I came to Mumbai after my marriage in Feb 2002 and started working in an office in Andheri from April 2002 and that was my first tryst of traveling by Mumbai local. After living a sheltered life in Baroda where traveling wasn’t a hassle at all, I had to get accustomed to the huge crowd and the life of Mumbai local. Getting down at Andheri station was a nightmare and so was getting in at the peak office hours. I conceived my son in April itself and because of no health issues I continued working. My son in my womb and me would travel from Borivali to Andheri and back daily. I would talk to him, try to protect him from the crowd and the “dhakka-dhakki” and feel scared that he shouldn’t get hurt. I stopped working in my seventh month as I could no longer take the risk of traveling by local in my advanced pregnancy.
Present day I rarely travel by local train. But when I do my son, who now daily travels by local train from Borivali to Churchgate, guides me as to from which platform to catch fast train/slow train and be careful while traveling.
Life indeed comes to a full circle. The son with whom I traveled in the Mumbai locals when he was in my womb and protected him now guides me and protects me.