Monday, April 30, 2007

Mumbai ala London


The train signs here are just like the London tube signage, which is always a surprise to new arrivals here. But the great difference is that our signs are usually hand painted as can be seen by this Churchgate sign!
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

modern life


The bicycle is everywhere in Mumbai and for some reason they are never locked up. This one is resting on a Sunday morning in front of a colourful school wall.
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

jam packed


Today the traffic is especially atrocious for some reason. It really makes me frightened of what is happening in Mumbai with the exponential increase in personal vehicles, many of which are too large for most of the small lanes. For most of Bandra this is how the roads looked today with almost no one moving for 10 minutes at a time. People finally started getting out of their taxi's or rickshaws and walked (as did we). And the media is even paying attention to this as well - the other day on the front page of the paper it talked about cars parking on the sidewalks due to lack of space. Now this really is an issue -- especially considering we don't have too many sidewalks to begin with!
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Friday, April 27, 2007

alternate reality

In the far north of Mumbai there is an area called Powai that is a new up and coming residential and business district, especially for MNC's (multi-national companies)and their employees. Its a totally different reality in much of the area -- the buildings look nothing like other Indian buildings, the roads are wide, tree lined and there is an abundance of western shops like this KFC. There is also a go-kart place, bowling alley, movie theatre, and grocery stores.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

no its not raining yet...


...but I think many people are already waiting for a small drizzle just so it cools off a bit! Although I must say that after spending 10 days in Tamil Nadu (South India), it feels very nice here in Mumbai! April and May are considered summer here - the school kids are out and the temperature keeps rising along with the humidity, until it all bursts with the monsoon sometime in June. The last few years it has been getting later and later, but its supposed to begin at the beginning of June. Lets hope its on time this year!
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Chilled out Cow's

Seems to be a lot of cow's handing around these day's. Which is quite unusual in most big cities but not for Mumbai!

Monday, April 23, 2007

cool dude


This guy was just chilling on the road, I think listening to music on his cell phone. It has been great for people that you can now buy cell phones that hold songs -- you often see people of all types listening to music this way, which I think is awesome!
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roll in the sand


At all of the local gas (petrol) stations, you will find these fire buckets filled with sand. I used to think they were just outdated and kept around for looks, but I believe they are still in use! I haven't seen them used, but its probably best that each station has their own method of fire control as there aren't enough fire trucks, nor could they get through the traffic in time!
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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hanuman Temple

In Madhu park in Khar there is a hanuman temple that is covered in bells. I think the bells represents the 720 idols of hunuman.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Haas Nahi

I could not persuade these little cuties to smile for the camera. Haas means smile. Hindi, I think? Well posting is back to slaint after this one, off to Kerala for a shaadi and a little R & R, backwater tour.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Yeah, giving up my attempt at the paparazzi gig, too much competition. Here is a bhaji walla or subji walla (Any hindi speakers know what the difference between the use of bhaji and subji is?) photo taken down the road from my home in Andheri West (a northern suburb of mumbai). Located at a small intersection, this vendor has a nice tree for shade during the day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ash-Abhi Shaadi

I would not make a good paparazzi but I tried, I even did drive bys! I live near Juhu, a northern suburb of Mumbai and home of several movie stars. So, after lunch I noticed all the preparation for the biggest wedding in India this year, yes, even bigger than Elizabeth Hurley's.
The wedding of the son of the big "B", Abhishek Bachchan and former Miss World from India, Aishwarya Rai. These photos are of the two homes, one is the big 'B', Amitabh's house/bungalow, the future groom's fatehr and the other is big 'B''s parent's house/bungalow or is it his wife's Jaya's? Not sure on that one. Then another photo is of the true paparazzi or media and their designated holding area across the street from the gate of the home.

It is all the hype in the papers and there has been talk about the possibility of other stars getting married as well possibly to try and steal some of the limelight(Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif? And Salman is Aishwarya's former beau, maybe I could make it as a gossip columnist?!) but I don't think that is possible. It is a small and selective guest list (I wonder what that means when weddings here have 300 to 500 guests easily) and I am not on it. At least not yet.

