Gateway of India

Gateway of India

 

Dabba-wallas completing deliveries of lunches.

Dabba-wallas completing deliveries of lunches.

Very close friends, with Arki. There were a total of 6 people in the cab the size of a VW beetle!

Very close friends, with Arki. There were a total of 6 people in the cab the size of a VW beetle!

All aboard....what a system.....a train every 3 minutes!

All aboard….what a system…..a train every 3 minutes!

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where we didn't stay in Mumbai.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where we didn’t stay in Mumbai.
The impressive vaulted ceiling inside the Victoria RailwayTerminus.

The impressive vaulted ceiling inside the Victoria RailwayTerminus.

Ghandi's place.

Ghandi’s place.

Some of the 1026 Dhobi ghat.

Some of the 1026 Dhobi ghat.

An interesting start to our India Adventure……..arriving at the Colombo Airport comfortably well in advance of check-in time, our flight details did not appear on screen. Enquiries determined that we, in fact, did not have a flight!!!! Seems our flight had been postponed to the next day……pleasingly however the airline rep was able to get us booked on a Sri Lanka Airlines flight later that night………..so instead of a 9:30 departure, it was nearer to midnight…….heads finally hit the pillow at 4am……..rise again at 8 and into a car for a city tour at 9:30.

The most noticeable aspect of Mumbai were the beautiful and majestic buildings built during the British occupation.

Visited Ghandi’s home and walked the rooms and staircases that this great peace advocate had trodden. His house is now a museum depicting his struggles and triumphs over oppression and racism.

Mumbai……an amazing city where we observed the 140 year old Dhobi ghat (laundry pits). 1026 water filled troughs where men wash, dry and iron clothes, from around the city, every day. Saw the dabba-wallahs delivering and collecting some of the thousands of lunch pails that arrive by train before being delivered to businesses around the city. The prestigious Forbes magazine has given this unique service it’s highest possible award for efficiency………equal to one mistake in six million!! All without a scrap of paper being used for recording let alone using a computer….quite amazing.

Spent the afternoon with Arki from the NGO group Reality Cares, touring the slums of Dharavi, dodging the traffic, seeing the Muslim and Hindu quarters, pottery kilns, recycling of plastics, recasting of aluminium, seeing how the people live and work. An amazing experience. Visited their small classroom where teenage students were interacting before we were treated to a dance rehearsal being prepared for tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations. You can see Noelene joining in on the you tube address at the end of this post. I took the bat and punched a delightful stroke through cover, then took the ball and was carted for six over the rubbish skip, past the shop front into a nearby lane way, by a 12 year old. Finally caught a train and shared a packed cab to get back to the hotel. Honestly hope everyday is not as action packed as today…..don’t know that I have the stamina.

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