A city is often best explored by stepping into the shoes of the locals. However, in crowded and bustling megacities like Mumbai, this could be a daunting task for a visitor. The following photo essay dives deep into a large part of the Mumbai life — the local trains.
When someone visits Mumbai for the first time, she or he is forced to ask the question, ‘How does this city function?’ Put forth this question to any Mumbai-kar (Mumbai natives are called Mumbaikars) and she or he will reply — ‘Well, we have the local trains.’
These metallic worms snake their way all across the city and its suburbs, connecting the original islands with suburbs as far as a 100 kilometers away. At first glance, they may represent dirt, chaos, sweat and bone-crushing crowds, but dig a bit deeper and you will discover an entire way of life on them.
Millions of people spend an average of two to three hours a day on these trains. From their school days to their pension days, they continue to commute on these metallic worms, and it becomes as much a part of their being as their house, clothes and other paraphernalia. Try to imagine what life is like on these trains.
The above photo shows a local train pulling into a suburban station of Mumbai’s Western Line. There is usually one train every three minutes in either direction at each of the stations during peak hours.
(All photos and text by Aditya Akhauri. Reach him on Instagram and Twitter: @rogueacademic88)