It was a Friday and I had official work, out of the office. The work got over by 4 pm and that was a perfect timing to venture to any beach within the city and watch the sunset. I and my colleagues decided on Queen’s Necklace aka Marine Drive.
Marine Drive is the 3 km seaside road in Mumbai City that connects Nariman Point and Babulnath. It’s a curved concrete road which has a natural bay on the sea side. We went to the part of the beach near the Churchgate station. Chawpatti beach is in one end of the road. We could have gone there, but decided to stay here, to facilitate easier return via train.
It has beautiful short wall beside which is filled with people waiting to enjoy a beautiful, peaceful sunset. We sat there on the wall and that was such a beautiful experience. With my crush for secluded beaches, a beach like this one in the midst of the city was rather different experience.
The seaside of the wall has several concrete rocks to prevent the waves from splashing in. There were quite a few eagles sitting on the rocks deeper in the sea. There were these playful kittens which tried their hand in jumping from one rock to another and playing and their mother trying its level best to control and take care of them. Watching them play, I didn’t know when the dusk began.
This is also called a Queen’s Necklace as it appears like chocker or a close-neck necklace of pearls and shining stones when seen from any of the sky scrapers beside, at night. Thanks to the street lights and buzzing traffic in this curved bay road for this exquisite visual treat.
We watched the beautiful dusk and started off back. Little did I know something else was waiting for me there!
Reaching hostel, I had dinner and almost retired for the day at around 9:30 pm when my roommates said, “Let’s go to Juhu Beach.”. I was like “At this point of time…!!!”. Well, it was esp. for me and another floor-mate (well, that’s a word I coined for someone who lives in the same floor but in a diff room in hostel. When there could be class mate, school mate, roommate, block mate, etc etc etc, why not a floor mate!). We both were leaving the hostel within a few days, coz I had a change of job and she had a change of life, hmmm.., well, she was getting married. So, the plan was to have a hens’ party.
She was in an absolute celebration mood with her marriage on cards, and wanted to sport a sari. But didn’t know to drape it. She tried but errrr forget it. I extended my helping hand and she got ready, clad in sari. We had to get out of hostel before 10 pm as per the rules. After 10 we weren’t allowed to go out. So hurriedly we got out and looked for an auto. 6 of us in 2 autos, we were off to Juhu Beach.
No complaints about the timings, Juhu beach was crowded and had at least a few hundred people even at that point of time. I had a second dinner with Mumbai specialty chats and a veg biriyani, a Juhu beach speciality.
We had ice gola – it’s essentially a stick with crushed ice lollipop on it with colorful sugar juices and essences poured all over it. The essence and color are our choice and a friend opted for a multi color one. This is also a Mumbai Specialty.
After treating our tongues and stomach’s well, we went and sat on the beach and enjoyed the splashing waves and night. This was such an amazing view to see the black waves bordered with ripples of white bubbles crashing on to the land, topped with a cool breeze, a dark night, and friends together.
It was 11:30 pm. The vendors were still on. Families were relaxing. Some kids playing and some kids sleeping onto mom’s lap. Groups of friends enjoying just like us. Couples cozying. The crowd was not overwhelming and it was not a solitude feel, as that would feel rather scary at night. The whole thing was perfect. The police patrol vehicle was beside to take care of the citizens. It was my first trip to the beach at dead night and it was great. Astounding, incredible, wonderful feel it was.
A local photographer was walking by and asking people if they needed their pics to be clicked in the beach. We so badly wanted, as we were parting in the next few days. We had a nice pic and ordered for 6 copies which would be given to us in half-an –hour. Of course, he had to bargain for a good deal.
It was 1 am when the crowd started to dissolve little by little and we too decided to get back. Took 2 autos as before and returned back and didn’t get to sleep for the next half-an-hour and kept on chit chatting and finally slept off.
TO REACH THERE
In Mumbai aka Bombay, India
By Local Train: Western Line – Charni Road, Marine line or Church Gate
Walkable distance to beach from all stations.
From Dadar: 10 km via Mahim, SV Rd, Khar, Juhu Rd.
From Andheri: 6 km via SV Rd, Hasmukh Ngr, Juhu Rd.
Nearest BEST Bus stop : Juhu Bus Depot
Nearest Railway Station: 3 km - Western Line – Santa Cruz
Dedicated to Sanchari, Anuradha, Rupel, Asiya, Mamta, Saumya