Wednesday, May 31, 2006

local pub

totos is one of our neighborhood pubs. its has half of a car hanging from the roof inside and hubcaps and license plates all over the wall. a great bar except that the music is always way too loud so you can only hear people if you yell. perhaps someday I'll get a photo of the creepy man with sunglasses who is always here!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

santa cruz girl

Its slaint again - still from the archives. This was an adorable girl that I used to always see when I was in Santa Cruz doing yoga. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 29, 2006

balloon man two

This is an old photo from last fall - I am thrilled to finally post. This was taken at a large central park in the city, Shivaji Park during a major holiday - Daseara (sounds like dush uhra). You see guys selling balloons around the city often - especially at large gatherings or celebrations. See a previous post with the ever popular large bat shaped balloon - someone must buy them, because you see guys selling them all the time. I love all the colors and the gal in the right corner is so thrilled!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

alternative transportation

It is not uncommon to see an elephant among the many other animals, cows, goats, chickens, dogs or horses on the road in India. I can understand in rural areas but I was very surprised the first time I saw an elephant on the highway in Mumbai. Today, this elephant was on a main road connecting 'town' and the suburbs - SV road.

I heard a friend of slaints actually used an elephant in his wedding baraat (procession to wedding site) - he wanted to be different. Traditionally in the groom's baaraat he rides a decorated horse and is surrounded by a marching band and friends and family dancing. And this all takes place on the main roads as they pick up the groom at his home and escort him to the wedding ceremony.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Could not pass up this photo! Even though his friends started laughing when I was about to take the photo he did not wake up.

He is a scrap dealer, they wander through the streets yelling "bhangaar wallah, bhangaar wallah..." meaning "scrap dealer, scrap dealer" . He will buy things from people's homes they are wanting to get rid of such as beer bottles, cupboards, televisions, newspapers, shoes, empty cans, etc...pretty much anything! He quotes a price if you like the price, sell it - if not keep your junk.

Wallah is a term, this may have been explained on a previous post I am too lazy to look back, meaning someone who deals/sells that specific item. For example - n. paper wallah, buys your paper, n. chai wallah, makes and sells tea, n. paan wallah - makes and sells paan.

Friday, May 26, 2006

cab art

1 Most Mumbai cabs, old Fiats (is that repetitive?), have some sort of text or graphics on their windows. This guy had the OM symbol centered on his rear window. The text mentions his guru's name and possibly his name - Sandip.

The smaller auto rickshaws seen in previous posts (tuk tuks in SE asia - golf carts in the west!) are allowed only in the suburbs. Cabs can go throughout the city/suburbs but are a bit more expensive and have a reputation for being 'cheats' compared to rickshaw drivers (drive you around in circles or the long way because you don't know where you are - yes, this has happened to me!).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

who needs wal mart?

OK maybe if your country/city has not yet been invaded by wal marts you will not get this entirely. [It is an 'all in 1' type of store.] Driving by I spotted this 'all in 1' store on wheels!

I have seen knife sharpners, guys who ride around on their bikes and will sharpen knives you bring out to him. The 'all in 1' store today is selling tape cassettes, will fix your pressure cooker, gas stove, clean bottles?, put new grips on your bike and of course sharpen your knife. He was kind enough to jump up from his work and pose for the camera - I think he had been asked before, he appeared very comfortable in front of the camera.

Can you spot any other jobs he could tackle with this setup?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

boat by the sea

On the beach at sunset in Versova a local fisherman is pulling in his boat. There were several boys taking an evening dip in the sea and in the background you can see to the south Bandra, Mahim and the Worli Seaface.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

jump for joy

Walking around the fishing village near my house, Vesave (Versova), there are small hutments built in a single row along the side of the road. The children were so excited to have their picture taken and this cute girl was enjoying her evening - a little physical activity! She asked to have her picture taken and was thrilled when I showed her the on screen results.

It is summer break for the next few weeks here in Mumbai or many times children would still be in school or transit from at 6pm in the evening. Most schools have a morning session and afternoon so students/parents choose which timing they will attend. The girl in the background has on a school uniform (brown), to my knowledge all schools require uniforms.

