One day, on my way to college, I stumbled upon a crowd of people gathered in a circle. Highly unusual to find people standing still at the Thane station. Well, I followed the crowd and made my way to the front line of the circle. To my amusement, I saw a street play. Now street plays aren’t uncommon in India but it was my first time seeing one. Ganesh, Kartikeya, Shiv and Parvati were having a nice family moment when Kartikeya accused Ganesh of cheating during their famous race. As bickering siblings, Kartikeya didn’t want to listen to reason. And as in almost all sibling arguments, the father had to step in. Shiva proposed a rematch. He proposed a tour around the city of Mumbai, the catch being both of them had to use the public transport system. The first one to visit all the places wins.

Kartikeya keen to prove his mettle readily agreed to such an easy task as did Ganesh and they set forth from their heavenly abode atop Mount Kailash to the bustling city of Mumbai. Kartikeya set forth on this quest, buying a train ticket at every starting and transit station to travel the vastness of Mumbai. To visit each and every spot in the peninsula and to do it fast. After an exhausting day on the locals, he lay down at his parents’ feet, certain that he had completed the tasks before his brother. As you would have guessed, Ganapati finished the job faster.

“You cheated again, I stopped at every station, bought tickets and travelled legally. You must’ve cheated, travelled without a ticket. This is unfair Ganesh!”
“Brother, don’t you read the news? There’s a one-day tourist ticket available for travelling in local trains. Buy it once, and you can travel throughout the city!”

Turns out the play was a marketing stunt for this very new pass that was released. After my initial disappointment over the fact that I just spent 10 minutes watching a play instead of catching my train to college, I realized that the stunt worked. Before that moment I had never known of such a thing. And to the tourist who visits Mumbai or the college student on summer break, this pass is a godsend.

Perfect Train Ticket

Mumbai like every other metropolis is plagued with the problem of cars on streets, more specifically, excess of cars on the streets. Unless you want to spend your leisure day around Mumbai in gridlock traffic, using the suburban railway system is your best bet to get around the city. The central line for people on the eastern side of the peninsula and the western line for those on the west. And lo and behold, the tourist ticket works on both these lines, that is, one ticket to travel them all.

On further search, I found out that not only is there a one-day tourist ticket, a person can avail a three-day and a five-day one as well! And furthermore, the costs of these tourist tickets are dirt-cheap. Rs 75 for a one-day second class tourist ticket, and 275 for first class. A regular return journey ticket to my college from Thane costs me 200 bucks in the first class. These tourist tickets can be booked three days prior to the travel date and can be cancelled by paying a small clerkage fee a day prior to validity. Travel all you want with these passes, there is no limit to the rides you get with them. Plus, you get the added satisfaction of downplaying the ticket checker when he/she asks for your ticket.

So, the next time you feel like going on a Mumbai Darshan, save your gas and take a daily pass instead. Avoid the gridlock and enjoy the ride.

But then…. What about the rush?