As the train races across the landscape, swaying side –to-side, a constant reminder of my means of travel and where I am, I can’t help but notice how dark the landscape is. A light bulb pierces through the darkness here and there, but there are not far off lights of cities, towns or villages. A dim haze indicates as we pass through a station, but the in-between is darkness. I am on the train back to Mumbai from Pune, a small (by Indian standards, perhaps) city about 3 hours from Mumbai. I went for work, and was amazed by how small, clean and calm it seemed.
Leaving Mumbai is always a bit startling. Going from the maximum city to any other place makes everything else seems calm and orderly. While Pune seemed small, it is a city of nearly 5 million people. How can something that size seem so small? A skewed perspective, I suppose. Or just the after effects of any significant amount of time spent in Mumbai.
Remembering back even just a month, I thought Mumbai was too crazy and something I couldn’t handle for much longer. But the past month has brought some type of serenity to the city, or maybe just to my experience here. I no longer am as frustrated by the hordes on the trains, or the streets. I take everything that happens on the street here with a grain of salt, and have made friends who sometimes are also as puzzled as I am by the place that is Mumbai.