Thursday, November 30, 2006

world AIDS day - part deux

making ribbons for world aids day event on friday.

With the largest number of people in the world living with HIV, India has to work at building awareness,the de stigmatisation of those infected with the disease and myth busting concerning transmission and prevention. India in general is a conservative society and discussion on sexuality, behaviors and related diseases are not easily talked about. Similar to other countries that have experienced HIV epidemics, such as those in Africa.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

world AIDS day mumbai - part une

this is a street sign on the eastern express highway posted by local mumbai government.
I am using my time to post pics related to World AIDS Day observed this Friday, December 1st. I will make it a AIDS awareness week on mumbai blog. Hope slaint does not mind my propaganda posting! or you the viewers.

I am working with an NGO providing HIV + individuals in Mumbai, with counseling, nutrition and medical support. As well, providing family members with training for tailoring, embroidery, mehendi application and paper bag making.

There are controversy on the numbers, so India is either 1st or 2nd in total number of people living with HIV (2nd to sub saharan africa) depending on whose data you believe, none the less don't waste time arguing let's do something about it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Few places are happier than Chowpatty Beach on a Sunday night. The food stalls are lit up in gaudy neons, the balloon-wallas and stuffed animal-wallas and flute-wallas are milling about, making a buck, and families rent straw mats and relax on the sand while their kids play in the waves.

This is the ring-toss game, with assorted soft drinks and sweets for prizes. It looked pretty tough.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Singhara (water chestnut)

I have always wondered what these black/oyster looking things were that are often sold on the side of the roads. I finally got it out of my maid - they are water chestnuts. Apparently they are quite good, but I'm still a littled worried about having it cooked for me! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Snoozin' at Sassoon

On a Saturday afternoon, members of the David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, which overlooks the Kala Ghoda, just north of Colaba, come and read newspapers and magazines and even get a few Z's (see foreground) on the breezy balcony. I'm thinking of joining myself. Them's some comfy reclining chairs.

This building, which was finished in 1870, has always reminded me of Rennie McIntosh's super-modernist School of Art building in Glasgow, if any of you have seen that. It's got the same industrial sort of feel to it, with lots of edges and dark woods and iron railings. Makes sense, I guess, because I just did some research and found that the Sassoon library was built buy guys called "McClelland" and "Campbell". Those Scots....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Little Stuff

from the chor bazaar, or "thieves' market".

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Kite-flyers

Near Grant Street (West) in central Mumbai.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Like good expats, we celebrated by having a pot luck. Other's in Mumbai aren't so fortunate, but along this path they were also being given dinner. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

dead slow

I must pass this sign all the time, but only today while walking did I notice it. I am not sure what is meant by "dead slow". It could either mean, people have died, so go slow or you must drive so slowly like being dead! Not one of the drivers around there were paying the slightest bit of attention to it thats for sure - they all were racing down the road like they were in the daytona 500! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

hand painted ad

I love all the old hand painted ad's located throughout town. This ad was on a wall near Mahalaxhmi station. I think this is some sort of grain or lentil drying in the afternoon sun. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

on the banks of haji ali

A beggar woman sitting at the walkway of Haji Ali Dargah waiting for alms from passing Muslims, with the wealth of Mumbai's skyline behind her. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 19, 2006

kebab skewer

This guys was "cool" while standing over the hot coals making these kebabs. Love the glasses! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

flowered rick

Many of the rickshaws are really into decorating their "ride". This one caught my eye as it looked so lovely! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 17, 2006

and the road...

Probably the last in my "machli" series... This is how the road looks every morning and evening as they throw out all the bad fish. And then later in the day one of the fishermen will sweep it all up. I thought the stray cats would be all over this area, but there suprisingly weren't too many! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lobster from Bombay?

