• Mark Hannant

Writers' retreat

Manoribel on Mumbai's Gorai beach provided a peaceful writing den.

My Bombay friends tell me it hasn't changed much in decades. Many have a story to tell of weekend parties on the beach. Manoribel has been a seaside getaway for generations of Mumbaikers. It's like Goa on my doorstep - without the tourists or the taxi mafia.

On a weekday I'm often the only guest in the small, unfussy, garden hotel. My day starts with a run on the beach dodging the horse and traps racing its 2km length. Breakfast of masala omelette and chai is followed by an uninterrupted day of writing. At sunset I walk on the beach as local youths play soccer and young couples have their pre-wedding photos taken by the sea. For this in need of solitude it offers a perfect antidote to the roar of the city just a few minutes ferry ride away.



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