Growing up in Mumbai, I have never felt threatened. I’ve lived in Bandra, a great suburb with a chilled-out vibe. By virtue of it being home, I’m at ease travelling within Bandra at any hour.
In Mumbai, it was a given that I would have to use public transport and that had nothing to do with possessing a car. I studied in Jai Hind College, which was my introduction to the Western Railway.
The commute from Bandra to Churchgate in the four years of college was peaceful, save for occasional incidents of eve-teasing, which is not exclusive to train travel or a specific time of day.
While in college, I’d take the train as late as 10 pm by myself and without incident. When I started working, the scenario changed as I was required to travel more frequently and at more unfriendly hours. But that too has been peaceful. I’ve taken cabs from Mahalaxmi to Bandra as late as 2 am, and quite confidently. I’ve taken rickshaws later than that within the suburbs. I’m a confident traveller and while travelling alone you have no choice but to be so.
I suppose travelling to the eastern suburbs would be a bit daunting because I am most familiar with the western side. Feeling safe has everything to do with how familiar you feel in a certain area. As a media professional, I travel to and fro from busy areas, which definitely increases confidence while commuting alone.
If I had to travel to the northern-most tips of the city I’d probably not travel alone beyond 11.30 pm. While on holiday in other cities, I generally move around with friends or family and never by myself. Women really have an advantage in Mumbai.