Photographer's Note

Mumbai - Salaam Bombay! City of contrasts

Today Bombay is called Mumbai. On TE pictures are posted under both names.
My experience was that in conversations local people used the name I had first used myself. Apparently they just wanted to make it easy for me.
When locals named the city before I had used a name myself, young people seemed to prefer the word Mumbai while an older generation was talking about Bombay. A few times I asked which name they preferred and the answer was that I could choose. :)

I will classify my pictures under Mumbai because this is the official name today.
So why the title of this photo ?
‘Salaam Bombay!’ refers to a Bollywood film from 1988 directed by Mira Nair and screenwritten by her longtime creative collaborator, Sooni Taraporevala.
The film chronicles the day-to-day life of children living on the streets of Bombay, India's biggest metropolis.

On my second evening I saw the words 'Salaam Bombay' in large letters on a wall in the restaurant where I ate and since then that greeting got stuck in my head.

Upon returning home people asked me if Mumbai is a beautiful city.
Difficult to tell … Beauty is a relative term. :)
But I know for sure that Mumbai is an incredible interesting and fascinating city and that I would have liked to stay longer.

This gigantic financial and commercial capital of India (in 2016 its metropolitan area had 21,3 million inhabitants) offers a lot to discover.

Mumbai has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in the country. But it is especially a place of great contrasts.

On the foreground of the picture you see the district where the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is located.
A dhobi ghat is a place in open air where large quantities of dirty laundry are cleaned.

The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat has been built in 1890 and is the biggest outdoor laundry in India and in the world.
Approximately 6.000 people work there (not at the same time) and about 3.000 have their home in this small district.

Daily large quantities of dirty laundry are delivered in the dhoby ghat. The dhobis (men and women) collect the laundry and wash it manually. Each dhobi works in a concrete trough which contains a large stone. The dirty clothes and linen are beaten against the stones to remove the dirt. See the picture in the WS.
Boiling barrels of caustic soda are used to remove stubborn stains.
On long lines the laundry is dried and after pressing the dhobis return everything to its owners.
The major customers are hotels and hospitals.

My main picture is taken on the bridge over the railroad (not visible on the photo but immediately adjacent to this neighbourhood). That POV offered a nice view over the area.

In the WS two photos taken inside the dhobi ghat. Two pictures that present scenes from everyday life.

Just today Gert ended his series on Bombay. Well, here starts a Mumbai series. :)

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7044 W: 24 N: 16451] (64408)
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