Everyone has that one perfect day when they went boating in Mahableshwar or horse-riding in Matheran, when they sat by a lake and read a good book or spent hours with family or friends, talking and gazing at the stars.
And, in those peaceful moments, most of us have promised ourselves that we will do it more often, use our time better, cross more meaningful things off our to-do lists.
Now, with a TV-free day and all the extra hours that that implies, it’s time to pick up that list and cross off at least one thing: Take the plunge.
It may be something as simple as learning to cycle. Or a secret fear you have been determined to face, such as parasailing or trying to swim.
Whatever your secret mission or ambition, No TV Day is a great chance to get started on it.
If you don’t have a to-do list, try one of our suggestions: Go parasailing, horseback riding, cycling or sailing — all of which you can do just for one day, no long-term commitment necessary, right here in Mumbai.
You never know, you might even end up finding yourself a hobby — or finding your family a great outdoor bonding exercise.
“The best way to explore Mumbai is on a cycle,” says Raj Janagam, co-founder of NGO Cycle Chalao. “The city plan is linear, unlike cities such as Delhi and Bangalore, which are centrifugal and therefore not cycle-friendly. My favourite places to cycle in Mumbai are Kala Ghoda, Marine Drive and Gorai.”
If you want to be more adventurous and up the adrenaline quotient, go parasailing over the Arabian Sea.
“Parasailing in Mumbai is different from, say, parasailing in Goa,” says Ankit Somani, vice president of Drishti Group, which manages water sports at the H2O Water Sports Complex. “In Goa, you’re sailing across open seas. In Mumbai, you can actually look down and see heritage structures, streets and road. They make a really beautiful sight.”
In Mumbai, you can parasail off the coasts of Chowpatty, Andheri and Virar.
“It’s more a recreational sport than an adventure sport,” says Somani. “It’s thoroughly safe and people of any age can parasail.”
To really get in touch with nature and the outdoors, mount a horse and learn the basics of riding and handling these sensitive animals.
“It's such a thrilling sport,” says Rohan More, a horse-riding enthusiast who runs Japalouppe Equestrian Centre in Talegaon. “The horse is an intelligent, thinking animal that you have to gently find a way to control. It's like learning to say please in a whole different way.”
Anyone over the age of seven can take the introductory 10-day course, which covers the basics of riding and interaction with the horses.
If horses are not your thing, you can explore the coastline from on board a yacht, and learn a few basic manoeuvres yourself.
Book yourself a spot on a yacht for as little as Rs 3,000, set out into the ocean and get a sailing lesson, far from the chaos and pollution of the city.
Sailors say it’s ‘surprisingly easy’ to learn, though not enough people try it.
“It’s a relaxing sport that can be exciting too,” says Zia Hajeebhoy, director at AquaSail. “It sounds exaggerated, but I really can’t explain the feeling of being out on the open water, so far away from the city’s bustle, and having the luxury to stop, think and observe. Everyone should try it.”