I think the talk and concern of the public concerning this couple's marriage is greater than any stars' marriage in hollywood. Some of the talk includes the presence of Mars in her birth chart, so she had to marry a tree in order to insure that she did not cause her future husband's death. Then there have been numerologists deciding how she should spell her new married name. Then the charting of if they will be happily married. There is really so much more to analyze and comment on in these Hindi Film Industry [read: bollywood] weddings.

So, still two more days left before the main wedding. Today was the Sangeet? sorry, someone please tell me the order of events in the traditional Indian wedding. I know there are about 3 days involved. Maybe I can get a shot of the couple, but these are my first attempts at paparazzi-dom.

mumbai shopping - the street

This is one of several examples of street shopping available in the city. These informal shops and carts are everywhere. This one is outside the fabric market, mangaldas market, from yesterday's picture.

On this street you will find ready made clothes (compared to the fabric indoors that you can have tailor made) and used clothes (story: I have been told that sometimes the donations made to missions or NGOs of clothing sometimes never make it to the intended recipients, at least not in the form of a donation. The clothes are washed, I hope, and sold on the streets. Another interesting market for used clothes is a bartering system involving metal utensils. I have not personally done this or seen it done, but there are vendors who will come around to your house or building and you can trade say 3 kurtas or an old sari for a new metal bowl. Not really sure on the exchange rate, just trying to give you an example).
Other items on this road, dishes, bath mats, table mats, purses, shoes, I guess it would be the home and clothing section in your local mega market. I think the street shopping in mumbai is a delight, from food, jewelry, shoes is what I always get excited about in the US, the farmer's market or vendors on the streets. Funny, we are so modern in the west, but my favorite is an everyday way of life here in India. I have seen other Daily Photo bloggers from western countries talk about their street markets, also saying how they enjoyable they are.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

mumbai shopping - mangaldas market

Cloth, cloth cloth...and sarees and materials for salwar kameez. This indoor cloth market with 100s of stalls set up is located in downtown Mumbai, near the better known, Crawford Market.

I am a complete idiot in regards to domestic things such as sewing and fabric, but the vendors here are fairly helpful, tell me how much fabric I would need for pants a particular length. Other customers coming by were also helpful, offering their unsolicited advice as many Indians do here! Can be extremely useful at times.

See, a tomboy from Oklahoma can be domesticated! I now have 3 new pairs of pants and a couple of kurtas, feels good to have done it myself (well a tailor did sew it).

photo credit- anna, my photos were not as crisp and colorful as this one was. If you want to see more of the market will put pics on my blog. Those are mine!

Monday, April 16, 2007

mumbai shopping - the train

Opportunities for shopping in the city are endless. I particularly like the 'train shopping' when they are not too crowded (this is an example of such an occasion) vendors come thru with a variety of wares. Last week, I purchased stickers and a hair clip. Other items available range from food (usually evening trains, when you need a pick me up of course), reading material, towels, key rings, ear rings, bindis, bangles, toys, coloring books and many other items.

This particular vendor will pass a box of her goods around for ladies to look at while she walks through out the car, very trusting I think. Then comes back, you tell her what you want to buy and she gives you a price. On the trains I have noticed I get the same price as everyone else, not the foreigner price, maybe that is why I like it so much!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

vintage car rally


Today there was a vintage car rally from the Gateway of India to Carter Road in Bandra. I went out for a bit this morning to see the action. I liked this shot because it really captures Bombay - the water tanker and rickshaw in the background!
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

speedway=6 months


Speedway garage doesn't look like it gets much business these days! Speaking of speeding, a few months ago a 21 year old was speeding along Carter Road at 3 in the morning when he crashed into a community of pavement dwellers, killing 7. Yesterday he was sentenced to 6 months in jail.... The paper says his sentence is due to the fact that the police botched the investigation -- either way I don't think justice was served. He's a rich college going boy and those 7 were "just" poor people living on the streets.
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Friday, April 13, 2007

Mumbai Fire Brigade


Unlike other major cities in the world, you rarely hear sirens blaring here in Mumbai. So when I saw my first ever fire truck heading to action, I had to take a snap! House fires here aren't too common, probably mostly because most homes are made out of cement with very little wood or flamable materials. I am not sure what the protocol here is with fire trucks, if they go out to any emergency or only for fires. They didn't seem to be in too much of a rush though, which is good because traffic didn't clear too quickly!
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

nimbu pani


A favorite street drink is nimbu pani, which is lime juice, water and sugar. But even better than nimbu pani was this lady selling it!
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

wanna drive a rickshaw?


