Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Nothing compares sitting by the sea on a hot summer evening. Summers in the city are gruelling but the interplay of differential pressures over sea and land in the evening makes up for everything. The evening breeze blows when the land cools down, while the water is still warm and as a result wind blows towards the sea. It’s a beautiful time to be by the seashore, to feel the wind ruffle your hair and cool your back as you watch the setting sun. 

At the Carter Road coast, which is soon going to become a different beast, thanks to the coastal road, there was a silence before the storm. Everyone was unwinding at this hour. Even the birds. It was low tide and shallow pools of water left behind by the retreating sea had become personal pools for the birds. I saw sandpipers walk along the edge foraging for food. Their classic twerk making it easy to spot them. Small crabs scuttled about and occasionally a shrew darted to avoid the predators circling overhead. 

The black kites, the apex predator of the Bombay coasts landed gracefully to join the ordinary junta of crows and pigeons at these pools. They dipped their beak into the pool and drank the water. I wonder how they managed to drink the salty liquid. But they had adapted to it or so it seemed.

The crows on the other were taking a bath, dipping into the warm water and then circling overhead. I could feel the droplets on my face as they flew past me. Far ahead to the north, over Juhu Beach, every three minutes an aircraft would take off. The skies were clear today so I could trace their direction as they turned left for South and right for North. 

The setting sun disappeared very soon leaving a trace of red in the skies. Darkness was coming, an adolescent cat approached for pets and some biscuits. It was a male cat, and had a tough existence ahead.

Evenings at this corner of the city belong to everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the opposite sea facing apartment or far away in a different part of the city. Here the sea and you are one. And the land breeze blowing towards the sea belongs to everyone. That’s the beauty of this city.