As my final days in Mumbai close in fast I seem to be zipping around in rickshaws saying goodbye, attending class or trying to find the elusive wifi cafe that’s never where you’re told it is. Hot tip: The Bagel Shop, Pali Hills, Bandra was only one I could find.
Wherever I was going, whatever time of day and whichever road I traveled, I’d see countless homes set up along the footpath. A single body asleep under a dusty blanket, a mother brushing out dirt from the shelter or a child playing naked on their adventure park (read pile of rocks). I’m not sure if they’re outcast from the slums or a step up but it drains your heart and curdles the chai in your stomach to see the little abodes made with an assortment of sheets and blankets secured with twine constantly relocating as road construction or destruction threatens what little they have.
As I shared a cab ride with Sakina, a local photographer, we chatted about life in Mumbai and what the future held. At one point she asked “There are countless problems with this city but tell me, what problems does Australia have?” I opened my mouth but no words came out… my throat went dry and I made some pathetic joke… we obviously have some but at that moment I could think of none.