Too close for comfort!

Bombay is bursting at its seams!
How many times have we heard this and since how many aeons?

Now women, pay close to attention to this post!
This is dedicated to all those who toil through their day and travel in Mumbai’s fastest travel network . The railways! (I’m not as sympathetic to men who do the same… you’ll know why after u finish reading this post)

I hardly venture out to the town side of Bombay. I’m a suburbs person.. and suburbs for me stretch from Andheri to Bandra. everything on either side is FAR! (Don’t anyone of you call me lazy. I hate traffic and noise and pollution. I get migraines OKAY! Besides, it was easier and fun to travel in a car with the windows shut and me at the wheel maneuvering, so much more in control of the situation! So what if it was a run-down Maruti 800! I felt safer in it)

So here I was today, dressed all formally, decked formally rather for a meeting that I had at Mumbai Central. The ride was comfortable enough while I got there. The meeting went wonderfully well. And as I looked at watch, I was happy that it wasn’t rush hour yet. 5 o’clock. I had a return ticket so no worries of getting delayed at the Ticket Counter.

I rushed and crossed the overhead bridge. (Oooh, I have to tell you this too.. when I was on the bridge, this one guy looked up from a train below and winked.. I was far away, he couldn’t do me no harm.. So I was delighted to be able to show him the right gesture with the use of hand.. err.. fingers..) Got to the platform and took a not so crowded train back home. I was happy there was enough place to stand and breathe comfortably and even read my book.

And then came Dadar! My new-found hatred for small, crowded spaces was beginning to show up when a woman came close enough for me to smell the garlic from the dal tadka she’d probably eaten during lunch. God forbid if flatulence made its loud, smelly entry into the atmosphere right about now! I’d die with suffocation! I grew terribly uncomfortable and prayed with every passing minute that no more foul smelling women should come in but the rush just wouldn’t stop. I wonder why people still say Bombay is bursting at its seams… You morons! It has BURST…. ages ago!!!

Now you’ll know why I restrict my traveling beyond a diameter of… okay, not a diameter! a vertical distance of 3 to 5 kms in the city starting Andheri (I’m including Oshiwara, Inorbit Mall and 7 Bunglows.. they’re nice places)

Next stop, we have more women jumping in! As if this is the last train going to Borivli. Now, I msut say this here.. women sweat a LOT! men sweat too… but women sweat a lot.. please carry a deo women.. GROSS! Everywhere I turned I curled my nose to a new but equally horrid smell. plus all the oil (euw euw euwww…) Champa, chameli have a great fragrance in FLOWERS; NOT on the head.. and especially not in bucketfuls that cover everyone around them yuck… besides, I’m somehow always disadvantaged in train rides considering I’m always taller than most women (I wear heels on the top of my 5’6″ height) so I have to unfortunately subject my olfactory glands to the torture of women’s odd smelling hair and their gross, sweaty arm-pits that somehow always land straight in front of my face!

Another thing that I hate about train travel is women going ‘pcha’ ‘tch’ and such sounds clicking away their tongues at every instance another person’s body touches theirs.. If you don’t like it, shut up and bear it.. (or write a blog about it later) its not not like people like and want to touch you! (maybe some.. but not most!) but you know, I don’t understand one thing.. (Please note, that women come in all shapes and sizes… and there’s a healthy variety amongst them. Men do too.. but the fat and stout ones are thankfully rare) yea.. so like I was saying.. (brace yourself, this is ugly!) I don’t understand this one thing.. how is it that women who travel daily in trains are not conscious about their bodies? I don’t understand how one woman can let her boobs bump into another woman’s back? EUWWWWW!
You’re offended when a man stares at them for a flash of a second even.. and yet, you leave them around to float into the space available and gross out another way too conscious stranger woman? *blrhpd* (that was an involuntary noise that I make when I’m disgusted.. Imagine me writhing and shaking my head, curling up my nose and contorting my mouth.. get the picture?.. good! that was it!)

I think I was thoroughly disgusted by this train ride. I landed home to realize I was reeking of 4 different kinds of smells.. nariyal tael (favorite amongst most people, gross to me and others of normal orientation), baby saliva (don’t make that face! I was the one next to the smelly toddler), sweat (I don’t sweat, never so gross! so it had to be someone else’s!) and kadhva tael (Gawd.. sticky and too strong! curse that fisherwoman bai!)

How I hate women who don’t tie their hair up while traveling! Imagine trying to struggle and writhe in a space so small that its difficult to even breathe! and then imagine this one light irritating tingle on ur arm or your hand; stupid OAFS! Why can’t they fuckin tie their hair UP, AWAY? And then when that plait gets caught in some stifling crevice, they yell around.. the damned dupatta does the same thing.. damn it.. why am I cribbing.. people’s skins do the same thing.. I don’t know how others can take it!

OOOOORRRR… maybe I’m just obsessive compulsive with paranoia to top it!

If you come out of the train smelling of 4 different people, its time to say it ISN’T okay! If it takes you an hour to travel a distance of 3 kms by road, its time to say it ISN’T okay! If people are willing to lose their lives for one foot of space in a local train, its time to say it ISN’T okay!

Unfortunately, we all behave like it still is! Until then, goodluck trying to fight with garlic mouth, fart head and champa-chameli!

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