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.