Very fast paced city, and am looking to learn mumbai from ‘Shantaram’ the book i am reading now. trains and buses are on the move 24 hours. the metros are the lifelines. ever full of life till the mid of the night.
i had the experience of traveling by train, i had put up at Praveen’s place (thanks so much praveen), my brothers classmate and my schoolmate too, at Thane, in Brahmand, very far from even Thane station. I take a rick to the station and then my journey starts to do a V trip to Dadar and from there to Andheri and be sure to get to the western part of it… same way as in chennai where metros divide the city into two.
mumbai is pretty wide and afar if i may call it. so its not easy doing a two wheeler ride and so almost 90% of the population take to metros and then amply aided by BEST buses and rick and taxis afterward… depends if you have luggage and the distance you could opt for a rick or a taxi…
it presents the best of both world, hard core engineering happening so fast apace and then the slum are also adjacent looks like no one bothers about it.
i liked traveling the BEST buses not so crowded when I had traveled short distances though, very neat the way people wait for them and board and more importantly move to the front to get down, i dont know if we can have it the same way in my hometown in Coimbatore especially our place Vadavalli to the city…its always full of capacity…
one thing which struck me was that both the trains and the Best buses were loads of advertising inventory for transit advertising, some BEST even TVs running Best Channels, the programme included some recipe modules, then some jokes and some CSR tvcs. not bad considering if you are travelling 30 minutes.
the mumbaikar spirit was introduced to me earlier in the days some 5 years back when the rains poured and made it a stand still life on june. and ofcourse then the bomb blasts always are a mark of mumbaikar spirit. I see them in action in every pav baaji stall and every paan stall and then ofcourse in the drivers of the rickshaw and taxi…
life is full if surprises when the ricky driver gives me 2 rupees back when i pay him 15, sort of not even imaginable in my hometown Coimbatore.
people shout for me “side! side!” when i almost miss a stop on the metro, (I have never figured even now which side u got to be waiting to get down on the metro for every station.) they were so helpful, i thought someone would have pulled the chain
once i did miss the regular stop in an fast train inspite of the “side! side!” shouts and guess what i am some 15 kms away from my place… and the people really take care to set me in place and see me board the train backward and also the side i got to get down.
its really been going great except that i could not find accommodation so easily… but a broker turned friend has some good news for me. nice person he turned out to be. hopefully that’s settled now. in between i had to stay in a hotel too, in andheri for a couple of nights, the first time it poured and i was shaken every one hour by the whistle of the wind, i could notice that quite a few places don’t have windows just railings only. only solace was it was not that windy that night… i had to watch the rain whenever i woke up.