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Revisiting Mumbai

03/21/2014

Forgive me for how quiet things have been around here lately. I’ve been in India…

Ok, not literally in India, but figuratively I’ve been thousands of miles away, totally immersed in a trip I took to Bangalore, Udaipur, and Mumbai in January of 2011. Now three years later, I finally sat down to write the story that I knew I should write from that trip, the one that I’ve told seemingly hundreds of times about a single unexpected day in Mumbai. You may have even heard me tell it… My friends call it “the one with the rat.”

What’s been interesting about writing this story is how hard it is to remember in vivid detail things that happened even just a few of years ago. I’ve been pouring over old pictures from the trip, even the bad ones, which I’m so glad I didn’t delete, looking up locations to fact check my memories, hoping for non-existent Google street view photos, and wishing I could find the Moleskine where I recorded my experience throughout the trip and even during the day in question. I know it’s here somewhere. I would never have thrown it away, but I still can’t find it!

In the process of writing this story and immersing myself back in this trip, I’ve come squarely under India’s enchanting spell, her dizzying array of vibrant colors, constant bustling, jarring contrasts, and spicy smells of street food beckoning me back. So if you’ll indulge me, I thought I’d share with you a few of the images I’ve been pouring over from that trip to Mumbai — home to over 12 million people and the commercial capital of India densely situated along a beautiful crescent-shaped bay.

Mumbai Hanging Gardens

The whimsically manicured hanging gardens atop of Malabar Hill.

Mumbai Hanging Gardens

Mumbai Hanging Gardens

One of my favorite shots to date. I love their smiles and school uniforms.

Dhobi Ghat, Outdoor Laundry

Dhobi ghat, the world’s largest outdoor laundry keeping most of Mumbai clean.

Dhobi Ghat, Outdoor Laundry

University Tower Mumbai

Rajabai Clock Tower on the University of Mumbai campus.

Indian Taxis

A smile in the middle of standstill traffic.

Victoria Terminus

Victoria Terminus, now called Chhatrapati Shivajia Terminus, an intersting mix of architectural styles.

Crawford Market

Crawford Market in central Mumbai, where you can buy just about anything from produce to pets.

Crawford Market Produce

Crawford Market

Crawford Market pets

Crawford Market spices

Gateway of India

The Gateway of India, built to commemorate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in India in 1911, but only completed in 1924.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, renovated and back at full grandeur after the terrorist attacks two years before.

~

When I wrote about my trip to India the first time, I marveled at how much I had learned and the vast amount I didn’t know about India and concluded by saying, “What I’ve learned is simple. Before, during, and even now after the trip is over, I’m still intrigued by the vast array of everything Indian…”

And that’s still true even three years later.


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