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Author Topic: A month in Mumbai  (Read 3731 times)

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« on: July 05, 2008, 21:31 »
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Hi all,

Just came back from a month in Mumbai, India on business.
Had to get 5 vaccinations just to go there and I am still on malaria pills for several more days.

Interesting experience, but I for one am not in any hurry to go back.

It does make one feel grateful to live in the 'developed' part of the world though.


« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 07:53 »
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Tell us more! I like to hear about India. Crazy place... Crazy in a good way!

vonkara

« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 08:25 »
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Did you take many pictures? Can we see

« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 19:15 »
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Tell us more! I like to hear about India. Crazy place... Crazy in a good way!



Sorry to disagree, but I would say crazy in a really, really bad way.

It was sort of like stepping back in time a couple of hundred years in some ways. While I was there, these stories were in the papers:
'Office worker loses her footing and falls off the train and dies on her way to work', Several deaths from malaria and leptospirosis were reported, Also several 'honor killings' had happened recently. Honor Killings, for those not familiar with the term is the murder of a woman by her own family for 'disgracing' the family in some perceived way. for instance in one area of India it is taboo for members of the same villiage to marry, even though they are not related. They may both be killed for such an offense.

I was working from viturally the time I got up, until 6 in the evening, 6 days a week. So, I had very little time to shoot. I also felt little inclination since I was feeling a bit sickly most of the time.

The following is the view from my office in Mumbai. Note the slums by the river.



Here are some other mixed images from the vicinity.





« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 19:18 by nosaya »

« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 19:57 »
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I bet it feels good to be back home  :). I once kissed the street when I got home after driving a 4X4 around Costa Rica for two weeks. So many things we take for granted here.

« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 22:11 »
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Interesting photos. I spent a long time in Bombay too- a couple of months, plus another couple for other parts of india. Yeah, I got really sick. The poverty was harsh, and the heat was extreme. But next time you go I recommend you try to see the positive side too- because India has a lot that we can learn from, although it's rather hidden behind a sometimes-harsh surface. The people are very interesting- the religious aspect is very strong and well worth taking to to soak up. I went there on holiday and ended up finding a course in website development. (It was 200 dollars for one-to-one tuition for over a month- and it was very good.) One of my teachers was a Parsi priest who would come in some days after waking up at 3am to perform the ritual of putting the dead on the roof of the temple for the sun to burn. They used to have the vultures eat the bodies, but with the lack of vultures these days in Bombay he tells me that they now use well-place giant magnifying glasses to burn the bodies in that city. The conversations you have with regular indians can sometimes be very interesting- in fact, Ive had conversations about life, death, and religion on long-distance train journeys with peasants who had rarely travelled, which were far more interesting than the usual "pint down the pub" talk I have at home. When you start getting into the belief systems of Indians, you really see how deep the whole thing is. The architecture is also quite fantastic in places (although Bombay is more western and perhaps not as interesting as somewhere like Old Delhi which is fantastic in places). Delhi has a good 4 buildings that are about as amazing as the taj mahal. There's also the energy of the place- you don't get bored there, which for me is a big bonus. The hussle and bussle is quite extreme.
So, where I can understand what youre saying- and a good half of the people who go to india end up hating it- I do think that with the right attitude, you can get a lot from it. But still, I wouldnt recommend it to anyone unless they genuinely already have a big interest in the place. It's a tough trip, with many down-sides.

Still, it feels good to be back eh?! I remember- after India I went to Malaysia which of course isnt particularly wealthy... It felt so so comfortable it was great :) A complete relief!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 22:17 by Leontura »

« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 07:21 »
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I spent 4 weeks in Kerala earlier this year with my husband and 3 1/2 year old son.  None of us was sick for a minute, the food was delicious, people super-friendly, open and willing to accomodate us with all our questions.  They let us partake in there religious ceremonies, and shared their experiences openly. 
Was it like living back home in Sunnyvale?  Well no, that's the point it's different.  If I wanted more of the same Safeway-Target-Starbucks-Bed Bath & Beyond boredom I would drive a mile to Cupertino.
As a European expat living in the US it always irks me to see how narrow-minded people (mostly Americans, sorry to say that but it is true) are when it comes to different ways of doing things, living ones life etc.  Not all is great back home, really, Europeans just can't believe how carelessly Americans are squandering energy, how huge their houses and cars are and that being "green" means nothing more than putting ones cans in the correct waste container.
Did I like the fact that Indians streets were littered with waste.  No, of course not and that will change, as people learn the slow and hard way that plastic does not biodegrade like banana peels.  Do I like to breath exhaust fumes at a vista point somewhere in the USbecause the driver is too lazy to turn the engine off while looking, eating a sandwich, or having a nap?  Even less - will they ever learn?

