Client and Colleagues, are often the very first things that pop up in the mind when one thinks about the office they’d be joining in and the kind of work they’d be doing. However, I would make a teeny-tiny change to this equation and add another C- Commute. Commutes can be a threat to your pockets and to the peace of your mind.
Basically, commutes are a disaster. Period. But when it comes to a city like Mumbai-The City of Dreams, commute becomes a nightmare, ironically. After analyzing all the alternatives, I realized that Mumbai Local was my best option, and even then my total commute time in a day rounds up to 4 hours.
Mumbai Local- a place claimed more dangerous than the darkest corners of a house (as verified by the aunties of All-Out Brand) -was honestly the most terrifying thing for me. The unorganized rush, the trains schedule, the speed, the people, all of it. The entire experience was new and scary. Coming from travelling in the sophisticated Dubai Metro, my entire extended family was nerve-wrecked on how I would be able to travel amidst the pushes and nudges encountered on the locals. But after a point of time things start to fall into place. Albeit the things started to fall into place after the disasters like falling out of a moving train, catching a wrong train, getting my wallet stolen, nearly escaping a brutal fight inside the train among others. But as they say, all’s well that ends well.
There are days that end with an overwhelming sense of gratitude as well. When you see people from all sorts of background fighting for that one empty seat or the days when the aunties sing religious melodies in harmony, or when young kids rush in and start spilling the recent goss, seeing people laugh wholeheartedly, or seeing people cry as they are peeping in at one person’s mobile screen to catch the latest episode of their beloved serial, you begin to realize that there is nothing scary about the journey. Soon it begins to feel like a mini community inside the train, beaming with glee. This community looks out for you, catches you when you fall (literally), gives their book to you (after catching you stare at the book longingly), share their food/water with you, give a comforting look to you when the rude aunty mutters mean things, or even fight for you when things with co-passenger goes awry, and so many more wonderfully kind things.
After the first week of struggling, the routine becomes normal to you. And soon enough, you’re guiding other first-timers as they take-up the challenge of finding the right platform!
You see, it is a community after all.