Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Walk on a Cloudy Evening

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.

Picture this:
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


Kapil said...


what a wonderful post ! made me ssoo soooooo miss Bombay in Rains - as we know the best and the worst of times in the city - but yes ! a walk in the evening on Bandstand (or Carter Raod for pretend-Puppies like me!) makes up for all the muck that starts flowing.

Monsoon is a time when Vikram Chandra's assertion that "Mumbai is a city that once you've left it, could make you physically ache for it" comes absolutely true.

Oh ! the Buttas and the coffee on the seaside broadwalk ! Beats even having the chaat in Karol Bagh !

Again, wonderful post !

Entropy said...

Hi Kapil,
Thank you for the accolades. :-)

Tell me about missing Bombay - have had stints in TN, Cal and Bangalore - nice cities all, but not a patch on Bombay. Am so glad to be back in aamchi Mumbai now.

Walked on both Bandstand and Carter Road this weekend in the rain. Managed to drag a colleague from firangland out of his house for the walk too. He was amazed at the torrential rain and heavy wind. And at Mumbaikars, so many of whom were out enjoying the weather on Bandstand - he couldn't figure out why people weren't curled up at home behind locked doors and windows. Said in his country this kind of extreme weather would drive people indoors for sure. These firangs don't know what they are missing !

I love Mumbai :-)

venky said...

erm, Zen, TN is not a city, it's a state. And there's no city called Mumbai. There's just one city on the west coast, and that is BOMBAY

Entropy said...

you anal retentive accuracy freak !
Since you insist, let me correct that sentence.
The corrected sentence should read, '- have had stints in Coimbatore, Pondicherry, Cal and Bangalore -'

venky said...

erm, Zen, there should be a hyphen between 'anal' and 'retentive', and a comma after 'retentive! And lest I forget, there's another comma that goes in after 'Cal'. And would that be short for 'Calcutta'?


Entropy said...

Go do some work for a change. Correct some balance - sheets or something.
p.s. Read Dilbert ? Remember the trolls from accounts ?