The train ride begins with a Ganesh photo being hung below the luggage rack.
Out come the instruments.
And the songs begin....
The Lullaby of the Sri Jyotirling Railway Pravasi Bhajan Mandal Mankhrud (Vashi) 9.10
All music in this world started with a lullaby. It started as the hum to silence the child's cry that will attract the nocturnal hunters or in this day and age, the drunk, red-eyed, sleep starved man living next door.
Like many other things, the lullaby evolved with us. Calming, comforting the nerves of not only infants, but the restless young and the old alike. Over time, the lullaby has evolved into the screams and screeching that has calmed the pumping adrenaline of the rebellious youth as well as the soft strains of classical music.
In the crowded 9.10 Vashi to CST Local, this lullaby takes the form of bhajans from all over Maharashtra that shuts out the sweat, grime and smells of the torturous daily commute. Personally, I bury my nose in a book. Other listen to music, play games on mobile phones, solve crosswords and some sleep. But music is the most popular method. Bhajans, the loudest form and a shared experience unlike others.
These guys like bhajans. Just like how we find calming, the waves that follow waves on a beach and the rhythmic movements of a train, these guys speed up their heart beats to the beats of their devotional heavy metal. 130 decibels at least, enough to drown the thud of clciking wheels in Sandhurst Rd. Station. Maybe it's like how music steadies the nerves of young boys sent out in tanks and trenches to kill other people, the bhajans send this army of workers into South Mumbai offices for a day of drudgery.
This is their lullaby.