Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Perils of Mumbai Transit

I forgot to mention this before, but here's the mad fact for the day. In Mumbai, roughly TEN people are killed by trains EVERY DAY. Yes, that's what i said. "More maybe," said my friend. Disbelieving i checked Wickiedia. 3500/yr, they report.

This is a major issue in causing train schedule delays.

But you often see people hanging out the doors. Sometimes on top. i couldn't believe it when my train pulled into the end station and a whole crowd of people disembarked, and jumped down into the adjacent tracks, to climb out on the other side. It was pretty hilarious. So long as a train doesn't pull in and smash in people's skulls.

In my favorite book of all time A Fine Balance, a train rider says, "Why does everybody have to choose the railway tracks only for dying? No consideration for people like us. Murder, suicide, terrorist killing, police-custody death-- everything ends up delaying the trains. What is wrong with poison or tall buildings or knives?"

If you haven't read it yet, i strongly recommend it. When you pick it up, it's hard to put down. i'm rereading it now, which is pretty crazy while in India, and all the richness and tragedy is in yr face.

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