Sailing at Gateway of India: Reset with Mumbai sunset

Why I love the sunset sailing experience at Gateway Of India, Mumbai

Living in Mumbai- The city of dreams seems filmy and dreamy but it’s easy to get lost in the city. The fast-paced life, the chaos of everyday hustle, traffic, maddening crowd makes one forget the simple joys of life at times. How many times do you pause in your own city to enjoy the sunset ? Many of us won’t even get to leave our offices before 8 pm 😉

I am a sunset lover, I crave for sunsets. I travel away from the city at times only to watch a beautiful sunset. If you are a sunset lover you will understand what I mean. My first true romance with Mumbai sunset at Gateway began in 2016 when I went sailing there for the first time. I usually love new experiences and don’t repeat them, but I sailed thrice at Gateway of India. Everytime it fills me with joy and love for the city; Makes me fall in love with my own city again.

The first time I witnessed a peaceful sunset in town- 2016

What makes this experience so special ?

Picnic Feels: For someone who doesn’t stay in South Mumbai, reaching Gateway itself makes you nostalgic and reminds you of all the times you have come there for Mumbai Darshan, for taking a ferry to Elephanta Caves or Alibaug or just for spending a day in town.

Mandatory capture, Great Photobomb by the Crow

View of The Iconic Taj: The iconic Taj Mahal palace looks beautiful and photogenic even from the Gateway; But the view of Taj along with the sea takes you back to Old Bombay and its charm. It looks as if it’s straight out of a postcard. As soon as you take the boat from the jetty, you start bidding goodbye to the crowd, the noises and the chaos; Watching that is a beautiful sight and feeling.

The Waves: The sound of the waves is therapeutic, and it’s not everyday you get to soak that. Just get lost in the waves, with your thoughts and you won’t even realise how time passes. You need not need a beach holiday to experience this when you can be close to the waves in your own city.

Golden Hour: That hour when the sky turns softer and redder ! It’s a beautiful sight to watch from the sail boat. The waves reflecting the orange-red colours of the sky, the wind in your hair and if you have your friends with you on the sailboat, the smile on their faces, a perfect moment.

Peaceful Sunset: The sailing experience at the sunset slot (4-6 pm) is like a ceremony to watch the setting sun and appreciate it’s beauty. The fact that this can be done peacefully is refreshing. Those 2 hours seems the best investment and once the sailboat changes its direction to go back to the jetty, you are filled with “I wish I could freeze this moment” kind of feelings.

Twilight/Moon Rise: If you are lucky enough, you can get to see the lovely colours of the twilight. The after sunset sky turns into a beautiful canvas of hues and it makes you realize and appreciate the wonders of nature.

Everytime I go for sunset sailing, I come back refreshed, happy and lighter. It’s not something I can get bored of as every day is different and every sunset is unique and beautiful in its own way and a reminder that endings are beautiful as well, that some endings are necessary for a brighter tomorrow.

Important Information:

  • Gateway Sailing club provides sailing at multiple slots, sunset sailing is just one of them.
  • Contact: Jimmy Nadar, Gateway Sailing club +919987000004
  • The sunset slots timing may vary as per the season, please check with the sail club before booking

NaPoWriMo Day 17- Essence of Mumbai

Discussion on current hot topic

Some serious book reviews,

Helping friends take their pick;

Sharing one paper & reading news.

Enjoying cool breeze when it rains,

Cursing the weather on a sunny day,

The 7:09 am morning local train,

Captures the essence of Bombay.

Straight From My Heart,

Prakriti Singh

Solo morning stroll to PandavKada Falls

I left alone for a morning walk, on the self-extended weekend,

Came back with beautiful captures, adventure of a lifetime and a new friend.

It was a Monday morning, a rainy Monday morning. It was raining continuously for the last two days. I decided not to go to office, I was anyway a resigned employee with 5 days of service left and . Had two ways to enjoy Monday off- to sleep again for few more hours, or go hill side and enjoy. I chose the second option, I was in mood to capture the green hills too.

