As youngsters, we’ve forgotten how it felt like to wake up early in the morning to get ready for school. And if you’re anything like me, you dreaded that time.
Waking up is always a nightmare when you’re usually a pro nocturnal. Even now when I’ve to wake up at dawn to get ready for college, I try to find a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t. Until I found out how pleasant the experience of traveling early in the morning is, so early that even the sun’s only starting to wake up.
Here are a few things I love about traveling in Mumbai local train as early as six in the morning during winter.
No crowd: I live for the days when there is no crowd in the train, albeit they are rare. But when the rest of the world is still getting up and you have to board a train to start your hour-and-a-half journey, you find almost-empty compartments, especially in first class. And what’s a greater joy than finding an empty seat?
Silence: There’s a comforting, mutual silence every person seems to maintain during this time. No one’s yelling, no one’s fighting to get in because there’s enough room for all, no crying babies, no loud sellers. It’s surreal.
No screaming, fighting people: This is a common sight when you travel in train during peak hours. No one has the patience or time to wait around. Pushing and shoving is as normal as breathing. But when most people are at peace, you get a civilized crowd. In the morning, you’ll rarely find one actively starting a fight; people are less likely to run for a spot when there’s place for everyone.
Fresh smell of perfumes: You constantly get whiff of perfumes, especially in the ladies’ compartment, each time someone gets on. It’s not only refreshing, it’s a welcome break from the occasional sewage and sweaty smells.
People in somewhat dreamy moods: You’ll find most people sleepy, or in a dreamy mood, thinking of something, listening to music and zoned out on the rest of the world. It gives a sense of peace and calm in the environment I thrive on. Nobody wants to get into fights or talk incessantly and break the comforting silence.
Cool air: Regardless of the season, Mumbai is under a constant cover of blazing sun rays. The only exception is the night-time and very early morning, especially in winter, when the air is pleasantly cool, if not chilling. Best time ever.
Getting to see the sunrise: Nowadays we rarely find time to enjoy the sunrise. But getting to witness this beautiful sight is always rejuvenating.
No sunlight that tortures your eyes and gives you an ugly tan: One of the major reasons we cancel plans is the sun. It’s torturous to get out in the heat, especially for someone who has sensitive eyes, and put yourself through the hell of traveling. But when the sun in still in its baby form, you’re safe from all of that.
Alone with your thoughts: A lot of the major plot points or sticky ones that led me to writer’s block have been solved during my travel to college early morning. A scene pops up in my mind, a character who’s been sleeping for long decides to wake up. A change of setting and scenery always helps. So being alone with your thoughts is a major reason why I love making these early morning journeys, especially when I’m in no mad hurry to reach the destination.
Influential music: Listening to soft music that nudges you out of your sleepiness is a perfect way to get started for the day. It refreshes you, fills you up with motivation and sets you up in a positive state of mind. The first song I listen to when I wake up [usually while walking down the road to the train station] decides how I’ll feel for the rest of the day. So music sets a mood for me. So if you make a meticulous choice and listen to a song that you love, you feel better for a long time.