Monday, 20 May 2013

The Train Species!

Daily, the Mumbai local trains carry millions of people to work and back home, carrying a passenger load nearly 3 to 4 times over its capacity. But what’s really interesting about the locals is not the sheer complexity of the railway system but the people who use it for commute. The overstuffed, overcrowded and congested insides of the trains are a different world altogether. It’s nothing like the outside world! And in this unique environment you will find species that are exclusive to the world of Mumbai’s local train.

Hop on this train ride with us as we take a look at these special ‘Train Species’! You will certainly be able to relate with many of these train species!
Image by Reuters

Homo - Connected - Sapiens

This species is always connected, constantly fidgeting with their cell phones. They survive on a diet of Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and other apps. This is a very reclusive species which likes to stay within their burrow. The only time you will see them coming out of the burrows is when their cell phones lose network or when their devices run out of power. These kinds can be spotted from a distance thanks to thin wires black, white, red or even blue hanging from their ears! Do not try to strike a conversation with them as they hate to be disturbed from their solitude.

Homo - Chatterbox - Sapiens

This specie’s most recognizable trait is their loud voice. They can be easily spotted even in the most crowded trains as they keep shouting into their cell phone, and in all the commotion inside the train, trying to make sense of what the person on the other end is saying! They do not care that the whole compartment, hundreds of people that is, can listen to every word of their conversation! This species can be a very irritating one!

Homo - Gyaani - Sapiens

Members of this species can always be found in groups. They are presumably very smart as you will always find them talking about topics like business, finance, stock markets or politics. The leader of the pack is the one who is supposedly the smartest and the loudest and the one giving away most of the gyaan. It is considered wise to listen carefully to their conversations as you might end up benefiting from the gyaan being disbursed!

Homo - Hangout - Sapiens

This species takes the meaning of the term ‘hanging out’ in its most literal form. Members of these species can be found hanging on the doors of the trains; in fact they can also be found hanging from windows, on rooftops and in between two bogies. As anyone who has travelled on locals will tell you, hanging is a very special skill. Many even categorize this as an extreme sport! This species can also be found in groups which are very co-operative, changing position from time to time letting other members of the clan to hang too. These people are very protective of their areas and always ready to fight to protect their right to hang! The most surprising thing is that they will hang outside even if all the seats are vacant.

Homo - Pissed off - Sapiens

This species is most often found during the peak rush hours. Always in a bad mood they are ready to pick up a fight at the slightest incitement. Reasons for the pissed off mood can be many but generally accepted ones are – fought with wife in the morning or was screwed badly by the boss the boss at office! It is in one’s own interest to stay away from this extremely volatile and hazardous species.

Homo - Reservation – Sapiens

This species prefers to live in large groups and forage in carefully demarcated areas. This group has the power to do what others can’t i.e. reserve seats in train that has no reservations. Their groups are a tightly knit pack and they will fight ferociously to protect their land! If you are new to the local train jungle then your first step should be to try to sneak into one of these clans. Apart from the benefit of a guaranteed seat, other gains include breakfast and sometimes a whole lot of prayers!

Have we missed out on some regularly seen species? Do let us know through comments or write in to us at

For more articles by ‘The Wandering Mumbaikar’ click here.