Shared Journeys

I had to take the harbour line local from Andheri to CST, and from there the Duronto back home. A familiar routine that I’m quite fond of. I reached the Andheri station early (a rare thing!). Most of the benches were full but there was a little space next to a lady. I requested her to move a little so that I’d have enough space to perch gingerly and rest my legs for a bit. Instead of being annoyed, she smiled at me. She said there was no need to thank her. Seeing that I looked tired and that it was a super humid summer day, she offered me water. When the train came, we happened to sit opposite each other and talked about various things on the way. As the train pulled into CST, I offered to help carry her luggage. I only had a backpack, while she had two big duffel bags. She thanked me, but smiled and declined. I could see that she enjoyed and took pride in carrying her things herself.

It was already evening. I had to go the Andheri station, catch a train to Khar, pick up my bag from the hotel, catch a train to CST, and then finally board the train home. Considering Bombay traffic, I knew I had to hurry. I joined a few other people waiting near the bus stop, thinking I’d take the bus or an auto, whichever came sooner. Catching an auto proved tougher than I expected. I finally ended up sharing an auto with two sweet ladies and small boy who were also headed to the station. When we reached and I was about to pay my share, they stopped me and said they would pay for it too.

Standing outside Crawford market in the evening, I was trying a find a taxi. But there were too many people and too few taxis. When an empty one finally stopped, there was a man in a hurry who also tried to hail it. So we decided to share the taxi to Churchgate. A fellow Gujarati (wearing a really cool leather jacket), he was a local and welcomed me to Bombay.

Meeting these people, and the simple, warm interactions, made these journeys so much more pleasurable.

This post was written in response to – Shared Journeys

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