I had stopped planning any trips post-2013. After getting free from my duties I checked in to a hostel and then went around the grand city. I found myself at the entrance of The Taj, Mumbai. The difference was that I stood across the road. I looked at the majestic Arabian sea for quite some time, a few boats constantly bobbed on the water and on the left stood ‘Gateway of India’. And then I turned around and looked at the entrance of the hotel and the brilliant cars that would come and drop the guests. I spent some more time before finally moving on to my next destination.
At lunch, I had a serving of lemon chicken and rice with soda and finished it with a cheesecake.
I have this insane reluctance to look at the menu and order food.
Since I was alone, I asked the server to help me with my order and he made a fine suggestion, to be honest. There in the afternoon, I sat in the heavily crowded cafe and occasionally got looks from people. I didn’t mind that too much that day.
Since I had no plans, I headed to Haji Ali Dargah. A kaali peeli (black and yellow) taxi took me to Haji Ali. I had heard a lot about the place, how you have to walk on this strip and all that. So I did and found myself on the opposite side of the dargah. From there you see the Arabian Sea and on the right the bright and busy Mumbai. I sat down at the edge and looked at the dying light, busy city, and the sound of the waves crashing on the Dargah. An experience like none other and almost free of cost. A family of 5 stood next to me, they had brought over some snacks and they shared it among themselves. Their smiles and laughter are still imprinted in my memory and I find it hard to describe them. It made me happy to see them enjoying. I was an anonymous observer, I was there but I wasn’t.
I sat there for around a few hours letting every emotion out. Trusting the dargah, the sea, and the sound of the crashing waves.
I gathered myself and headed to a restaurant where I had a good conversation with the waiter and he suggested something from the menu. What did you think? I would read and then order? Nah!
At night I went to marine drive and called my mom. She has never been to Mumbai and I showed her where I was and how the lights shone somewhere far in the sea. I will take mom to a beach very soon, she wants to see an ocean/sea. I sat there for some time thinking about life and trying to fill the gaps before finally leaving for the hostel.
Next day. How about I tell you what happened next day in another post later?