I started my walk, it wasn’t even a walk. I was strolling. So much peace , that too on a Monday. People were rushing to work, while I was walking in the opposite direction. The footpaths were slippery, had to be careful.

I was trying to absorb as much as possible – the fresh air, the green trees and the green hills.  There was a unique sense of freedom within me. Slowly I reached the first hill range, the driving range. But I saw people there, and decided not to go there. I have realised I enjoy my own company with nature. My solo trip was one major milestone in this realization. So I continued straight towards the golf course area.

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Took my first halt there, just for the view- grass, woods and waterfall. It just left me mesmerized. The Pandavakada falls looked so beautiful and full of glory. I felt attracted , I felt spell bound. I decided that I will reach as close as possible to witness Pandavkada falls’ beauty at peak.

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While I was lost in thoughts and excitement, I saw there was one more guy walking ahead. But he was comparatively walking fast. I was wondering who else took out time for a morning stroll. I gathered senses and then resumed my stroll. As I was crossing the golf course area, I could see myself getting close to the falls.

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All the time I was hoping that the entry point for the falls should be open. Many times the police and Kharghar Forest Department officials block the way due to the unwanted accidents that have taken place. Finally I reached Kharghar Gurudwara, from where there’s the  way to Pandavkada falls.

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I stood there for a minute, admiring the beauty and feeling the silence of nature. I was glad that there were no Forest department officials, and considered it as completion of first milestone in reaching the falls. While I was just about to start my journey towards the falls, I heard a voice from behind. It was the same guy I saw near the golf course, he wanted to know whether there is a way ahead and is it safe. I was initially reluctant to entertain anyone, but then I had already made my mind so I thought I should continue and asked him to join me. We started walking towards the falls. The route has undergone many changes with time. I was recollecting, the time when there was literally no way and we had to actually find one through the rocks and hills. Had even documented that in one of my earlier posts: A Letter from Mother Nature.

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The way seemed very easy but they say never judge a book by it’s cover. After just few steps we saw a stream, with a very heavy current; obviously due to heavy rains. We thought it would be difficult to cross it, but then we saw an uncle crossing it, he seemed so refreshed and happy. A villager was helping him cross. That gave us motivation to go on, and moreover, the smile on his face revealed it’s worth going ahead. Slowly, we crossed the stream and continued towards the falls. Pandavkada looked beautiful, in its full glory, surrounded by lush greenery.

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In spite of the commercialization, the place can never lose it’s beauty. Also, there were hardly any one enroute falls, as it was a Monday morning. Only few school and college students who bunked to enjoy nature’s beauty on a windy day. I realized that I was walking  and exchanging thoughts with this guy for quite sometime, but din’t even know his name. Finally we introduced ourselves to each other. Shanker, seemed a nature lover and an avid traveler too. He had taken work from home that day. But couldn’t stay at home. Read somewhere – If you don’t find company to go somewhere, go alone and you will find people like you in the journey. I could actually relate to it at the time.

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We finally reached near the halls. We could see the front view of the waterfalls. Stood there quietly absorbing as much as I could. Tried to capture it perfectly too. But some beauties are difficult to capture. You have to be there, experience it, to actually capture it.

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After few moments of being lost in nature, we finally spoke. Shanker asked whether I wanted to go further, as the way was hilly and tricky ahead. I instantly said yes, as is my nature to take challenges, and go as far as I can. But he warned and reminded me of the stream. It was about to rain, and that if it starts raining heavily like it was it would be very difficult to cross it. He had a valid point. It would have been different if we were in a group; and I feel grateful he advised me. So we decided to return.

Soaking all energy from the green hills and the vibrant waterfall, I turned my back to head home. After few minutes, it started raining. I told myself Thank God I accepted Shanker’s advice. Also had told mom I would be back in half an hour, couldn’t afford getting stuck. 🙂

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By this time, Shanker and I became good friends. Both of us are very talkative and candid in nature. We reached the stream, the current was indeed heavy. We took a long and thick stick, and used it to cross. We held the opposite ends of it, it just made it easier. And after few more steps, back to city.

