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

rickshaw sign

rickshaw in mumbai

spotted this sign in the rick's rear-view mirror:


any idea what this can mean? and yes, the last word was "spean"


steel reinforcement cage

a steel reinforcement cage for the footing of a retaining wall. this reinforcement cage looks a lot better like this rather than in a head-on one point perspective.
construction site visits offer great photo-ops :)
at charmichael road
another reinforcement cage here
4000 visitors' marked crossed. thanks!

bamboo and coir

bamboo structure for building workshop in architecture school in mumbai

another view of one of the structures made in college for the building technology workshop. this one started from the first floor and aimed to reach a point in mid-air above the college lawn; made of bamboo, coir rope and binding wire, with some nylon ropes for suspension. photo of another structure of the same workshop here

what-ch-ya doing?

portrait sculpture at horniman circle mumbai

this guy looks down at passing pedestrians at horniman circle

4th yr architecture design competition

competition entries for architecture design competition in mumbai

if you are interested in seeing details, click on the photo, but be prepared for a really large image :)

this was the panel that we had pinned up for yesterday's competition. rohan's work - hybrid communities at kamathipura - is on the left; mine - community enrichment centre at girgaon - is on the right. (i need a better title, but that's another story). we looked around at the entries from all other colleges before the jury, and were quite confident about our work. infact, at the risk of sounding presumptuous, we were quite confident that 20 other entries from our class would have fared better than the entries that were pinned up.
but obviously we knew that winning, actually doing well, would depend entirely on the jurors. if the jurors would be like the ones invited for our college juries, then we would succeed; on the other hand, if they were the 'other type' of jurors, it would be a disaster. we were prepared either for the best or for the worse. surprisingly, we fared somewhere in the middle.
a five star hotel (dypcoa) was judged the best project and a banker's training institute (lsr) won the second position. my project got an 'honourable mention'; while rohan's project was apparently appreciated too.
nevertheless, this was a great experience; right from realizing the implied meaning of "a 4 feet by 4 feet panel" to getting to view the nature of projects in other colleges and their design responses. at the end of the day, we were confident about our design process and glad about the school of thought where we come from; even if it means shrinking drawings to a readable-only-from-3-inches-away scale...

republic day

indian republic day decoration at infiniti mall mumbai
india celebrates its 59th republic day today
photo clicked at infiniti mall, lokhandwala

shopping island

inorbit shopping mall at malad in mumbai

had some work at inorbit mall today. though this wasn't the first mall to come up in mumbai, i think it was the first that resembles one of those large US malls; with a wide drive in, a long road frontage, dead walls facing the road, with static advts on them, a sprawling single level, open-air car park at the back ... and the way the landscaping is carried out along the entire length, the mall gets completely cordoned off from the road. a shopping haven bordered by an artery road on one side, and a creek on the other side?
note to self: firing; service; bad; cake; argument; desert; restaurant; bday; 51st; dad

green leaves & white sky

green leaves and greenery in irla mumbai

today's been a good day. i've got a presentation due on saturday, which i've got to give in by tomorrow morning, so i'm not going to say much / visit any CDP blogs tonight. ciao.
photo clicked while looking up at pappillon restaurant in irla, march 2007. i like the photograph for the stark greenery of the leaves, and the complete whiteness of the sky

fresh fruits and vegetables

fruit seller. called bhaji-wallah in hindia. almost everyone here buys their stock of fruits and vergetables every 2-3 days or so; some even prefer to buy it daily. and in spite of all the food bazaar and department stores, buying produce from the local market remains the most popular option; not to mention the most convenient too: not only do many of these guys home deliver the order free-of-charge; but one can also get back to them the next day and complain in case a particular fruit did not turn out to be sweet enough. (this is done especially when it comes in mangoes)
we were working on mangalore study trip work: dipie and me are dealing with the market typologies in the city, and the word market has been buzzing in our head all evening.
photo clicked in june 2005 at 7 bungalows, andheri (w)


aeroplane docked at mumbai airport

grandparents are off to CA today; was at their place helping them back an running last minute errands. going to miss them a lot for some time now; but i know they'll have a good time, so i'm glad they're going...
note to self: "time to get serious about college work", says mom. "it seems that you've been on a vacation for a year and a half now" !
photo clicked at mumbai airport in may 2007
and its tarun's 13th b'day today. happy b'day brother !!!
and a look at the visitors' counter tells me that we've crossed the 3500 mark. thanks all!


