Elphinstone, Lower Parel, etc. were built for mills. The owners stayed in Malabar Hill and came to these places by their car or horse carriage. The workers stayed nearby and travelled by foot or cycle. See old movies and you will know what I mean.

The railway stations were built for a very small number of people.

Cut to 1980 or thereabouts. The great people who ran the Corporation and then the state gave permission for big, big colossal buildings. Each building attracts 5000 cars in a day. Employees or visitors. Suddenly 100,000 people started descending on these small stations. The Lower Parel infra was not meant to support 100,000 vehicles and the stations were not ready to take on 100,000 people every few hours.

No builder or state government asks the Railways whether the infra will cope. The amount of money that must have changed hands from builders to the powers that be in screwing up Mumbai is mind bogling. Sad that the middle class keeps chasing housing in Mumbai and its suburbs. I see parents say “I am buying now for my son..or he will find it difficult to buy it when he is 40”. Sounds stupid. Just do not buy. Take on rent. If all of us REFUSE TO BUY, prices will go down.

Was the bridge narrow? Yes of course. Did that cause the stampede? No. What caused the stampede was human behavior of “fight or flight”. When people got scared, they rushed and got crushed. According to an eyewitness (he had just got out when he heard the screaming) the death did not happen once. It happened twice. Yes most of us have no clue about how we will behave in a panic. We will all do the same thing. We do not know how our mind acts in fear.

Stampedes have happened in much bigger places. People at the bottom of the staircase did not want to go out because it was raining AND there was accumulated water just at the foot of the bridge. Sad. It is not as though it cannot happen again.

Not all stations are brilliantly built like VT – which got converted nicely to a double discharge – another brilliant move – and of a recent origin.

Now come to what happens when there is a panic. Midcaps, bfsi, bfsi shit, …many of these are at high prices. If all investors try getting out at the same time, such a stampede will occur, for sure. Those who sit calm will see their Nav go down – sure it can stay down for a long time. However, if you sell AFTER it has fallen, there will be no fun for you when the market goes up!

You need to be prepared for a stampede. And know how to remain calm.

Wait, the stampede is not tomorrow, I have no clue when it is!



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