As an average Mumbai-kar you at least spend 4 hours of your day travelling to and fro. Now if you’ve been travelling for a couple of months you must’ve noticed certain things that you hear almost everyday during your commute. Here are a few things we could think of:
PS.: I’m a lady who has an experience of travelling in both first and second class ladies compartments for 7 years. So I’ll only be talking about what the women in the ladies compartment say.
"Tshh Tssh…Sarka Ho…"
Translation:"Sarka ho"- hey…shift your ass so I can accommodate mine.
This is usually uttered when a lady wants to accommodate herself next to you, regardless of her size and shape and also regardless of whether there’s any space actually left for her. On an average, after about 2 weeks of local train travelling, you’ll automatically start moving your ass aside when you hear "tshh tssh" to accommodate ‘Aunt Fat’.
You can learn to emit the sound, "tssh tssh" too! All you need to do is clasp your front teeth and blow out air in the gaps between them.
"Utarna Nai Hai Toh Darwaze Pe Kyun Khade Ho?"
This goes out to all the ladies who block one side of the door especially during peak hours also known as the ‘Door Keepers’. These words are uttered by the hoards of women waiting to jump inside the train as soon as it arrives on the railway platform. "Utarna nai hai toh darwaze pe kyun khade ho?" is usually accompanied with words like ‘bavlat‘(Marathi for stupid), ‘pagal‘ and/or ‘nalayak‘(worthless) along with a blow on the arm or back of the person who is blocking the door. If women start using abusive words against each other then you need to understand that ‘shit just got real’ and back-off from the area of activity.
The Silent Eye and Hand Gesture
This is done by sweaty and tired women trying their luck to get a seat with the priviledged lot that are warming their seat. This is also accompanied with a "tssh tssh" sometimes or simply with a tap on your shoulder. The lady asking for a seat, raises her eyebrows, and moves her hand in a questioning way. In one of my few early days of travelling in the local train, I vividly remember a lady getting annoyed at me and calling me "over-smart" because I asked her what she meant by that gesture. So be sure to learn this code in your initial days of travel.
The Local Train Pop Stars
So you’ve woken up late and have arrived on the railway platform during the peak hour. It’s a sunny day and after much pushing you have somehow managed to get inside the train and are now looking for a place to stand(seating isn’t an option during the peak hours). Suddenly you hear a group of middle aged women trying to sing a Hindi classic in tune and while they’re at it, giggling loudly. Amidst the heat, sweat, pushing and women exchanging unpleasant gestures to each other, all you could expect was some peace. But no, these singing ladies will sometimes wail out the most depressing Hindi classics of all time, making your travel as distasteful as possible.
The ‘tcch tcch‘ Woman
Train travel during peak hours is a tedious task for every commuter. But amongst a hoard of ordinary people like you and me you’ll have a lady, who will make a fuss like she’s stepped into a local train for the first time. She’ll constantly whine about how other women are pushing her, blowing their hair into her face, and stamping her feet, while not accepting that every second person in the compartment is facing the same issue. Through out the journey you’ll hear her complaining and emitting sounds like "tcch, tcch" and also something that sounds like a pressure cooker’s whistle.
So are amongst any of the one’s mentioned above? Or are you the silent observer?