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That’s the beauty of Kharghar, we can visit the hills too, and in some time back to the roads. Feeling rejuvenated, we walked towards home. I realized that Shanker’s  stays very close to my place. So we accompanied each other on our way back too.

I felt great that I decided to step out, and not sleep. The most spontaneous plans and decisions in life are the best. I felt peace that day, and captured some beautiful images and videos, and made a new friend.

Straight From My Heart,

Prakriti

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The Pursuit of Fitness- Starting small

Five kilograms in five months…she couldn’t understand the reason for the sudden weight gain ! She turned into a lazy girl, with minimum physical activity. All she desired was to sleep in her free time. She started her introspecting-Was it the change in lifestyle ? Or is she suffering from depression !? Maybe it’s a mandatory weight gain after joining office and the “corporate club”.

More than the weight gain, she was more concerned about the changes in attitude. There was nothing much to look forward to in her life, other than dressing up, going to office, coming back and sleeping, and yes plan for the weekends. She had promised herself in college, that her life would be more than this, more than just waiting for the weekends, eating out, posting pictures on social media and repeat.

Is this my story, or a close friend’s ? No. This is every individual’s challenge, who enters the corporate world, leaving behind the active college life. This is every person’s story who starts spending more on luxury and eating out. Moreover, those who fall in the trap of peer pressure or rat race or whatever you call it, and follows image management to post pictures of clubbing, drinking, exotic food dishes irrespective of realising whether it makes them content. There is nothing wrong in eating out, there is nothing wrong in posting pictures. Even my Snapchat and Instagram is filled with food and cafe pictures. What is wrong when this activity itself becomes the happening stuff in life.

I realized the absence of real physical activity, other than daily commute (which is not considered an exercise, as its routine) when I decided to stop eating out. I missed posting on Snapchat and Instagram. It also gave me a deeper understanding for the love of food I have developed. Connecting the dots, the reason I wished to sleep more and why I never woke up fresh for office, was the absence of physical activity and actual purpose of life.

Fitness by definition means-“the condition of being physically fit and healthy.”For me, health includes all physical, mental and emotional health. Our lifestyles are really messed up, which makes it difficult for one to be fit according to this definition. We rush to catch our trains, metros, cabs ; Missing the most important meal of the day- Breakfast. We feed ourselves with biscuits and chai most of the time. And we have late dinners, and then interrupted sleep. Apart from the lifestyles, there are enough crabs present in our lives who will keep us away from reaching our goals. If you haven’t read the crab in the bucket theory find it here.

The only way out is to take control, stay away from negative people and start small. Start from relatively easy exercises, and later push yourself. There would be a lot of inertia in the beginning, but once we overcome it, it becomes easier to continue. When I started cycling after about 7 years, I had no confidence at all for a long distance ride. But after the first ride itself, I felt so much happy and confident that I started looking forward to cycle rides. Then I joined Zumba, as I thought I am not a gym person and I love dancing. But yes, the challenge is to overcome the inertia and believe in the change you want to see. As nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says it will take atleast 6 months of eating right, sleeping well and exercising well to the years of damage we have done.

So go on, start small and follow the way to fitness. All of us are in some way, or the other in this pursuit, the pursuit of fitness.

PS-The next few posts will describe how I started exercising again in different forms.

