Traveling in the Pandemic in Mumbai

Traveling spot to spot to spot, yesterday (February 15) I entered my college for the first time after joining. PS: It took more than three hours!

So yesterday, with the state government announcing that things were opening up, I decided to have a bash at reaching college.

I live in Kalamboli, which is about 39 km from Bandra West, and on the map, it is very nice, showing roughly east to west direction and by car it is supposed to take 53 minutes. But I was taking the train, which makes the experience different.

I started with Scooty from home to the Mansarovar station in Kamothe. There are huge crowds on the roads and the closer I got to the station, the slower I went.

 I had to stand in line to get my ticket because no passes yet unless you are a proper worker. Students are not considered proper workers! But it was not too painful, and I got my ticket and went on to the platform, which was not very crowded. This was around 10 am. I had left my house half an hour ago.

Deserted stations that fill up during the day. This one is Mansarovar Station on the Harbour Line

Everyone on the station was wearing masks. There were announcements, and also timings on the indicators. But trains came late. I got into mine, going to CST. It was not too crowded, and I got a corner seat.

Khargar – Belapur – Seawoods – Nerul, the train filled up almost like before the pandemic. There was no social distancing of course, but people were wearing masks. I am making full disclosure here. I have had Covid 19, but I do not know yet if that gives me immunity, so I don’t take risks.

The train rise kept on, my first in a year. It was nice, but it was taking long. I noticed lots of children. Vendors of things also came in and some of them were children. It was all very normal, except there was no pushing and shoving.

At Kurla, there was another rush as people got on and off. Finally, my stop, Wadala, where I had to change trains from the Central to the Western Line. I got off on Platform 1 and made my way to Platform 4, from where the train was to leave. The indicators showed 12.23pm but the train came in about ten minutes later. Before that, two trains for Panvel also came in but they did not seem to be indicated. It was all quite confusing.

Then last stop Bandra and I was happy to get off the train. A very short auto rickshaw ride brought me to St. Pauls Institute of Communication Education. Or SPICE.

First-class – practicals in the TV studio. We learned how to speak in front of a camera, using a teleprompter. It was fun. Here’s a picture, Please note: Today was much better.

Rutuja Kadam

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