14 Jul 2011

Sandhurst Road Station



The Harbour Line.

The slower cousin of the two fast and furious main lines with their many swift branches is also one of the most interesting among the lifelines of Mumbai. When it rains, it's the first one to break down but let's blame it on the jealous Kurla Station on the main Central Line.

With its ups and downs, the noisy, elevated metal stations and the view of the Bay, the Harbour Line is slow because it wants you to look outside your window. It wants you to look towards the city's east coast with the wide open spaces with cranes of the many docks in the background.

Those from the Western Line will notice that the Harbour line smells different. That's because the people on this route don't mask their smells with the same brands of deo. Talcum powders rule here. But they make up for that by being a little less rash. But then, very few on the Western Line know that there is something known as a Harbour Line.

The Harbour Line also touched the Western Line from Mahim to Andheri. I had my most interesting trip on Harbour Line from Bandra to CST and back with Gyan Prakash, the author of Mumbai Fables. I had to shoot a photograph of him for a review in Tehelka. So like a true Mumbaikar (he isn't one. He lives in America), he asked me meet at Bandra station on a quiet Sunday afternoon and we jumped on a train to CST and talked, and clicked.

And out of the window passed the chapters of his book which I hadn't yet read at that point of time. Harbour Line does not run North to South or east but like his book it travels through time. Through different times in this young city's history. All you have to do is look out of the window.

If you have the time, take the Harbour Line on a quiet Sunday afternoon. It's a different Mumbai Darshan.



Gyan Prakash. Subaltern historian, Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University and story teller. Author of Mumbai Fables.

6 comments:

Anish said...

I have been on the Harbour line for a Sunday Mumbai darshan. As a former Western Line pass holder, it was time traveling from VT through Masjid and the Road stations. I got down at Sewri and I went back to the time of the Sewri fort. Thanks for your photo and story, it brings back many memories.

Curry Spice said...

In her highs and her lows.. this city needs people like you to tell her lovely stories. Im glad you wrote this today.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Anish. I was a WR pass holder too, I still have a WR pass.I used to take the Malad local with the stock brokers and bankers . And I'm yet to check our Sewree fort. :)


Thank you Curry :) Will try my best.

Aroop Bose said...

Tell me did you ever face the problem of anyone objecting when you when you go shooting with your camera?

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Very rarely. I carry a compact camera. But things have been quiet for a couple of years. I guess after yesterday's bomb blasts, i will be asked questions.

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