombay with nothing.Bombay can kill the weak hearted.No wonder i suffered so much given i had a white collar job, house and friends.He came here because he will sell 100 murukus if he can sell 1 muruku in his hometown.Bombay is crowded.Anyone with a strong heart can make a living and she will pour in plenty
              I make no effort to get inside the train.I keep myself between two human bodies and get inside through human elevator.Thanks to my thin body , i can sneak through if given a small gap.For getting down she has her own rules.I need to get myself ready at one station prior to my station by standing near the brim so that when my station comes , like water falling from the Niagra , i would effortlessly be pushed out safely.And so i prepared myself  oneday to get down one station prior to my station. The previous station came.People started flowing out.The space before me was almost empty.And suddenly i began to fly.I held on to my handle strongly so that i didnot get thrown out.A furious crazy man was pushing me deliberately out of the train.Furious because that was his station and i was standing before him.He had enough space now to get down.But he was still furious.He pushed me again as i had returned from my flight and again and again.I played trapeze.I had seen this only in circus and in 'Popeye Show' during my childhood.But now i was playing it myself.It is really cool and worth watching Popeye :Man on the Flying Trapeze

               Though dehumanizing on a crowded day, she is soothing,calm and relaxing on a crowdless day.So relaxing that i can sit back and read .So was i reading one day on my way to office, a novel based in afghanistan.As i was reading on, i went into afghanistan and when i returned to bombay, i was five stations away from my station!One another day, as i was reading , my station had arrived and just when the train started, i realised it and ran to get down.Local electric trains accelerate fast and it is a stupid decision to get down once she starts.I slipped and fell down luckily on the platform.My book went under the train.It was a Nandan Nilekani book 'Imagining India' with the front cover having the author's big face and round eyes blinking.As the train moved on he was watching the train with his round eyes, probably 'Imagining India and the plight of Bombay Trains'.I was depressed to fetch the book again, but a localite shouted at me, took it and gave it to me.I was too depressed to realise his kindness instantly and thank him.As i was leaving I told myself 'I should leave this killing bombay.I should go home'.But it was not bombay's mistake, not mine either , it was Nandan Nilekani's mistake.

                   She kills more than 3500 humans every year,this statistics i confirmed from three different sources, should be true.One early morning as we, one group of friends were waiting for another group to leave to Daman, i heard a woman screaming aloud.It didnt take much time to realise that an accident had happened.A man got killed by the train.We didnot see the sight.But when we were running to catch our train , i saw the covered dead body being carried away.My heart beat raised.That was the closest i have ever faced an accidental death.I felt mixed emotions.Anger,fear and sympathy.I had to remove my mind from the scene and get on our train, else she wouldnt mind doing it again.But its not her fault alone.It is the individuals fault , trying to cross the track instead of taking bridge to save time, getting on to an overcrowded train and travelling on the brim hit by posts crossing by, travelling over the train, all to keep up with the pace of Bombay.She is fast so is Bombay.

                   11 July 2006,seven bomb blasts occured inside Bombays local trains killing more than 200 people, carried out by terrorist groups.But she wouldnt just mind.She continued her journey the same day.On 26 November 2008, (this time i was in Bombay), her travellers where again killed casually by terrorists at Mumbai CST railway station.She wouldnt mind it either

                                      Why dont you put your gun down and take phav bhajji???
She will continue her journey,

Bending and cruising like a snake,
Smooth yet fast like a ferrari,

She can undisputedly be crowned 'Miss Bombay'.