A recent incident saw one such hapless victim falling prey to the overenthusiastic nature of Bombay’s local train commuters. Our hero, a man from Pune, wanted to go to Matunga, but as luck and trains would have it, boarded a fast train not halting at his destination. He panicked on realising his mistake but by then the local had started moving. On seeing his plight, a sympathetic co-passenger decided to come to his rescue. It seemed that he had been commuting by that particular train (6:03pm Kasara Fast) for the past 6 years and had noticed that the train always slowed down just before Matunga station and crawled at a snail’s pace while passing through it. He told the man to jump out of the running train as it slowed down and that with a little bit of fleet-footedness, he would make it safely on terra firma. However, knowing the man’s inexperience, he added some words of caution:
“Keep running the moment you jump or you’ll fall. Just keep running.” He stressed the word “running” lest the man not know the laws of motion. The train did slow down just before Matunga station and at the prompting of his mentor, our hero jumped out of the train and started running as if all hell had broken loose. What he didn’t realise, of course, was that he was running parallel to the train instead of running away from it. Meanwhile, the train slowed down further, so that the man was running faster than the train.
In the process, he reached the door of the next compartment and the footboard commuters there pulled him in thinking he was trying to board the train! To his agony, the train picked up speed and sped past Matunga and his new co-passengers started to congratulate him on how lucky he had been, until he told them that they had actually undone what he had done with great difficulty. Those standing at the door of his “ex-compartment” had witnessed the whole drama and just couldn’t stop laughing at the poor man’s situation, while he grinned sheepishly.
Yeh hai mumbai meri jaan………………….