Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ahoy Matey!

What I love about Bombay is that there’s never a dearth of options. There’s always something to do to make sure you have a fun day / week / weekend. Pubs, bars, clubs, movies, theatre - the works. And sometimes you can go sailing. Yep, that’s what I did this Saturday afternoon. I went sailing.

My friend from work, Viraf, is a regular sailor – yes, that’s what I want to call him. He’s been doing this for years and has even introduced his sons, all of five and three respectively, to the sport. He’s been telling me for weeks to join him, so I finally did, this Saturday – as part of my ‘let’s try new, different and fun things in life’ plan. I invited my college buddy Danny to come along too, since he had just given his GMAT and needed a fun break.

We set off from the Gateway of India jetty around 4:30 in the evening, the sun blazing on our heads. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m quite scared of water, more so because I can’t swim. I also get seasick when travelling by ferry to Alibaug. Having said that, I have also jumped into the rushing and gushing Ganga on a backpacking trip a few years ago – white water rafting, as it is called.

So there we were, cautiously stepping into a dingy that would take us to the sailboat. A few minutes later, I was grabbing both my friends’ hands and stepping into the motor-less sailboat that even has a boom! Kingfisher, as the sailboat was aptly called.

The winds were crazy and the waves lapped dangerously onto our boat. And yet, I felt no fear. There was no giddiness since I had taken a strong anti-seasickness pill that worked wonders. We were out in the open seas, the cool salt water splashing against us, the salty wind settling in our hair. We popped open some beers and munched on snacks as we passed a number of other sailors and literally sailed towards the sunset.

But the highlight of the trip was yet to come. On our way back, we (well, Viraf and the boat’s caretaker) let the winds sail us back. However, we were soon moving towards a giant Navy ship that looked daunting in its mere presence. Before we knew it, we heard someone call out on a megaphone ‘door jao’ (move away). The boat quickly had to be turned so that we could sail back to land far away from this magnificent hunk of steel. We were shooed away by the Navy! Uber cool!

Soon, we were nearing land and were on calmer waters. Right before we disembarked our dingy at the jetty, we saw a Dominoes delivery boy, delivering pizza to a boat. Seriously, anything is possible in Bombay!

The rest of the weekend was also great, with a dinner here, a pub there and a play to close it up. But the sailing experience was truly exhilarating. I felt the stress and pain of my real life melting away as the Arabian Sea ebbed and flowed against the boat. And all I could think was “Now, this is the life.”

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