Whenever I get a chance, I try to walk to Juhu beach which is about 3 km from my home. The brisk walk makes good exercise to the body during the refreshing morning hours which are supposed to be high in oxygen. I reach the sandy beach which is quite clean these days with squads of cleaners put on the constant call of duty. I reach my regular spot near the coconut trees away from the entrances which bring people in. There are generally less people around that place during the morning time.
Mumbai is an epitome of dense population in India. While I sit there I watch people walking on the beach. The sheer diversity of people always amazes me. There are people who are walking with their sandals, shoes and even barefoot. There are rich, middle class and poor. There are some foreigners intermingled amongst locals. Even dogs are diverse. There are inescapable stray dogs of the city and the dogs which get love and affection of their owners. Some dogs are so fat that you feel sorry for the thin boys who have to carry them being in the service of their masters' houses. Some people walk fast while some walk so slow that it gives a doubt whether they are really there for the exercise. Then there are men and women in their fifties and sixties who congregate in exercise cum laughter clubs, the activities of which I am yet to make any sense.
Today one tall white man catches my attention. He stands near the tidal waters. He does not look here and there but completely concentrates on his Yogic stretches. People pass by him but he continues with his routine. With his bright blue clothes, slim athletic figute, it makes a beautiful site on the background of vastness of the sea, enough to make one want to click a photograph or make a painting by requesting him to be in that pose for a while. But it reminds me of my own Yoga schedule which I am supposed to complete today before heading back home. I hurriedly start on it.
After completing Yogasanas and some Pranayama exercises, I try to sit still, close my eyes and focus on the breath. After a while I start enjoying the sound of the sea. All other sounds which are forming the cacophony go in the background and seem unimportant. Its a sheer pleasure not immediately to the senses but going much deeper to the soul. I sense some people passing by. I hear the kids playing cricket and some dogs barking. All of these sounds are secondary. They do not make much of a difference while sound of the sea remains constant.
I want to hold that state of being for long but I can not. I open my eyes for all the things back at home and work are calling me. I thought I had to answer that call since escaping that would not be a right thing to do. I lose that concentration and start walking back to home while still thinking about the experience. I find that the challenge would actually lie in grasping that peaceful wave of sound at any time amongst the surrounding cacophony. I find that with such human density putting a huge demand of attention on you, it is going to be a very difficult task. Welcome to the new realisation about being born in India, which is also the birthplace of Yoga.