{

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FIERY LIFE ON TRACKS


 This is my contribution to the indiblogger contest...

Sets You On Fire!




My early days in Mumbai
A Wednesday in the winter of November 2002

I had just joined my first job
All that I knew was basic computer controls , fluent Malayalam and bit of broken English...
It was only the second time that I am traveling in the local trains of Mumbai
The first time being my journey for my job interview...
I had very less train traveling experience
All that I knew was
VA stood for Vashi (my destination)...
and K stood for Kalyan.( my home city)...on the indicators


Every Mumbaikar must have had  fiery train experiences. Me being a beginner , never imagined the very first day of my job would turn out into a nightmare
all was well till the train reached Mankhurd railway station
At Mankhurd the train had an unexpected halt

Time-6.00 pm

passengers waited for the train to regain speed ....
sources said...there's a severe route problem hence trains will move after an hour or so

Time-7.30 pm

We waited...but still stuck at the same place
Commuters started moving away
some preferred to walk through tracks..then use the roadways
whereas some preferred making a queue at the nearest PCO ,unlike these days very few people carried mobile phones with them...and that too...the big ones locked inside the safe mobile cases..the call rated were not that cheap to lend your phone to the fellow passengers....

I prefered waiting.....
Only human existence inside the train was me...and a young school girl at the window...she was engrossed in some thoughts...she also seemed to be worried....but me...my situation was worst..I didnt even know whats happpening



I felt helpless...betrayed.......and more than that....LOST
I looked around....
The only person to be seen was the school girl...
I was worried.....I rested my elbows on my knees....hid my face in my palms....so that the girl wont see me crying...
yes I was crying...!!

Time - 9.00

I spotted a few ladies rushing inside the train
Dressed in bright colored sarees....polka dotted salwar kammez...dark faces with big red bindi adorning their forehead...big gajras around their decorated hair..
one of them approached me...
her lips were dark red which hid her yellow teeth all...sick of chewed tobbaco...
placing a pan into her mouth...
she asked me
" where do you want to go?"

"Kurla"

come with us....we will drop you there

I was already so stressed..and this lady who assured me to each me kurla safely...won my trus...
I got up from my seat
took my hanbag ...and followed them

uuuuff.....
someone had pinched me
the school girl
she indicated me ...not to go with them

I gave her a very weird look...the look meant...what bothers you? they are trying to save me...and you stopping me?? if you want to reach home take their help...or sit here....why stop me?

she must have understood that I am new...in this strange city...I never knew the dark perhaps the red part of the city.... these women were the prostitutes....for them I was just another prey...to their world of sex,,,money and dirt....

she said 
"mat jao...( dont go )"

By this time one of the women had grabbed my  right hand...she started pulling me !!!!

The school girl ,,she pulled my left hand... I was amidst a tug of war...I did not know what to be done...
  
All that I knew was that somethigs wrong.... 

I decided

Only way out
 I  screamed......at the top of my voice..!!!!!
This gathered many a men around us...

They screamed at those prostitutes....drove them away!!!!!!

perhaps I was saved...

but still trapped.... in the empty train again!!!!!


 Time - 10.30

Do you have money??

My savior asked me....now she wants money for saving me??.

I want to call my home...will you please lend me some money? 

I gave her some money...she went to the nearest PCO....I had no one to call for help...as I stayed as a paying guest with an old couple...I didn't expect them to come and rescue me

Time - 11.30

after some time...a man arrived...her father....
she went to him...said something in tamil...and turned to me

" You can come with us... I can leave you at Kalyan..." 

I decided to go with her....Nitya was her name....

Nitya's father took us to a tata sumo parked near the ticket counter...they comforted me in the vehicle...

I said to myself

" you are gone....they are taking you to a deserted island .....they will demand money from your parents...you are kidnapped"

I rejected the snacks offered by nitya... I doubted anesthesia in it ....
I was tired... I slowly drifted of to sleep...when I opened my eyes.. I found I was at kurla....
they helped me board a train to kalyan...and I reached kalyan safe...!!!!

Time - 1.30

I reached kalyan station....i couldn't take a rickshaw home...for I cannot trust anyone at this time of night....I ran....ran...stopped only when i reached the basement of my apartment.....I leaned against aparked maruti 800.... I started crying... perhaps... the tears that I controlled for so long couldn't stay any more,,,  









Ten years later..........

TRING........TRING TRING TRING

"hello??
Nitya??? hws u ?? "

TILL TODAY WE ARE GOOD FRIENDS..... SHE STILL CALLS ME AND  I AM ALWAYS THANKFUL TO HER...ALWAYS....!!!!


19 comments:

  1. Very delicate issue and handeled beautifully. Thank God you did not go with them. Mumbai has a very dark underbelly where many have gone and forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mumbai is a great place to live, but people die everyday.. die of shame, torture and troubles like these.. You really can't trust anyone but I'm glad Nitya had the courage and the willingness to help. Such friendships are rare. Cherish them :)

    Well-written :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. my god! this was so scary! i mean...if you had gone with them! i shudder to think that some innocent girls do trust & go.
    and to be in the train for so many hours - alone - bapre! scary again!
    thank god for Nitya. its really sweet to know that you both are still friends. god bless her :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Ranting Indian: thanks a lot...!!! indeed there are many a ladies who got trappped in the bad world of the red area in mumbai...!

    @confused soul: indeed...! this is actually my di's story...nityas friendship is one of the best gift anyone can get..!all thanks for her..or di's life would havee been completely different

    @sujatha: thanks a ton...! yes it was indded a brave thing to stay alone in the train so long....all salute to my di...its her story!!!! i just narrated in my view!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. her story????!!! woah! that was one nice twist :))
    and superbly written

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! That was brilliant! Good luck for the contest! :)

    Ps:
    I'm a mumbai madrasi too. Actually, I was. Im now in Bangalore. :P

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gave me goosebumbs.. whew! Lucky escape for you there. Good luck for the contest.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think Nithya is your guardian angel on that day. One meets them at un expected times

    ReplyDelete
  9. @♪♪Happy Go Lucky♪♪ : thank you for the visit!!!! good luck to you too!

    @Farida Rizwan : yep..indeed it was an lucky escape..! thank you...good luck to you too!

    @captainjohann:yes..Nitya came as an angel to save me that day...she is indeed a blessing of God!

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow.. .it was really a scary event!! thank god you escaped..

    ReplyDelete
  11. hi my very dear madrasi friend..eppadi irrukingo? best wishes

    ReplyDelete
  12. My God. That was indeed scary. God bless Nitya, she was your Guardian angel that day :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was so scary! Its so heartening to know there are still such kind people who offer to help. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. your incident is a learning for many parents to not let their children live alone in strange places on their own. maybe there are a lot of other factors involved in this, but i strongly feel that especially for ladies its advisable to play as safe as possible.

    The people who came to your help in such trying situations are proof that God listens to our prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. varsha: thanks:-)

    ramesh: m very fyn..thank u:-)

    ashwini: thnks...I agree

    TheGirlAtFirstAvenue: indeed...if it was not for nitya,,i would have been some where else now living a hard life :-)

    vicky: true..I agree with you..its very difficult for ladies to survive alone in a city these days...yes,,and i hope..God's with me throughout my life :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. day full of events
    nice narration

    ReplyDelete
  17. Superb Narration and wonderful twist good to have such a lovely friend

    ReplyDelete
  18. The thread is good...overall a feel good factor in it.Surely you are a gifted girl and has a strong base of thoughts, but has to build up on it.Go on and on.... :)

    ReplyDelete