I love beaches. Except that the beaches in Mumbai are mostly crowded, and dirty. It’s difficult to find a peaceful, clean spot for some beachside chilling. So when we found one across the Versova beach, the mister and I decided to pack our breakfast and head out for a Sunday morning at the beach.
The weather was perfect. The sun was still beneath the horizon, the tide was moderate, people hadn’t yet started trickling in for their morning talks, and there was a clean stretch for us to spread out a mat, put in a couple of cushions, take out some cheese, fruits and drinks, and enjoy that tiny slice of bliss while it lasted. I assure you it did not last too long. An hour, maybe. But that was a very special hour. We watched the waves come on, drank some ice tea, dug our feet into the cool sand. We saw pigeons have a moment on the shore and watched a Labrador defy her walker.
Morning At The Beach
Beaches are such a great place for people watching. People you have never seen before. A couple of boys on bicycles. A group of women in salwar suits and walking shoes. Two elderly men, one of them holding a newspaper, as they talked animatedly about the state of the world. A young couple looking for a private spot. A young woman with endless legs running after her pesky pooch. A couple trying to tell their toddler that the balloon seller will be there soon. You get drawn into snippets of their lives, for a brief handful of moments. Then they walk away, and you might never see them again. Beaches are magical places for collecting stories.
Keeping It Simple
A quick picnic on a city beach is also a great way to bond with your partner. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, romantic setting. It doesn’t need the bubbly and flutes and artistically packed sandwiches and gourmet desserts and all the elaborate paraphernalia that makes for pretty pictures, but kills the vibe at 6.30 am on a January morning. Keep it simple, easy and joyful.
Quick And Easy Packing
I was surprised to see how many how-tos there are on the internet to pack a perfect picnic. Since I was treating this as an outdoor table, I kept it stripped down, easy to pack, and quick to unpack and clean up. I had a small garbage bag, some cutlery, a “Snakeez” bottle to hold my fruits and drink, cheese knife, a small cheese board, a mat, a soft sheet and some pillows. I carried some flowers in a wicker basket for a romantic touch. And of course, some fruits, bottled ice teas, water and some cheese. We knew we won’t get much quiet time there, so an elaborate breakfast was not going to happen.
Creating Memories And Moments
As the sun rose, more people started walking in. We got some curious glances, and I secretly hoped that someone got inspired for their own morning picnic. Since food was not the focus of the setup, company was, we sat and chatted. Made observations about random strangers. Fell in love with our city all over again. Clicked some pictures. Ate a bit. Drank ice tea. Such regular activities, but it was so special. We had created our tiny magic hour, and we savoured every moment. I mean, how many Sundays do you remember distinctly? When you create something even as simple as a Sunday morning picnic plan, that day gets marked in your memory’s calendar. You remember the salt laden breeze, the coolness of the sand, the flight of the morning birds. And for a long time, we both know we will remember that Sunday Morning At The Beach.