Okay - waiting for the oiutrage!  Tina



« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 09:08 »
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Notice I did not complain about the people themselves.

No, I was there working sometimes very closely with many Indians. By and large they are wonderful, intelligent people, and yes their faith runs very deep. Sorry but I am not impressed by that. I consider most 'faith' to just be a remnant of our primitive brains not fully able to comprehend nature. In other words superstition.

Oh, another story I just remembered from the trip. All air traffic had to be delayed from landing on an airstrip, due to the fact that a 'family' of lizards had wandered onto the tarmac!

@Leontura - My wife is from Indonesia and I have spent a great deal of time there. Also 'third world', but waaaay ahead of India.

@Tina - Glad you and your family were not ill. I was with a group of 30+ people from the USA there on business. Many of my co-workers  are originally from Japan, China, Korea etc. About half of us fell ill. One poor young man was in the hospital for two days.

What I saw was much more than litter. Cows, dogs, sheep and goats in a major metropolitan area walking casually through the streets. Defecating wherever they please. People as well. There was a large open field that the people from the slum used regularly as a toilet. This was directly across the street from my office building. During monsoon season, which is June-July, all this raw sewage runs into the streets and the rivers. I need not explain what this does to the water supply.

People see what they want to see.
If you go there seeking faith and the way to nirvana, possibly you will find it. I am a hard core realist. I see the suffering, disease, poverty and also the extreme wealth of the few and wonder why it has to be that way.
Their government is to blame. Nothing gets done the until the proper palms are crossed with $$$. Some people are becoming very wealthy on the backs of the poor (the poor in the US don't know how comparatively well off they are) and I find it offensive.

End of rant...for now  ;)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 09:11 by nosaya »

« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 10:01 »
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People see what they want to see.
If you go there seeking faith and the way to nirvana, possibly you will find it. I am a hard core realist. I see the suffering, disease, poverty and also the extreme wealth of the few and wonder why it has to be that way.
Their government is to blame.
Precisely- people see what they want to see. So why didn't you go there wanting to see a fascinating culture which is one of the most different from our own? I'm also a hardcore realist- I have no interest at all in the hippie thing. But their religion isnt simply "people with many arms" or "loving each other" but much more complicated philosophical issues. As an athiest I still found it very interesting. One thing I didn't go to see is the political situation or a decent economy. If I was interested in that, I wouldn't have gone to India.

That's funny about the lizards on the runway- very Indian :) You don't take pleasure in this culture? I'd find that amusing. Yeah it'd be a little irritating getting somewhere late, but at least you have something to talk about when you arrive!

Yaknow nosaya- you may not have enjoyed yourself out there, but youre far more interesting now. :) I bet you have more perspective and I bet you appreciate your situation a lot more. Sounds like a worthwhile month to me.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 10:15 by Leontura »

michealo

« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 11:03 »
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As a European expat living in the US it always irks me to see how narrow-minded people (mostly Americans, sorry to say that but it is true)

I think generalisations like this are odious, unhelpful and patently untrue.

And I'm European and I have lived in the US. There are broad and narrow minded people everywhere ...

« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 21:09 »
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@leontura,

"So why didn't you go there wanting to see a fascinating culture which is one of the most different from our own? I'm also a hardcore realist- I have no interest at all in the hippie thing. But their religion isn't simply "people with many arms" or "loving each other" but much more complicated philosophical issues. As an atheist I still found it very interesting. One thing I didn't go to see is the political situation or a decent economy. If I was interested in that, I wouldn't have gone to India."

Actually I thought I went there with a fairly open mind and not too many preconceptions.

A little background first: In my almost 52 years on this planet I have traveled extensively on business. I've spent considerable time in the following countries: Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
I did some reading on the major religions and the caste system in India. I found the Jains to be the most interesting as their extreme devotion to all things living make them refuse to eat root vegetables (potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots etc). Seems they don't want to harm the little buggers that might be living on the root plant.

In any event, I felt that I had had enough time in the 'third world' to not be surprised by too much. I was mistaken. I was just not prepared for the extremes that India offers. The poor there are more destitute than any I have ever seen (I have not been to Africa though), and the rich are totally indifferent to the slum dwellers as they are from the lower castes.

And you are totally correct about the lizard thing. I found it amusing alright. I thought "these people are the biggest tree huggers on the whole planet... yet they pollute like crazy"!

Weird world. Very very weird.





 

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