Saturday, August 2, 2008

The $uper Zero

Mumbai local trains are notorious 4 it’s throng, huff-puff, packed platform & stuffed coaches. The commuters on the Railways squeeze into every available crevice in the train during rush hour. When I landed Mumbai, I had plans to have a taste of this marvel on my own. My very first experience was a journey from Vashi to the famed VT station. The ride gave me a picture, how the Nazi concentration camps would've been like. Once I was onboard, I don’t recall standing on the metal floorboard. I was afloat, squeezed & vandalize. But after the dare... I felt I could strike out one entry from my wish list …but little did I know that much more was yet to come. In fact my prayers were over heeded.

It was a Friday , 11th of June ... Mumbai city was buzzing with life ... more over it is a weekend for all... But we dint belong to those privileged group, who could sit back n sip a mug full of entertainment till Sunday-sun vanishes into oblivion. The stringent timelines had marred our breaks & weekends .The craving for some unwinding had the right for its way...what option could we pick than a movie for a fast served entertainment? & 'the Hancock' was our obvious option. After a whole days work toil & wait ,some last minute glitch in the system had put our dreams into trouble; but once the mess was fixed , we realized that it was just 2 hrs to midnight & we were left with no time.

The only option that we had been left with for commuting at that hour of night was the local trains. So we rushed to the CBD Belapur station and as my colleague got the tickets, I managed to grab a cup of coke. We dashed to the platform & just then the train arrived and we boarded it. In the coach, I kept looking for a seat. Just then my team mate seemed to speak to some fellow in Marathi and at the end of the conversation, it turned out that ... we boarded the train that was going to the opposite direction. by that time the engine had blown its whistle & my colleague waved his hand to strike a signal & jumped out of the speeding train... for a second, it seemed funny to me , but only then I realized that there was some blunder in what we had done ... I was left with two options , alight at the next station or jump now, but we were already running outa time ... mean while the train was gaining it speed... I was left with no choice & had to do it the hard way...

.... i leaped outa the moving; in fact excelerating train ... as I recall, the engine might've clocked just below 60kmph . All I knew @ that moment was that I had to jump, that too well ahead & distant from the speeding giant and then came the moment ...for a trice the frames seemed to freeze, my drink was half way in the air so was I . I could see my team mate on the platform on his one knee & a dog taking nap at a distance ...but then gravity had its part to play! I remember my left foot having a touch down ...the very next moment with a resounding *thud* I crashed flat on the floor .. & my drink followed ...*splash* ... my specks tossed off n pitched just right in front of me ... the trailing wind from the accelerating engine whistled into my ears ... lying on the floor, i held my breath 4 a sec & lifted my face . I could see the blurred monster slithering through the tracks. I picked my glasses and jumped on to my legs... by then the coach had let the station.

Had I a 2nd thought, then never would I’ve dared that gamble.

I dint lift my face up, but through the corner of my with my eye I could see the dog that just jumped from its sly slumber, seemingly wiping its tushi with its waggy tail , yawned & put a sarcastic frown on its face... that sounded to me like "Man you r one 4 legged freak!". It walked a few steps forward & curled into his cushy shape. Though I dint lift my face, my senses could capture images of scattered commuters on the platform gaping @ us ...

In the very right moment; like a rescue envoy, the apt train moored at the other platform. We dashed into the coach ... *Phew* & that was a gr8 escape from the staring crowd.
I asked my colleague : “Was it that clumsy? * smiling * Dint I look like the Super Hero leaping out of a fire ball?” & he retorted: “yeah, but this is the first time I am watching a Hero with 4 legs!”

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