Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Mumbai through Pictures

I have difficulty deciding whether to describe Mumbai more as a city of diversity or of extreme opposites. Each day I see slums and sky scrapers; walk past feeble, perhaps rabid street dogs and robust domesticated dogs; hear Bollywood and Justin Bieber hits; drive in a friend's A/C car and shove myself into a sweaty, smelly overcrowded local train; eat the sweetest dessert I've ever had in my life and burn my head on fire from chili peppers.
Below are some everyday scenes from Mumbai I've been collecting- I hope they help give you a better picture (lit.) of my life and the city!



There are hundreds upon hundreds of dogs just like this guy lying on every sidewalk and street of the city. During the day you can't always tell if they're sleeping or dead but at night when barking is sometimes the only sound you hear it's pretty frightening.

The swastika here is an ancient, sacred symbol in many eastern religions. In fact, I've met a handful of Indians by the name of Swastik.

Aah! Stop! That tickles!

Architecture from the British colonial period

Small Hindu temples at which devotees stop when they walk past.

During Hindu festivals the families in my apartment complex organize games for the kids, including this one in which they have to catch the jalebi in their mouths.

   jalebi (deepfried whorls of batter soaked in syrup)
Day and night people burn their garbage which smells horrible and is an awful pollution source

Celebrating the Hindu, spring festival of Holi with families in our apartment complex! Holi is also known as the Festival of Colors, hence all the paints and colorful powders... I still have pink in my hair!

As usual, Lord Vishnu, the Hindu Preserver of the Universe, is everywhere- in trees, on tiles in my apartment...


Sandpainting is done throughout India to bring prosperity to one's home or to create sacred welcoming areas for Hindu deities. While the patterns and sizes vary, each one is delicate and beautiful.                                                    
 (These gorgeous paintings have helped force me to watch where I walk, as sidewalks are not only scattered with sand art, but also with sleeping people, garbage, feces, dead birds and rats….it’s quite an assortment!)

Rickshaws/tuk- tuks provide fast, inexpensive, three- wheeled, doorless, erratic driving adventures through Mumbai's not so suburban suburbs.

On a highway toward Mumbai

I wish I could share a picture of the train from rush hour which is insane but I if I stood still in that mess I would probably be trampled. During rush hour hundreds of people try and get on the doorless train while the same number push to get off at the same stop. Luckily, there are all ladies cars; but just because they're ladies does not mean the ride is any less chaotic and sometimes, life-threatening.

A lion in Mumbai's national park. Unfortunately, it was sleeping :(
The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival offered exhibitions on dance, sculpture, painting, jewelery, films, literature readings, music and much more!

The Gateway of India was built to welcome King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. And in 1948 it was through this gateway that the last British troops left India, marking the end of British rule.