Mumbai and it's Bully Theory.

Posted by - Rohit

This is a story inspired by recent events. This story is based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India.
I was on my way home (Panvel) from Andheri. The journey from Andheri to Panvel at times can be managed by a taking a direct train or at times taking 2 trains (by reaching Wadala and boarding a Panvel bound train from there) and at times 3 trains (by getting down at Dadar, taking a Kurla bound train and then from there again a Panvel bound train). A journey which takes more than an hour and 30 mins to complete always gets the better of people's temperaments if they don't get a seat for most of the journey.
Moreover after reaching junctions like Kurla, which is the heart of Mumbai as it connects the Western, Central and Harbour line, the world gets into the train.
Coming back to where I began: the train was a Panvel bound direct train from Andheri. Being in a Second class bogie you are always entitled to see some drama, at times you are even a part of it. Most of the times, issues like getting the toe crushed, accidently forcing someone's armpit onto someone's nose, not allowing enough space for the fourth guy on the seat and as a worst case scenario: finding yourself between two perverts, tends to get people on their nerves.
So the journey seemed to be a routine one, with the same faces (whom I normally see in the 7:09 train). I normally strike a conversation with anyone who even utters something about which I have feeble knowledge of, but on this day even that wasn't happening and it seemed to be a very long ride back home.
The crowd in the train had swelled to a good number and Kurla was only approaching.
And then...we reached Kurla.

The thumping of the feet as people run in, the outstretched elbows which are used as a mechanism to hinder your opponent from grabbing the seat, the squeaking of the worn out hooks which are used for the standees to keep balance (strong though worn out) are all so palpable that one doesn't have to look out of the window to know the station's name, it can be easily sensed.
It's a competition where people search for space to rest their toes or heels while the lucky ones get to rest one foot, the very lucky ones get to stand on both their feet and I firmly believe that the only ones chosen by God find a seat.
This is the time when you get to see most of the fights happening in the train as people struggle find a balance, accidently stamp others feet, someone gets pushed "by mistake" of course and that's it. You have an argument. This is a mandatory process in your travelling routine, i.e either witness a fight or be a part of one.

And then the inevitable argument breaks out. The participants were two brothers and a guy who seemed to be returning from office. The reason for their argument was obvious, restlessness getting the better of them. The argument goes on and seems never ending and the commuters seem uninterested of them raises his voice and the other one pushes him.
Now the fight has an audience, every one watching what's happening and they watch as the argument continues.
People start whistling and commenting, howling and their enthusiasm growing directly proportional to the fight's intensity.
One of the brother totally loses it and is willing to play the lead in this cacophonic display of the "Bully theory", that is, "Be a man, when you have another man right behind you to watch your ass".

"Tune haat kaise lagaaya isko" - (How the hell did you touch him) the brother shouts, in full pitch.
"Tu hain kaun Bhen****" - (Who do you think you are!) People watch him go mad.

Some of them try to play peacemaker but are rudely asked to mind their own business by one of the 2 brothers. He seems ruthless in every word he utters, his eyes totally focussed on his opponent who has already given up. He was alone in this fight, others would definitely not want to be a part of this.
The howling goes down and eventually stops as this seems to go out of hand.
This was all set to be a memorable ride as a brawl was just about to begin. I had never witnessed something like this, something of such high magnitude.

"Bhai hain woh mera mada*****, tune haat kaise lagaaya usko" (He is my brother you mother fu*****, how the hell did you touch him ) - I stood to watch it now...many were already standing. This was definitely not ever expected by the howlers nor any commuter within the train.

Every body silent.

He goes on - "Bhai hain woh mera" - his voice gets even hoarse.
"Phone NIKAAL, Bhai hain woh mera mada*****" (Give me the phone, I'll fix you, you motherfu****).
Nobody was trying to stop the fight as they probably were afraid that a punch would land on their face, something not right was about to happen. The guy being shouted at is all set to get hurt, all set to go down without giving his opponent an equal match.

And then suddenly...
A tiny teenage voice from behind goes "Aye Sunny Deol...chup baith".
The crowd, looks at the boy, and in unison burst out after a moment's silence. Every single guy now in his elements.
"Abey a Balwant Rai ke kutte chal nikal". Everybody is smiles now as Sunny shuts up :) and loses his voice.
There were some people who stood on their seats and started poking Sunny and Bobby. They were being pushed by everyone even those who initially tried to play angels. The guy who was being shouted at, was all smiles, he had no clue what was happening and was taken out of the whole melodrama. It was the "Deols" versus the crowd now and the crowd had the better of the two.
The two were shut up and pushed out of the train as Govandi reached and was totally unexpected as people had mitigated a brawl by showing the two brothers what the "Bully Theory" is actually all about.
"Be A Man, when you have men behind you to watch your ass".
Mumbai at it's best and am very glad to have witnessed it.

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  1. Ha ha, brilliant and witty writing man!

  2. Good one.. Surely u are going to be showered with praises for ur writing rather than this train episode.. Great writing indeed !! :)

  3. sach bol tuhi tha na jisko deol brothers wer bullying??

  4. Thanks everyone for your valuable feedback.
    Winu, if it was me, I would have given them a piece of my mind :)

  5. Too good Monu I even shared it on my fb wall posty & two of my friends not only liked it but even shared it two & one of them Wilfred Rodrigues even posted a sentence from ur blog on his wall post 'Wilfredd Rodrigues'
    "It's a competition where people search for space to rest their toes or heels while the lucky ones get to rest one foot, the very lucky ones get to stand on both their feet and I firmly believe that the only one's chosen by God find a seat! - Rohit (an aspiring writer, on travelling in a Mumbai Local)"

  6. Thanks a ton Farha, this means a lot :)