2006\nLiving on the shore of the Arabian Sea that stretches from Mumbai to Africa and the Middle East. Bandra, Bombay 400 050.\nThe city bustling with 20 million people (give or take a few 100,000).\nBandra \u2013 with a beautiful heritage of a fort, old trees, gorgeous school buildings and quaint in roads. Now crowded in with high rises, nouveau riche ugliness, malls, street shopping paradises, great eating places\u00a0 and bollywood star homes.\nThe rent today is as high as USD 15000.\u00a0 Per month. Only.\nAs elite as can be, but in a Bombay sort of way \u2013 where the city belongs to no one person or one class in any way.\nAt one end of Carter road \u2013 the road that houses mega stars of yesteryear \u2013 is a fisherman\u2019s cove.\u00a0 Nets, boats, baskets, fishing catch, tools and shanty sheds make up this cove. The people using this cove, are from the other end of the financial spectrum that Carter Road hosts. In any other city or country, such contrasts would have been wiped out with the power of money. But in this city, the contrast thrives.\nOn my morning walks, I had gotten to know master chefs and poets and social entrepreneurs. And also a few of the fisherfolk.\nThey belonged to a particular fishing clan of the Cambay region and had settled in Mumbai not so long ago.\u00a0 I requested them to take us out on a boat ride into the sea, someday as far as we could go\u2026. A date was fixed and we all arrived at the cove at 6.30 am.\nThe area is rocky and the boats were moored a few meters out. With the tide already in, we had to take little canoes to get to the boats and hoist ourselves into them. The maximum capacity of these boats seemed like 12 people, and we were 8 \u2013 5 of us and 3 fishermen.\nNo life jackets. No floatation devices. No radio controls. No compass. No devices at all.\u00a0 These were native fishing boats \u2013 belonging to men raised by the sea who didn\u2019t need any of these balance-sheet breaking toys\u2026.\nSo we went towards the lighthouse that is probably a kilometer out into the sea.\u00a0 The old stone building is surrounded by rocks, that are home to some white birds in low tide. And then we went beyond that. Seeing the sun rise from behind the Bombay skyline with the expanse of the sea in between us, was a new sight to me\u2026. no spectacular, just unusual.\nWe kept going \u2013 not directly towards Africa \u2013 but a bit northwards.\nOne of the men yelled out to look left westwards \u2013 \u201cmaamu dekho\u201d \u2013 Before asking what he was talking about I looked in the direction he was pointing at \u2013 and saw the tail fins of a large dolphin. I couldn\u2019t believe that I had just seen a dolphin. In the Bombay waters? And they went about giving me a matter-of-factly explanation on dolphins and their common appearance in the winters and habits etc. Staring in their direction, gave spectacular results \u2013 a blink-n-miss show of a whole pod of about 6-10 dolphins \u2026.. their movement of darting under the surface and out again for a brief peep, looked like they were frolicking and having a great time playing with each other\u2026. (of course it is more likely that they were just looking for food and moving normally not playing to frolicking \u2013 but my interpretation is funner).\nI asked if I could get into the water \u2013 but the fishermen dissuaded me, saying the currents are unpredictable\u2026 I didn\u2019t push too much but next time we\u2019ll find a way.\nThe hard part was to predict the exact spot they would resurface after they went under \u2013 since they were constantly moving. . They didn\u2019t feel threatened by the noisy boat motor and didn\u2019t swim away in fear. We watched \u2013 they swam. Time was now measured in the frequency at which the magnetising creatures made an appearance. The sudden bursts of snouts and tail fins out of the bobbing waves lasted for maybe 10-15 delightful minutes before they got bored and swam away.\nI had touched and fed captive dolphins in aqua-zoo situations but watching them in the wild in their own setting held a thrill and an undescribable connection of oneness.\nThe fishermen, kind souls who made this experience possible, took us back. They kept us in their hearts \u2013 and even now send me invitations to join in their festival celebrations.\nThe post Into the Arabian Sea \u2013 Mumbai appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.