Brahmins and Boulangeries

Added on by John Fahy.

Mumbai, known previously as Bombay, is one of the most populated cities in the world and the financial centre behind India's recent (but wavering) 'boom'. Brahmins and boulangeries, parties and puja. Mumbai is a lot to take in. The old and the new, the east and the west, like inebriated dancers tangoing their way awkwardly into the same bed at the end of a night that got out of hand.

I was only in Mumbai for 3 days, and did not get as much opportunity as I would have liked to explore (beyond the comforts of Colaba anyway). There were the ethically dubious tours of the slums and a host of museums that undoubtedly smelled like 1759, but I chose to spend my time wandering the streets in an attempt to find 'the real Mumbai'. Giving myself such little time to get comfortable in such a huge city, especially without Marathi or Hindi, my quest was doomed from the start.

For the first time, as a photographer, however, I was showered with shrimp water in a marketplace where the women made it clear that they 'don't take kindly to my folk around here'. The following are a few shots from an under fire photographer lost in the big smoke...

 Family house in the heart of the dhobi ghat (place where laundry is done)

Family house in the heart of the dhobi ghat (place where laundry is done)

 I have no idea how they keep track of who owns what clothes but the whole dhobi ghat is completely colour coordinated and efficiently run, returning clothes on the same day if requested all over Mumbai

I have no idea how they keep track of who owns what clothes but the whole dhobi ghat is completely colour coordinated and efficiently run, returning clothes on the same day if requested all over Mumbai

 Once the clothes are wet, they are soaped and beaten on stone

Once the clothes are wet, they are soaped and beaten on stone

 Elephanta Island Temple carved into a cave

Elephanta Island Temple carved into a cave

 People gather to see an ancient Shiva carving

People gather to see an ancient Shiva carving

 View of Mumbai from the ferry

View of Mumbai from the ferry

 Birdman of Mumbai (not sure if this is his official title)

Birdman of Mumbai (not sure if this is his official title)

 This shot was taken in a clock shop..as you can probably tell

This shot was taken in a clock shop..as you can probably tell

 Kids watching a game of street cricket

Kids watching a game of street cricket

 Street cricket by on the promenade in Colaba

Street cricket by on the promenade in Colaba

 These kids were taking a break between boats, jumping into the filthy harbour water that was full of rubbish...still though, in this heat it was quite tempting!

These kids were taking a break between boats, jumping into the filthy harbour water that was full of rubbish...still though, in this heat it was quite tempting!

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