this morning we went for a jog along marine drive. we arrived before sunrise, when the sky was just beginning to lighten and the air still had a chill to it. as we ran the sky turned from a hazy grey to pink to blue and the back of the air india building was awash with colour. i only made it halfway before having to walk and K carried on ahead to chowpatty. the air is still fresh and cool and slightly bracing in the mornings, through our ‘winter’ is surely over now. everyone enjoyed the 3 weeks of wearing sweaters and socks in the evenings – i wore shoes and socks everyday for the first time ever in Mumbai, and quite enjoyed it. the smog is still there, the layer of dirt that hangs over mumbai and from marine drive looks like it envelopes malabar hill. the new apartment building at the end is only thing tall enough to peep through the top of the haze and the windows of its upper storeys sparkle and glitter as the sun rises.
the laughing club were there as always, warming with deep ho ho ho’s and ha ha ha’s; old men in white dhoties and starched white shirts were gathered to talk politics and grandchildren; a woman in a bright red chiffon sari, clanging gold bangles, kohl and lipstick strode past, her look only ruined by shiny white running shoes; the chaiwalla carried his steaming jug of hot tea and called out for customers ‘chai garam cha-iiii, chai garam cha-iiiii’; the street dogs stayed curled under the trees, enjoying their warm spots and ignoring the hunger in their bellies while the crows angrily searched the gutters for breakfast.
I walked back to the car and at the Hilton hotel flight attendants were boarding a bus while the Gucci store was getting it’s morning window wash. A treadmill jogger was framed in a 3rd floor window, watching the comings and going below him and enjoying the airconditioning of the hotel gym.
And now the sun was up, the air warming quickly. K arrived back, sweaty and panting and it was time to head home and get ready for the day ahead.