Today is a dazzling Sunday. Nothing really concrete was set up for me, but series of events which are mundane and yet unavoidable. The set up remains the same, midmorning is completely wasted in preparation of late afternoon lunch. Yes, I must admit that the lunch is very appetizing, rich in spice and different in variety.
If you have this luncheon you will not be hungry till the night.
It’s the diwali weekend and I don’t want to be cooped up in my house. I decide to venture out in the sizzling afternoon. Series of phone calls and couple of eager buddies in same situation, agree to meet up. With the blessing of our local train transport we managed to meet each other in an hour’s time from the time decided to meet up. We all felt religious, so laughing all lovely bum chums reach Sidhivinayak temple.
Once we reached there we had to choose from the screaming vendors, all marketing the same thing the other shops are trying to sell. We take our respective garlands, coconut and modak. We march away to offer them to our lovely Ganeshji. Once in the queue we are hollered to move faster. We are pushed inside the pew and just because we were holding the basket we got the benefit of viewing God Ganeshji a few extra seconds. We had to think fast, chant our prayers, collect the basket, get the glimpse of Ganeshji and all we had to manage in 60 seconds or you would be screamed at by the security, “Madam Chalo Chalo”. Only other option being come out and pray to your hearts content.
Now that we had our share of religious commitment made for the month or two at least. We decided to go to marine lines and chill out. Empty trains were welcoming us with both hands out stretched. I stood at the edge of the train holding the pole. The sweet cool breeze blowing on my face gave me weird sense of exhilaration. Though my act remained short-lived as my girl friends rebuked me from my so called brave act. Then just out of the blue I wanted to sing “underneath your clothes” by Shakira. I sang loudly with full voice. No I am not a singer. No, there were just my friends in that compartment. I was within my civil rights.
We reached Churhgate and all the beautiful Diwali lamps just made me thirstier. No wait, I think this would have to be blamed and guilty charged the humid October in Mumbai. We passed the infamous “Gaylords” and “Not just jazz by the bay” decorated in glitters and people inside shimmering with love and frolic. We instead chose the quiet “Baskin Robins” to cool us of the heat. Ocean was calling me and I had to just be there. Others joined me.
The pavement was completely crowded with people, beyond which I could hear the slow rumble of waves softly calling out to me. We found some empty space. My mind was clear of all petty things which I would otherwise ponder, if at home. Another friend joined us there. But I was already at a faraway land. You could say I was drunk with sea water. Around me people just kept rambling away. But I was not thinking nor was I blank of emotions. The colorful spray of crackers against the velvet blue night sky and with the soothing sounds of waves had absolutely captured me.
It was getting late and it was time to leave my wonderful friends the night sky and the ocean to play similar magic over millions of others. Reluctantly all of us gathered back to make our way back home. This was one of the truly in its sense a magical evening for me.