snail shell round pattern brown

have been at home all weekend, installing programs on the newly re-working desktop, sorting out stuff and cleaning up a lot of clutter; and now by the end of it i'm feeling like a snail confined to its shell....
photo clicked: some time last year; found this guy on the society's compound wall

computer peripherals

computer parts in chor bazaar mumbai

apart from the antique curios, chor bazaar is also home to computer parts, from chips, to cpu units, to keyboards; usually piled up in stacks. you'll also find the most ancient looking computers / laptops on sale here. more of a collectors item rather than a useful gadget.
previous posts about chor bazaar: all set and ready to go, woolies, palmer family reunion, something like broaches and chor bazaar
note to self: desktop back to working condition today, after a period of many many months

class lunch

lunching with friends in a group in college

thats my class, everyday at lunch time. we have this tradition, being followed for the last four years, of sitting in two long straight rows facing each other, the early-birds getting the back rest. the linear arrangement doesn't allow one to talk to more than four people on either side, but food gets passed to everyone. if someone's packed lunch is green veggies, then the dabba (tiffin-box) usually switches hands through the entire group and reaches back to its owner without considerable reduction in quantity. pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, sweets, paneer (something like cottage cheeze) etc on the other hand don't reach more than three pairs of lunch-ers beyond the origin.

birthday cake

birthday cake by teacher for students

one of our design professors (but that's too formal a word for this person) celebrated his birthday today, and we kind of forced him to get cake. (its quite simple do this: get a group of 35+ people who sing 'happy birthday' on top of their voices, and then immediately break into a '
cake-cake-cake' jingle once the birthday song is complete)
the cake said "for my hard working students"; that left us wondering if we should suffix a "ly" to "hard". "hardly" may be more appropriate for us...

happy birthday kalpit, and best wishes for the year ahead!
this birthday celebration had nothing to do with the birthday in the earlier post.


steel framed pedestrian foot over bridge at charni road, marine drive, mumbai

pedestrian foot-over-bridge at marine drive. this was peak hours on a weekday, 11:00 am. just shows how deserted marine drive can get during the day. in that sense, it comes alive as a promenade only in the evenings.
for a promenade stretching across 4 km, its quite a .. um.. bore.. shall we say. across the entire length of the promenade, theres really not much variety of spaces / events for people to engage in.
for an aerial view of the promenade, see my jan 2008 daily photo theme post here


tug of war game is akin to struggling in life

pull, push, fight, connive, invent, re-invent, copy-paste, cut-paste... whatever the methods... striving is in an integral part of human life. every day, every moment.
photo clicked in dec 2006: pre-annual events in college: tug-of-war
note to self: ad: steel studio: interim jury

the twenties

21st birthday gift
we celebrated a 21st birthday today, and what better way to do it than to spice up things, legally :-)
image distorted, to protect privacy


hindu winter festival of lohri celebrated in mumbai

lohri is a predominantly north indian festival, that marks the last of the coldest days of winter. for those involved in agriculture, it marks the beginning of the harvest season; and as with many other festivals, its celebrated with different names and styles in different regions of the country.

in many of mumbai' residential societies, the festival is celebrated with a bonfire. to the fire are offered quite a few things, the names and significance of which i am not aware of. the celebration in my society this time is a comparatively elaborate affair, complete with two (very loud) punjbai drummers and dinner for all; its being hosted by a punjabi family from the apartment, as its the first lohri of their grandson. i didn't attend the event as i don't agree with the way some things were done. still, it makes for a good daily-photo.

tomorrow is makar sankranti, more popularly identified as the kite-flying festival.

oh, and the lit up tree in the centre of the bottom of the photo is a christmas tree, its decorations haven't been removed yet :)

cinema hall

single screen cinema, chandan theatre in juhu scheme mumbai

we went to chandan today, to watch a movie. chandan is amongst the few single-screen cinema halls left in this part of mumbai. everywhere, single-screen halls are being redeveloped into multiplexes with malls, food courts et all. while they do provide more "comforts" and choices, it all comes at a very hefty ticket; and nothing beats chandan's prices for budgeted college students. also for some reason i feel each single-screen cinema hall has an identity of its own, while the multiplexes simply look like clones of each other, with jazzy forms made of glass, steel and colourful polycarbonate.
some readers have been enquiring about the term 'mindless' in mindless mumbai. i've given my explanation in a brief description of the blog on the RHS frame
inspiration to add mindless mumbai's web address to each photo, and to try and disguise it within the imagery comes from not a secret blog by quin[tarantino]


kids playing with kittens in mumbai

these kids were having a whale of a time playing with the kittens, and were all smiles for the camera. the day has been quite productive, and i'm feeling good :)
photo clicked at the base of gilbert hill, andheri
see this photo on flickr here
design class and thesis discussion, both went well; the design project is moving on the right track, while thesis discussions are helping formulate plan-of-action for the next month
and, mindless mumbai has now had over 3000 visitors. thanks everyone!

