Amelia Moràn Ceja

Marine Drive: Haven in the City of Dreams


Mumbai is referred to as the City of Dreams. When you have a city as diverse and as poetically chaotic as Mumbai, and where every lane is filled with a dreamer trying to make it big, it’s only natural that the escape from the city’s humdrum and expectations would only be as poetic and introspective.

The Marine Drive, a C-shaped coastal boulevard in South Mumbai, is just that kind of space. It happens to be a favorite place for people to escape and find themselves at the same time.

An old couple probably married to each other for over 50 years enjoy each other’s company. They don’t talk much but they hold hands and exchange loving glances.

Right beside them is a young couple. They seem to have snuck out of their homes and were exchanging silent whispers in each other’s ears, occasionally stealing a kiss or two.

There is a loner amongst them who is just staring into the city skyline pondering about his family in a small town in India.

There are a bunch of friends who are singing and joking around with each other. I find a middle-aged gentleman jogging around the drive, as an upper-class socialite takes her dog for a walk.

The hawkers come around trying to sell peanuts to anyone who may be a little hungry from all that dreaming and thinking.

And there I was, sitting and watching the city bustling away in its mad rush and people from all walks of life enjoying their quiet moments with each other. Marine Drive at night is beautiful, the full moon only added to the splendor as silver waves crashed into the rocks. In that moment, nothing mattered. I felt a strange sense of spiritual cleansing within me.

The cool sea breeze touched my face. I realized I was staring at the cityscape now. The distant lives of souls I hadn’t met, stories I didn’t know, regrets that they’ll take to their graves, hopes that made this city the city of dreams. There I was sitting by the sea, watching, dreaming…

The past didn’t matter. The future didn’t matter. The world with all its prejudices didn’t matter. The otherwise huge walls of differences – of who we are, where we come from – didn’t matter. The silvery full moon was shining in all its glory.

At Marine Drive, there were people from all walks of life – all in the search of one thing – the hope to find happiness.

And that’s what makes this place special to anyone who stays in Mumbai.

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