A Wreath of Humanity

It was a trip to Mumbai; the financial capital of India. The year was 2008 and Mumbai had just been struck by terrorists who had ripped out the heart and soul of the city. I was aimlessly wandering the city on foot, missing the hustle bustle of daily life that the recent events had robbed the city off. As the sun got off its perch and prepared to call it a day I wound my way to the Marine Drive. The Marine Drive is a C shaped stretch with a beautiful paved promenade off the west coast of India, opening up to the Arabian Sea. This section is lined with streetlamps that at night resemble a glowing string of pearls; giving it the name the Queen’s Necklace.
As the sun set slowly the final rays glistened off the rocks and the waves bowed their heads in silent goodbye, the Drive started filling up with people. Tired office executives going back from work, families out for a walk, children playing cricket by the path; people were scattered all over the promenade, some beneath the wrinkled trees that lined the Drive; some stood on the cobbled pathway while others simply kept their legs over the concrete embankment. There was a sea of humanity that rivalled the actual sea, one that showed the oneness in all the things that god made, when the poor and rich, old and young, the strong and weak all came together to view god’s creation and bask in its vastness. People baring their souls to the vast expanse a silent and patient horizon that asked no questions yet gave content to the self. Men opening up their innermost thoughts to the sea in the hope that the whiff of the salty water blow away their worries, lovers who sat together holding hands in grateful appreciation for this moment. Sorrow and anguish at the fate of their lives and that of the city gave way to silence as the crowd on the Drive stood in quiet surrender in front of the sea. I could not but help looking at this mirror of contrasts, two sides of the road having an entirely different world of their own, one with the chaos of evening traffic and the other a gathering of mortals singing silent dirges in the dark.

D Mathew

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