Breaking Bad on the Mumbai Local


Breaking Bad on the Mumbai Local

Illustration: Shruti Yatam/Arré


could be Rani Mukherjee from Black, and I’d still know I’m at a train station in Mumbai from the smell alone. Every morning, lakhs of miserable, sweaty, smelly bodies proceed to enter those tiny compartments and externalise their worst impulses, and I move one step closer to finally buying myself that rugby apparel I always wanted.

At 5’4”, I’m about the average height for an Indian woman, but size gives me no advantage in this royal rumble. There is always a group of huge women blocking the entrance to the train, because “Malad/Dadar pe utarna hai”. I attempt to charge at them with all my strength, but just as I’m about to gain footing, an aunty-ji will flick her wrist and take me out of the race. The aunty will then continue to stare at me unflinchingly as I pick myself up off the floor, and all my dreams of ever making it home come crashing down.