At a lot of the driving schools here in Mumbai they also teach people how to drive a rickshaw. I want to learn, but I have tried before when a rickshaw driver let me have a go--- its not as easy as it looks! Previous contributor Robbie learned to drive a rickshaw and drove from one side of India to the other in the yearly "Rickshaw Run"
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

band is on break


The busy times of the year for local muscians are during festivals, holidays and of course the wedding season in the winter. Summers are when many bands go on holiday to their home villages. This little shop however was open for business just in case anyone walked by and wanted to hire a band! Can you find my reflection in the photo?
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Monday, April 09, 2007

Light of life


This is a common sight these days as the temperature and humidity swell. The only way to beat the heat is with an afternoon snooze in any shady spot you can find!
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

quiet sunday


This photo makes Mumbai look organized and spacious. This is a view down on Metro Cinema junction on Sunday morning when the area is quiet and hasn't gotten busy yet. On a regular day, this junction would be packed with cars, people, push carts, noise, pollution and chaos! The Art Deco cinema opened in 1938 and initially exhibited only English movies made by MGM. Recently it was redone on the inside to make it more modern, but in a rare moment of sanity builders decided to keep it the same outside to preserve some sense of Mumbai's history.
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Saturday, April 07, 2007

peek a boo


This week the colours seem to be popping out everywhere I go and I just loved this house with all the colours on the walls and doors. In order to get the colours proper I couldn't get the lady inside fully, but you can kind of see her peeking out behind the clothes she is folding!
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Friday, April 06, 2007

bun in the oven


Walking down the street with my camera out enables many unique opportunities. As I walked down the street these bakers all wanted me to come into their boiling hot shop to check out the baking process. I couldn't get a non-blurry photo because it was so dark, but I still like this one anyone. Notice the bit of blue on the wall in the back... that was the colour of the wall before the fire's soot took it over. Some would worry how dirty the place is, but I can attest that the buns were very nice and hygenic enough!
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Thursday, April 05, 2007

chickoo & grapes


This chickoo and grape vendor doesn't seem to be concerned that the entire area around him has been demolished. This is a common scene these days as the local authorities are cracking down on illegal structures. They demolish them without a second thought, but the interprising Indians come back quickly setting up their movable stalls!

Chickoo is the fruit on the right. I had never heard of it, nor tasted it until coming to India. I like it, but it has an odd texture that I can't always manage. Although chickoo shakes are quite nice! To read more about chickoo, here's the wikipedia page.
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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

sari ladies


The colours of Mumbai are remarkable. All of these lovely ladies were waiting for their children to get out of school. I had to post this photo because last night I had dreams of starting a new class and wearing a sari on my first day! I love the feel of a silky flowing sari as the wind blows.
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007



The rickshaws are a great source of entertainment for me as they are usually personalized in little ways, like this one with its decorative "stop signal". The staff is a symbol of Shiva, not sure if the drum is as well or if it symbolizes something else.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

cat heaven


The local fish ladies are always popular with the cats, but shockingly today there were none around! Perhaps the big knife scared them off!! But this is again, modern vs tradition even though you can't see it -- this was taken in Pali Hill, one of the most exclusive areas of North Mumbai!
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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Birthday MDP!


Mumbai continues to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world (to me) as it races to catch up with the "modern" world, while holding on tightly to its traditions and culture. Every day brings new surprises, new sites of the old clashing with the new which makes it truly an amazing place to live. I realize almost daily that I am experiencing history in all forms. This is what made me start Mumbai Daily Photo one year ago today and what will keep me clicking away -- capturing the now before it turns into history. I hope you have enjoyed the past year and I hope I can continue to bring you new sights of this chaotic and rapidly changing city.

This photo symbolizes to me India mixing their traditions with technology and thats why I chose it to commemorate MDP's 1st year anniversary.

Also, I couldn't have done any of this without the wonderful help of my expat contributors - Stacie, Lisa, Oriana, and Robbie. Thanks for helping out when I needed it!
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