Monday, September 17, 2007


There is shade everywhere. One can walk under arcades or hundred-year old trees. There are real sidewalks! Dare I say it, it is a strolling city. In India!

Driving through Bombay towards the airport at midnight, I was sad to miss the Ganesh festival by one day. Already, the city was erupting in preparations for the drowning of their Ganesh effigies. Small local bands drummed merrily through the streets. Young teenage boys danced, jumping and spinning, while others walked awkwardly, laden with their chest-strapped, marching band drums. Every neighborhood and subset of neighborhoods, had their small processions, most lit up with yellow and red lights flashing left to right, blinking, or, occasionally, hanging in long electric garlands from rooftops.

My last memory of Bombay: On a loud and busy main street, an older man walked slowly with two small children, pulling a handcart like the ones used to sell fruit on street corners. The cart carried a small Ganesh statue, simple and stark.

This is what I missed the next day.

Photo credit: National Geographic

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