I never even considered the possibility that lobster could be found in the sea off of Mumbai, but apparently it can be found and found often! This gentleman saw me snooping around the fishing area and brought me over to see his "shop" which focuses on lobster - exporting it mostly he told me. And of course I couldn't get away without him posing for a photo. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

drying fish

This woman from the Koli fishing community is laying out the fish to dry in the afternoon sun. Again, I have no idea why they dry the fish like this. After they have sat out in the sun for a while, she will gather it back up into baskets to take to the evening market. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

machli week

I should have decided this earlier and put the photos in a nice order, but there are just several I want to show from the local fishing community - so now you are stuck with a few more days of fish!
Right by the sea, where the fishermen bring in their morning/evening catch is also where they dry the fish. I do not understand why some are dried and others are sold "fresh", perhaps a reader can englighten me! But these are some scary looking fish that I would not want to find on my dinner plate. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 13, 2006

machli to the market

More fish... Lately I've been sort of intranced with the fish industry down the street from my house. Since we often smell it, I've decided to investigate it a bit more. This photo is of the ladies taking the fish from the "drying areas" near the sea to the market. Along the way they are stopped by people wanting to buy some as see here. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Machli - fish in Hindi. When I open the windows for the afternoon breeze this is all that I smell! I'm veg, and after seeing the condition the fish are in before heading to the market makes me thankful that I am! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006

staring at the sea...

What better way for "time pass", picking up dates or just relaxing -- the favorite activity here seems to be just sitting staring at the sea. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 10, 2006


On my trip to Pune this week I had the pleasure of visiting a 7th generation copper smith (is that real?) They still mold their copper into bowls using old methods of spinning and firing. I thought it was interesting, so I thought I'd share even though technically its not "in" Mumbai! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kebab and huge Romali Rotis in Colaba


Who does not love a Kebab and a delicious Romali Roti (Paper-thin bread is similar to a crêpe and is served alongside traditional Indian fare) ? Comoe to Mumabi and go to BADEMIYA and enjoy the best "street food" ever in Colaba (south Bombay). Look how amazing the cook the huge rotis and in what kind of "oven": they just make the wheat mix and drop the paper thin roti for like 30 seconds in these halk spheric hot metal things and from there direct into the little basket from where you can take as many as you want, to eat with your kebab!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bobby Darling


Bigg Boss, an adaptation of international reality show hit Big Brother, started on November 3. Mumbai is flooded with publicity of it. Monday to Thursday episodes show the regular drama and reality content for half an hour and on the one-hour shows on. Fridays Big Boss will run the elimination episodes. Bigg Boss is courting a lot of controversy at the moment, notably by the contestants. Bobby Darling, one of the contestants (on the photo while talking live to the camera yesterday) is a world record holder. No, he hasn’t eaten the most hot dogs in 30 mins, nor has he claimed any major endurance records, but he is the first gay who has done the maximum number of films and serials in Bollywood in gay roles. You can find more about Big Boss at

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


There's an abundance of palm trees/coconut trees in Mumbai, even though it is a bustling urban metropolis. I am not sure how these guys on the roadside get their coconuts -- do building societies sell theirs to them? Our building hands them out every month or so. But for all of the people who need them on a daily basis.. these are the go to guys! Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 06, 2006

waiting and waiting

When I first moved to Mumbai there were very few traffic signals, lots of traffic, but somehow it seemed to work just fine. Occasionally you would have a major tie up, but often you managed to keep moving one way or another. Now, we are advancing - we have traffic signals and 5 minute red lights. And this is all I get to see for those 5 minutes! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Since most people continue to live with their parents well into adulthood (and most even after marriage) its often difficult to find a little "alone time" with your special partner... So, instead they head to the local beaches, parks and of course Bandra Fort. I snuck a photo of this little couple getting a little too close --- this is illegal in India still, public displays of affection Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 04, 2006

mall craze

I read in an airplane article recently that India will have 900 malls in the next two years. Its really gotten out of control. It is predicted that most will go out of business as they are always very crowded, but no one actually buys anything. Most people just use it as a new "recreational" activity - that includes air conditioner! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

twin soldiers

A photo more on the personal side today - but I just couldn't resist! My boss recently had twins and they are so cute! The twins get weekly massages and after the massage lady comes she wraps them up very tightly like this. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mattress cleaning

Mattress cleaning the old fashioned way.. or at least the Indian way! Most of India still uses custom made mattresses in their homes. These mattresses are basically thick cloth filled with loose cotton. Apparently you should have your mattress cleaned frequently and luckily there are guys like this one who walk around looking for customers! His process: Take all of the cotton out of the mattress, beat it for a while with a think stick like instrument, then he will put the cotton through this weird instrument. After he has "cleaned" all of the cotton through his instrument, he will put it all back in the cloth. Now your mattress will be fluffy and full again! Posted by Picasa