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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sunny Visions

Each New Year's eve, a friend of mine tries to coax me into accompanying her to the Juhu Beach, to watch the last sunset of the year.  I find the thought very very dismal.  akin to pulling down the curtains, signifying an end..

"How about witnessing the first sunrise of the new year," , I asked of her once...

"Chhee.. savere kaun uthega" she retorted, condescendingly.

The thought however made  residence in my mind , in my heart..   But where , in this concrete jungle of Mumbai would I be able to have an early morning date with the rising sun ?  That was the  question !

Sometime in 2013, The Bombay Natural History Society once put up an announcement for a Bird watching meet at the Sewri mudflats to greet  the migratory Flamingos .  I was interested. Could not join that group,  so I spoke to a friend.   He gave me directions to the place as well as a tip, "Flamingos ke saath Sunrise free, if you reach there at the magical hour"

Phir kya !!  there was nothing to stop me.  The husband was easily cajoled and we started out in the wee hours of a  Sunday morning.   Sewree Phatak, Sewree Jetty... it took us a while to find our way there and by the time we reached, the sun had risen in the dark blue sky.

I had dreamt of seeing the first light rays of the day spread across the sky....but beggars couldn't be choosers.  Plus the hundreds of flamingos made the trip worth every second of the sleep we had foregone.

The son, at that time, was a student in Goa.  When he arrived home on a break, we carted him to Sewree.  Once again, on a Sunday morning  And this is what we got...

After these two incidents,  the husband started acting pricey putting  an end to my early morning jaunts to the mudflats.

But he is a sentimental bloke.  This year he succumbed to my entreaties.......   "Sunrise on a New Year's  Day...Please, please.!!"

On the 1st of Jan 2015, the sunrise was scheduled for 7.15 am.  Suited me fine. Could snatch a couple of more seconds in bed.

That morning as we started for Sewree, the sky was already lit .  It was a foggy smoggy daybreak, dull gray skies.  When we reached there, it was high tide.. it meant there would be no flamingoes.   But today it was a date with the Sun, so I wasn't unduly disappointed.

The Sewrie Jetty usually has about 2 or 3 vessels anchored on each side.  The staff doing there chores.  The air smelling  of  oxidising metal  and oil...  not very pleasant.  But a few seconds and everything else phased out.   The high tide , meant a full sea.  Brimming with water... it gently lapped at the concrete edges of the jetty... thap  thap thap... the rhythm was soothing,  calming.  The sky was gray with not even a cloud to add a bit of colour.  The water reflected the same bleakness.

I got out of the car, camera in hand and walked towards the solitary stone bench there.  The husband was directed to a spot, a little away, to park the car.

And in a span of those few seconds. there  rose a ribbon of golden shimmer on the sea.  Dull gold,  which soon went on to don a sparkling shimmery hue.   Yes.. the sun had deigned it convenient to peek from behind  a cloud.  The smog had parted.

The game of peek-a-boo continued... Now I see him , now I don't.

But I was easily pleased.  So what if it was 8.00 am.  So what if the sun was a couple of feet up on the horizon.

It was New Year's Day.  and I had kept my date with the SUN.

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