SMILE... :)

Mumbai Local train traveling ain't the easiest in the world. We are not commuters, but Gladiators. Men and Women fighting united by the common cause to be the 1st one in grabbing that one seat, that empty standing place, that corner where you can at least stand with both feet planted on the floor.
Pushing, jumping into moving trains, shouting, getting bruised, some unknown chap shouting his lungs out into your poor ear while talking on his cell-phone, all the gossip and rumors spoken out loud as if bargaining in financial stock markets.... to cut the story short... its a physical, mental and spiritual torture to complete a every single journey.
The Mumbai locals are also the place where you can learn the most. Its Where your teacher is Life, and the subject is "reality". One of those great teachings happened today.
As usual, After a day of good productive work at Nair Hospital, I was heading back home. The taxi ride wasn't the best, the Mumbai October heat had me dehydrated, and "daily" life stress was on free ride inside my mind...As I got into the 1st class compartment, i had the luxury of a nearly empty coach. I scanned thru and found myself a nice place. In a few seconds the October heat got hold of me, and suddenly i found myself at the center of a moving furnace. The slow speed of the train added valuable points to my frustration. By the 5 station, with every passing stop, increasing heat, crowd pouring in and out, my frustration barometer had reached a peak. My mind was multitasking by battling the "daily" stress, cursing the govt. for the deplorable journey, and ordering my facial muscles to go into frown-mode.
At Kurla station, an old,thin, stooped postured, tobacco-taint toothed, sweat smelling, torn clothes wearing gentleman came and sat just across my seat. I'm dead against discrimination on any basis, but obviously this old chap didn't belong to the 1st class crowd.
Within a few seconds, he asked me in a heavily "north-Indian" accented hindi "bahi yeh train panvel ko jayegi kya ( is this train going to panvel station) "...
Battling my own internal world, least interested i replied ... "haa-ji, panvel ki train hai panvel hi jayegi..." (yes sir, this is a panvel bound train so it will go to panvel)...
by this time I had understood, that our guest here, wasn't from mumbai. And he had least experience of traveling in mumbai locals...
With the moving train, the expressions on the old chappy's face kept changing.. sometimes suspicious, curious, disgusted...while me siting in front of him, having the most plastic frown painted all over my face, as if my facial muscles had gone on strike.
Following its normal route, the train got onto the Vashi creek bridge...(this is a km long bridge connecting mumbai with navi mumbai.)...and Its that part of my daily journey when my mind, body and soul start working in harmony, as the journey is nearing its completion.
BUT today something happened!!!.... As the train got onto the Vashi creek bridge...the old man suddenly jumped on his seat. His eyes lit up, his body got all charged up, and then he SMILED...a smile like that of a 6months old baby, a smile full of innocence and happiness. A smile that's not only infectious, but that's enlightening.
In his moment of euphoria, pointing towards the adjacent road-transport bridge over vashi creek, he looked towards me... and said " sahib, maine aaj tak kabhi itne badi pooliya par itna saara gaadi ko chalte nahi dekha.. (sir, i haven't seen such a big bridge in my life)" he continued... "dekho dekho sahib... pooliya samundar ke uper hai...aur gadi kitna badha hai...(see, see the bridge is over water and the cars are so big)"... and he kept smiling...
Within a second, the rush of a 100 red bull energy drinks got over me. His infectious smile, got hold of me to. Suddenly all my facial muscles came back to work, and a unknown, sense of happiness filled my mind...
After a while we both got back to our initial positions, but with me the smile remained, the frustration was lowered, the mind had stoped battling the "daily" stress, new ideas solutions started to pour in, and the day started looking productive again...
its strange but how often we just forget to smile....and its power.
Whenever your day ain't going right...whenever you feel things aren't ok...whenever you are down... just go back to that pleasant memory, just see that little baby, just listen to a good song... JUST LET YOURSELF SMILE :)


  1. Beautiful....keep smiling always :)

  2. This happens with me too. But the way you narrated it is awesome. I could see smile in your face and your co-passengers as well;and tat made me smile too. Thanks for sharing.