Thursday, October 21, 2010

Greatful we are without a driver

Today was the second Mumbai Explorers excursion to Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Museum). I left my flat at 9:30am, armed with the Lonely Planet and Mumbai Maps book to help me find the museum. Very happy I had rupees on my smart card, I went to the small computer stand, got my ticket without waiting in line, and walked over to the 5th platform - the fast train - to head off to Grant Road station. At this time in the morning, there are loads of people heading into the city since most businesses don't open until 10 - 11am. As the train came to a halt, I pulled myself on, trying to push the woman in front of me further into the train as another woman was barely hanging on behind me. The train started up. As women started to shift to exit the next station, I was tightly crammed between other bodies, all of them women since I was in the ladies' car. I was sweating like a pig, so all I could do was go to my happy place and smile at the situation. Then we started moving, a group of ladies started singing and they serenaded us the whole ride. It was wonderful! Brought me back to Kingston, Jamaica where there was always thumping beats blaring on the buses. At Dadar, the most bustling station, loads of women exited, creating more room and I took a seat for a bit until my station came up. I squeezed my way to the door telling women I was getting off at Grant Station and they stepped aside to let me by.
Once off, I meandered until I found the exit of the station and stepped out into the bustling street with my map book out. It wasn't a far walk, but figuring out which road to take at an intersection where five roads met was slightly disorienting. I asked a policeman who pointed me in the right direction. I arrived as the Mumbai Explorers headed inside.
It's a wonderful museum and I hope to go back when I have more time to explore. For lunch, we took a walk around the block to see a couple of other significant sights. One of the ladies stated to me. "Wow, walking, it feels so good. You just don't get to see as much when you are in the car, right?" I laughed to myself and thought, "honey, you don't even know the half of it." This moment made me truly grateful that I can't rely on my air conditioned car, driven by a driver, who takes me wherever and I end up having no clue about anything. Here's to sweat, crowds, singing and India! I earned my fresh lime soda, damn it!
As we left the lunch spot, all the other ladies turned right, calling their drivers and I turned left to head back to the train station...


  1. Well said fellow train-lover! I can't agree more. RW

  2. Soooooo proud of you Twy. Thank you for you note on my blog. You are an awesome friend! Much love to you! Stay safe while you adventure out!