Friday, January 30, 2009

Mumbai : Sunrise to Sunset

Dawn breaks over Mumbai and the first fiery clouds reach out to shake it awake. From my apartment window, I look out at the Umbrella tree on my left and the tall Palmyrah tree on the right, silhouetted still against a brand new day.
I suddenly realise how much time I spend looking down at flowers. The sky is something I usually enjoy only at sunset because we have such flamboyant sunsets here. Then I decide that today belongs to the sky. So here is one day in Mumbai, from sunrise to sunset.

The spaghetti-like cable wires connecting every home to its daily fix of television, are also a great perch to watch the world go by. Or in this case, to watch it come awake.
Crows are so intrinsic to the Mumbai landscape that I just can not imagine this city without their all-pervading presence. Independent, street-smart, survivors to the core, and yet with such a strong bond of community ... I could just as well be talking about the average man in this city. With one difference. The average Mumbai-dweller is way more colourful and interesting, with stories to tell that would fill libraries.


A fleet of clouds sail across the brightening sky, quickened by a chill breeze that is Mumbai's nod to winter. They seem to bring with them the rumours of snow in Kashmir and the memory of glorious Himalayan wildflowers.

Also sky-watching with me is the Pariah Kite, nesting in the Palmyrah tree. Can you see its silhouette perched on the thick stalk of the fan-shaped leaves ? Junior is almost ready to fly from the nest and the anxious parents seem to be keeping watch almost every minute of the day. Or is it impatience at his dawdling that I sense in them ?

In the evening, I drive by Bandra Bandstand with its spruced-up palm-lined promenade and its kissing rocks below .
Why do I call them kissing rocks? Because courting couples in this privacy-starved city have adopted this spot as one of their own. True, there is no real privacy here but for a few minutes or a couple of hours, a romantic couple can evade intrusive stares and dream a while. The Arabian Sea swirling and tugging at their feet must surely add to the magic of those stolen moments.
Looking at the sky, it reminds me of those scenes in movies where the heavens open up and some divine proclamation is made to the awe-struck faithful!

It's close to sunset now and we decide to go for a walk on another beach about 20 kilometres away. This is the first time I've walked here as I always thought that it would be very crowded. And I thought that there would be too many fishing boats pulled up on the narrow beach to make walking here pleasant.
Well, there were no boats, I think they were all out at sea. And, crowded it was, but with such a glorious view that I didn't really care.
I think I've got my revelation ... I need to do this more often!

Do you like sky-watching too? See what sky-watchers all over the world are posting here.

52 comments:

  1. Very nice series of pictures. Especially the two pictures of sunset caught my eye. I think I wanna go to Mumbai ;-)

    Marit
    Norway

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  2. From morning until night, the sky is wonderful. I really love the pinks.

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  3. Sky watching over Mumbai was great fun with you! A peaceful day. I like your description of the kissing rock.

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  4. Love the bird on the wire. Great shot.

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  5. I had a hard time deciding which one would be my favorite coz every photo was great. So, I say..I love them all. Great Mumbai Skywatching..Thanks for sharing again.

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  6. Thanks, Louise! I hadnt really paid much attention to the sky at other times of the day and I was blown away by how lovely it is.

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  7. Marit, I think you will enjoy Mumbai. I cant think of two places so alike in some ways and yet so different from each other.

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  8. Tina, the kissing rocks make me feel like smiling too but you'd be surprised (or maybe not)to know that they are a very controversial subject for the local residents whose apartments overlook the kissing rocks on the other side of the road.

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  9. SMT, that photo made me think of a patchwork quilt with the birds as the stitches holding it all together :)

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  10. Hi Sunita you have the most beautiful sunsets in Mumbai, golden skies and breathcaking views. Absolutely wonderful.
    Kissing rocks how very romantic.

    xoxo Tyra

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  11. Fascinating photos. The orange hues and the seascapes are gorgeous!

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  12. Sunita: What a wonderful display of pictures from your day. From the pink sunsets to the fluffy white clouds. And the Golden sunsets are gorgeous.
    Lona

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  13. hello.
    nice shots and i like the one with the crows on the wire...
    have a lovely weekend marit.

    erin

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  14. Lovely pictures! You are right, one should look up more.... The sky is like the ocean, it varies all the time.
    Have a nice weekend.
    /Helen

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  15. Spectacular progression of sky shots. Very, very nice. Thank you!

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  16. i like the intersecting power lines with the bird picture :)

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  17. Wow, Sunita,
    What a beautiful part of the world you live in! I agree with you that the last view is worth putting up with other people for. Get out there more!

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  18. Thanks, Skies. I loved that photo of daybreak over at your blog.

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  19. Tyra, they're very popular among college students and among the 20-somethings who're looking for some time alone. Mumbai can be a very difficult place to find privacy. Not just because it is so overcrowded but also because it is still very conservative in many ways and dating is not something that is smiled on by most.Among the trendy, yes. But among the conservative, no way!

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  20. I only knew of the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. Thanks for giving me this peek into the 'other side' of Mumbai!
    It's lovely.
    Shailaja

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  21. Thanks, Kanak! Are they inviting enough for you to add Mumbai to your travel plans ? I knew the seascapes would get to you! :)

    Lona, thanks! There is such a variety of colours in the skies too, isnt there? I hadnt realised that till I read your comment.

    Thanks, Erin. The crows seem to be the favourite here. They're real characters! Those wires are their look-out point. From there they can see into the kitchens of all the homes and immediately spot when some food is left unattended ... and, swoop!

    Helen, that's a lovely way of putting it. You're so right, the sky and the sea seem to be mirror images, dont they?

    Pagan Sphinx ... what an intriguing name! Glad you liked the photos of the sky over Mumbai :)

    Now your blog-name had me laughing, Fat, Frumpy and Fifty! Especially because your photos show that you dont answer to any of these descriptions :D
    Glad you liked my sky photos.

