A horrendous week for the mumbai commuters!!!
On all the days that I sit snoozing in my office the whole world goes about its business happily in the much celebrated public transport network of Mumbai. The one week when I have all my client visits the public transport system throws a tantrum!! Starting Monday… the auto-drivers are on strike …me happily contemplating travel in the AC bus find no autos to take me to the bus stop, miss my usual AC bus, end up taking a normal bus which takes twice as long, have to reschedule my meeting, realise that the autos in main Mumbai are also on strike, call up my boss to pick me up from bus stop to reach the client’s location …eventually reach the client location one hour late for a 5 minute meeting.
Next day’s meeting is at Worli, I am happy that I have to take the local train – no goof ups this time. I ensure that I leave the house early enough to allow time for standing in queue for the ticket (thanks to my sis whose gallivanting in Singapore with my Mumbai local smart card). I get the ticket (after waiting 20 min in queue while the card machine was happily blinking away) and get the train in good time to be able to reach Worli with 15 min to spare. I reach my cross over station – Thane and all hell breaks loose > Thane, usually a jam packed station is overflowing. Having given some attention to the loud speaker I gather that the signalling system has failed somewhere and all trains are behind schedule. Left with no other option I decide to head to the bus stand, where I learn there are no direct buses to Worli – I have to take a bus to Mulund Check Naka, the bus stop for which had a queue extending right into the railway station, and then get a bus from there. Luckily the bus frequency is high and i get one soon enough, reach Mulund check naka and enquire around for a bus to Dadar, get a number and fortunately that no. bus turns up within 5 mins. However the roads of Mulund were not build to hold the mass of human populace spilling out of the Thane station and all roads are clogged with slowly inching traffic. With only 15 minutes to my client meeting I abandon all hope to get there on time and call up my boss. He advices me to get to my office instead. Which I do by getting down from the current bus and waiting to catch a bus in the opposite direction, only to realise that all the buses which have to come from the other side are jammed on their way to the other side. Finally after a half hours walk I get an auto, (which thankfully were not on strike that day and if newspaper reports are to be believed, had a field day) the driver of which was kind enough to ensure that I got into a Sakinaka bus, the route of which I had no clue and was treated to the tour of Hiranandani, before reaching my office 2 hours after I got down from the bus to Worli.