Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mumbai


Where does one even begin with trying to describe the place? I think that the overriding vision I have has to do with the traffic. Picture a rugby maul, with 7 million people on each team, hooting simultaneously as it spins on with each team member in a 3 wheeled yellow & black auto riksha.

I have this vision in my head of the place, steamy potholed roads and obstacle course pavements. Humanity heaving and weaving through life. Mass microcapitalism. Squalor. Wealth. A population resigned to its plight.

I need to say so much more but can't yet string the words together that spell out the image that is imprinted with amazement and awe on my brain. I trust and hope I will capture this image in words over time, with the help of Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer, 5% alc vol, packaged in a practical 650ml bottle, "India's best selling premium lager". But even photographs can't do it justice so I am not sure that words will either.

9 comments:

Third World Ant said...

I've heard it been said that India is the most spiritual experience you'll ever have on this planet...

Enjoy, and I'm sure you'll find wordy inspiration in those much deeper glasses holding 650ml of beer! (how's your waistline going to look after the trip, I wonder? You must be piling in the delicious curries, too!)

ATW said...

Never had trouble with the waistline - I'm just one of those beings with metabolism that burns up faster than my large appetite can consume. I am enjoying it despite the pity that have to put in 10 hour workdays. Looking forward to doing some real exploring this weekend.

Plenty curry (even at breakfast!). Touch wood so far my stomach's constitution is holding up but I daren't speak to soon.

Third World Ant said...

Okay, I googled local time in Mumbai to check out what the time is there, and I need you to confirm this oddity for me: is Mumbai in fact GMT +5:30???

ATW said...

You're bang on. It's late afternoon in Mumbai. (Although work hours are from about 9.30 to 6pm).

India is one of those rare places that use the half-hour relative to GMT.

The few other oddities(check the time thingy on your PC) are South Australia (Adelaide),Tehran, Kabul and amazingly Kathmandu, Nepal at GMT+5.45!

Dave said...

TWA, Mumbai is probably the least spiritual place on earth, if you ask me, although I am not a very spritual person. I went ther elast year to have a knee operation and don't really have a burning desire to return. It is one of those places you ahve to see at least once in your life, enjoy it ATW.

ATW said...

Dave, so far I'd agree on the lack of spirituality in Mumbai itself. Although I have noted that they put bunches of chillis and lemons on their cars for good luck. (Perhaps our health minister got her garlic & beetroot cue from here?). Also raging news in the last few days is that many religious idols/statues have taking to drinking milk, that the sea water has turned sweet causing almost hysteria on the affected beaches. Of course this has been entirely preceded now by the antics of Mr Darrel Hair.

But a knee op in Mumbai_most interesting. It's a strange mix of first and third world. Even more stark in this contrast than SA is.

Dave said...

Are you still in Mumbai ??????

I totally forgot to let you know about my Khan the best city tour guide ever.

He will come and pick you up from your hotel and drive you around to all the tourist sites whilst giving you the perfect personal tourguide experience. I have his number and all you need to do is call him. He drive a great car, not one of those f*cked up yellow and red taxis with the chillis and lemon hanging off the back exhaust.

His number is 00919821391916. Lovely man, highly recommended.

ATW said...

Thanks Dave. This sounds good. May well give him a call for the weekend or perhaps on my return stopover leg.

Dave said...

Whenever ABN-AMRO send people over to Mumbai they arrange for Khan to pick them up and drive them round the city. Really nice man and great as a tour guide. Can't remember how much it costs but just give him a call and tell him the South African from london with the crutches and a damaged knee gave you his number. I wonder if he will remember?