One of the nicest ways to spend an evening these days is to go for a walk on Bandra Bandstand. There’s the sea to look at - waves swelling higher and more ominously than before, surf splattering higher and further - an array of Bharatnatyam dancers morphed into Kalaripayattu dancers by the monsoon. Then there’s the breeze to enjoy, mussing one’s hair and tossing it this way and that in pretty much the same way that it ruffles the leaves and blows the branches of the trees helter-skelter. All this makes up for the crowds and the sight of the thermocol and other debris that rim the shore. For the last few weeks, to add to the fun, there has been a group of people singing there every Sunday evening. It seems to be free - have never noticed anyone paying, and onlookers often join in when they know the words of the song. Last Sunday was even better than normal though. To start with, the group sang really well and they chose songs that matched the atmosphere, also Bandstand made just the perfect setting for them.
An angry brooding cloudy sky, not a star visible – the only colours in the sky are dark blue and really dark blue. A grey sea pounding away in the distance, its borders visible as a long line of frothy greyish-white foam leaping high. A long stretch of brownish black rocks between the white sea-line and the shore. Against this frame of dark blue, greyish-white and brown – two small patches of bright red stand out in the foreground. At the very edge of the promenade at Bandstand, stand two men in red kurtas, singing loudly and melodiously; their only accompaniment a guitarist, and of course, the boom and thump of the sea in the distance.
It was almost as though they were calling to the sea and the clouds. And the clouds applauded the performance when it ended with a deep roll of thunder and a downpour that sent part of the audience scurrying away and the rest jumping with glee in the rain.
What a great way to end the weekend !
Zenobia D. Driver