The suburban system of Mumbai consists of four lines divided between two zonal railways of the country. They criss-cross, merge and get further divided as they pass through multiple cities and municipalities. One of them is the Harbour Line — the main link between the sister cities — Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. I am a Harbour Line girl through and through.
In the last five years, I have seen the rakes get better and a new auxiliary section emerge. It’s a lifeline I can’t imagine my life without. There are a few spots on the line that are dearer to me than others.
One of them is the Vashi Bridge.
What is it about the Vashi Bridge that makes it so special and heartwarming? Is it the fact that it connects two metropolitan cities? Or that it runs parallel to a road bridge that ferries slightly richer counterparts of the souls clutching handlebars above for the sake of their lives? It’s probably how despite the everyday brutalities, the horizon is a welcoming balm that helps us survive.
In the morning, as clouds obscure the horizon, my sleepy eyes feel a sense of calm in the subtle blue. Everything shines bright, diminishing the chances to demarcate the line between the sky and the sea beneath.
In the evenings, the scenery reflects the love of a hopeless romantic, me. The skyline of the two cities witness trains swish about, as the traffic rumbles on the parallel bridge.
At night, the lights of the cars and the cities hum a melancholy, mirroring the exhaustion of the souls that exist between birds and worms.
Somewhere between two days and two cities, time stands still in the rake that rails forward on the Vashi Bridge. There is a magic that gets infused in the air at midnight, bringing along a surreal calm.
I guess this is why I love it so much — suspended it mid-air (not really, but come on, it’s poetic), it makes me feel so much at home. So much in love.