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Animals in Mumbai, part 2

Saturday, April 14, 2012


As I wrote in my first post about animals in this big city: they are everywhere. Cows, bulls, sheep, goats, roosters, dogs and cats....and in some of the lakes even (sweet water) crocs.

At first I could not figure out how the relationship was between the Mumbaikars and the animals. Do they see or keep them as pets? As food? Do they love them? Treat them well? Abuse them? And since I come from a country in which we see dogs and cats as pets and part of our family, I was especially interested in the fate of those over here.

Ofcourse I am no expert, but I came to the conclusion that on the streets, Mumbaikar and cats/dogs coexist. You often see the strays hanging around people that live on the streets and apparently they are being thrown food at. Most of them seem at ease with people, not scared.

Really as pets, (dogs on a leash, cats living in the house), I did not see a lot, but it happens. I guess that that is more the case with people who are better of in life, although many of the richer people want nothing to do with animals. But those who do, take good care of them. 

My friend K., e.g., took in a stray cat who is having a royal life with her now;-). 

If she sees a wounded one on the street, she will take it to the animal hospital and pay for it's care. At this moment she travels all the way to the hospital every other day to look after an injured cat.

And she, together with a few neighbors, are taking care of stray cats around her house. 
The other day, they hired a vet who was able to catch 5 stray cats to take to the hospital to be sterilized/castrated. K. paid for that. After the surgery, the animals are placed back on the streets where they were found.

A befriended couple, D. and S., have 6 cats and 1 dog, who live in their house and garden.

And look at this newspaper article about a neighborhood that did a lot of trouble to rescue a kitten from a well. I found that remarkable!





Some more of Mumbai's colorful residents

Friday, April 13, 2012

More pictures of people I saw while strolling through town. 

On most of these pics I did some post-processing. To emphasize certain persons in a picture or to highlight certain colors, I took out colors from the rest of the picture, or I blurred the background. I did not add any colors.

I do not have Photoshop, Lightroom, etc., so I use other photo editing software. For who is interested in the tools I used, here they are:

1. the photo editing tools in iPhoto
2. Picnik; unfortunately this photo editing tool has just stopped to exist:-(
3. PicMonkey; a very good alternative to Picnik!
4. Tintii; a color elimination tool.

And here are the pictures:




Earning a living in Mumbai, 3

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is my third post about earning a living in Mumbai. The city is bustling with making money and businesses, often very small. Sometimes just selling three potatoes and a cucumber along the side of the road.

Here are again some more examples of what I encountered while strolling through town or cruising it in a taxi.

Crawford Market is a market in an old Victorian Building. Like everything else in town the building is seriously run down. The market has different parts, like vegetables, meat and even pets and animals. The latter divisions I definitely wanted to skip, since they are not for the weakhearted like myself;-). 
And since there was an old guy forcing himself upon us as a self declared guide we went through this market pretty fast. Too bad, but the guy was just too annoying!

Fruits

Hanging Gardens and Tower of Silence, Mumbai

Monday, April 9, 2012


Amidst of the urban jungle that Mumbai is, there are green spots, like the Hanging Gardens. In fact it is not much more then a nice park with flowers and benches. As with all green places in Mumbai it is a favorite place for the locals to go for family pick nick's, strolls and romantic couple get together's.

The gardens are built over some of the cities biggest water reservoirs. It is said that the soil is very thin, and that therefor there cannot grow big trees in the garden.

Next to the Hanging Gardens is the Parsi Tower of Silence, an area not visible nor visitible for non-Parsi's.
The Parsi's are a small ethnic-religious group in Mumbai that have the habit of laying their dead in the  circular open structure of the Tower of Silence for the vultures to be eaten.

This tradition became problematic over the years,  when due to diclofenac poisoning the vultures decreased in numbers dramatically. With not enough vultures around, the corpses were laying around longer then normal, causing smell and other problems for residents living in the neighborhood.

The Parsi's then tried to find solutions like starting a breeding program for vultures and placing solar panels so that the sun would decompose the bodies sooner.
It remains problematic though.

Some people say that the Hanging Gardens have been created to protect and clean the water reservoirs under it from possible pollution from the Parsi corpses nearby.

Another thing I was told is that the city tries to persuade the Parsi's to gently let go of this tradition and take on burial.

Since the Parsi funeral grounds are off limits, I only have taken some pictures from the Hanging Gardens.


Banganga Tank in Mumbai

One of the places in Mumbai that I found very interesting to explore was Banganga Tank, a freshwater pond next to the sea with an ancient history.

In the middle of the water is a tall, wooden pole that is symbolic of the centre of the earth that Lord Rama's arrow has pierced, according to an old Hindu legend.

Nowadays Banganga Tank is still daily used for ceremonies, meditations, prayers and baths.

The pond is surrounded by steps that lead up to lots of small temples and to brick and wooden houses. A very special spot and neighborhood indeed. It feels almost like a medieval village in the middle of huge Mumbai.


Tango in Mumbai

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wherever I go in the world, I check out before I travel if there is any Argentine Tango there and if so: who, what, when and where. The internet and especially FaceBook is great for that.

Due to this, I already had some contacts and two scheduled tango-DJ-gigs before I even arrived in Mumbai, India;-).

Sadly my travel plans changed and I had to cancel the DJ gigs. Fortunately it was no problem to schedule new ones in Mumbai; cool! In the end I DJed twice and had a great time!

My primary FB contact was Kitu Gidwani. She organizes a milonga here and she picked me up when I was going to DJ there.

Her milonga is held once a month in quite a new place nearby my hotel: Cool Chef Cafe. 

Restaurant, bar and dancehall and party place.

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