Mumbai, a.k.a. “Maximum City”, is a city of extremes; the city of Bollywood and of Slumdog Millionaire, of extreme riches and poverty.
Twenty million people packed together on a small strip of land. The population density is 6 times higher than London and 15 times higher than New York.
7.5 million people take the train to work every day. Trains are overcrowded, with passengers struggling to get on and off. Rush hour is also referred to as “Super Dense Crush Load“ for these reasons.
The Mumbaikars, however, are resilient. Despite the hardships, they seem to remain placid and focused on providing for their families, in the hope their children might have an easier life.
The rush-hour commute reflects this state of being. The trains are overcrowded and old. Passengers push and shove to get on and off the trains. Yet, somehow it all works, somehow people are able to make this journey every day.
This story gives the viewer an up-close idea of what it is like to be part of the hustle of the Super Dense Crush Load, as the rush hour on the train is known. I traveled the trains mostly on the Western Line, from the Bandra suburb to the downtown stations and back.