Monday, May 22, 2006

marve fishing community

This is a fishing community in Malad. Its such a relaxing area because the lanes are so small that there are no vehicles. Where I stood to take this photo I had the sea only feet from my left. This neighborhood is like a step back in time - then just a 10 minute rikshaw ride from here is one of the new multi-storey shopping malls! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

dadar snack walla

I love the snack guys! And this was nice because it had a rare black and white marathi (the Maharastran language; although this could be a hindi film and i just don't know it!) film poster behind it. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

bandra station

Entrance to Bandra railway station. Some stations are hidden into surrounding buildings, but others are nicely done up like this one. Not sure if the sign is actually lit up at night though -- will have to check that when I get back to India! Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

coal iron

All over Mumbai you will see dhobi wallas (laundry men) using coal heated irons. I am so fascinated by these for some reason! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006


One day I was out taking photos and these two boys on summer break decided to tag along and help me find things to photograph! This is "their" stoop - where they sit in the shade all afternoon. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

balloon man

Whenever I am in Colaba (the tourist area) I are bombarded with guys selling these insanely large balloons. I have no idea which foreigners buy these things or why, or why these guys fully believe that foreigners would like one! A constant source of annoyance or entertainment, depending on your mood at the time! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

alone time

Couples find it difficult in India - it is still quite conservative regarding men and women being together in public if they aren't married. These days the beaches get full of couples hiding in the rocks to get a few moments of together time! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006


I was looking at a flower near these plants when i noticed these tiny bells hanging from a paan stained plant. Not sure why they are here - nor why this bed of plants at a 5 star hotel is covered in paan spit! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

laundry day

Before I left I was at my homeopathic doctor getting all my meds and this lady was washing clothes right out front of the building and almost in the street. the only water was this tiny puddle here. you would think that water wouldn't be so scarce in a huge city, but for pavement dwellers its difficult to come by any water. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 13, 2006

For the weekend....

Chapel Road in old Bandra is lined with crosses like this one. Standing in front of this cross taking the photo i was surrouned by 3 other crosses on all three sides! Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006


A roadside poster of a Bollywood b- film. I just love how the colours are completely different on the four peices and how they couldn't line them up properly! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Bye Bye Mumbai! I'm off on a trip for a few weeks. Will update when I can can. For now a photo of the flowering Gulmohar tree. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

jack of all trades

This man really should not be using a jackhammer in flip flops! (i saw a man later today with a huge bandage on his foot, also using a jackhammer). This is part of Mumbai's plan to have all the roads in decent shape before the monsoon season begins. I am about to leave town for 6 weeks, and will return during the height of monsoon, so we'll see then if the roads are finished!

(Note: I am leaving town, but will continue to update photos from my archives - so they might not always be the best, but it will continue to give you a feel for this city. Also, please forgive me if there are days here and there that aren't updated - I may not always have access to internet, especially on travel days!) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

punky lives on

Keeping with the slum theme, this is one of my favorites (if you can really say that!) because it is always so colourful and lively. Of course today there wasn't a person in sight, but you can see no matter what their living conditions are like, they do all they can to make it a bright and lively place to live. (I find myself taking more photos of the slums lately mostly because there is a big drive to demolish all of the illegal shanties like this one - so someday this will only be a distant memory) Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006


Dharavi, Asia's largest slum. There are about a million people living in an area the size of 1 sq mile. From overhead you can't quite see the state of the buildings, but they aren't as well put together as you might think. In most of the area there is still little or no running water or sanitation systems, but most do have electricity these days. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

hidden gems

Old Bandra - full of run down bungalows, tiny lanes and family run shops. This is one of my favorite areas in Bandra. It gives a real sense of what this area looked like before commercialism and big money took over. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

old news

One of the many roadside shacks. This guy buys back paper of any kind. It's Mumbai's way of recycling. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 05, 2006

mango mango mango

In honor of Cinco de Mayo we are making lots and lots of mango salsa today! The Maharastra Alphonso Mango is the best mango I've ever had and unfortunately they are only in season for a short time. They come in different sizes and accordingly different prices - but you can get a dozen for about 3 USD (beginning of the season they run about 10 USD for a dozen). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 04, 2006

station madness

Santa Cruz station at rush hour. The tiny lanes are packed with people and vendors.
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

child labor

Only after looking back at this photo was I struck by this boy's expression. In person he seemed relatively happy to have his photo taken, but here he looks like he's about to cry. Child labor is a harsh reality here all the time, but it seems to be especially prominent during the summer break when schools are closed (now). Posted by Picasa