Top 5 Ways To Distinguish Non-Mumbaikars on Locals

Hey people! This is the ninth post of a new weekly series called “Saturday Top 5”. I guess the title is self-explanatory and anyway, it shall be on a pilot basis due to a great response,this will be a regular series. Here’s the last post of the series (LINK). Please leave your feedback about the idea and suggestions as well for the next post in the series

Mumbai locals are the lifeline of this magnificent city. No one can survive without them. But unlike most other things in the city, the Mumbai Locals are less accepting then this overflowing pot of mixing culture. You see, there are multiple unspoken rules and regulations which are too sacred to be broken. Yet some people do it daily. We call them Non-Mumbaikars because it is simply impossible for a Mumbaikar to not know these things. So call them Dilli ke launde or too cool for the humidity Bangaloreans, sorry Bengalurueans, I point out 5 ways to catch these odd ones out in the pool.


1.They never know which station is on which side


Dead giveaway. A Mumbaikar always knows which station is on which side and accordingly plans his relative position inside the compartment. I mean which idiot will get on a train at Goregaon during peak hours and then try to reach the seats, knowing that he or she has to get down at Andheri? Hint: The idiot calls Pani puri “Gol Gappe” and complains about humidity.


2. They get on a 8.17 Fast and ask “Aaj bheed zzyada hai na?”


Yes. These people exist. They climb aboard a 8:17 Virar Fast and ask in slightly suffocated(trust me, given the sweaty armpits, the awkward Statue of Liberty like positions and the desperate scramble for holding on to anything while the train moves, “slightly” is a blessing) “Aaj bheed zzyada hai na?”. Only a non-Mumbaikar is capable of this. This and trying to get off at Andheri on a Virar Fast.


3. Their bags are on their backs and not on their front, baby carrying style


Who doesn’t do this? Everyone knows that bags on front is the most efficient way of protecting your valuables from getting damaged or stolen. Plus you can use them as battering rams when you bulldoze through the crowd to scramble on to the train. This point does come with a caveat though. I like to call it the ” Experienced Uncle Variable”. A passenger may carry his backpack on his back if his EUV value is over 20 according to the following formula:
EUV= (Number of stations traveled daily X Number of years of regular local use)/The class of your compartment

For example a person who has been commuting from Kandivali to Andheri for the past 10 years in a second class compartment has an EUV of 25( 5*10/2). So this guy can carry a bag on his back, he has earned it over the years. I bet he’ll have train buddies on his usual train and route who’ll actually even pull him,and his bag in.

4.They get paranoid about not being able to get down


If these poor souls somehow manage to get on the train,they somehow are paranoid about not being able to get down.They start sweating and panicking on seeing the crowd.They start chanting prayers and curses,both with equal fervour. A true Bambai wala never bothers with all this. He puts on his earphones,awkardly paws around for his phone in his pocket,desperately trying to not touch the person around him’s ass, but never sweats about not being able to get down. Abbey funda simple hai. One station before you get down,ask the guy in front of you if he’ll get down at that particular station or not. If he isn’t, just push ahead towards the door bro! If he is,do it anyway 😛


5.They never get off or on to a moving train


Lastly, one of the key differences. Non Mumbaikars are absolutely terrified of getting or off a moving train. Absolutely petrified. “Pagal hai kya!” is their reaction.They wait for the train to come to a complete hault while the entire compartment pushes past them and get off. In fact by the time the train stops,half the people have already got in and most of the people who wanted to alight have done so already. Again a simple law will guarantee safety in such matters. All you have to do is get down in the direction in which the train is moving and keep running for a few steps. Same for climbing aboard.


Well folks, that’s it for this time. Sorry if this post didn’t live up to your expectations, a better one shall be up next week.

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Bye Bye Bombay

This is not an ode to the city I love, neither is this a farewell letter. Before you read further, let me tell you, I’m now into my last week in Mumbai. Well, at least for the next 5 years, I’ll be living in Delhi to study law. I don’t know why I am writing this. Hell I don’t know what this is. Take it as my rambling if thy shalt will.

It’s a funny feeling. Moving. The verb, the word but mostly the feeling. It’s not just that you’ll be leaving behind a life that you’ve carefully built. But you’ll be leaving it behind for something new, something unfamiliar.18 years of my life, my friends, my love, my city, and my way of living, everything, gone. It’s a huge thing because of many reasons. In life, we never realise it, but it is always what that is around us builds us. Bombay, the city I was born in, the city I lived my childhood in, the city I hit teenage in, the city in which I turned 18,the city that was always my solace, the city that taught me life, the city that punished me, the city that nurtured me. Bombay was always there for me. I’ll specially miss sitting by Marine Drive or Worli Seaface,enjoying my timeout from life, staring blankly at the sea. If you haven’t already done that, do it. Just for a few minutes. Stare into the vastness and the far far away expanse. Think of nothing. Just stare. I proudly say that the city always was my first love. Today, with just a few days left before my flight to Delhi, I have no words to say to it. There is so much to do, so much to say, yet no time. I feel like I’m being torn away from it, piece by piece. A few days ago, I saw this picture which put my turbulence in words.

Mumbai is a city. Bombay is an emotion.

It is true folks. I’m leaving Mumbai but the Bombay shall always be in me, and right now, it is bubbling up via this post, and I am unabashed when I say I don’t want to bottle it up.

People always yearn for security. That’s the entire point of our life. To lead a secure life. For a just emancipated adult, my parents were my umbrella, my armour and my everything. I remember those tiny fleeting moments when they were there for me. Trust me; they are the ones you remember and not the major ones. In Delhi, I’ll be alone. Yes, we live in the 21st century, so we have phones, SMSes, BBM, Whatsapp, e-mails, letters, Skype and all those other mediums which reduce the distance between people. But the problem is that they can never remove the distance, only reduce it. However close I may feel, the brutal cold truth would be that I am thousands of kilometres away in Delhi while they’ll be in Mumbai, and not with me physically. That’s just something I’ll have to deal with, accept and move on.

Friends. Dost. The word rings like a hollow bell. They complete you. Always do. Suddenly, they won’t be a phone call away. I won’t be running into them at Kandivali station. No sir .I admit I have never been the friend I could have been, but they have and that makes all the difference in the world. Honestly I’m scared. What happens from here? Where does life take us? We still stay the same way? Things change? Ugh, this is mind numbing. It has always been this way; we have always been a call away. Not anymore. I won’t be able to give them a call and pop over to their place. They won’t be able to give me a call and meet me at the McDonald’s near Andheri and Kandivali stations(which they know are my second favourite place in the world to meet, after the stations themselves). We might drift apart, partly because of me, partly because of them. I’ll make new friends and they’ll make new ones as well. But all I hope for is a status quo. No change. Stability is nice

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sum up all the emotions I’m feeling in one post and relax, I don’t intend to write a second post on this. All I wanted to do was put my emotions and rather on a broader outlook, almost every Mumbaikar who is leaving Bombay ‘s feelings into a post, because I understand how hard it is to articulate them.

The heart is a fickle thing and it hates change. But at the end of the day, the clock ticks on, the date changes, the world sleeps and awakes anew, and so shall I, with a hope, and only that hope to lead me on.

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