Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kalbadevi - an old trading neighborhood

I moved to a hotel yesterday here in the Kalbadevi district of Mumbai. It's an interesting district to say the least. It's one of the oldest parts of Mumbai and the architecture sure shows it. Beautiful buildings, lots of crowded narrow streets and clothe shops galore. I didn't take any photos these two days, in this area I didn't feel comfortable roaming the streets with my camera out. But here's what I saw

Men carrying bundles of sari's on their heads and shoulders from the warehouses to stores.
A little naked boy of maybe no more than 3 years old hanging out on a street corner listening intently to two business men having a conversation.
A little girl in rags sleeping on the step of a closed up shop
A man standing on his balcony of a many hundred year old building looking down at the crowds below him.
Hot oil popping as freshly assembled samosas are lowered in for three minutes of cooking.
Men pushing and shoving to get to the counter so they can order their plate of samosas
A plate of two squished samosas with mint chutney and yogurt poured on top
A reflection in the oil splattered mirror of me with a mouthful of food, grinning back at myself
A frosted glass of ice cold Kingfisher beer sitting in front of me as I peer out the small doors of a dingy bar
A sign in the window that says "buy 2 pants get six free", the pants only four dollars each
"Buy 3 shirts get 9 free", the shirts only $3 each.
A laundry bill that exceeds the cost of buying new clothes
A 100 year old house with a well dressed man and his chauffeured car
A family of five sitting in the gutter cooking what little food they have in front of the house
The man selling samosas is intently staring at me as I intently look around at my surroundings.

Kalbadevi is really an interesting place. Yesterday when I arrived I didn't like it in the least bit. I walked and walked and didn't want to be here. Today I walked and decided it really wasn't all that bad. The people are busy moving products from the warehouses. Kalbadevi was the old trading post and today goods are still traded. The only thing here that I really found interesting is the architecture. I wish I had taken some photos, the next time I will.

I've been in Mumbai long enough. Last time I was here was in January, saw all the sights back then so not much more to see this time around. My family gathering is next weekend so I decided to take a break from Mumbai and will be flying to Jodhpur tomorrow, it's the desert state of Rajasthan.

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