I’ve just made the gruelling six hour train journey (2nd class, non AC, packed in like sardines, in case you were wondering why gruelling) from Mumbai to the city in Gujarat where my grandparents reside; Vadodara. And really, there’s just one way to describe the way I’m feeling. Shell-shocked. It’s been a mad couple of days to say the least and I’m misplaced, disoriented and totally unprepared for what Mumbai has thrown my way. This coming from somebody who’s spent the larger part of their gap year here. I’m at loss, if you may, as to whether I should wonder or worry about the stark contrasts that stare me in the face left, right and centre. About the fact that bare-bummed kids squat before Porsche showrooms to do their “number twos”. About the way sky-high towers and blinding wealth blossom above sprawling slums and grinding poverty. It’s as though Mumbai leads a double life: poverty, the misses, totally unaware of the unashamed mistress, ostentatious wealth.
I have plenty of pictures to share, pictures that will show you what words alone can never describe. Despite the chaos, we’re tried our best to appreciate the city in all its glory and allure; the inebriating melange of extremes, the frantic mass of humanity, the noise, traffic, pollution, the innumerable colonial relics, warrens of bazaars and the stunning sea-front drive. I’ll be back tomorrow, fingers crossed, with the lowdown on my mum’s hometown and hopefully some pictures too... until then, it’s over and out. Wishing you all a wonderful week