Thursday, September 3, 2009

Victoria Terminus (part 1)

I had some work at CST (Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus), which has been renamed from Victoria Terminus long time back. CST is where the terrorists attacked if you remember some months back. From Andheri we have a Harbour line that takes us directly to CST which is actually on the central line.

The ticket counter at Andheri station is really frustrating as the queue is very huge. It takes rather 15 mins to get a ticket for your journey, wherein you can miss trains in minutes here. Standing in the queue we get to see regular travellers buying coupon books, punching them, beggars sitting right at the entries with their small babies. Next was my turn and ton ta dan, comes a guy says, senior citizen; please buy me a ticket. I get tickets for him.

Then climb the staircases to reach platform number 7, where my CST train has not yet come. When I reach the platform, I am greeted by a very serious glance by a bloke who has an extraordinary belly, with big ear phone (like the kind you wear for computer, silver colour) some kind of “Dinchak” music. He looked at me as if he had the best ear phone on display, some Chinese company mal. I could have shown him my music player, but the charge of my mobile was very low. Damn!!

The timer at the station said 1:06 pm, scheduled departure of the train. The train arrived just on time. I specifically chose this train as it was lunch time. :P less crowd. People got down not many, people hopped in not many. With swine flu tremors going around, many not all, had a handkerchief to cover their nose and mouth. Got a window seat, cursed myself for not bring a book to read. But I changed my mind at the end of the journey as it was good I did not bring a book.

I have been to CST in the same route before, but never on a window seat. So I thought I will check the sites. Being a slow train it stops at all the stops. Breezed pass the signals and into the aroma of Parle factories. The smell of Parle G filled my nostrils. First stop “Vile Parle”. Big walls separated the train rails parameter and houses. The walls painted with ads of banyans (Lux) and other faltu ads.

The train strolled into “Santacruz”, this is the place where we have the Domestic Airport. But if you happen to go there, it would tell you “Chatrapati International Airport”. Just to confuse people. Next stop “Khar road”, posh localities and the lot of rich people stay here. I used to get down at this station during my college days. Nostalgia of those days got hold of my memory. Ashwariya Rai used to live here before she got married.

As you move away from “Khar road”, there is an over bridge, which makes the switch to harbour line. Nice view of the station and its rails and tracks. Just past it on the left is the “kabaristan”, where Muslims bury their bodies after death. It started to rain; still some work was going on here inspite of it. Just after that, one more over bridge and you come to Bandra terminus.

Bandra comes in a jiffy after Khar. Again posh to the core, it has amazing hotels and clubs. I had been to a buffet called “Global fusion”, amazing place that. I saw Katrina kaif and Salman khan once walking here once. Shahrukh Khan stays here……contd

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