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Transportation in Mumbai

Friday, March 16, 2012

There is all sorts of transportation in Mumbai. Traffic is crazy and during rush hours you can be in a traffic jam for ages.

There are e.g. the goods carriers aka trucks. Often very festively decorated. During the night our street is lined with these trucks while their drivers sleep on top of it.


Slums and streetlife

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Millions of people in Mumbai live in slums. There are also people who live on the streets; I have no idea of the numbers or percentages of those.

What I see and read is that in a slum, most people earn a living, one way or another. And they have some sort of roof over their head. 

I also see that even people on the street create a sort of 'home' for themselves. Washes are done and hung on fences and trees. People wash themselves and brush their teeth on the street. They cook and sleep on the street. 
Or on top of their big trucks.

I think that the homeless that are sick, handicapped, disabled and/or mentally ill are worst of and totally dependent of begging.

Taking a nap.

Mumbai: history, facts and numbers

Monday, March 12, 2012


Anja in Wonderland

Just so that you know:.....

Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra. It is an island connected by bridges to the mainland. Originally Mumbai consisted of 7 islands and was first inhabited by Koli fisherfolk.

Maharashtra used to be dominantly Hindu and that tendency is politically still strong in the city. Therefor Mumbai's history knows tension and conflicts with Muslims and non-Hindu's resulting in bombings, every now and then.

In it's history we find back the Portugese, the British, the East India Company and Britain's cotton industry who all left their marks in the city.

Nowadays its the industrial and financial capital of India and the place where Bollywood movies are produced.

Holi turns tragic


In my previous posts about Holi I already mentioned the dangers, particularly the safety of the used color powders.

The week before the festival the newspapers wrote articles about that every day. Educational, informative entertaining and preventive:

About schoolexams coinciding with the Festival...

Holi Festival 2012, part 2

Friday, March 9, 2012

A few days ago I wrote about the number one Hindu Festival of the year: Holi. Yesterday was 'the' day.

As I mentioned in my first post about Holi, we bought some colors ourselves in a slum near the railway. Just for fun; we gave them away on the day of Holi.

Chemical colors, I think. The green even glitters. Gorgeous colors, that's for sure.

Places of worship in Mumbai

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In a previous post I mentioned visiting a church that is known for  its unusual wax figurines to burn for sickness and health. And that I bought some myself. Well, here they are, along with some other religious paraphernalia that I bought. The heart is for my mum, who has heart problems, the jaw with teeth is for a girlfriend with jaw problems and the woman figurine is for the health of all my girlfriends.



Holi Festival 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

This week it is gonna be the festival of Holi, a religious Hindu festival. Festival of colors, welcoming spring.

The idea is that it is one big crazy, happy day where everyone makes fun with everyone. By throwing colored powders onto each other. Or, even better, mixing those powders with water, e.g. in megahuge water filled balloons, and then throwing those onto others.

Problem is that nowadays many of the used colors are chemical as in containing chemicals. The colors used to be 'natural', organic, herbal, made from flowers, fruits and spices. Point is that these natural, harmless color powders are more expensive and 'weaker' in color then the chemical ones. 
The chemical ones are way cheaper and available in the most fantastic colors. The bad thing is that nobody checks what is in the powders. That might be e.g.grinded glass or heavy metals. Very dangerous, causing allergic reactions, burns and even temporary blindness when it comes in the eyes. Next to that the colors are hard to remove after Holi. Sometimes even not at all.

There is a lot of talk about the dangerous powders and there are articles in the newspapers to educate people.

Shopwindow. Advertising herbal powders.

Crumbling buildings


Since the people in Mumbai vary from extremely poor to extremely rich, the housing situation varies as much. From no home (living on the street) via living in a slum to owning an entire private skyscraper and everything in between.

Also there is the heritage of the colonial era when the British ruled, which left the city with its main landmarks and some impressive colonial architecture.

One characteristic that unfortunately applies to almost every building, from whatever nature, is that they are all badly maintained, damaged and crumbling.
It really stands out when a building looks new, clean, whole and well-maintained. They are the little gems in an enormous city, to be found with a spotlight.

Here is a compilation of Mumbai's buildings: poor, rich, business, private, heritage, monument, governmental. 

Enjoy.


Earning a living in Mumbai, part 2

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mumbai is bustling with businesses big and small, as I already wrote in part 1 of 'Earning a living in mumbai".

Here are some other examples:

There is an area with gift items, xmas decorations, etc.:


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