Sea and smile
If you're missing views of Mumbai's iconic shoreline, the coast is clear to take a virtual shore walk
Ask Mumbaikars what they've been missing about the city, and many are likely to answer: the sea. Even if you can't head out right now, the sound of waves lapping against the corals at Bandstand or the many sea snails resting in tidepools of Juhu can come alive on the virtual shore walks being hosted by the Marine Life of Mumbai (MLOM) on Instagram. "In Mumbai, the sea is a constant presence. Since we wanted to spread some joy, the pictures of the marine life were a way to say that, 'This is still out there; don't worry. We'll get back'," says the digital outreach manager of MLOM, Sejal Mehta.
The citizen-driven collective, that documents the marine life of the city through physical walks, has posted two virtual tours — of Juhu and Bandstand — that can be found in the page highlights. Apart from archival footage, Mehta says they used entries from followers, too. Presuming that the stories will be information-heavy, we tap on the highlights to find that apart from descriptions of anemones, shells, underwater forests and other creatures, the visuals carry directions from the guide.
For instance, the Bandstand walk kicks off with wide-angle shots of the promenade, accompanied by text that prompts you to think of the musicians jamming on the stairs and the couples idling around. "As we can't go to the shore physically, we kept the flow conversational. You'll find us requesting viewers to be careful of the slippery areas, or pausing to take a look at the egrets taking off."
The response has been positive. "Apart from queries from non-marine life enthusiasts, people said they were just happy to see the sun set over the water," shares Mehta.
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