Friday, June 30, 2006

i scream for ice cream

Our version of the ice cream man! I don't think he's doing much business though with this rain! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 29, 2006

school day is over...

In Mumbai you often see smaller kids than this little girl riding on motorbikes. They recently instituted that drivers had to wear helmets, but not anyone else. And as you can see, the drivers don't even wear them!
All these little girls go to a Christian school taught by nuns - people of all faiths tend to send their children to convent schools for the English education more than anything. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

colour on colour

One of the things I love most about countries like India is how the buildings are painted and somehow it always rubs off and shows the paint from several coats before. I think it makes the buildings look beautiful, but i'm sure civic authorities might disagree with me! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

monsoon arrives

Monsoon has fully arrived. These boys are braver than I am - they aren't bothered in the least by the rain. Its monsoon fever and football fever and it seems that football wins over the pesky rains! Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 26, 2006


Chili peppers, lemon and a peice of coal is used as a good luck charm of sorts that people hang from their cars or homes to keep away trouble. I believe people get a new one on saturdays and they cost a couple of rupees (at least for me, the foreigner!). Our old driver used to get them all the time, but it didn't help him stay away from "trouble", i.e. wrecks! *note: i am not certain on the spelling, i'm just sounding it out! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 25, 2006

horn ok please

As I've mentioned before water is sometimes difficult to come by in Mumbai and often residental buildings even in the upper class areas do not receive enough water from the local authorities, so they supplement with "tanker" water. This is water brought in from streams, creeks, etc - which i'm sure is filtered somehow, but is still very hard and full of deposits. This water tanker visits our lane daily to supplement several buildings water supplies. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 24, 2006

yellow sky

A few times a year Mumbai has this yellow glow in the sky in the late afternoon, early evening. The first time I saw it, I thought something was wrong with my eyes. It really is the eeriest color for a sky to be. Now i've come to love it when I see it and I know its probably something I'll only ever see here. This photo has absolutely no color correction at all I promise! This is what the color of the sky was like. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 23, 2006


Its not often in Mumbai that I see random flowers blooming. I have no idea what kind of flower this is, but I just loved the colors. Anyone know what type of flower this is? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

dhabba walla

I'm back to Mumbai finally! Since I'm still suffering from jet lag I've only left the house for a quick errand and saw my favorite thing in India - the tiffin delivery man! And oh how modern he is with his cell phone in one hand cruising down the street! (Tiffin's are the silver boxes hanging from his bicycle, these are used as lunch boxes. Often people will order from a tiffin walla or their wives (or probably in reality, the cook!) will cook the food, prepare the tiffin and then a man like this will collect them and deliver to the persons work. Nothing like home cooked food to keep you fed during your long work day. (sorry his head is slightly cut off - he was zipping past and this was the only photo i could catch!) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Until coming to India I only associated the swastika with nazi Germany.
The left - facing swastika is a holy symbol in Hinduism. Never thought I would have a swastik on my front door, until living in India! I even saw a swastik on a Buddha's chest in Hong Kong.
This swastika is made from flowers and is not the one on my door.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

mela mural

This is painted on a wall at a restaruant called Mela in town. Mela means 'fair' in hindi, large celebrations with rides, games, entertainment, food etc. We have state fairs in the US, interesting cultural experiences you are lucky enough to check one out. I like the 'I heart Mumbai' t-shirt on the gal on the top row of the bus.

Monday, June 19, 2006

clock tower

Another view of the clock tower posted a few days ago. This tower is another example of archictecture from the British days. This is one structure that is actually maintained, I don't know why they have chosen it as the lucky item to be cleaned. Surely, it does not stay that clean on its own.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Along the roads vendors sell vegetables, fruits, clothes, snacks set up on carts such as these. Sunday evenings the streets and markets are lively. Families come out together to shop, walk, visit with neighbors, go to the beach, etc. The 'supermarket' concept has come to India, but I still prefer buying from roadside vendors. Reminds me of the farmer's markets in US.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

double decker

I love the double decker buses. I sit on the top level and if possible up on the front row and get a breeze. Hard to tell this bus is actually in India, with the huge ad's script in english.

Friday, June 16, 2006

raja bai clock tower

This is another 'in town' picture. I say that because I stay in the 'burbs, north of town by 16 or 17 kms, but that takes at least an hour sometimes 2 to 3 by car during the rush hour, traffic jam times.

This is in Oval Maiden and the Raja Bai clock at the University of Mumbai. A fairly popular Mumbai site as far as guide books/postcards. Taking advantage of the rare clear blue skies as Slaint pointed out!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

gandhi ji

Often in the papers I read references to Gandhi when discussing current affairs in India. "...would Gandhi of supported this? this what Gandhi ji had in mind for an independent country?" 'ji' means sir or maam, sign of respect.