    Floreta, thanks for dropping by. They look like a bunch of gossips, dont you think? Or maybe that's their own private stairway to heaven ! :)

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  22. Sue, for that view I think I can even put up with the really smelly fish that the local fishermen put out to dry in summer. Nothing goes to waste here :D

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  23. Shailaja, Mumbai is amazing! There is luxury like you've never seen; there is squalor like you only see in nightmares. People are warm, generous and hospitable ; others can cut a child's limbs to put him to beg. There are acres of buildings squatting on each other's toes; there is a huge widlife park with butterflies , birds and leopards.
    This post is just a look at one of the unimaginably myriad facets of Mumbai :)

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  24. I never tire of skies - and I know that refreshing chill in the breeze - it is welcome even in less warm countries like England.

    Lucy
    PICTURES JUST PICTURES

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  25. A wonderful day and you recorded it all. You are right it is beautiful to look up and see the clouds performing their daily drama. You pictures are very beautiful, thank you for sharing your sky in all its glory.

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  26. I really enjoyed the post and the photos! I loved the photo with the pink sky :) beautiful!!
    Have a great weekend!

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  27. Nice pictures! They all look very inviting... :-)

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  28. Once again, love your skyscapes! I can only imagine standing there in awe of your beautiful, mind-blowing sunsets! What a feeling of peace that must come over you!

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  29. Great Pictures and lovely prose to put them all together...

    I wanna go back home and see my city once again and figure out why it never looked so pretty in all the time I lived there

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  30. Sunita this was a wonderful series of images of your sky! I loved your sunset photo..glorious!

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  31. I have been to Mumbai...a number of times, I've loved the city each time. But the way you present it it appears far more beautiful than the way I saw it. It makes me yearn to visit the beautiful and ever so resilient city again and enjoy it through a different perspective...your perspective.

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  32. Lucy, that rejuvenating chill breeze in winter is literally the Kiss of Life in hot, sultry tropical countries. I love it! And my plants love it even more. Most of the Flower Shows in India are usually held in January - February for this reason.

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  33. Thanks, Trudi. I wish I looked up more often. Who knows what splendid displays I must have missed out on by now. Next time ... :)

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  34. Oh this is beautiful. Now I think I too need this! I especially like the one where the clouds have parted for the light to shine through

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  35. Thanks, Patricia. It is so interesting to see which photos are favoured by everyone. Maybe I should have asked everyone to vote for their favourite sky scene.

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  36. Kim, almost all the photos I've posted on Skywatch Friday feature our sunsets.I've taken so many of them that I think I can post them every single day and still have more left over. You're right, they are very awe-inspiring.

    Andre, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm so glad you liked these scenes of the sky over Mumbai.

    Hi Soul Searcher ! That really made me laugh. I had no idea that you were a Mumbai-niwasi at some point of time. I suppose we are so used to seeing people everywhere we look in Mumbai that we forget to look up at the sky here. Happens to me too all the time.

    Thanks, Naturegirl! Its good to see you here again. Sunsets are so beautiful, arent they? Here in Mumbai I rarely get to see the full glory of the sunrise because there are a lot of trees and buildings blocking my view. But the sunsets make up for everything!

    Green Thumb, I suppose its in the way we look at it at various phases. It is such an inexplicable city of contrasts! :)
    From your comments here and in the past I think you're long overdue for a dose of Mumbai Masala. So come on over ! :D

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  37. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Believe me, not only your caribean blood freezes when looking at snow. Mine does too. Maybe I was from a different country in my former life.

    Keep coming back!

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  38. Hi Shaheen! Isnt it beautiful! And to think you can see it everyday if you want to. Makes one feel really rich, doesnt it? :D

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  39. Hi Andrea! Good to see you here. Yeah maybe you were from India ...that would explain your former life too ;)
    Still if one really had to freeze every year, I cant think of a lovelier land to do it than in the lap of the Alps !

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  40. Those are gorgeous shots. I particularly liked the contrast of the palms against the cloudy sky. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. Hi Gardeness! I'm glad you stopped by. I know that people in colder climates may think I'm nuts but I love cloudy days. I think it adds so much atmosphere to the day... and a bit of mystery :)

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  42. Thank you for sharing...one of the reasons I garden is to be out in the open sky. Beautiful photos!

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  43. Glad you liked them, CG :)
    BTW, thats a great reason for gardening. I can just imagine the fun you're having. Flowers and fresh air under the wide, blue sky :)

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  44. Lovely series. The cloud patterns are so beautiful in every image.

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  45. Your beautiful words and photos just make my heart yearn. I would so LOVE to come back and visit India again. Such a beautiful, rich country in so many ways. Thankyou for a wonderful day in Mumbai.

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  46. What a great idea to do a whole day of skywatching. And you picked a great day for it too!

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  47. Thanks, Thomas. I didnt realise that the cloud patterns change so dramatically in the same day. It was fun shootong them.

    STS, what are you waiting for? This is possibly the most pleasant time (climate-wise) to explore India. So pack your bags and come on over!

    Marc, that one day cost me a lot of jokes at my expense from my family . But it was really worth it, dont you think?

    Thanks, magiceye . It was fun !

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  48. Hi Sunita, watching the sky is a favorite pastime. You have done a wondrous job with the photos showing us what your land looks like at all times of day. Thanks for a peaceful and enjoyable post.
    Frances

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  49. Simply beautiful photographs. And great commentary.

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  50. Those Mumbai skies are breathtaking, Sunita! I'd love to be walking on that beautiful beach with you, having a chat and watching that wonderful sky.
    Thanks for your beautiful photos and lively descriptions. It's the next best thing to actually being there :)

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