The second morning at Vaashi was pleasant. It was almost 8 am when I got up from the bed. I felt I should no longer linger around with my last night thoughts or else am gonna spoil the whole trip. Certain things happen and you cant do anything, so its better not to sob over it or roll your head over such thoughts, might be some sort of escapism, but that morning, somehow I was feeling clear and good within. We planned to move into the city that day, the vehicle had come by around 9.30am and we started our journey to Mumbai city.
All cities are notorious for traffic blocks, but I couldn't believe it was worse to this extend. Every 100 meters or so , we got stuck in the traffic blocks and finally at around 12, we managed to reach our first destination- The Gateway of India. It was a pleasure to see such a big imposing structure at touching distance.Since some maintenance work had been going on, we were not permitted inside, but we could certainly go around it. I could see the pigeons around the place and some kids were feeding them, some people were posing with the pigeons. On the other side of the road, I could see two famous hotels, Hotel Taj Mahal and Hotel Taj Intercontinental.
The architecture of Hotel Taj Mahal was really wonderful reminding me of some ancient palace. We spent some time there taking some snaps. There was a boat service from there to Elephenta caves, another tourist spot, but unfortunately we couldn't visit the place. I was told it required a whole day to visit Elephenta caves.
Next we moved to the Marine Drive. This place was an inevitable part of many Bollywood movies of 70s. The place was jam packed with tourists and no wonder we had so much trouble finding a parking space. We got out of the vehicle and walked around the drive.The scenic beauty was awesome and the view of Malabar Hills from the Marine Drive was breath taking. It appears the whole Mumbai city and its pride is reflected in that long curved strip of land starting from the Marine Drive. We took a number of snaps. I had heard of Mercedes Benz E class running as taxis in Bangalore, but I couldn't believe when I saw a BMW and a LEXUS running as taxi, unfortunately I couldn't trap them in my camera.Almost after half an hour, we left to our next destination- Malabar Hills.
Malabar Hills is one of the very posh areas of Mumbai city, its told even a millionaire would find it very costly to buy a strip of land in this place. We moved into a park the so called- Lover's Park ( I don't remember its actual name). Once, I entered the park, I knew how befitting the name was. Every corner there were atleast a pair of "love birds"( I guess you follow what I mean by that) creating their niche there even with many glaring eyes around them. It was a kind of embarrassment watching them with my parents around me, but again I loved their presence, it was nice to see atleast some people find time for dates in such a busy city, It reminded me of those old romantic movies where these scenes were an inseparable part. By then it was half past one and so we moved to a restaurant for lunch.
Once we finished it ,our next target was Juhu beach. We moved through Worli, Prabhadevi, and Mahalakshmi areas and finally landed at the Juhu beach. It was almost 3 in the evening and thes un was blazing hard and strong, still there were hell lot of people, they must have been celebrating the well awaited weekend. I preferred to take some time playing with the waves, my mom and dad remained as spectators. Soon we moved to our vehicle to Dadar for shopping.
The road to Dadar was chocked with vehicles and we got hung at every traffic junction. I had my digital camera on my hands. At one of the traffic blocks, my eyes came across a small boy, probably around 5 years old. He had a torn shorts and was half clad. It seemed he had worn a cloth of dirt, bathing seems to be an activity he never got engaged in. He was holding a toffee wrapper against his face and it seemed he was peeping though a small hole made on it. When he was just in front of our car, I took a snap of him . He noticed it and soon came close to my window and started thudding it softly. I knew, what he needed, but I didn't have coins at my hand and I wasn't generous enough to hand over the hundred rupee not lying at my pocket.I looked at my mom and she started searching her hand bag for a coin. Finally she got one and she gave it to me, it was a two rupee coin. I just pushed the button and the glass was getting lowered, the eyes of the small kid was glowing with happiness. Suddenly, the lights went green, our car jumped off from stand still,by the time the glass got lowered, our car had moved a considerable distance. Once our car had started moving, I could see the thudding from the kid was becoming harder, he began running, but his legs weren't a match for the vehicle's accelerator, I turned back, I could see him crying, I could see him weeping. The car moved on and my eyes lost him.
I can't recall how I felt,probably I was more a frozen soul out of shock, out of helplessness and out of pain. We moved on , mom and dad went for some shopping, i preferred to remain inert in the car.
Finally we reached the hotel by around 9 pm. I took my dinner. The second day was great except one incident and that spoilt the whole thing. I wasn't worried because I didn't give him any money. I had seen many beggars plead, some of them children and I have turned my face off them without any emotion as if they were some untouchables or crap creatures. What pained me was that I gave him some hope, you don't get anything with a two rupee coin, but may be that two rupee could add to the coins he would have had and get him something to eat. I made him happy and within moments I took him to tears. It was not my fault, but still I ask forgiveness, for I played the negative role in that small painful act of destiny.