This is Kurlaaaaa....

Note: Every time I travel by a local train, I think about how getting in and out of a crowded train is similar to the movie 300. Here I write an overindulgent post, which might not be funny. But I need to get it out of my system to stop smiling everytime I get down at Kurla. People who have travelled in a local train in Mumbai might enjoy the post more than people who havent.

When the train reached the platform, like all trains, it was inspected...
inspected for an empty seat...
preferably window seat, a place to stand, on one foot if the need be...

From the time a mumbaikar could stand, he was baptised in the fire of entering a crowded train. Usually from Mulund, Bhandup or worse Kanjurmarg.

No mumbaikar got down at Kanjurmarg, a single platform station, but more than a million entered an already full 12 car rake.

The only respite would come at Kurla. If they could push the ones getting in out of the way, for a breath of air, that wasnt second hand. It was in its essence the base of life.

By the time a mumbaikar is 17, he is forced to take a train. To his college, coaching class, or worse, to meet his girlfriend. It has been 30 years since. Our king, Gaitonde!

Gaitonde, gets into the train at Badlapur 9.15 slow. A beast approaches, not now, but 28 kms away in Kurla. A team led by a slave army, vast beyond imagining, an army of garment traders, diamond polishers, fruit vendors. Their king, Mirchi Maulvi, stands behind them, all of 7 feet. Legend has it, he gets his name from his henna coloured beard.

Mirchi calls Gaitonde
Gaitonde: Why do you call for, O Mirchi seth?
Mirchi: Seats and aisle?
Gaitonde: Dont be stupid or coy, Kurla king, you can afford neither in the 9.15 Badlapur slow
Mirchi: Listen carefully, Gaitonde. I lead an army so vast, it rattles the compartment doors when it enters the train. Submission!
Gaitonde: Submission? See, that is a problem.

Gaitonde puts Mirchi on hold to play temple run.

Mirchi: You are a mad man. This is madness.
Gaitonde: This is Kurlaaaaaa....

The station approaches.

Gaitonde: By the end of the war, I swear, they will see their king bleed, by which I mean he wont be able to enter the compartment. And all will know that 300 Badlapurians...gave their last breath to defend the seats.

Gaitonde, I have brought 820 men from Ghatkopar - said Shaileshbhai Shah. How many do you have?



Gaitonde pulls the collar of one Ghatkoparian -

What are you? Ans:IT engg
Pulls other guy
And you? Ans: Stock Broker

Badlapurians, who are you?
Chorus: HOO HAA

See, Saileshbhai Shah? I brought more men than you did.

Kurla station approaches. Gaitonde sees Mirchi, all of 8 feet height, red beard, standing behind his army.

The train grinds to a halt - YAAA... Kurlains try to enter the first class compartment.

Badlapurians, stand with their sheilds (laptop bags) to the doors. HAA HOO...

Fighters take out their umbrellas, swing them left-right, throwing the slave army soldiers off. This is Kurlaaaaa

When the slaves couldnt get it, it was Mirchi Seth who moved forward. The ground shook under his weight. King Gaitonde moves slowly, very slowly towards the door.

The train starts to move. Mirchi starts running towards the compartment. Gaitonde removes his water bottle from his Samsonite bagpack and swings it at Mirchi's beard. Drops from the leaking bottle fall on Mirchi's beard, making it wet.

The king fell back. He would get into a train,  but not this one. Not today.

Should any free soul  come across that place...... in all the countless centuries yet to be.... may all our voices...... whisper to you from the ageless stones.

This is Kurlaaaaaa.....

Dedicated to everyone who has travelled in a local train during rush hour.


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