Platform Steps Crash Due To Stampede At Vasai In Mumbai

Currently at Vasai Road Railway Station on the Western Line in Mumbai. After a derailment at Mahalaxmi, trains haven’t been running for the past 40 minutes. Due to the unavailability of trains a large amount of people were gathered on the platform and the surrounding road. As soon as the regular 8:44 local approached the platform, the crowd rushed up the stairs which almost immediately crashed, sending everybody into the drain below.

RPF and Railway authorities haven’t reached yet.

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My Earliest Travel Memory

Memories of a hill station, trekking and a good trip

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Memories of a hill station, trekking and a good trip

We’ve travelled so much that we rarely remember our first trips, if your family had a penchant for travel, then you’ve visited many but if not, the few are as good as gold. While the most obvious place for Goans to go to travel to is Goa, I went there when I was seven and nine years old, respectively but my memory from those trips are hazy. So, one of earliest memories of travel trace back to when I was a 14-year-old in school, not a picnic but a so-called ‘Spiritual Trip’ by the Brothers of St. Augustine’s School, the school I studied in.

It was in the November of 2006, winter had just set in, and 16 boys were selected from our school to travel to Mount Abu in Rajasthan. We were a mischievous bunch but we had to live up to the ‘spiritual trip’ tag, it ended up being little of what we expected. It turned out to be one my earliest treks and a good one at that. We travelled by train, it was a sponsored trip and we were going to stay in the students hostel of St Mary’s School, the Christian and Irish Brothers branch in the north Indian state of India. We had hardly packed for the five day trip and clearly didn’t know what to expect. We reached early next morning and had to travel by jeep before we reached the school which was situated atop the ghats, since it was early November, it was really cold and though there was a swimming pool, we would be able to swim, which we thought we could because of Mumbai’s sweltering heat.

Most of the boarders had gone home as it was Diwali vacations but some who stayed to far were yet in the hostel. We were assigned a large dormitory that we shared with the students. We were to sleep in rows of iron cots with thin mattresses and were given thick blankets to escape the cold. We were really excited for the next day and why not, we were in for a surprise. We were briefed about the next day; Breakfast at 7 am, Lunch at 12pm and Dinner at 7pm, we couldn’t miss any of them. There was a common bathroom, where all of us had to bathe by taking water through tubs from a drum kept in the corner. We were living like boarders and it was exciting. Over the next few days we trekked through various hills called by different names by the boarders – Plummey (don’t remember the origin), Spongy (because it had pores like a sponge) and Toad Rock (shaped like a Toad) overlooking the main city market. We also climbed down 886 steps to Gow Mukh (marble cow head) through which water flowed into a small open tank. They say the source of water was unknown and so many believed that wishes come true there too. It was Aldo the first time we saw big scary Langur’s (a species of monkeys). It was only at the end of the day when we reached the dormitory that we realised we couldn’t walk at all. The ascending and descending of the steps to see How Mukh had left us almost crippled and we couldn’t feel our legs at all.

The best part of the trip turned out to be on the night before our last day, we went crab catching, in a flowing stream. And the best part? We went in the night! As the surrounding area was forest land and bears and panthers were said to be spotted, we took the school dogs for safety. While we learnt how to literally fish crabs, as we used leftover chicken bones to get palm-sized crabs that we were going to eat the next day. Suddenly the dogs started barking and we were told that they had sighted a panther around the area, we were quite astonished and excited at the fact that a wild cat was in close proximity but soon it was gone and we carried we our night crab-catching and took back a bucket full of crabs to end the trip on a high note.

P.S. – Pictures are plenty but sadly none are digital.

Markets That You Must Visit in Mumbai

Markets that are a completely delight when you enter them

Markets that are a completely delight when you enter them

Tourists come to Mumbai and visit iconic places like the Taj Mahal Hotel and Gateway of India which is only a few metres away, and Elephanta Caves if you hop on that speed boat and sail across. I’ve always been intrigued by markets, one of the best I’ve seen is the colourful McLeodganj market in Dharamshala. Mumbai has a few of them too which not many know, so here is a list of the most popular markets in the city and interesting tips.

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Crawford Market Photo Credits: wikimedia

Crawford Market
If you’re in Mumbai, visiting Crawford Market is a visual treat. While it has been named Mahatma Jyotirao Phule market, the name Crawford is synonymous with most Mumbaikars. Since it is known to be Mumbai’s first vegetable market, there are wide variety of groceries available at the market that may not be available anywhere in the city; exotic fruits and vegetables are all available for takers. Move on a little ahead and you’ll find the animal market; various animals and birds – Persian cats, different breeds of dogs, birds, fish and illegal animals are also said to be sold there. The market is also popular for its art supplies used by many artists across the city; bakery products to make items like cakes and pastries are all found at wholesale rates at this very market. If you hop in, I bet you’d be enamoured with the variety of things available there.

How to get there? Step off Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and ask anybody for the iconic market and you’ll find your way

Where to eat: When you’ve come to Crawford Market, going to Badshah’s is a must, the restaurant is always crowded and there is never place but you should definitely have the milkshake there.

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Chor Bazaar Photo Credits: i1.stay.com

Chor Bazaar
It is said that Chor Bazaar isn’t what it is today, it was initially called Shor Bazaar (noisy market) but the Britishers mispronounced it and it came to be known as Chor Bazaar. Mostly popular for the stolen goods and artifact, the market has everything and anything you would want at cheaper rates but you got be good at bargaining to strike a perfect deal, because you if you can’t, the shopkeepers will make sure they rip you off your money. Victorian furniture, clothes and accessories are among the many things found there. It is also said that you can really expensive artifacts for Rs 50, if you know how to bargain. The best time to get there is as early as 5am to escape the crowd that comes in once daylight sets in.

Tip: Carry minimum amount of money or pack your wallets tight, because there are always pick-pocketers waiting to pick a pocket there.

Also Read:Locals Speak – Why Is Goa Becoming A Second Home To Most Mumbaikars?

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Shop on Lamington Raod Photo Credits: avmax.tech2.in.com

Lamington Road
Considered the ‘Tech Market’ of Mumbai, the market runs off Grant Road and has almost every part required for your computer, phone and other devices at really cheap rates. Hard drives, pen drives, web cameras and more are available here. There is a chance you’ll find transistors and cassette players there too. It is what Ritchie Street is to Chennai. If you need to buy any device at cheaper rates, head over to the market and you’ll instantaneously be happy with your purchase.

How to get there? Take a train to Grant Road station and get off on the west end.

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One of the many gold and silver shops at Zaveri Bazaar Photo Credits:www.rediff.com

Zaveri Bazaar
Known to be Mumbai’s diamond market, the bazaar also has all kinds of precious stones and gold and silver jewellers. Different kinds of show-pieces and household items are also said to be found in precious metals in the bazaar. Like any other bazaar, this market can be visited for different kinds of ornaments of the highest quality and decorative items for the house.

How to get there? Take a train to Sandhurst Road on Central Railway and Charni Road on the Western