It’s totaly lashing down like nothing else i have ever experienced in Mumbai. The arrival came at 4:00 AM on Thursday morning. We were picked up by a turban clad Sikh who drove us to our pre-booked, over priced shit hole overlooking the Arabian Sea. The taxi ride through a wet dark city was rather calm due to it being the early hours. Rain thrashed the car horizontally and vertically ( and every angle in between ) – Hard and fast. Evey slab of glass was running with lines and patterns of water, saturated with the reds and yellows and greens of brake lights. Water pounded my face during the most epic arrival yet. You can’t help but be inhabited by Mumbai as soon as soon as you step out of the airport. My face was wet but also my feet, as the water from the pot holes in the roads was ejaculating up through the taxi floor. Wet face wet feet; with nostrils full of a rather ripe Bombay. I have returned and for now it feels amazing. I have waited over six years for this day.
The city is celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi so there are giant effigies of the elephant headed god everywhere; mostly in alleyways surrounded by curtains. Every time i approach i am welcomed by their sitters and encouraged to take Prasad. Only one four-legged beast made me feel rather un-welcome as its fury little head tried its very best to eat my leg. It’s not the best feeling to have teeth around your calf after deciding not to invest in the rabies vaccination! The hound was kicked away by a local man who was by my side as i photographed the idol he was so very proud of. A group of enthusiastic young men approached for a chat, “‘ Welcome to India Mr Michael, you are always welcome” The afternoon was finished off with a walk back to the hotel and seeing a youth with a head full of highlights. In the ten plus years i have been Visiting India this is the first time i have experienced someone who has been abused by a highlighting kit!