I was around Marine Drive in Mumbai thrice last week, two times while in transit and once to catch the setting sun. Here is a list of the people I saw and can remember:
1. Students chilling with their backpacks, probably there after school/college.
2. Friends and families clicking selfies.
3. Friends and families clicking the sea.
4. Young couples who apparently know Marine Drive is their only respite when it comes to spending time together.
5. A middle-aged couple getting clicked in the famous Titanic pose.
6. Pet dogs and dog owners.
7. Stray dogs and people feeding them/playing with them.
8. Runners and joggers.
9. People sitting alone and looking at the horizon.
10. Elderly people in groups, some of them looking worried while some of them looking ecstatic.
11. Taxi drivers taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of the sunset.
The most beautiful thing about Marine Drive is how it will always let you catch a glimpse of a wonderful sunset while, very nonchalantly, teaching you a lesson or two, and that's what this list is a prelude to.
You see, when you're around the place, you realise what an incredible equalising factor it is. No matter who you are and no matter how full this place appears when you arrive, you will always find a spot to sit back. And once you find your spot and look around, you'll also notice how everyone else managed to do just the same, as per their wants. It's humbling and empowering at the same time.
While the sea is the soul of this sometimes wonderful and sometimes excessively humid city, Marine Drive can perhaps be called the gateway to that soul. And while you sometimes love Bombay and sometimes despise it, once you lose your heart to this bit of the city, you will always keep coming back.