work, work, work

steel reinforcement rods used in construction

college is on in full swing; and the plan is to finish the technical subjects rather soon, so that there's more time towards the end, to concentrate on design.
any guesses what is this image of? look below for the answer...
photo clicked at the construction site visit in khar
the long rods are torque steel reinforcement rods, used in RCC construction. these particular ones were being used for the pile foundation. see an earlier photo of the reinforcement when its been put together to form a cage for the piles here
by the way, there are going to be a lot of posts related to college and college work in the next few months....

class meetings... and their necessity

class meetings in architecture college krvia

most of the airtel ads have a theme that's based on "if only people would talk about what's on their mind". we realised that this is so true today. 'class meetings' are our way of ensuring that everyone in class is informed about everything concerned, is updated about latest developments, and gets a chance to express his or her opinion about any issues that the class may be involved in. unfortunately, for whatever reasons, many in the class still seem to be quite hesitant / shy / disinterested / unconcerned about what goes on in the class meetings, and as we've witnesses today, it can lead to a whole lot of issues in the future
photo clicked in january, 2007. we were scheduling out submissions for various subjects by asking everyone in class to vote. third year architecture is the most challenging of all the five years, in ways more than one: there are university exams for the first time, vivas for the first time, a range of new subject, its also the first time when design and technological subjects seem to have some sort of connections, and a time when suddenly your not considered to be a baby in architecture school any more. many people sum up the third year architecture experience as something you wouldn't even want your worst enemy to go through.
fourth year is comparatively lighter, but there surely is work that needs to be done...
note to self: 'Kind Attention - Fourth Year KRVIA' e-mail

leaving college, late night

leaving college krvia late at night

leaving college late at night. for some reasons, not a single light is left on; so we get down the stairs using light from our cell phones. by now we've memorised the number of steps: 8 risers on each flight from 2nd floor to the 1st and 9 each from 1st to ground floor...
photo is of the college lawn. the triangular bamboo structure is what one of the b.tech. workshop's groups built. some more pix and some info about the workshop on rohan's blog, here and here

spiralling down

spiral fire staircase for building

not many buildings in mumbai have a fire staircase. this one, probably built 100 years or so ago, does have one, but its rendered useless, as all the doors opening onto it have been walled off. in any case, looking at its condition, it probably would crumple under the weight of too many people rushing down at the same time.
photo clicked near the gateway of india at colaba
some of my school's old buildings have metal fire-stairs. lets see if i can their photo some time soon
note to self: iv yr: services: fire fighting: high rise bldg design review

all decked up for the evening

wedding reception decoration stage hindu indian mumbai
hindu weddings are an elaborate affair, spread over a number of days with a range of functions. the concluding one is the reception that usually follows the traditional wedding ceremony. there are of course other rituals that take place once the newly-weds arrive home, but these are of more private nature, and only the immediate family usually participates in these. this photograph is of the seats for the married couple set on a stage, where they greet all the guests, and politely / genuinely / forcefully smile at the camera with each family!

weddings are a big thing here, and the indian wedding industry is currently estimated to be worth upwards of rs fifty billion, growing at a staggering 25% every year. while the mittals can hire out an entire palace in france; (as do bollywood stars, industrialists and recently an increasing number of foreigners, all in rajasthan's endless number of palaces), even the the not-very-high-budget weddings have their share of splendour. as a general presumption, the "show-off-ness" is more in the national capital and surrounding regions, though i think this is dependant more on economics than on regional-tendencies.

of late, the idea to not accept any gifts or better still: to direct gifts received towards charities / ngos seems to have become popular, and thankfully so.

oh, and i forgot to mention an interesting point. certain dates as per the hindu calender are considered particularly auspicious, and many of these occur in the december month of the gregorian calender. these days are choc-a-bloc with wedding celebrations; particularly in the capital. on 13th december 2006, there were 32,000 weddings scheduled in delhi alone, says this report in the times of india. i didn't even know that so many wedding venues could exist in a particular city!

(btw, unlike in delhi, weddings in mumbai are adapted to the fast paced life in this city. all rituals are usually observed, but the celebrations are often compacted to fit into a weekend, so that no one needs to bunk office/college too much :) )
not to self: ajay and leena's reception


lakshmi narayan temple in khar mumbai

the lakshmi narayan temple at 18th road, khar is a sufi-inspired temple, and quite unlike most others. along with the regular pantheon of hindu gods and goddesses - there's everyone from sai baba to balaji and ram to shyam; there are also a number of ascetics and saints that have been enshrined here. most of these were native to sindh (in current pakistan); and have been followed by sindhis for quite some generations now. with independence came partition, and a large number of sindhis migrated to mumbai. many of the affluent populace of the community stays in khar (west), and that explains the presence of this temple here.

