I live on an island. Well, seven islands. Tropical islands. It’s a fact most Mumbaikers forget. Just like we miss the daily magic of sea & sun that makes this equitable climate, the zen of changing/predictable tides, the bustle of being a port possible.

Curiously I find the water grounding. Sea & sun make for sweat & rust and they make one have to let go of all airy pretentions like unsuitable footwear. It reminds me of who I am & where I belong & the fact that I do belong. This is the Mumbai ethos, to define ourselves not by what we carry but what we seek & where we are going. I’m not saying this isn’t a different kind of materialism, I just like to think it has a curiously sea zen flavour about it.

This picture was taken on a city tour when I bicycled from Versova to Madh Island, riding three ferries along the way. Passing hipster coffeeshops, modest fishing shanties, pedestrian commuters & wide-eyed tourists, it was a journey through the varied tapestry that makes my island city. There’s an odd serenity about moving fluidly from road to sand to plank to ferry on water & back. Fluid, the loving daily life lesson for an island dweller.

I’m typing this while overlooking one of the many panoramic Mumbai sunsets over the sea, the evening breeze washing over me lovingly. All I can feel is gratitude for calling this beautiful island, home.

This is part of my series titled #BussKyaBambai exploring what makes a city uniquely itself & culminating in a Live conversation.

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