Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for the Photo Marathon then I would have just spent away another Sunday sleeping, eating and reading. But this Sunday was rather interesting and you will see that we attempted a lot of firsts.
Mumbai is a funny city, in the place where they say people are so much in a rush they have no time to pause and enjoy the smaller joys of life â€“ it is indeed a tough life in this big city. But again when you are out in the street you see people (especially loaded with a camera in your hand) smiling at you, waiting to get clicked and even make a special pose just so that they believe they are snapped in their best.
I was clicking this cart with its melon load, when the cart-owner standing by rushed to me and said he would like to pose for a snap also. With great enthusiasm he positioned himself like a Hindi film hero out to free his heroine from the villain camp.
Then around Churchgate station I was clicking some road-side vendors selling clothes to the numerous Sunday tourists in the city. Just then I noticed that these two boys well placed under a make-shift table seeking shelter from the burning hot sun were waving at me only so that they too could be part of the photo.
Of course we couldn’t control our laughter when people thought we were cheating them by not taking their photos â€“ Why? Because there is no flash light at times, which means no photo was clicked!
Haji Ali, a monument I pass by almost everyday but never stopped to admire or even photograph it otherwise. But on Sunday I think all of us were very keen to snap it â€“ The vast blue sky, a clear view of the horizon and the beautiful structure itself. Many of us took the long walk to the mosque for the first time. And I must say I was rather amused to see that this place attracts people or every race and religion. There was a Punjabi army soldier, a foreigner with a loaded camera, lots of honeymoon couples. It hurts to know when a few greedy souls in our country can evoke hatred among vast communities only on the name of religion. Go take a walk at Haji Ali and you will see the indifferences buried deep down.
On Sundays the area around Churchgate is very different. There are loads of tourist alighting to spend the day roaming the city â€“ which for many is a rather pleasant experience coming from their cramped homes deep in the suburbs of Mumbai. Besides clothes there are street vendors selling everything from China made toys, personal accessories, bags and of course the famous road-side books (pure duplicates of the original selling for as cheap as Rs.50 (US$ 1). Prem had a rather interesting observation to make when he saw this photo of mine:
â€¦If u notice the books all are related with growing rich, making money, leading a peaceful lifeâ€¦
Tourists in Mumbai: I think this was the most over-exposed theme of the marathon. We had clicked so many tourists that by the end of it we were looking for shots which could fit the Mumbai Rush theme. You don’t see a lot of rush in South Bombay on a Sunday. Its usually peaceful except for locations like the Gateway of India and other such attractions. But this rush differs from the hoards you see on weekday mornings alighting from fast local trains halting at Churchgate station.
Talking about foreign tourists in Mumbai, I have always believed that this city is kind of difficult for them to travel around. Not that the city is a land of cheaters but with a language barrier it can rather get difficult at times to go around, read road signs and other instructions. What’s even more challenging is that you see a bunch of them roaming the streets only with a Lonely Planet or Fodors to help them navigate. Gutsy I should say where street names Natahlal Marg and Thackersay Road are confusing enough for us locals let alone I fear how they manage it. Hats off to them!
All in all, this was a great start for the first ever Mumbai Photo Marathon. Of course yes we plan to make this a regular event. In fact we are thinking if we should do another one in December when the weather is a little more comforting.