Photos By – Amit Rane
Text By – Jyoti Rane
Website – http://www.myodysseys.com
As on 14th June’14.
“Mumbai never sleeps” is a cliché we all know and as I pulled from the bed in the early hours of morning to see the un-slept city rise… much lay in store than thought. Her landmarks, her luster, her people and her possessions magnetize loads to her doorsteps every day. Yet, her richer get richest here and the poorer don’t sleep without at least a wadapav everyday, albeit the middle class just crib and hang on her local’s lifeline.
Marine drive at Dawn
The wave fury in Mumbai showcased across news channels last one week caught my fancy and I tagged along with my husband and couple of his photographer friends for screening the roads of Mumbai. We were a part of the event, Kanakia- Mumbai Meri Jaan contest in association with Times of India. The event attracted photographers across Mumbai. This was exclusive Mumbai tour without any shopping errands or work to tag along like always. The detour for my group was planned between Marine drive and Bandra fort. I started as early as 5 am from Navi Mumbai. With the new eastern freeway leading from Panjrapole, Chembur to CST, the 1 hour journey is cut short to mere half by this engineering marvel. Being a Saturday; Mumbai was running on her routine track, the dabawallas, the autowallas, the doodhwallas and Machiwallas all running errands.
At land’s end – Marine drive
I reached NCPA at lands end at 5.45 in the morning. The last night rains had left a somber sky. The grey overhung the whole place. As I stepped out from my vehicle, the sharp saline reek hit my nose and in no time, it was gone or maybe I got used to it. The place was abuzz with people; walkers, talkers, joggers, cyclers, vendors, photographers, the wealthy, the healthy, the miser and the wiser. The sea was quiet and the boats kept gliding. The skyline stood marvelous in the backdrop. The place got crowded with time and to my wonder I saw many local tourists visit this place in such early hours of the day. I was soon asked to move aside by a sweeper on duty, that’s when I observed; ‘this place looks clean’. Amidst the many groups being formed and dispersed as a part of the event, I sat on the parapet for a good slice of the morning. The wind hit my face as the waves hit the boulders below me. The beauty of this place is in spite being in a sea of crowd, you still can be alone. I was transported back to some Bollywood moments of my favorite song shot here. Yes, “O re manva tu to bavra hai” from Wake up Sid, came to me as if it’s being shot here and I am watching it. The beautiful climax of the movie shot at land’s end here against the monsoon backdrop came real as the monsoon clouds had started looming over me. In no time the clouds poured and the sun shone in one go. The sea looked beautiful now with the varied shades of sun and light. The crowds dispersed with the rains, yet the place was abuzz. The promenade draws thousands of people here every day, monsoons being more favored.
The brewing rains
I moved along to Worli Promenade now. The temperature was sizzling and Bandra-Worli sea-link Bridge was facing the brunt of the massive waves. The haze was evident with the waves splashing as good as 15 feet. It was my first experience with Bandra-Worli sea-link Bridge and of course it was dramatically pleasant under the frothing ravenous waves. I was spared of the traffic and in no time reached the Bandra fort again at land’s end.
Worli – Bandra Sea Link bridge
The Bandra fort an ancient architectural feat stands juxtaposed to the brilliant modern day marvel- the Bandra-Worli sea link bridge. The high tide was to hit at 12.30 pm and the sea had already started churning. The waves hit and retreated sometimes engulfing the whole pillars under the bridge. The Bandra fort was dotted with many youngsters bunking college or the love bugs seeking privacy. The arriving monsoons are charismatic in Mumbai and draw everyone towards the Sea. From the cozy couple to the playful college students, from the chaiwala to the foreign tourists everyone was fixed to this place for the aura it carried. In no time the land below me submerged under the playful waves. I retreated now to move back to the Worli promenade to enjoy the massive waves.
Bandra – Worli Bridge from Bandra Fort
A massive wave at Bandstand , Bandra
The Worli Promenade was guarded by a constable who kept chasing the street urchins. The waves were hitting hard and raised a good 10-15 feet. A part of the promenade was cordoned by the constable, who gave up after sometime as the enthusiastic kids and elders couldn’t be kept at bay. Once the constable retreated, the street urchins had a gala time in the surging waves. Every wave was an energy pack for them and they seemed to be rejuvenated. It was fun to watch these kids and their activities as one mother came along with a stick to get her son back home. The drenched son escaped his mother’s fury as a big wave hit the mother too. The waves were monstrous as they pulled and hurled the tiles on the promenade under their fury.
The BMC staff and the hiting waves at Worli Seaface
The unaware photographers hit by the waves.
Many a cars halted and elders too got drenched in the waves. The waves of course got some respite in the sweltering summer. I was eventually famished for food and energy. My skin was salty under the sprinkle of the constant waves. My clothes half drenched under the waves shower, and hence I made my way back to NCPA as my group planned to disperse there.
The street urchins at Worli seaface.
Having a ball with the monstrous waves at Worli seaface.
On the way back, Marine drive was not the same place I left that morning. The sea was rough now under the monstrous waves. The promenade was not a place as I identified from today morning. The litter gone in to the sea was thrown back outside with the high tide. The place well cleaned this morning was dirty beyond imagination as we know that “the sea doesn’t keep anything to itself”. Ironically “Mumbai Meri Jaan” is what all Mumbaikers say, but what are we doing to live up to that status??
Keywords – Mumbai , Mumbai Meri Jaan , Marine Drive , NCPA , Worli , Worli seaface , bandra-worli sea link , bandstand bandra , Bandra fort, Mumbai monsoons, Monsoons in Mumbai