The stories behind the image - the 'Five Senses' of India.
My favourite photo of Marine Drive, Mumbai
This photo is Marine Drive for me. It's not the usual photograph of Marine Drive, displaying the 'Queen's Necklace.'
It's not a view that looks inwards to incredible Art Deco buildings of Mumbai or new skyscrapers under construction.
Chowpatty Beach, Marine Drive, Mumbai
Instead, it's a view that looks out of the South of Mumbai - from an 'outsider.'
This photo reminds me of the sublime water, sunset and views from the pedestrian strip.
South Mumbai is my first experience of India, so I always remember it with fondness.
This image of the silhouetted fishing boat conjures up memories of all five senses.
Read below for a foreign eye perspective of the romantic promenade, Marine Drive, Mumbai:
The sight of the sea in Mumbai is therapeutic for me.
After battling the traffic (in the backseat), all the 'stress' melts away when I see the glistening sea, a calm 'friend' from the city.
And along with the sea comes boats and sea life.
The mesmerising circling birds, fishing trawlers and the occasional private pleasure cruiser pass by.
One of the many birds of Mumbai
Then there are the people. People stream up and down the promenade day and night.
I smile when I see large groups of interstate tourists stand on the wall and take group photos on the famous strip.
The locals exercise at their regular times. Couples meet there, and friends.
The view of Marine Drive from the Hanging Gardens park also makes me smile.
I can see the little strip of yellow sand, Chowpatty Beach, where the Ganesh festival reaches a climax for many.
Perhaps the new Mumbai Coastal Road project may change the scenery.
The first sound from Marine Drive I remember is the local train, which travels up and down all day just behind the main action on the seafront.
Then there are the cricket matches played in the various Gymkhanas along Marine Drive.
The large cricket stadiums are mostly silent. It's the small grounds where I hear the familiar cries of the fall of a wicket.
Those same grounds turn into wedding venues at certain times of the year. And yes, I do hear them, loud and clear!
And occasionally, late at night or early morning, there is almost the sound of silence in this southern part of the metropolis.
Two words - Strawberries and cream!
Yes, I did visit the famous Bachelorr's at Chowpatty on the side of the road, and yes, I became addicted.
The famous food stall has been operating since the 1930s - so it's not just me!
The simple, two-ingredient tasting pleasure explains so much about food in India.
Things taste better here - the fresh ingredients are the reason!
And while we are on the subject of addictive dairy products, another gem found just off Marine Drive is the New Kulfi Centre.
Another long-standing Mumbai business, the line of continuous customers speaks for itself.
A man in the shopfront tells me that the kulfi is sometimes shipped via train to customers in Delhi.
See, it's not just me who's addicted ...
Two distinct smells remind me of Marine Drive.
The first is the unmistakable salty air of the sea. Slightly stronger at certain times of the year.
But as someone who grew up sailing and enjoys the water, it's one of the best smells in the world.
The second is the food smells that waft from Pizza by the Bay. I first went to this seafront venue when it was known as 'Jazz by the Bay' more than two decades ago.
But times change, and so do names.
And lastly (but not at all least) are the dogs of Marine Drive.
When they are not asleep in a garden bed or under a shady tree, these cute souls of the city are always ready for a pat on the head.
Sleepyhead from Marine Drive
One day I remember meeting a local who arrived from a nearby residence by car and sat on the ground, checking all of his 'friends' for health concerns, ensuring they had a meal and enjoying their company for a while.
It's one memory from a long list over the years. I could write parts two and three on this subject!
And it all started with the image of the golden water looking out to sea from Marine Drive.
Let me know your memories of Marine Drive. Comment below.
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