It took me nearly four hours to get to the HT office in Mahim on Thursday — double the time it takes. And I was one of the lucky ones.
I reached the Ulhasnagar platform at 9:30am to catch the 9:38 train to Dadar, as usual. The indicator was still announcing the 8:57 train from Ambarnath. That train eventually pulled in at 10.35am.
In my first hour at the platform, only two trains pulled in, arriving packed from Karjat, six stops away. No one even tried to board. But there was still no sign of the 9:38 train to Dadar.
Meanwhile, the indicators flashed random numbers, apparently as clueless as we were. By 10:45am, with no real sense of when — or if — a train would arrive, people began to head back home.
To make matters worse, announcers placidly called out incorrect information — announcing local trains where long-distance trains to Bangalore and Kolhapur were about to zip through.
At 11am — after waiting for an hour and a half — I finally boarded the Ambarnath-Dadar train.
The train reached Dadar at 12:20pm. By the time I switched trains and got to my office, I was two hours late. It was still better than the day before, when I got to the station to find that there was barely space to stand, even at the entrance, and was forced to return home.
Tomorrow, it will start all over again…