India is changing in some ways rapidly, such as finacially on the other hand the infrastructure is still shabby. Citizens have a ways to go realizing the power they can have as members of a democracy. Of course that is nothing unique to India, it can be said of citizens of other democracies as well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

rat poison

I have seen men pushing these signs around town a few times. There are huge rats here, like the size of a cat. The only thing I can compare it to are the sewer rats in NYC.
I have not seen rats in my current flat/building (knock on wood!). At my previous residence, I was scared when coming home in the night because the hairy things would be scurrying about (outside) from under the car park, darting here and there. I was always afraid it would run over my feet. They are at the train station/tracks often.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

football fever

Football fever is the flavour of the season. With the World Cup going on, it seems, momentarily, that football has taken over from cricket as the sport du jour.

At the beach, these young chaps are enjoying an evening match. Have seen a lot of folks wearing numbered jerseys showing support for their preferred country - brazil seems to be the fave.

Even though India is not in the WC, the papers have been full of WC info 2 weeks leading up. Football is played a lot in the eastern part of India, like Bengal, Assam and the North Eastern States.

India does have their own football star, Baichung Bhutia, who plays for some team in England. Looks like there is hope for football in India yet.

Monday, June 12, 2006


"Horse ride madam?" I heard when I walked down to Versova beach. This is a hang out spot in the evenings where couples and famlies walk the beach or just chat while sitting on the rocks.

Not clean though : ( So sad about so much of Mumbai, these beaches would be amazing if they were kept clean. Regardless, watching a sunset on the beach is still amazing, dirty or not.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

neighborhood dogs

There are many stray dogs roaming the streets of Mumbai. Several NGOs as well as individuals care for them by vaccinating, spaying, neutering, feeding and loving. I often see dogs sitting on 3 to 5 foot walls around my neighborhood, they look so realaxed, carefree.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

temple flowers

Different types of flowers are strung together, marigolds (orange) lillies (white) others I don't know and used often when people go to temple (Hindu). The necklace of flowers is placed around the dieties neck or loose flowers at their feet. Flowers are also used in times of puja (prayer) or decorations for weddings. I always like how they smell.
This street near my house is a perfect example of all the commercial activity that habitate the streets of India. In the background there is a barber, fruit and veggie salespeople, also found on the streets may be a shoe mochi (cobblers) and sometimes an ear cleaner - no joke!

Friday, June 09, 2006


This indian treat is a fermented wheat flour dough formed into round shapes, deep fried in ghee (clarified butter) then soaked in a sugary syrup. The syrup gives it the bright color. Jalebees are found at most indian sweet shops.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

goat family

Your weekly animal photo from India! These baby goats were so adorable hopping off all four legs playing with one another on this broken down couch. This was taken just off the side of the road, a back road. The road has several housing societies (large 10 plus story buildings) then the owners of these goats (mutton) live in small wood and plastic shanties on the same road. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

green sari

Some days the train can actually be a peaceful ride. As you can see from a couple posts ago, dependent on the time of day trains will be full to the brim or nearly empty compartments where you can hang your head out the door for some natural AC. As this gal was doing as I clicked away. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

american crap

I have run across funny signs like this while traveling in countries where english is not the main language. Although, in India it is not too difficult to find someone around who speaks english. They still use 'interesting' spelling and grammar at times. After taking the picture I still did not know what this meant, but someone explained..."you know, the fabric...". Crepe! maybe you got it? I am a little slower.

Another sign I have seen was "Speak Best English" - and the phone number to contact someone to take english classes. That wall was torn down last time I passed by.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I ride the train

but it is not always easy. This evening, yes, I had just emerged from that crowd, was a particularly pushy and shovey type of ride. You have to push your way on and off. Thankfully I am 5'll" and tower over most women in India so I get my O2. Morning and evening rush hours to and from work are often like this, I have seen men riding on top of the train many times.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

near grant road

I like the buildings on this lane, you find these in town. I always find it sad they are not maintained. There was a cycle mechanic located nearby - hence the many scooters and cycles. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006


sunset from marine drive, near chowpatty beach. in the evenings this area is filled with people taking an afternoon stroll. you could almost be on a beach in goa - except the smells here aren't as nice!

Friday, June 02, 2006

banganga tank

this man made tank of water (that is supposedly fed by spring water) is considered a holy site, surrounded by many hindu temples. people do their washing here, dip themselves in the water and just sit on the steps and relax. apparently it used to be surrounded by old style bungalows, but now its slowly being dwarfed by high rise buildings. at least they have left this one little area in tact

Thursday, June 01, 2006

dhobi ghats

This is one of my favorite places in the city. In the middle of the city there is still a huge area for laundry. You can kind of see the big concrete wash basins and then obviously where they hang the clothes to dry. a lot of the laundry shops in the central part of the city send their clothes here to be cleaned, dried, ironed and folded. This area is also great as the people who work here, also live here - so there are some small shops inside as well as a home school program!