Masood and I were out for some work in the Colaba area the other day, and on our way out we asked the guard on duty where the Gateway of India was. “Oh, it’s a mere 10-minute walk from here!” he exclaimed. So we walked. And walked some more. Until we were hungry. But it was worth the effort.
The last time I saw the Arabian Sea was in Karachi a couple of years ago. Never had I imagined looking at the same body of water from Mumbai. Facing the sea, I was thinking about leaving a message in a bottle and letting it drift away to the shores of Karachi, my birth place.
Maybe not. The bottle might drift all the way to Somalia instead.
The waterfront on this side of Mumbai is a very busy place. And very touristy as well. After all, the infamous Taj Palace Hotel and Gateway of India are both here, as well as other very old (but less prominent) structures. We spotted a couple of Emirati men – in their traditional crisp, white kanduras – walking out of a hotel with a couple of ladies wearing flowing black abayas. A local – a twenty something boy selling some handicrafts – called out to them, “Ya habibi! Marhaba!”
Notice that mountain in the picture above? It’s the Elephanta Island, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. There are tour operators nearby who offer a boat ride for 150 rupees per adult to reach the island. The place is famous for its cave temples. We chose not to go. Instead, we sat around and enjoyed the view with some mango milk shake and vegetable sandwich.