India – Mumbai

Mumbai, 4 days, India, October 2019

+ The place


+ My feelings and historical part

Mumbai, a city that changes compared to Bangalore. Mumbai has two sides: on one side, the historic city with Colaba, or Dhobi Ghat, the open-air laundry, and on the other the modern city, as evidenced by these buildings, these skyscrapers, these long and wide arteries. It’s another vision of India, we are getting closer to modern India.
I am not a fan of large metropolises but I especially appreciated in the “modern” zone, the calm with a little less noise. In reality, the noise is omnipresent but the streets are wide so the sound can fly out of it and really hit our ears.
I read that lovers should not be too demonstrative in India, that this shocked. However, while walking on “Chowpatty Seaface”, many young people held hands, kissed without any shame. Has modernity also arrived in love?
Among the photos, you will have that of the Antilia Tower, in the heart of Mumbai. A tower of 27 floors, 600 employees for a small family.
Historical part
The city has been known by different names depending on the languages ​​and times. The city was officially named Bombay until 1995 and is called from Mumbai. This name, “Mumbai”, comes from the contraction of “Mamba” or “Maha-Amba”, name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi (in) that would have formerly venerated the inhabitants of the places and of “Aai”, “mother” in Marathi, the regional language.
Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry, is based in Mumbai and is one of the largest in the world with 150-200 films produced per year. The name “Bollywood” is a portmanteau formed from “Bombay” and “Hollywood”.
Dhobi Ghat, the open-air laundry. Surprising in a modern city that this laundry continues to exist. Yet it is. The place has even undergone modernization. On the other hand, the site of establishment, in the heart of Mumbai, is the object of a very strong envy. Dozens of Dhobis, these washers from father to son, are busy washing clothes at all Mumbai, hotels and hospitals. Dhobis means “to wash”, we call the men exercising this profession the “dhobi wallah”. Wallah literally means “the one who does” and designates someone who performs a specific task, here therefore, those who wash. The laundry is washed by hand in more than 1000 laundries. The laundry is always sorted and laid out by color. And the dhobis manage to find out who owns the laundry.
One last particularity, the carriers of meals: the Dabbawallah. They are present all over India but very visible in Mumbai. This system appeared in 1890. The main reason for the popularity of this system lies in the fact that a home-cooked meal is a guarantee for the customer of the respect of the dietary prescriptions linked to his caste. Meals are collected at home and identified to be taken to the disembarkation station for delivery. The identification consists of colors and letters allowing illiterate Indians to understand it easily. The lunchboxes are then brought home by the same system. I urge you to watch the movie “The Lunchbox” (2013) by Ritesh Batra.