Mumbai

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While Jim was working, I took an all-day tour of chaotic Mumbai, home to 22 million people. Like a latter-day memsahib, I was driven around in an air-conditioned hotel car under the expert care of Sunil. He dealt with the manic traffic calmly and efficiently, dropping and fetching me from various sites around the city. I could never have seen so much without his help. I saw everything I expected – filthy children playing in the street, wandering cows, teeming pavements lined with stalls and tiny shops, all kinds of vehicles from hand-carts to overloaded buses sharing the same inadequate roads, people sorting through piles of rubbish, homes ranging from plastic-covered shacks to mansions on Malabar Hill. I visited several museums including the beautiful Dr Bhau Daji museum and Gandhi’s Mani Bhavan. I gawped at the magnificent colonial buildings – the Victoria Terminus, the Gateway to India and the Taj Mahal hotel. A drive along the waterfront revealed what an oasis this is for Mumbaikars. I snapped this photo along the Bandra Promenade, where Indian film stars are immortalised in full-size bronze statues sitting on benches. I enjoyed every minute of my day in Mumbai and would love to visit it again.

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