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A lake in the concrete jungle!

Kasturi Borkotoki

The name Mumbai always brings to mind buildings, traffic and people! However, there are these beautiful nature spots scattered in between which take your breath away ! I was lucky to have landed in Powai when I first relocated to Mumbai. The name goes after Powai lake. It’s a man made lake surrounded by hills on one side and traffic and commotion on the other. That means you can be walking on the busy street and still be looking at calm waters with beautiful reflections of hills and trees. I made Powai lake and its shores my haven for the first few years. The painter in me couldn’t be delighted enough as I just had to walk two kilometres or so to reach a fantastic spot to paint nature! The lake has a garden and a promenade came up in the course of time to give space for runners and stealthy lovers! That’s not all, there is an angling club as well , so you can see tiny boat houses afloat in the lake which the anglers use to go out into the waters and fish in their leisure time! The fact that the lake is also habituated by crocodiles, makes it more interesting and gives a risque’ tag to it!

Sunday mornings I would go out to the lake front with my daughter and few friends , choose a spot and set up my easel. On the other side of the lake there are some famous hotels, which cast their reflections onto the water and at Autumn, the shores on the other side run wild with the colour red, as the Gulmohar (Krisnachura in Assamese) trees flower abundantly. What a brilliant site it is for a painter! I have captured those brilliant reds many a times onto my canvas! The lake shore is always full of nonchalant walkers, going from one destination to another in their business or walkers trying to remain fit. However, we would be the only painters or sketchers and people would gather around us curiously, pausing to look at the canvas and back to the lake with a puzzled look. More often than not, they would just shrug and go on. Some would want to click a photo of the work in progress, smile and go back to their business.

I once got a chance to sketch for an event held by the anglers there and was given an opportunity to board one of the very boat houses that I had been painting!

(Photo Courtesy: Author)

I went into the waters with a few other artists and the boatman to click pictures which we could paint. Once we were in the middle of the water, I casually asked the boatman about the crocodiles. He looked at me indifferently and said they would be around and if they came near, they would not attack unless disturbed! I froze in my seat. I was prancing around before that, crying out in glee at the beautiful spots . I looked suspiciously around the water and at the shore to spot any camouflaged crocodile and was relieved when we reached back. It was one of the most beautiful trips I had had though, right in the middle of Mumbai city.


[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Publisher.]


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