Obama Visits Mumbai

(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

I’ll take a break from lambasting President Obama to salute the fact that he’s visiting India and, in particular, my (thus far) favorite Indian city (of the very large type), Mumbai.

Over at my own, just-for-fun blog, LetsJapan.Wordpress.Com, I’ve posted a new front page piece titled “Obama Visits Mumbai,” in particular some photos, micro-vids and reminiscences from Mumbai.  I will be updating and adding to this piece — more history, more photos, more personal stories — over the next 24 hours, so I hope you’ll visit and come back several times over the next day or two.


  A Mu photo:  Mumbai’s Financial District, February 2007.



Mumbai — formerly “Bombay” — is an energetic, crowded, verdant, upbeat (and sometimes odiferous)  city.  Mumbai offers its residents and visitors both modern restaurants and side street food kiosks, lingering colonial trappings and 21st Century Indian pride, bustling intersections and quiet parks, Hindu Temples, Mosques, Churches and Parsi Agiaries (fire temples for the now-dwindling population of Zoroastrians).  Situated on the Southwest coast of India, looking out on the Arabian Sea, it’s home to almost 14 million people.  Since 2006 I’ve been fortunate to have visited Mumbai four times, though I haven’t been there since 2008.  I’ve stayed at the Taj Mahal hotel.  It was built in 1903 and is the crown jewel of the extremely unique architectural style known as “Bombay Gothic,” a mixture of late-Victorian, early Edwardian, Rajastani forms, and even some Hindu Temple cues.  One story, perhaps apocryphal, goes that its builder, Jamsetji Tata, was denied entrance into “whites only” British hotels of the day, so he just up and decided to build his own, a more beautiful and luxurious “palace” than any in old Bombay….


 Again, updates and additions to come over the next 24 hours.

 Have you visited Mumbai, yet?  Have you visited India?  What are your impressions, but from a personal or “macro” perspective?  I’d love to read about that here.




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    • Mu on November 5, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  1. …. BEEP ! BEEP !  

    Never been. But that one blog seems to have given a better impression of it than we will get from the MSM.  

    • Xanthe on November 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    outline but

    am I the only one on this site who doesn’t jump for joy when another trade deal is struck.  Someone enlighten me.

    Yahoo Headlines, my favorite smile of the morning, says this will bring 54,000 jobs to U.S.

    Really!  Really!

    what am I missing?

  2. is in Mumbai.

    A billion dollars worth, and damn ugly, IMO.

  3. From the Gulf News, July 2, 2006…

    As the sun sets in Bharatpur, renowned the world over for its bird sanctuary, torches held by little girls start blinking along the roadside. Ironically, they throw light on a dark side of society: child prostitution.

    The girls are mostly aged between 12 and 15, though some are as young as 10. They stand at the roadside along with their fathers and brothers who strike a bargain.

    “The customers are mainly truck drivers here. The average “rate” for a girl for half an hour is Rs50 (Dh3). They take the girls to their trucks or thatched huts a few hundred metres away from the road,” says the brother of a teenaged girl.

    Family members of these child prostitutes are well aware how the “customers” often brutally ravage the little girls. Many of the child sex workers contract sexually transmitted diseases. But that hardly deters their families.

    “The better looking girls are sent to red light areas in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities. They earn good money there and send it back to us,” the father of a teenaged girl who was sold some time ago in the national capital for Rs150,000 (Dh12,500) candidly admitted to a IANS.

    And likewise everywhere else in India, except where they clean it up for tourists and business travelers.

    • Xanthe on November 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

    India is concerned that an early U.S. departure from Afghanistan and continued Taliban resurgence could undermine its security.  

    The strategic imperative for a strong U.S.-India partnership has never been greater says Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow with The Heritage Foundation.  This visit presents an opportunity for the Obama administration to refine and articulate its vision.

    Part of the deal includes fighter jets as well.

    But look, these trade deals are complex.  I understand that.  But who’s looking out for us in DC?  I’m not sure.

    Well, war is one of the things we do, of course.  We could take the money we spend in Aghanistan and spend the money on infrastructure and manufacturing here (yeah, no one believes this anymore – I get it).  And after all, we’ve only been there what 9 years or more.  

    Again, I don’t believe those in power who negotiate on behalf of U.S. citizens in trade are looking out for the working class.  

    But here’s a bright note:  The Heritage Foundation is giving Obama good press.  That’s got to please him immensely.

    But Mu – you know more about this and I hope you will write another diary later as to how it shakes down.  

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