Straight From My Heart,

Prakriti Singh

 

 

Kharghar Hills- The Unplanned Nature Trail

Kharghar hills signify the start of Kharghar, welcoming everyone who enters the node; with beauty at its peak during monsoon. I see them everyday, every time my train reaches Kharghar,every time when I take a train from Kharghar. But seldom do I go walking there, maybe because I am busy exploring the interiors and because of other commitments. I went there in December, but not during or just after the rainy season. Finally got a chance to visit, thanks to long weekends.:)
My friend Sneha and I had planned for an early morning walk, which ultimately became a nature trail. It is open only from 6 am – 9 am in the morning. But we started only late, 7 50 we were at the gate. People were coming down, while we were just about to start. The guard even warned us to be back on time, maybe because he saw Sneha’s camera or assumed we are lazy to come so late 😉

We started walking, initially at a good pace. Everyone there seemed so energetic and fresh, wishing each other good morning. The path was surrounded by green trees on both side. Our pace started reducing gradually, and then there was a time, when there were just two of us on the path !! We started capturing the beauty around us.While Sneha was capturing everything on her camera, I was just living the moment, and capturing everything in my heart. Due to monsoon, and even post monsoon showers, the flora and fauna were richest. There were  waterfalls also, some almost dried, and some small ones. Banana trees, Gulmohar trees and many wild plants accompanied us in our leisure walk. Crabs are very common, and keep running and side-walking throughout. Even butterflies, we saw so many of them !

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We were meeting after a long time, and there was lots to talk about. And the serenity of nature, gave the perfect moment for heart-to-heart talking session. We shared and discussed each other’s problems, and then ultimately left on a note that if something is meant to be,it will happen; We can only give our best and believe in positivity.

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The path seemed so very photogenic that we paused so many times for that perfect shot. The song “Tanha Dil” by Shaan came to my mind. I even shared this with Sneha, and then we both started singing the song. Then we realized that it was already 8:16 and we were not even half-way !! I told her to rush, but a photographer can’t miss to capture a place in its entirety. We saw a chameleon and she tried to capture it, but could not. We find them very fascinating, we discussed how it camouflages. In my mind, related it to life, how one should adapt to a situation, however it is.

Speeding up, I reached a little ahead of Sneha. There was a beautiful silence all around, and also the sounds of nature. The chirping sound of birds, the flow of wind, the humming noise of the insects and birds. It was so soothing. With the crowd of the city, and noisy horns we fail to listen the beautiful and diverse sounds of nature. I was lost for a moment, in the silence, in the beauty, or in my thoughts !! And then suddenly Sneha shouted, “Hey I got it”. She managed to capture a chameleon(not sure a garden lizard or a chameleon). Again, we restated, the power of positivity, hope and “if its meant to happen, it will”

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We reached the first view point, that time we realized that we have covered some distance and height. We saw some people there, resting after their walk/jog. It was a little foggy morning.

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Sneha wondered if there is more to see, and if we should go back. I told her to keep going, and it is worth it. By this time, all sweaty and drained because of humidity, still kept walking. We anyway had crossed the allowed timings, why not experience fully 😉

We met few villagers on the way. They seemed happy and content. I was wondering that they must be so used to climbing up and down the hill for basic necessities. I smiled and waved at them, they smiled back too 🙂

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Paced up and finally reached the end point. The point where it diverts into the village, and the view point. The Kharghar hill plateau was seen from there, full green and live. A better view of Kharghar, the entire node, the well planned one.

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Hence we considered our journey as successful, reaching till the top of hill. Learning so many things, getting so close with nature, spending quality time and clicking so many wonderful pictures. We asked for a lift while coming down, the driver had permissions to take the villagers, hence we were not asked any questions..

Let the journey never end…Keep moving

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Photo credits:  Sneha Panchal

Special thanks to her, contact her for photography assignments Contact Sneha Panchal

Contact me for exploring Navi Mumbai 🙂

Straight from My Heart,

Prakriti Singh

Gallery:

Life is like a train journey or Train is life ??

” Life is like a train ride. We get on. We ride. We get off. We get back on and ride some more. There are accidents and there are delays. At certain stops, there are surprises. Some of these will translate into great moments of joy; some will result in profound sorrow.”- Author unknown. There are so many life is like a train ride quotes. Many authors and poets use the metaphor of train journey for life. But for about 8 million people in Mumbai, train is a part of their life. Rightly described as the lifeline of Mumbai, it plays a very crucial role in our lives. We are greatly dependent on the local train network, few delays and cancellations, our life gets disturbed. I am one of them. I spend 4 hours everyday travelling. Everyday I meet many new people and the same people and my  train friends(a category of friends which only Mumbaikars have ;)).

