Food preparation on Mohammed Ali Road

The crowd grew increasingly dense as Iftar approached. Every form of halal deliciousness was being prepared in massive quantities.


Off a side street, the men operating a small factory bottling a creamy looking bright yellow drink invited me in to see what they were preparing. I have no idea what the neon coloured liquid was, but it must be popular given the volumes they were pouring from various vats.

A few streets away, there was an equally lively trade in non-edible products, especially those with some glitter in them.


I’m not sure what was in the bag.

Reflections of Minara Masjid

The sun was slowly descending as the vendors started preparing for the nightly breaking of the fast during Ramadan in Mumbai’s Mohammed Ali Road. Minara Masjid appears in the reflection of a balloon being blown up by a date vendor.

Indian wrestling

On the ground floor of a nondescript apartment building in Mumbai is one of the few remaining traditional Indian wrestling training centres. Every morning and evening the men gather to train.

Median touch-ups

Given all the other infrastructure needs, I’m frequently surprised by the idea that a coat of paint will make a big improvement.

Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat is a small corner of Mumbai that is the city’s laundromat. Most of the clothes are washed by beating them against cement blocks…

…scrubbed by hand…

…hung to dry…

…pressed, folded,…

…and returned to the apartments from where they were collected. One thing I’ve noticed over my time in India is the proliferation of smartphones. Data plans are now cheap enough that video calling over WhatsApp is an everyday experience for many workers.

Cooling off in Dhobi Ghat

It was a sweltering hot day. This guy was making the best of it by cooling off in one of the laundry tubs.

Mumbai under construction

Pretty much all of Mumbai is under some form of construction or reconstruction. It feels like every corner of our neighbourhood of Lower Parel is growing vertically. I enjoyed watching this crane grow taller outside my office window. It took nearly two years to  for nearly two years to grow to the point where it was above me.

Mumbai’s Gudi Padwa Parade

Marathi Hindus’ celebration of the new year is Gudi Padwa. In Mumbai, this means a big parade led by women on bikes, a lot of drumming, dancing, and a lot of smiles.

Signs that amuse me: Donald Duck says, “Don’t Touch”

This was a large mural outside of the child care room at an airport in Trivandrum, Kerala. I can’t explain.

Also strange, the happy baby doll in a plastic bag on the display of banana chips.

Banana chips from Kerala are delicious.

Oddities and construction along Kerala’s waterways

I don’t have explanations for any of these things we saw in Kerala.

This looks like a normal house under construction until you look closely and realize that a scarecrow is doing the roofing.

I’m very intrigued how this boat would eventually be put back into the water when it’s completed. There were a lot of boats being constructed or refurbished along our route. They were outnumbered only by boats tied up and sitting idle.

A lock to separate Kerala’s backwaters from the sea

Most of the backwaters of Kerala are fresh water. They provide not only transportation, but irrigation and drinking water to support a very large population.

There’s a manually operated lock that allows vessels to move in and out but keep sea water out. We pulled up, but no one could find the keeper of the crank.

After some protests and the payment of an ‘appropriate fee’ the crank handle appeared, and the large doors slowly closed behind us, and the one in front opened to allow us to continue our journey out toward the sea.