Since the monsoon has begun, I rarely find myself taking the train to/from work. It takes me the same amount of time going from my house to work by rickshaw, as does it does if I take the train. Going by rickshaw means I save some time and lots of energy – not so much money but Hey! at least I have an hour or two , depending on traffic, to zone out and think about life and things. On the train I’m constantly worried whether or not my foot will get stepped on or if I’ll get left behind in the madness that is getting on/off the train during peak hours. When I first moved here I hated the traffic, “I would much rather take the train – it’s so much quicker (and cheaper)!”, I would say to anyone willing to listen…
What spurred me to write this post was an argument between two rickshaw walas…over me! The thing about rickshaw walas is that, I don’t really remember their faces, but can recognize the inside of their rickshaw’s in an instant. So when both began to bicker, and the rickshaw wala was like I take her to work every day, I was like waaahhh ?!? – until I realized that, yes, of course I’ve sat in this rickshaw before…many times. Maybe not everyday but enough number of times to remember the back of his head and the inside of his rickshaw.
I’ve been taking rickshaws almost every day now and many of the rickshaw walas actually recognize me! It always creeps me out a little that they actually remember me out of all the people who sit in their rickshaw on a daily basis, but I guess it’s a blessing in disguise since I do know first hand how pricey they can be (Another reason I stopped going by train is since the monsoon has started, the rickshaw walas refuse to take me from the train station to my home. It’s about a 40 min walk but in the icky rain, after a long day at work that’s the last thing I need. And it’s the same situation once I leave work to the train station I usually end up walking 20 minutes or so to the station. It’s great exercise but not in the rains. My biggest (irrational/rational) fear is getting some sort of foot infection because of the dirty water that you inevitably come in contact with).
As my buddy (aka rickshaw wala) and I are almost at my destination, I’ve just realized I haven’t even told him where I want to go 😮 I guess, what matters is I got to write this blog post in peace, knowing I would reach safe and sound, but most importantly in the shortest amount of time (since I’ve already told him all the shortcuts, the past few times) ! 😀
P.S. Commuting by Mumbai locals deserves a separate post all together. It will be up as soon as the skies clear and Mumbai is nice and dry again 🙂