Hanging out in in another Indian city? I think?

Trip Start Sep 03, 2006
Trip End Jan 30, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, December 4, 2006

So I got to tag along with my supervisor in Mumbai for a three day trip - which was all I could handle!  Compared to other cities, the area we stayed in was absolutely beautiful.  The (European) architecture was stunning.  I also saw Elephanta Island - a very nice half-day trip.  The most beautiful and serene piece of artwork is here - the statue of the Hindu trio- the creator, preservorm and destroyer.  It is a must see.  It was the cleanest and most costly city I have been to in India.  It was also one of the saddest because right alongside the richest people in this country (and the world) you have the absolute poorest.  It was intense.  Not only was this the most expensive city I've been to - it was the most confusing and uncomfortable on so many levels.  Whenever I see people who have too much money it makes me way more nervous then the person who is dirt poor.  It is interesting that the dirt poor person will usually have better concept of right and wrong - good and bad - then the rich person.  YIKES it was a tough place.  The children learn schemes for begging and creating guilt in a passerby from their parents the.  They live on the streets (literally), or in shacks.  In fact, upon returning to the airport it was still light out, and I saw what I did not see upon my late-night arrival; a huge slum area.  It was the biggest, most depressed urban area I have seen in India.  I am sure it is not the only one.  I wished I could do something for the children I met while I scooted from one tourist attraction to the next.  Instead I was forced to walk past without acknowledging their existence.  One cannot help but feeling a sense of guilt or pain at the situation.  We come to Mumbai to see a great city, but we leave with the impression of a great paradox.  That paradox is inequality and its persistence despite the existence of wealth.  But what is my responsibility in this equation?  That is the question so many of us have, and so few of us venture to answer.    
Anyway damn way .... enjoy the pictures while I sit around here all frustrated. 
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navinkotian on

Hi - Was reading your blog regarding Mumbai. It was very interesting to read a different view point. I guess, after being brought up in Mumbai, you just accept somethings as is.

The contrast between the rich and the poor is very striking in Mumbai, because it is just across the road and in your face. But you take any other city, the contrast has always been there - maybe not very obvious.

As for anyone's responsibility in this equation - atleast I see that you are more than doing your part. My wishes are with you.


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