My first impressions of Mumbai were the smells.
Pools of urine. Dung. Rotting fruit. Enticing sandalwood clinging heavily to a sari as its owner swept past me, her slim hips swaying timidly against gold threading and pomegranate fabric.
Even dust had a scent. Choking and harsh, clinging to the throat for hours on end.
Flora and fauna caught my eye next. Most definitely tropical. Palm trees or vibrant flowers bursting with colors. Everything that you do not find in cold, dead places up North.
The third was the dilapidated state of the buildings, or maybe it was just the disarray of them.
Some are built to code and perfection, beacons of Indian engineering, while others are crumbled, rebar exposed and accusatory. You didn’t finish me.
What might be the most interesting is the staggering amount of rubble along the side of the roads. Large chunks of concrete, dropped to the earth by Shiva’s wrath. Lord Shiva, the destroyer of worlds, clearly leaves his mark.
Besides concrete, garbage, debris, objects you wouldn’t imagine belong there, somehow do.
Burning garbage may not be sanctioned by law or environmental groups, but it’s a practice still done on a regular basis.
And the driving. I exaggerated in my last post about driving rules. There are some.
The common way to drive is pass other vehicles, no matter what they are. Large trucks, motorcycles, scooters, autorickshaw, economy cars…