Mumbai Local

For those of you who don’t know how it is like traveling in a Mumbai local, let me tell you it is an experience of a lifetime. 😛

Before coming to Mumbai, I was very worried about traveling in local trains. I had heard a lot about the accidents, huge angry crowd and bomb blasts. So much so that I felt sick even by the thought of being a passenger in one of those ugly, crowded trains.

But, as they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. I am in Mumbai and I have to do as the Mumbaikaars do. Traveling in local trains is a part & parcel of Mumbai life… You cannnot survive without it. I was made to travel in the local trains…

These trains are the lifelines of this city. They are the fastest means of travel in a city which is mired by traffic problems. Spread over 450 route kilometers and operation in excess of 2000 daily trains, it is probably one of the toughest to manage kinda systems. It carries more than 6.94 million passengers everyday… Can you guess the scale of its operations?

The importance of every single train is such that if one train gets cancelled on one route some day, then the passengers in the next train in that route are doomed… They would not even have proper breathing space.

Now, there is this concept of traveling with/against the flow of traffic. In the morning time, people travel towards South Mumbai, where most of the businesses take place… which of course is the most commercialized place in Mumbai… People come from the western suburbs, Navi Mumbai and Central Mumbai… So what happens is that all trains going to south are very crowded… And they are so crowded that a person who is not used to traveling here would find it very hard to even get into the compartment. My friend also told me that it is actually worse in first class compartments sometimes…

I thankfully travel against the flow… If I catch a train from Bandra to Jogeshwari, where my office is (before 8:15 A.M.), then the I can sit easily and travel. If I am late by 15 minutes, then I have to stand but it is manageable and I don’t have to smell the deo sweat of others. Similarly, in the evening when I come back to Bandra, I am traveling against the flow because then the crowd is moving upwards in the opposite direction… That makes me like the Mumbai locals. 😀 And why not, they act in my favor.

It is actually fun to travel in Mumbai locals… Put your earphones on and listen to nice songs, all the while, feeling the touch of cool air coming from outside…

Overall, it is not exactly a bad experience… In fact, it is a fun experience… I don’t hate to say this that I like traveling by Mumbai locals.

Aamchi Mumbai!

BTW, I have noticed one thing that people here in Mumbai are always in a rush. They want to get into the trains before anyone else… they take seats before anyone else… Even if the trains are empty and the station is at least 3-4 minutes away, they rush to the door and stand in queue to get down… I sometimes find it strange until I realized today in the morning that I was also doing the same thing. Does that mean that I am actually changing and becoming more like a Mumbaikaar? Only time will tell…

Doctor! Please Rx

Hey people, I have joined my job in Mumbai. It has been a great experience till now. Life has changed big time man… Never in my dreams had I thought that after doing graduation in Computer Engineering, I would end up in a Pharmaceuticals company. 😀 Probably the almighty wanted to make my father happy. He is a doctor and he always wanted me to carry his legacy forward. I chose engineering but look; here I am today, working as a Management Trainee in the largest pharmaceuticals company in the world.

One good thing about my job is that, apart from understanding the basics and nitty-gritty of business, I am also supposed to understand the functions of the human body and its different organs. To sell a product, I must know how it acts – its dynamics and kinetics. This part of the journey has been the most interesting part of my job till now. I am amazed at the beauty of the human body. It, no doubt, is the most complex machine in the world. And keeping it problem free is even more complex. And, that is the job of my company. We do researches, create block buster medicines and then sell them.

To understand more about the ground realities and the sales processes, our company sent us (seven Management Trainees) to the field for around a month. All of us went to different cities. I was posted at Indore. Before that, everyone (including the CEO, the Executive Committee, and other Head Office colleagues that we met) told us that the time that we would spend in the field would be the most impactful & enriching in terms of learning. They were very true. In the field, it is a different ball game altogether. Strategies are very often delinked from the ground realities leading to failures during implementation. So, not to let that situation happen, we hit the field.

Well… enough of work stuff now!

Life has been full of ups and downs but overall it’s been great. Maximum City sucks big time. But, then again, Mumbai is an enigma. I hated it before I left for Indore but then I started missing it. Like countless others, I am in the process of becoming a Mumbai-Hater to Mumbai-Lover converts.

It is a very crowded city… you would see people swarming everywhere. There is shortage of almost everything: place to sleep, footpaths to walk, roads to drive, water to drink, oxygen to breathe… The list is endless. Amidst all these discomforts, this city acts like a seductress. She will win your heart no matter what. The only thing she wants from you is to give her some time. It is a lively city… People are energetic. They behave well unlike people in Delhi. Also, there are a lot of options for anything and everything you want.

I stay in Bandra (West), 10 minutes by rick/bike from the sea face & the newly opened Bandra-Worli Sea Link. There are a lot of places for shopping, eating and hanging out at walking distance from my apartment. Coming to the apartment, I (along with three others) am paying 28k/month for an unfurnished apartment. 😛

That’s all for the time-being. Will catch you later. Bbye.