Livinghigh: Singing in the (T)rain
Friday, April 13, 2007
Livinghigh was here at 10:39 AM /

Singing in the (T)rain

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Hardly as romantic as Gene Kelly here, tripping on lamp posts and skipping (!) in the downpour. Picture terribly crowded suburban train of Bombay at peak office hours. People grappling, jostling, shoving, shoved up against each other as sardines in a can never got to. And that's when this group of sopranos unsheathe their dhols, cymbals and hoarse voices, and start singing. Bhajans usually. Something to do with Jai Maharashtra also, at times.

It happens on almost every office hour train. I usually ignore it, and as soon as the carriage with the musicians rolls into the platform, I walk ahead (or behind) and clamber onto the carriage ahead (or behind) it. It's bad enough traveling to work every day all shut up like that - listening to tone-deaf wannabe Fateh Ali Khans doesn't improve the train journey for me.

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But that's my opinion. And a lot of Bombaywallahs don't share it. A lot of them, smile and nod their heads, eyes closed, and hum along to the song. And today was the first time I actually witnessed a guy who had just fought his way onto the train at Cotton Green station to suddenly start spouting a hoarse song of his own, which was quickly picked up by the cymbal-crashers nearby. Soon, there was a regular concert happening, and despite myself, I couldn't help smiling.

I didn't turn to look back when I got off, but I'm sure they were all exchanging numbers with the new entrant. :)


its the mumbai spirit... the lack of space not the crumbling, (in ur case here crushing) infrastructure doesnt kill the spirit.

By Blogger Viewer, at 4:43 PM  

ah...the trains...when you aren't traveling at rush hour it can be one of the best rides...and when its rush hour and you are covered in arm pit sweat and getting ready to do rock star stage dives in order to exit the train onto the platform it can be a freakish battle of life, death, and armpit sweat. But my favorite singers are the blind guys who wander around with a little child who collects a few coins....the blind guys always seem to sing with the least inhibition and simplicity...

By Anonymous remainsofthedesi, at 4:13 PM  

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