it also explains the overdone silver coating to every surface, ornate wall panels, golden chandeliers, multi-storeyed buildings standing behind shikhars, halls for rent in the basement and of course the marble courtyards etc. seems that every temple which gathers enough funds, wants to first cover its courtyard / open spaces in white marble (classic example being the gokarnath temple in mangalore. see pic here) (but, thank god that haveli on 10th road, jvpd doesn't do the same). anyway, that's a different topic and a complete deviation from what i started off with.

coming back to lakshmi narayan temple: because of the sufi traditions, certain islamic ideas / iconography also seem to be incorporated. allah maalik is prominently written at many places, in sindhi, hindi and english. also, a green crescent moon and a star appear as prominently as the sun. and the usage of green colour is as much, if not more than usage of saffron colour.

on a side note, the angles guarding the doorways were very similar to the ones in churches, hogh above the altar. and best of all, in one corner, at the end of all the gods, goddesses and saints, there was a statue of zarathustra, the founder of zoroastrianism. multi-religion-ism at its best?

see other photos in mindless mumbai about festivals and festivities here.
note to self: ajay's thread ceremony


there's nothing better than two people in love, whoever they might be; irrespective of age, religion or sex.
photo clicked at versova beach
note to self: ajay and leena's engagement

eastern waterfront

mumbai eastern waterfront industries

the area in the vicinity of the sewri fort is an industrial zone, along with a lot of docks and shipping activity. our site for designing a high-rise building for fire-fighting and hvac is located in this area of mumbai, popularly known as the eastern waterfront. this photograph is of one such industrial factory.
unlike its glamorous western waterfront counterpart, the city's eastern waterfront is a comparatively neglected stretch of land, that has witnessed little development over the years. its only in very recent times that there has been an interest in this strip, for its high reality potential.
in fact, a part of this waterfront also has salt-pans that hold the sea-water in checked-ponds and extract salt from the evaporating water. don't know how many other metropolises across the world are home to salt-pans?
see a note on CRIT's report of the same, here
photo clicked at sewri, near the sewri fort
oh, and, mindless mumbai crossed its 2500 visitors mark today. thanks everyone!

back to work

construction workers in mumbai, party over back to work

it was back to college today, after a good 10 days of christmas holidays. having not met anyone from college during the break, it felt good to be back to be in the 4th yr studio and to catchup with people. during any working college day, we're not used to staying away from each other, or from college for that matter for more than 12 hours on any day. today in spite of being the first working day, it was no exception. left college at 9:30pm and i've got to be back by 8:00am tomorrow. love my life, don't i?

these construction workers however don't get any new year offs. work progressed on site on 31st and 1st.
photo clicked at yari road, versova

theme day: january 2008: best photo of 2007

city daily photo blog, theme day, januray 2008, best photo of 2007, south mumbai aerial photograph

the 1st day of every month, is theme day at city daily photo blog . the theme for january 2008 is "best photo of the year 2007".

i chose this photo, originally posted on 27th november 2007: flying high
didn't choose it as much for the photography skill per se, but rather for the subject: the sheer number of spots that this photo captures. for a complete description of the photo see flying high

some other photographs that i judge to be close winners are here:
all set, and ready to go; city lights; on the median and rock and water


photoblogs from 118 other cities are participating in this theme too. click the links to travel around the world, what better way to spend the first day of the new year. happy 2008!

Paris, France - London, England - Hyde, UK - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Grenoble, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Riga, Latvia - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - New Orleans (LA), USA - Wichita (KS), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Francisco (CA), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Mainz, Germany - Melbourne, Australia - Portland (OR), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Toulouse, France - Naples (FL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Brussels, Belgium - Stayton (OR), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Nashville (TN), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Prescott (AZ), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Philadelphia (PA), USAEvry, France - Trujillo, Peru - Arlington (VA), USA - Denpasar, Indonesia - American Fork (UT), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Coral Gables (FL), USA - Montpellier, France - Joplin (MO), USA - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Boston (MA), USA - Torun, Poland - New York City (NY), USA - Dunedin (FL), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Chateaubriant, France - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Budapest, Hungary - Austin (TX), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Cypress (TX), USA - Bicheno, Australia - Wrocław, Poland - Brookville (OH), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Cheltenham, UK - Wellington, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - London, UK - Haninge, Sweden - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Arradon, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Mumbai, India - Terrell (TX), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - Delta (CO), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Saigon, Vietnam - San Diego (CA), USA - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Belgrade, Serbia - Auckland, New Zealand - Seguin (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA - Oslo, Norway - Singapore, Singapore - Las Vegas (NV), USANew York City (NY), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy - Susanville (CA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Memphis (Tennessee), USA
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