Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Life Under an Umbrella

NikiD and I set out from college by 2 pm with an umbrella over our heads. Tup tup. Drip Drip. Tup Tup over our heads.The cabs drivers were being picky about their customers, leaving us standing like orphaned children on the road. Finally, after half an hour of abusing cabbies, we found one with a charitable heart to take us to the train station.

We got on the train headed to Dadar, at first being a part of the noise and later just sitting silent amidst it. I should mention here that we weren't just taking a joy ride, we were on a mission. A mission, as NikiD says, "To save the world. One coast at a time."

We pushed ourselves out of the train at Dadar station and watched some women fight to make their way into the madness.

" Which side is the beach, Niki?"
" Isn't it always on the west?"
" Yea? Why?"
" Because, Raveena, it's the west coast!"
" Oooooh. You're so full of wisdom" ( This was said with genuine appreciation. No sarcasm. Really, I'm just that spaced out! )

Turns out, the place where Uma Thurman trains her child
warriors is in Dadar!

We made our way through the cramped, cacophonous station saturated with the smell of rotting vegetables. The cabwallas were still keeping up their hormonal behavior, so we walked on hoping to find a cab on the way, only we never did.

With sore feet, we got to Dadar Chowpatty, which overlooked the Bandra-Worli Sealink and looked absolutely stunning. We walked towards the parapet, knowing that we'd find what we had come looking for. And sure as hell, there it was stretched across the beautiful landscape - Garbage! 

"Omg Niki! How can we clean this up?! "
" We can't say we aren't going to clean it up because it's too filthy."
" Counterproductive, that!"

Niki was as excited as ever to have found the garbage we had come looking for and I was left feeling appalled by the sheer amount of the garbage we had found. I was also bogged down about the idea of inviting people for a coastal clean up after having a first hand look at what it involved.

Niki and the garbage she's going to
clean up! =D
We walked on, looking at everything else the beach had to offer and finding amusement in all that we saw. That included a stranded pumpkin, some onions, a comb, a matka to cook food in, plastic cutlery, stranded coconuts and lovelorn couples under umbrellas. It was insane, all the things that could be found on a little beach.

Turns out, Dadar chowpatty is not meant for people who are crow-o-phobic or have the tendency to annoy crows. They seem to form the majority of the population, followed by the couples under umbrellas.

We walked on, seeming much like NGO employees with our Kurtas, Jhola bags and our college ID cards hanging around our necks, looking at the beautiful water that was oblivious to the garbage it hosted. 

We left when we saw a large cloud edging its way over our heads. It started with a small tup tup, drip drip, tup tup on the umbrella over our heads till it grew so loud that it drowned out everything else. 

By the time we got to the stench of rotting vegetables at Dadar station, we were drenched front and back. NikiD made her way to the platform where the north-bound trains arrived, while I went on to find the train that would take me back to college. College meant hot Chai and that's all I was thinking about all the way there.  

It was one hell of a day - seeking garbage, finding it, wanting to clean it and planning it.
If you are from Mumbai and you would like to be a part of a small change, you should come for the clean up, because someone needs to care and you have the choice to be that someone. 

Ross Geller: Well, like that, only instead of a chair, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of a jacket, it's a pile of garbage. And instead of the end of the day, it's the end of time, and garbage is all that has survived!


nikita said...

now i feel good. and tempted to write my own filthy-beach-trip piece..heehaha

awesome that you put up the fave: couple 1,2,3 and 4. and 5. and 6 under the faded pink umbrella on the rocks in the rain.

ps: this city wants parks, for couples. on terraces if nowhere else. :P

pps:where's the couples-strictly-prohibited pic?

Sam said...

Great photographs ya!

They reveal enough to be interestin and yet hold back a lil. The perfect amount! :P

Raveena said...

Niki, You should. Really. Write about all the drip dripping and the squalsh squalshing! :D

The post seemed saturated with pics, we figured I didn't need that one. It shall be for our eyes only.

Raveena said...

Thanks, Sam! :)

Aragorn said...

.......Bowing Low......


Bungi said...

This post reminded me of the quote that says something a 1000 mile journey and a step and all. You know that one i'm talking about right? ;)

Keep the passion going.

Raveena said...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"?

Ha Ha! Thank you! :)