Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Friday evening in Mumbai

It's Friday evening in Mumbai. The sunset is spectacular and the temperature is just perfect. What could be a better way to unwind and reflect on the week than gazing at the Arabian Sea, while the world passes you by? Nariman Point is when people from all walks of life assemble, be it with a lover, family, friends, or alone. The frenetic city carries on behind as you seek out a cozy spot and people-watch. Or simply gaze at the 'Queen's Necklace', the name given to the section of Marine Drive lit gloriously in an almost semi-circular shape.

In the short video segment above, you see people of all socio-economic strata rubbing shoulders together and taking in the buzz. Mobile vendors sell beverages and savory snacks which you can enjoy without losing your spot. The sound you hear among the voices is the stiff but refreshing wind blowing in from the sea.

Mumbai is an interesting city of extremes. A place where within minutes of each other, you witness Porsche sports cars gliding along Marine Drive and underprivileged children selling you Nokia phone chargers while your car is stopped in traffic. Dire poverty and obscene wealth are both on display. You may hate it or love it. But it's worth experiencing.

If visiting, it is probably best to stick to the international chain hotels dotted around Nariman Point and Kolaba. That way one can still enjoy the comforts of a western destination, explore the surrounding neighborhoods which are rich in history and character, have access to various modes of transportation, and of course, be close to the beautiful Nariman Point and Marine Drive.

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