Monday, February 18, 2019

The Clockwork that's Mumbai

Mumbai isn't just a city, it's an emotion, to be experienced, to be felt, to be lived. A city that floats on a sea of dreams. Yet, it's grounded and bound by time. 

From the Koli community, the first inhabitants of the city to the incredibly precise Dabbawalas, to the myriads of people who are constantly on the move and above all the trains, time is a major factor that binds all.

I had a golden opportunity of visiting the CST and seeing it from within as I had never seen it before. It's a marvel of architecture built in Indo-Saracenic style.

CST was the erstwhile headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, that operated the first passenger train between Bori Bunder and Tannah(or Thane). The UNESCO heritage site houses a brilliant museum as well. It caters to both long distance and suburban trains.
 The chief highlight of the building is its 130 years old clock tower, a heritage symbol of this time-bound city. Its keeper, Bharat Mahendra Singh ji took the baton from his father and has been ensuring that the clock remains an accurate reference to all who lift up their eyes to check time. 

Trains form the backbone of the ever-on-the-move Mumbai. They don't just get people from point A to B, but make sure life goes on unhindered, whether you are a school/college-goer, heading to your place of work, a dabbawala..the list is endless. The suburban trains alone ferry across nearly 6 million people everyday. 
From the iconic CST to the all-women staffed Matunga station, to all the guards, engine drivers and station staff, here's my big salute to the hands that keep Mumbai going like clockwork.


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