February 24, 2013

Mumbai - A Cavalcade of Life

The name Mumbai is derived from the goddess Mumba Devi. I went to visit the temple of the city's patron goddess with my cousin. The six hundred year old structure is not especially fascinating, but the neigbourhood around it is packed with the colours, smells, and sights that indelible memories are forged out of.

The streets of Seoul are quite predictable, full of bright neon lights and 24/7 life. The primary difference between day and night and from one area to another is that the number of drunken Korean men asleep on the sidewalk varies by time and location. Mumbai, on the other hand, always has something new to offer around every corner.

We chanced upon a series of vibrantly painted carts with disproportionally large bugles attached to the top as we continued on from the temple. The miniature vehicles can be hired to noisily accompany marriage processions. At another junction, a goat was parked amidst a line of motorcycles. A public washroom with an "Urine" sign accompanied by an arrow was next in line to draw my attention.

We visited a store selling burqas, the traditional Muslim body coverings, and inquired about the pricing and the different styles on sale. The store owners asked if we planned to open a burqa shop of our own, wary of freely distributing market intelligence to potential competitors. We informed them that we had no such plans at the moment.


"The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It's an incredible cavalcade of life, and I love that." ~ Julian Sands