Mumbai: 40 yrs old Akash Rane, who has been using the Mumbai local for the past 3 decades, can tell the name of a station just by using his ability to smell. Akash has developed this unique ability by studying the stench emanating from each station and now doesn’t need to see or hear the name of station to realize that he has reached his destination.
Mumbai local is the lilfeline of Mumbai and carries over 75 Lakh passengers daily. Even though the stations are relatively clean, the surrounding areas are not and the putrid smell from there reaches the nose of a passenger too.
“It took a lot of effort but I have mastered it. I can travel blindfolded in the train, listening to music through my earphones and still get down at the correct station. Anyone can tell that a station is approaching as the intensity of bad smell increases but not everyone can tell the exact name of the approaching station, it takes years of practice and a well trained nose”, Akash said explaining his ability.
“One station will have a strong sewer smell, one will smell like a urinal, one has rotting garbage. Even their intensity varies from one station to the other. In some places, you feel like someone has urinated right next to you while on others, the smell is faint. There is interference from the body odor of your co-passengers, you have to learn to block out that and concentrate on the one defining smell of the station”, he added.
As per Mr. Rane, he can even tell whether a train is on central line, western line or harbor line using his unique ability.
Meanwhile, a senior Government official has denied that there was any bad smell around. He said, “Working in a corporate office plus traveling in Mumbai local daily, these people are just living a dog’s life. As we all know, dogs have a hyper sense of smell, that is all. The areas around the stations stink as much as the rest of Mumbai, not more.”