From the past few days, I am travelling alone, which is usually not the case.  Everyday I observe people, interact with many and overhear many conversations. I have overheard many ladies complaining and cribbing about how their lives are just about travelling-office-travelling. By the time they reach home, they are too tired to spend time with family, or just there is nothing much to say other than the train-rides and office politics ! Avoiding both the topics, they prefer to sleep. During monsoon, many people spend even 6 hours travelling in Mumbai local. This made me wonder, is this what we Mumbaikars call life ? Do our lives have no other meaning than just travelling and returning !? Train is life for Mumbaikars ?

Its all perspective. Its like the glass is half full, or half empty !! Both are true, but it depends on the attitude, how we take it. Some things we have to accept and move on with it. There is no point cribbing. Yes, we travel , we spend 4 to 6 hours daily in train, so what ? You are not alone, there are 8 million people doing the same.
There are people who enjoy travelling, have a train group, countless train friends, are merry, discuss everything and don’t crib at all. In fact, motivate other travellers and give them tips too 😉

I would say that people who travel by Mumbai local are one of the most hardworking, perseverant , social people in the world. They experience life in its true form, every single day.

Below are some qualities which Mumbai local travellers develop and even master:

Being Social: They are the most social people in the world. They can start a conersation with anyone, and on any topic !! Moreover, they feel connected to many people too. Train friends soon become the closest friends.

Time Management: Their system gets tuned to keep track of every minute. Moreover, they will value each and every minute of their life. Even 2 minutes means a lot !( Had written a whole post on it – prakritisingh.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/managing-time-the-train-way/)

Multitasking: Listening music, reading, chatting, eating,playing games,these are some things which are done simultaneously. For bloggers, even writing 😉

Never lose hope: Even if one single minute is left for the train, they will hope they get it. Many times the postive attitude works a lot 🙂

Running: Its dangerous, but all the local travellers atleast for once, must have ran madly to catch a train. Well there are those who do this everyday too, in kareena kapoor and Shah rukh khan style 😉

Flexibility: Sounds funny, but their bodies remain flexible. Due to the crowd, they can stand in weird positions, on their toes, all the body weight balancing on one leg , their bags on their head and what not ! Also they get free body massage many times 😉

Planning: Every day begins with a plan, which train to take, what time to leave from home to reach office/college on time, and so on. These little things make them strong in memory , assumptions and ultimately planning becomes a part of every task.

Introspect:Many people prefer utilizing the time with oneself, to introspect, to ask answers to oneself, and some even meditate (only possible in harbour line)

The list can be never ending.. These are just some of them. So, if we see it positively, each day is a new learning, new hope for Mumbai local travellers. Are they really wasting time ? I believe nothing in life goes waste, everything teaches us something.

Ultimately, life is what our thoughts make it…

Straight from my Heart,
Prakriti Singh

Off the Track!

Something is wrong with me these days!  Weird things happening to me!  Or rather I am behaving weirdly….

Many things have changed in me. I don’t like the changes though. I am becoming lazy :-/  I get late for college everyday. I am the kind of person who preferred getting up before the sunrise, I believe watching the sunrise gives me energy for the whole day. Never in the last 3 years I have been late continuously for about 2 weeks.

I am a litte lost these days too. Yesterday I got in the wrong train. And now, today,  I forgot to get down, realized after 3 stations . Waiting at the platform for my Andheri train,  I am wondering what is  wrong with me!!

Another complaint I have from myself is that I am sleeping a lot these days.  Like more than required. I used to go on for days with sleeping for 3 hours also !!

