MUMBAI LOCAL

Gopal MS

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Enough has been said about the lifeline of Mumbai, the local trains. Those who can afford it have moved on to cars. Those who cannot get a foothold in the crowded trains take buses that move at snail pace but even today, it is the local trains who keep the people who run the city, running. Lovers still meet under the indicator outside the station before they meet to drink tea, coffee or eat Chinese bhel outside the station. Train friends still corner their windows and seats in their regular locals. The only difference is that they now have “train friends” groups on the Whatsapp messenger. Bhajan groups continue to be formed and break up. Pickpockets are active in their usual haunts.  The only difference is that the trains are now a lot more crowded and jam packed round the clock. The cars may honk louder and the English newspaper will only write about potholes that affect the car owners.  But now, more than ever before, the city of Mumbai needs more tracks, trains and trains, even if it is called the metro and built by Reliance. These are a few images of the people who have watches that run on time set by the Western and Central railways. These are a few faces from among the faceless Mumbai commuters who travel by train and a slice of their commuting life.

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Gopal MS is a copywriter based in Mumbai working for an advertising agency who also documents Mumbai streets on a daily photoblog at www.mumbaipaused.com

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