Faces of Dharavi

Dharavi is filled with friendly faces. I really enjoyed wandering the alleys.

There are numerous plans to redevelop Dharavi. Below, a large apartment block under construction casts a shadow over the slum.

The fish seller came carrying on his head a bucket of fish and shrimp on ice. The ladies inspected closely, but didn’t buy. He was followed throughout the alleys by a cat that would patiently for him to serve the scraps after he gutted each fish he sold.

This girl’s curiosity was just strong enough for her to approach to check us out, but the skepticism remained on her face.

This boy watched as a truck was loaded with finished water jugs being sent for sale.

Signs that amuse me: Honking is contagious to mental health

The big sign that says “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him” caught my eye. The little sign in front says, “Honking is contagious to mental health… be cool.” That just makes this street corner awesome.

One Tree Hill near Matheran

The trail toward One Tree Hill is a gentle path that passes along rolling hills, watched over by a goat.

The rains had stopped a few weeks prior, so the forest was still lush, but hot. Without the cooling effect of the rain, it was a sweltering day.

Eventually, the path emerges from the forest into a steep waterfall that has been reduced to a trickle. About halfway up the rocks, we encountered the last of the Kharvi blooms.

At the top of the falls, we found the one tree on top of the hill, along with more Kharvi blooms.

Some of the other flowers were pretty spectacular too.

Qutb Minar

I hadn’t heard of a minar before. It seems not even the internet knows how it differs from a minaret. In any event, this one is large and, impressively after hundreds of years, still standing.

I stole this from a hockey card

Back in the spring, I found one of those boxes of ‘stuff’ that you hide as far out of sight as possible, but every time you see it, you’re reminded of that unfinished task of doing something with that stuff. I decided to seize the moment and opened it up to discover many incomplete sets of hockey card that I had collected as an 11-year old.

In the process of dumping the cards into the recycling bin, this card jumped out at me.

I kept it to put in my fifty mission cap.

Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival near the end of the monsoon season in honour of the Hindu god Ganesh. Families and neighbourhoods band together to house idols of Lord Ganesh in temporary shrines, worship them, and eventually immerse them in the sea.

On their way to the sea, the idols are paraded through the city accompanied by music, dancing, and general partying. The sound system strapped to the taxi below is a small one. Others have full flat-bed trucks carrying a sound and light show.

The sound level on our balcony, 23 stories above street level, exceeded 100 dB regularly. Below, partying dancers pause for a selfie.

On the last day of the festival, many of the idols are immersed at Chowpatty beach in Mumbai. Seeing the I really enjoyed spending time with the families as they prepared to send their idols into the sea.

Escape to Thailand

After our first six weeks in Mumbai, we needed a break. Badly. There are direct flights to Bangkok, and we took advantage. The only two photos I took were of what seemed to be the world’s largest highway rest stop. It was at least a kilometer long, and packed with shops. Not surprisingly, there were more 7-Elevens than I could count.

The other photo was a beautiful sunset.

I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d be going to Bangkok as an escape from a noisy city.

A Jak look-alike

I did a double-take when this kitten was purring at my feet begging for food. He looks exactly like Jak did when he was a few months old.

I’ve always wondered where his colouring came from. It turns out that he’s probably an orange, black, and white cat, minus the orange.