A typical city

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Mumbai is about as urban a place as one can imagine. Cars, bicycles, trucks, carts, cows, people, dogs, cats, horses, motorcycles, scooters, and autorickshaws dart around in a frenetic dance that can only leave one amazed that there aren’t more – many more – collisions. The air is thick and the streets full of litter. My pictures cannot convey the whirlwind of activity, the noise, the interactions, the apparent chaos of it all.

Man getting a haircut on the street on Sunday morning. Nothing unusual there. 

In my last India post I confessed my fear of venturing out on my own. Maybe I would get lost and never find my way back. Maybe I would be carefully crossing the busy street, obtusely looking the wrong way for oncoming cars (I will never forgive the British for driving on the wrong side of the street). Maybe, while carefully looking the wrong way, I would trip in one of the huge potholes that mars the streets and sidewalks. I could go on but you get the point. The good news is that I can walk the streets and drive in cabs while being fairly calm.

Colorful Mumbai

Today I walked by myself from TIFR (Tata Institute for Fundamental Research) to Colaba Causeway. Yes it was Sunday morning so it was not as busy as it gets, but I felt comfortable. It was interesting to see people out buying produce from stands set up on the sidewalks.

Merchant selling produce

There was an army of workers, mostly women, sweeping the streets and walks.

One and many women sweeping the streets and sidewalks.

After a bit more than a month Mumbai is beginning to feel  like a typical city.


But I do not think I will ever get used to the number of destitute people living on the streets.

4 thoughts on “A typical city

  1. Beautiful photos and excellent travelogue, Barbara. Having never traveled to India, I especially appreciate being able to experience it vicariously through your post. I look forward to your future posts.

  2. Thanks, Edith.

  3. Anonymous

    I am especially interested in the Indian textiles–they can be so beautiful–also the ironwork. Re your last image: LA is not so different from Mumbai: go downtown to 5th street and it looks just like the rest of the world. Pamela

  4. Hi Pamela. You are right about LA but the magnitude of the problem here at least seems larger. Also, in the US we segregate poverty – not necessarily a good thing. b

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