Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mumbai-India 2

Mumbai is one of the biggest cities in the world with over 16 million inhabitants.
It covers a vast area of land on the west coast of India.
As growth and infrastructure are not matching, many things are out of control in this city.
Traffic, roads, pollution, sewage, garbage collection, public transportation, electricity, water.
It is all chaotic, lacking, missing and failing.

Today we travelled from Junu to the south where is the Gateway of India and the famous Taj Mahal Hotel.

A taxi ride of over one hour in completely crazy traffic costing 5 Euros.
In a small car using as fuel nitrogen.

In the morning we had been going to the area where the famous Bollywood films are made.
A vast country area under heavy security where we did get in but were not allowed to meet and speak to any actor or actress.
Near the Taj Mahal it was a different story.
Many tourists come from all over the world to see the monument of the Gateway of India, this symbol of English colonialism.

Eventually the team of “The most beautiful people in the world” consisting of the wonderful Dutch women Karine and Marjolein, the exotic and fantastic Italian Alex and yours truly, managed to find a 16 year old Indian gypsy girl that claimed to be the most beautiful in the world.
Hard work.
Many people are interested in the project but prefer not to participate.
And this makes sense because when a picture is made of somebody in a public place, immediately hundreds of people gather to stare at the event.
Even talking to someone results in curious Indian people coming close to listen what is said.

Every day lessons are learned.
These long and exhausting trips in the crazy Mumbai traffic was a first and a last.
Tomorrow the focus will be on people living in the area around the Hare Krishna temple.
Keeping everything at walking distance.
And trying to find a translator to widen the target group from only English speaking to include Hindi-speaking candidates as well.



Anonymous said...

Be sure not to kiss (not even on the cheek) or show ANY physical signs of affection in public. You could be arrested, as was Nick Nolte recently at some type of AIDS function.

Anonymous said...

Michel, It was Richard Gere, not Nick Nolte who was arrested for kissing a fellow actress on the cheek. It was announced just yesterday that India has dropped the charges against him.

Sorry about the mistaken identity in my earlier note.