Chasing the Rising Sun of 2014

First Sunrise of 2014 -Mumbai
When I see the Sun rising over the ocean, on the first morning of the New Year-it is as if I am seeing a whole year unfolding right in front of my eyes. And those rays of light fill me with abundant energy to last the whole year .And since quite a few of you miss it, I shoot it EVERY year-since past 7-8 years- to show you- how beautiful the new year ahead is going to be.
Have a great New Year my friends and if you have the patience- read on below how I managed to get it.

Gateway of India welcomes the first rays of 2014
Time line
5.45am – The alarm rings. I have barely slept 2 hours and my back is still hurting. Last two days the lower disc has been troubling again. Myospaz in the night didn’t really help. I think I would skip this year. Probably my guy is still sleeping and the driver won’t turn up. I close my eyes.
 5.50am- My guy walks in with a cup of tea. He tells me he has already prepared the breakfast and wants to know what lights to pack. He isn’t aware it’s not a commercial shoot but some personal pics and has been awake since 5am, getting things ready. I forced myself out of the bed.
 6.00am-Its cold. The geyser isn’t working. But I must take a shower since the plan is also to go to the temple after capturing sunrise. But I have always been quick to catch cold so am a little wary. Should I shave also? I think will skip that-God doesn’t notice the shave, people do. I quickly take a cold-water shower and step out. Even before I am into proper clothes, the cold hits me and I start shivering. I can’t even move, and I get this feeling I am going to be terribly sick. My guy walks in realizing I am fixed to the spot n shivering. I been standing already 5 min, not able to move an inch. He immediately wraps me in a blanket n holds me warmly for 2 minutes.
 6.10am- He gets me hot milk with a little turmeric powder. I am already feeling better. The driver is downstairs, cleaning up the car. For a change, he is on time.
 6.15am- I recheck the Sunrise time on net- it’s 7.11am. I have to go to Gateway of India-Colaba- as that’s the only place in Mumbai you can catch sunrise over the sea-about 40 min from my place in early mornings. In day hours it’s about 90min.
 6.20am- The driver tells me with a frown that somebody had punctured the car tyres, yet again.There is some guy who has been doing that in our lane, puncturing car tyres- I have even filed a police complaint twice. After being quiet for 2 weeks he was at it again.. The last tyre he punctured was lying in the dicky and the driver had forgotten to fix it. I want to kill someone. Scream. Kick ass. So I got two flat tyres now and Sunrise just about 40min away.
But It’s the first day of New Year, I must keep calm. I tell my boy to find an auto rickshaw.I start feeling cold again in rick-shaw, n my back is hurting more, so I ask him to drop to a taxi.
 6.35am-Three of the 4 taxi guys, sleeping in their cars,have already refused to go. I explain to the fourth one that it’s very important for me to shoot the sunrise and reach Colaba. He looks at me incredulously asking why it is important to shoot the sunrise? I have no answer. He agrees after a bit of persuasion.
 6.40am- finally I am leaving Oshiwara circle for Colaba. I am going to miss it for sure. The driver has already told me he wasn’t going to speed as his cab had been troubling. Hmm. That’s all I need to know now.
 7.04am-Reached sea link and paying the toll tax. He is a good driver and quite talkative too. He has already squeezed in half his life story in 25min.  The sky is very dull, I doubt if there would be a sunrise good enough to capture in all this haze. I could barely see the outlines of the buildings in the distance. The driver is telling me there is no way he can reach Colaba in next ten min. He is almost sorry for me. But I am not. It’s a truly gorgeous day and I have been trying my best. The air smells really fresh. I told him to relax. If Sun God wants the picture- then He will oblige. I am actually smiling at the thought.
 7.15am- We are crossing Haji Ali. It’s appearing to be peaceful and beautiful. I notice that the sky has already started changing the color. The Sun would be up any moment or may be already is. It doesn’t matter so much now. You can’t fight certain things. You can only make an effort.
 7.19am –I am at Marine Drive. People in town are surely health conscious. They are up and running already. There are lots of youngsters in groups. I realize quite a few of them have partied through the night. No one walks there all so smartly dressed up.
 7.25am- I am opp the Taj Hotel. What a beautiful Sun rise. Before I take the first picture, I silently pray in my heart...admire the scenic beauty. I have missed the first rays but I am in time to capture it in its full glory...on the rise. I am told the Sunrise happened a little late today. Last two years it has been very hazy n cloudy, but today it was very clear, the clouds adding drama n the rays filtering n spreading across the skies through them. 

 7.35am- I am carrying water with me to offer to the Sun. My mother does it everyday. I pray a few minutes. A group of woman walks to me asking if I want the photograph of the first rays? They have shot it on their ipad and they are all grinning with that sense of accomplishment. I politely refuse and thank them. But i check their pics n make sure to tell them they were beautiful. It made them quite happy.
 7.40am- I am finally done with the few shots I wanted. I walk up to the Gateway, to take chanas to feed the pigeons. The guy recognizes me and keeps handing over packets after packets. By the time I am done he has earned his 100Rs from me as against the 20Rs I wanted to spend.
 8.02am- Finally we leave for the Shani Temple at Juhu. My favorite.
 8.40am- The temple is relatively quiet and empty. I do my prayers, and ask God for forgiveness for whatever wrongs I have done. I think I can see the Gods smiling- assuring me of a great year ahead.
 9.00am- I am back home and super hungry. And excited to post the picture. The inbox is already filled up with messages asking if I would be posting the first Sunrise.
The taxi bill is Rs 1300/-. What? 1300???? I can book a taxi for full day in that amount. I want to argue. But it’s ok I guess.
 I know it’s going to be a good year. I can feel it in my bones. Already everyone getting what they want. That jerk wanted to trouble, so he managed to puncture the car. The pigeon- guy earned his 100Rs and the taxi guy his 1300Rs.  And I got my Sunrise shot in spite of everything and visited the temple on the first morning of the new year.
Everybody wants to capture the Sunrise.
All this effort and money spent just to shoot a Sunrise? Na. It was to do something I believed in and wanted to do. If no one else-it would make my mother happy that I woke up early and went to the temple on the new year. :D
 Happy New Year once again.
*The images have been treated a bit differently to give different feel.


Anuradha Prasad said…
Right now I learnt what to do on a newyears morn...I will follow suit next year. Thanks for this wonderful write up
Walla kya baat hai talanji...aap mauka kabhi chodte nahi hum sabko khush karneka
Aparna said…
Superb...Amazing..Wonderful..!! Thank you for sharing..!!
Mayur said…
Awesome clicks Bhai ji.. each one is better than the other one... can't decide which one is the best
rainboy said…
beautiful pictures sir and the way tell the story is amazing :)

hope you have a lovely year.

mohitagrawal89 said…
very interesting story