Juhu beach is one of the biggest landmarks of Mumbai to those who live outside Mumbai. It was made famous by Hindi films.
It was the focal point for tourists and locals to come and spend time, enjoy the sea breeze, have a bite and go back home. I often used to go there in my early days. It had quite a carnival like atmosphere with merry go rounds, slides, toy sellers, camel and horse rides, a long line of colourdul, food stalls which were buzzing all the time.
Over the years Juhu beach has lost its popularity, especially with the more affluent class. Malls, multiplexes, coffee shops have spring up by the dozen and have gained peopl's fancy. Plus a number of other sea fronts like the promenades at Bandra and Chowpatty in South Mumbai were given a face lift.
I went to Juhu a couple of Saturdays back with Kainaz's Mama and Kainaz to immerse the flowers from Mamma's prayers. The beach was packed with people as it was a long weekend. The fact remains that it is free and it is one of the most affordable places for family outings.
We then went to some of the snack bars. They have now put all the snack bars in one square. Earlier they would line the beach and you could snack while facing the sea. You get the full array of Mumbai street food here - pao bhaaji, chaats, paani puris, golas (sorbets), faloodas and the such.
We had some paani puris and I could see Mama quite enjoying it. He even had one from my plate after finishing his own! I have a slightly non Bombay, Calcutta phhuchka like version which has only the sour tamarind water and not the seet one and potato instead of boondi. He said he preferre mine. The hint didn't work... I didn't share any more with him.
I am sure that nice, spicy street food and the balmy ocean breeze can help one forget one's troubles...even if for a while.