THE MUMBAI local, a longstanding symbol of the city of dreams and the frantic pace at which it runs, has played muse to several film-makers inspiring the likes of Dombivli Fast and Ek Chalis Ki Last Local.
In recent years, however, not content with the bits and pieces roles that Mumbai lifeline has played, it has also been used by several stars to connect with people while carrying out the promotional activity of their films.
Anil Kapoor recently landed in trouble after pictures of him leaning out of a suburban local train were circulated as part of the promotional activity for a television series. While taking that extra step across the footboard, Kapoor may have stepped over to the wrong side of the law as well, but other stars in the past have managed to zoom past the city on the local without any subsequent problems.
In November last year, Amitabh Bachchan had surprised passengers on the Central Railway when he hopped on to a train from CST and travelled upto Bhandup to promote an upcoming movie. Bachchan along with one Saurabh Nimbalkar who plays guitars on local trains, regaled the commuters in the train by belting out Bollywood numbers.
However, much before the Bollywood celebrities started taking the local train for the local connect, back in 2010, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had come calling to the city, he had surprised everyone by getting into a train at Andheri travelling upto Dadar where he then went off on the Central Railway line and took a train from Dadar to Ghatkopar.
Soon after being elected Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis also took a Kalyan fast from CST discussing overcrowding issues with the commuters.
Ravindra Bhaskar, chief public relations officer of the Western Railway, said, “There are nearly two crore people travelling in local trains daily. This is the most possible way to connect with the common people. Hence, you have more and more celebrities choosing the rail network for promotional work. In addition to this, there are several movies that feature the rail network.”
The Central Railway alone earned Rs 81.21 lakh for the eight film shoots that took place on its network in 2015-16. The shooting of the film Baaghi got the most income for the CR costing the makers nearly Rs 24.97 lakh.
The three highest earning locations were Apta (earning Rs 31.58 lakh), Wadi Bunder (Rs 13.82 lakh) and CST (Rs 7.59 lakh).