Maybe I am just too tired being punctual.  Or that my exams were so exhausting that my body and mind wants to relax.( Even though I took many breaks 🙂 )

I don’t even spend much time with family. I just go home, finish some of my tasks and sleep.

I write less these days. There was a time I posted daily.

Maybe I have just entered the lazy mode after being in the nerd mode 😉
Whatever it is,  I will be back on track. I have to,  and want to…
Life is all about believing in oneself ultimately…:-)

– Straight From My Heart,
Prakriti

Managing Time – The Train way ! ;)

There is so much to learn,  from  every incident, every statement and many people.
From the past few days,  I am just going home to sleep,  college takes all of my day !! I stay almost 14 hours outside home. At times I feel so tired and frustrated. My friends say to get a flat near college and that I waste my time in travelling.

But that would be losing an essential part of my life,  most of my inspirational thoughts for writing arrise while I am travelling!  And I am not the only one who travels so much,  there are so many of them. I see so many working women and house wives in train everyday,  they have so many responsibilities . When they can,  why I can’t! Most of my introspection happens while travelling . My homework and assignments are completed in train too. It’s like the buffer time for me, whatever I couldn’t do I will finish in that time.

Life is all about believing in oneself,  and I believe I will manage everything . Afterall,  being an MBA student , I should know and practice Time Management 😉 🙂

Let the Music Play..

Music,  it’s an integral part of our lives,  knowingly or unknowingly. For some it’s a part of their daily routine,  for some music is everything and their life revolves around it, for some it’s a stress buster, or just a perfect company .

Right now,  I am travelling, on my way to college. I missed my regular direct train.  It is really annoying to miss direct ones. Particularly when it passes before your eyes and you can do nothing but regret !!
I have so many friends in train,  that the daily commute of one and a half hour seems nothing to me.
The same journey seems a pain when I am alone. !!

But I have my friends , my earphones and music.  I know when no one is there,  they are one to keep me entertained,  to delight me and even inspire at times.( Like it did this morning 🙂 )
  I look around in the train,  and I see everyone in my compartment is listening music !!  I see few heads nodding also while others are sleeping. 😉 🙂

Just plug in and forget the morning blues,  well that’s what every Mumbaikar does. I just got down at the station from where I have to change my train,  and I see almost every third person on the platform with earphones / headphones.

Well music is every traveller’s love.  Nature is very musical too.  There is music in the chirping of birds,  in the rain drops,  and all other sounds which can make your life musical. 

So go on , enjoy the music, use it in any way which suits you. Set up your mood,  as it is said that the kind of music you listen can influence your mood or majority chose the genre according to time,  mood and place.

Good Morning and. Have a great musical start of the day.  🙂

I just did 😉

– Straight From My Heart, 
Prakriti

A Memorable Sunday

Yesterday was a day filled with emotions,  of all kinds,  happiness, anxiety,  joy,  sadness,  madness and what not. After a hectic first week of my fourth-year,  Sunday seemed so refreshing. It was an awaited weekend, but I never knew it would be so relaxing, in all ways.

It was the best chaddhi buddies ( childhood friends) meet . My dearest childhood friend, is going to the US for her masters. We had planned a surprise farewell for her. She had no idea about who all are coming. We initially celebrated it the traditional way,  like all our childhood birthday parties used to be with cake, chips and chocolates 🙂 It reminded us of all the old parties 😉

Then we talked about all the crazy games we played,  some of the most memorable events, and other things like Pokemon 😉 I even gifted her a Pikachu tshirt painted by myself

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As kids we always wondered that when we will grow up,  be in separate parts of the world,  will we be friends forever. Yes we remained friends,  20 years of friendship,  as old as we are.

Times have changed now,  from playing all day,  now we discuss about our future,  our problems, and other serious stuff. But I am sure,  our friendship would be as beautiful as it had been in the other phases of our friendship.

Whatever happens,  the brilliant innocence we have when we all are together will always remain with us.  Somethings never change… Rightly said 😉

– Straight from My heart, 
Prakriti