Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Dark Side

The poverty and population of Mumbai is staggering. It is considered the richest city in India as well, which is not the statistic that comes to mind when walking the streets. It is all thrown together here, the spectacular, heartbreaking, chaos, peaceful temples...everything. The population of Mumbai is over 20.5 million and growing. 10~15 people die each day on the public transportation system. Mostly from people hanging on from the outside or sitting on the top of trains, the wires above that the trains pass under are 220 watts, this is the reason for the highest mortality in this horrifying statistic. So many people, even with trains leaving every 5 minutes, it is not enough to accommodate the demand. Once on the trains, it is often impossible to make it in time to the door to get off at your stop. There are no maps on the train and no one announcing the stop.

The signs and the smell of poverty that you witness no matter where you are here is something you cannot even conceive. Due to a corrupt government, things happen here even if illegal. Gut wrenching barbarity like child prostitution. I can only imagine how a place like this must dull your senses after a long period of time. I hear that people who have grown up here have a hard time leaving, they feel lonely, that it is too quiet elsewhere.....


  1. My friend/former co-worker, adopted 3 infants from Mumbai - on 3 different trips. She & her husband now have a 21-yr-old son, a 19-yr-old daughter & a 16-yr-old son. She described it exactly the same way you did Billi. The sad, stark poverty is overwhelming. I used to romanticize India in my head when I was 13 & studying Buddhism & Hinduism. Now, I really don't want to see it.

  2. There is a lot of splendidness here as well. Mumbai can be very rough, India is a huge country, seventh largest. I am so happy I am here and am planning in my head another trip to India for next year.