My India: Mumbai

One of the books which I read before coming to India was Behind The Beautiful Forevers : Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo – a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist recognized for documenting the lives of people in poverty.

“Here, in the thriving Western suburbs of the Indian financial capital, three thousand people had packed into, or on top of, 335 huts. It was a continuing coming-and-going of migrants from all over India – Hindus mainly, from all manner of castes and subcastes.”

Slums in Mombai

The Gateway of India taken from a sea view seat at the Sea Lounge CafΓ© in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

mumbai taj hotel

The University of Mumbai, The Supreme Court, and The Chhatrapati Shivaji train station.

University

mumbai university 2

 

train station

Mumbai is a city of extreme contrasts. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty are openly displayed throughout Mumbai.

The number of people living in the slums of Mumbai in 2020 is over 9 million.Β 

 

 

 

 

 

29 thoughts on “My India: Mumbai

  1. What beautiful buildings, Carol! Thanks for sharing those stunning ‘photos with us! I read several series that take place in Mumbai, and it’s so nice to be able to have some ‘photos to get a better mental picture. It’s such a fascinating place, isn’t it?

    • It is indeed a fascinating place. If I were so much younger I would love to study in Mumbai and get to know the soul of the city. As it was, I only saw it superficially.

    • Woof back to Max ! ❀
      It will be awhile that social equilibrium will be maintained in India. But then again, we, in North America, also have wealth disparity in our faces evident now with the covid-19 crises.

  2. Thank you for sharing a part of your world and adventures!.. πŸ™‚ β€œLife gives us brief moments with another, but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a lifetime, So live that your memories will be part of your happiness.” (Author Unknown).

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and today, and all your tomorrows, are filled with love and happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be… πŸ™‚

    • That is a wonderful quote. Thank you. Writing this series is helping me to integrate my experience.
      May all your tomorrows also be filled with joy and dreams attained. ❀ Thank you so much for your beautiful comments.

  3. Being in India and currently stuck up in Mumbai, I can only advice the foreigners NEVER to set foot in Mumbai. And if they do, they should stay in great hotels like Taj, Oberoi or the likes and avoid going out.
    Mumbai is a failed city – and that’s a fact. The public transport is dead and the infrastructure is in shatters. And there is hardly anything in Mumbai which can interest the tourists. It has perhaps the highest population density in the world and no stakeholder – be it Government or Industries or local civic groups, is doing anything to bring that down to a respectable level. And ridiculously, people have to shell out more money to avail services in real estate and many other walks of life in Mumbai.
    India is a big country with a great cultural heritage – one which can never be found in a crammed up dilapidated place like Mumbai. Try visiting the North East India, Varanasi, Odisha, Ladakh, Tiruchirappalli, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Satara, Nagpur etc the next time you are in India. India has lots to offer for every tourist.
    Good photographs though. Thank you Madam for sharing..!!

    • Thanks for your thoughts and insight. I found that my stay in Mumbai was pretty superficial and I would have liked to stay longer to get into its inner soul. Be well. ❀

      • You are most welcome to visit India again and stay longer.. ❀

        Thank you for visiting my profile Madam..!! Do remember to check some more unique sights and scenes I have captured, depicting some of the unique features of India..!! πŸ™‚

        Thanks a lot Madam.. πŸ™‚
        You too stay safe and take care.. ❀

    • Mumbai is not a failed city. Please get your facts right before spreading hatred towards a place as important as Mumbai.
      Yes, there are problems but aren’t there problems everywhere? Can you name one ideal, utopian place?

      • I won’t debate with you on someone else’s wall. I will state in brief why Mumbai is a failed city. This doesn’t mean that others belong to some utopia – they have problems as well. But Mumbai’s problems are artificial and the worst.
        1. Population Density: Highest on Earth with no intention to depopulate or spread it out. Companies are pouring in and so are people. Other cities have a better plan handling it.
        2. Public transport: Delhi, Chennai fare far better. Only the WR train runs punctually. CR is a joke in the name of public transport.
        Metro is being built, and hopefully things will change in future. But that’s very distant a future considering Mumbai’s track record in building a Metro (10 years vs 5 years for Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur etc)
        3. Real Estate: Expensive without adequate services. Bangalore is comparable. Delhi is far better in this regard. Now the cause of this lies in pt 1 above. Nobody is interested in solution
        4. Utilities: Good in Mumbai. But they are equally good in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore etc. So there is parity over here. Water supply in Chennai is a problem.
        5. Traffic Jams: Again, there is a parity between Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. All are crammed. But in other cities, there is something called reliable public transport. People have options. Here, they don’t.
        What else is needed for a city to fail? For me, that’s enough.
        No city is ever a utopia. It’s just that whose problems are bearable and whose aren’t.
        These are the facts about Mumbai. You can tolerate the problems and adjust, which is your choice. I respect that. I however cannot tolerate a high cost of living without getting enough services, which is quite logical as well.
        Peace out.

  4. Mumbai has an amazing embrace, it welcomes people with open arms. People flock to the cities with dreams and aspirations. Can they afford to live in the city ? No. That is what primarily what had led to slums. There are programs to rehabilitate folks to proper accomodation like community accomodation, however their pace has been outmatched by the influx of migrants. Mumbai is facing the brunt of slow development of villages and the aspirations of many.

  5. Behind the beautiful forevers is a lovely book that takes you to have a close look at the unseen underbelly of the city

    The buildings in the background of the slums in the first picture you posted is where i live

    Wrote a short blog some time ago titled ‘space and the city’ about the elusive search for the stolen spaces of mumbai. Sharing link below. Do read when u can

    https://anandaonly.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/space-the-city/

    • Hi Ananda,
      Thank you for bringing me to your blog. It is amazing. Maybe one day I will return to Mumbai. I feel that I did not see (feel) enough of it. I am now reading Miss New India by Bhatati Mukherjee. It is mainly set in Bangalore. This is a place I would have also liked to have visited and so I am travelling there through this book. Thank you for your comments. ❀

      • Thank you Carol. While Mumbai is indeed a city with innumerable infrastructural gridlocks that make living there a test of patience. There is a certain spiritual energy in this country that makes one go within to find peace despite the external challenges. This is what makes me love this land deeply. I hope when you get a chance to travel here again you can visit the hills in the north – Rishikesh / Ladakh – this is where you can more easily experience some of the uplifting aspects of india

      • Ananda, you are so right about the spiritual energy in India. That’s part of what I love so much about the country. I was in Rishikesh. Have a look at my blog post on it. ❀

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