Mindless Mumbai is a Photo Blog from Mumbai, India by Kunal Bhatia. Art Architecture Food Street Urban Festivals Travel People Portraits Signs Photojournalism Candid

travel beckons

backpakers at the gateway of india reading a guide book, probably the lonely planet.

im off to vijaynagar and hampi for the weekend. we leave tomorrow evening, will try to post tomrrow, or else, c ya all on monday

recycling and reusing

workers in a metal-scrap workshop punching coins out of thin metal strips. because of what seems to be an imbibed tradition to sell all kinds of unused items to the local raddi-wala (loosely translated as the guy who collects all kinds of worthy, but not working items) i'm sure we have a high percentage of recycling, though its done via informal means

it's been back to college and back to work today.

flying high

aerial photograph of south mumbai by kunal bhatia
today has been a good day :)

this is the first aerial photo that i'm posting, was clicking in flight for the first time while going to cochin, kerala. i love the number of spots that i can locate in this photography. the predominant curve that you see is marine drive, mumbai's longest sea-facing promenade, and amongst the best in the world.

at the absolute bottom of the photograph is the malabar hill - walkeshar area. and the large rectangle to the bottom left with brownish strips cutting across green patches along with the dense tree cover around it is the hanging gardens and the kamla nehru park.

further on, the large stretch of sand by the water is girgaon chowpatty, mumbai's most famous stretch of beach. in the left half of the photograph (that looks very dense) are the inner city areas.

just beyond chowpatty beach, along marine drive, the three rectangular green plots on the left are the gymkhanas. further ahead are the two stadia, wankhede and brabourne.

at the very end of marine drive, is south mumbai's business centre, nariman point; a patch of reclaimed land that has amongst the highest real estate value on earth.

the large empty patches of land behind marine drive are the three maidans: oval, cross and azad. 150 years ago these were part of the esplanade, an open stretch of the land that separated the english town from the native town. beyond these maidans lies cst - fort - dn road etc, all major commerce and business districts.

finally, to the absolute top of the picture, is the sea again. that's part of mumbai's easter water front, and seen here are the mumbai port trust docks, and the naval docks

hey i just realised, if anyone's planning to visit mumbai, then you'll probably be spending more than three-fourth of your visit at some place located within this pic!

photo clicked in-flight, while on way to cochin.

by the meter

only once one is out of the city for a while does one appreciate some of the most mundane and inane benefits of living in mumbai. take the rickshaw meters for example. in mangalore and more so in bangalore, every time we had to catch a rickshaw, we'd have to argue and hassle about the fare before we got in. the concept of charging the passenger a fare as read on the meter seems to be non-existent, at least when it comes to non-locals.

and as per the official rule book, in bangalore rick fares go up one and a half times post 9 pm and double post 11 pm! do they think that the city is a three yr old kid who is supposed to be confined to home three hours before mid-night?

domestic airport

i'm back from the study trip. i had to come back my flight, and just landed a few hours ago. this pic is at the mumbai domestic airport. i'm seeing it for the first time after the recent renovation.

while its much better than what i remember was there earlier, the new structure of trusses, space frames and angular columns is a bit bulky and clumsy to me.


(continued from the previous post)

and the passengers' seats also wear a deserted look...

meanwhile, i am off to south karnataka for two weeks for the (last) college study trip. will get back to photoblogging once i come back on the 25th. c ya.

waiting... for the driver

B.E.S.T. is mumbai's public transit service and amongst the best public-bus services in the country. the shot is of a rare tranquil moment in a BEST bus, while its parked at a depot

@ yari road bus depot


the last few days have been hectic and full of activity. i decided to photo blog a simple picture. this is the signboard mentioning the city's name "mumbai" at the gateway of india. so theoretically, if anyone were to arrive into the city by ship and be powerful enough to enter via the gateway, he would know where he has reached.

one can of course experience a similar sense of arrival, on alighting from the ferrys that go to and fro between the gateway and alibaug or elephanta

sinful binging

4 days of festivities, ensures a lot of sweets...

welcome 2064

diwali is here, and everything and everybody is all decked up. today was lakshmi pooja, which we duly did at office + at home. its also new years eve, year 2064 as per the hindu calender. happy new year to everyone!!!

guilt free binging - right off the streets

all of us hog on street food, and more often than not its either deep fried (vadas, samosas, bhajias) or has doubtable liquid contents (chutneys, sauces, golas, pani-puris). but in some parts of the city are vendors such as this one, who sell plates of assorted cut-fruit.

this was outside the taraporevala aquarium, and i opted the water-melon plate over the oily thali in the aquarium's canteen. in the fruit plate: water-melon, pineapple, chickoo, cucumber, papaya, beetroot, apple all for 15 rupees

sewri fort

for tourists and mumbaikars alike, the city's fortifications remain quite unknown. along the western as well as the eastern coastlines, are remnants of mumbai's forts. this pic is of the fort at sewri, in the midst of the warehouses, oil storage tanks, defunct factories, mud-flats and mangroves, having a magnificent view of the eastern water front.

the forts are now thankfully being given a makeover, under the Mumbai Fort Circuit plan of the MMRDA, and the plans for sewri fort include a flamingo observation centre.

for more about the sewri fort, how to get there, and things around it, see my article here

tetrapods along the shore

reclaimed in the 1920s, marine drive (on wiki) is today mumbai's most famous promenade. along most of the 4 km stretch are placed concrete tetrapods that help soften the tide's erosive action on the promenade's wall

this pic is at the far south end of marine drive, near the ncpa

sea food, mumbai style

the kolis are amongst the earliest inhabitants of mumbai. today, this fishing community is restricted to enclaves in gorai, versova, juhu, bandra, colaba etc. untreated sewage being let out into the sea, infrastructure projects that traverse the coasts and stiff competition from north indian vendors who provide home delivery of fish have all threatened the community's way of living.

as a part of the mumbai festival which takes place every january, a 'koli sea food festival' was held at versova and at colaba fishing villages. i had covered the versova festival for mumbai mirror online, and these women, dressed in all their finery were running one of the stalls. despite being vegetarian, the aromas & sights were tempting...

town hall

mumbai's erstwhile town hall is a neo-palladian structure, built in the early 19th centure. today, it houses the asiatic library. more about the town hall / asiatic library here

community service

the marble-board in the background has a list of phone numbers of important amenities and persons of the area, like the police station, hospitals, doctors etc.

in the foreground is a barber with his client wrapped in a white cloth.

pic shot at girgaon

say cheese!

'hanging gardens' are a group of gardens built over a water reservoir in south mumbai, and are a popular recreational area. they are also a stop on the mumbai darshan tour buses.

many first time visitors to the city get a polaroid photo of theirs taken with the sea, marine drive and high-rises as the backdrop, at this particular spot in the gardens.