A gush of nostalgia as I entered the Churchgate Station! I cannot say the I have travelled in the Mumbai suburban trains all my life but 7 years for sure, maybe more....every weekday ... even weekends sometimes.
It is ONE experience to travel in these trains. I can write stories after stories, even a book. After 3.5 years I stepped into one today. I could only do it on a sunday this time. Need to muster a lot of courage to get into one in a weekday. The regular commuters would probably laugh at my post.
Everyone has a chai story, dont they ? (Coffee story for coffee lovers), but that one cutting chai which makes people come together. The reason for drawing students from college lectures to canteens, or tedious office hour employees, to their tapri chai wala's. Mine has deliberately been the chaiwala at Churchgate station for the past few years. More of a ritual.
From bhurji pav to pav bhaji, Veg pulav, chinese and bun maska (my personal favourite being cheese bun maska), you will always leave from here, satisfied.
But that one cutting chai was a must every single night.
As i would sit there sipping on tea which led to another one and then another ... I observed and i learnt. People passing by, mostly the same people everyday, running for their trains, or lovers dropping off their loved ones, groups of dancers, the old and the young, the hawkers, the busy mumbai city life.
I observed for 7 long years every single night.
Met a man named Raghu, collects garbage and speaks eloquently in english. Use to be a notary typist ages ago, before he fell in love, and in his words "love ruined him". Often he shares his experiences over chai and tells me stories of people he has come across since his time at Churchgate station. He tells me of his sister who betrayed him and his lover who .............. To be continued in my next chai post 🙂 . . .
Whats your chai story ? . . .
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