I am a local train in the tinsel town of Mumbai, a medium used as a rapid transit system in the city and I take the opportunity to present my autobiography to you. I have been blessed to touch the lives of every individual who resides in Mumbai and off late some clever fanatic rechristened me as “Lifeline of Mumbai”. Being a “Lifeline” always has been a role full of responsibility complimented with so much pressure that I have to doubly rethink on my role.
I came into existence in the 19th century, when the need to introduce first railway system in India was felt by the then intellectuals. Early years were a honeymoon period, tantamount to any new employee’s daily life in a corporate setup. Initially, I used to have ample time to rest and serve the citizens of Mumbai far and wide. Life was cosy, though it started everyday early in the morning and I had to toil till midnight,which I still do. I was happier as I had time to maintain myself and take good care of my rakes. My caretaker used to care for me a lot and with precision I was cleaned everyday thereby rejuvenating me to serve the citizens of Mumbai everyday. I recall, life in those days was much simpler and commuters were far more sensible.
Over the years, I have matured on all fronts but have been subjected to the good and the bad of Mumbai, as I chug past stations after stations. I have seen Bombay changing to Mumbai; I have heard the tinsel town gossips through the words of my commuters. I have seen politicians being hung ho about my presence and do nothing to add fresh lease of life to my existence. Over the years, life has revolved around each and every commuter who boards my rakes to reach his/her desired destination. Life has been mixture of atrocities and happiness that I am being subjected too everyday. I run overcapacity during peak hours; I am always being equally mishandled as any other public property in India, but each day is a great learning experience for me in Mumbai. Everyday, I confront commuters with varied profile. A majority of them are regular travelers whom I can recognize with ease but a few new faces always add texture to my life. I feel quiet ecstatic to commute both white and blue collared passengers everyday. I have been segregated into separate classes to cater to the white collared passengers.
I run on tracks traversing more than 400 KM’s each day and cater to the needs of around 7 million commuters in Mumbai everyday. My life is a wonderful experience of a dutiful employee who is always at work, on bosses command. I run on the best technologies which help me avoid accidents and deliver the best service to my commuters. I am a proud servant to the people devoid of all corruption and favoritism that I have seen rife in India. Every year, new rakes are added to my fleet and I feel better to offload the onus on new rakes. With the advent of new age marketing, I have been entrusted with new responsibility to drape banner and posters all over my body and generate revenue for my department. I really feel good in my new role that has added a new dimensions to my personality but the new role is quiet oblivious and I am yet to understand the nuances of it. Overall, I have a well defined KRA/KPI’s and I need to abide by it without fail.
It’s more than an hour past midnight and time for me to retire for the day, but I get into a contemplative mood and begin to emancipate about my future a few years from now. I overheard a commuter that my life is going to change soon. I would have friends who would complement my noble cause. My new friends would be called Metro rail and Monorail. I guess, in my friend’s presence I would again get a chance to feel rejuvenated and would be subjected to lesser atrocities and mishandlings that I endure at present. I would not feel so tired during peak hours and I would report to the destinations on time. I would once again get a fresh lease of life which would rechristen me as the best transit system in India. As I count on the happier days and hope to see a better future for myself, I prepare my mind to tolerate the worst that can happen to me, but hope for the best as every individual does to happily serve Mumbai in days to come.