If you ask some locals about their thoughts about Mumbai they probably first tell you that they still call it Bombay. It was the government that changed the name in 1996 to detach themself from their english colonizational roots and to state a bigger indian self-consciousness.
I think Bombay is one of those few citys in the world where you can’t get no bigger cultural shock. Starting off the Airport you get thrown right into the street life which actually really means life on the streets. Combined with the smell of the orient and the oppressive heat you know right away that this is different from everything you may experienced before. Allone the size of this 20 million megacity let you feel the power of this upcoming asian subcontinent.
This is also the thing I want to show in this first of the two part Finding Mumbai series — the rise of the country.
I never ever experienced the transformation of a society and a city more than here. The city feels like it has slept for a hundred years and now woke up due to their economical power. With the background of more than 1 billion people the future of the world will be dominated by the interests of the BRIC countrys with india as a major player.
When you drive through the endless jammed and dusty streets of Mumbai the major sign for this transformation are the construction sites that pop up all over the city. And construction sites here don’t mean just a new 5 story house on the corner. It means the construction of skyscrapers for thousands of new appartments or the development of completly new neigborhoods including infrastructure.
I never ever saw this many sites somewhere else and I started to take snapshots of them out of the car. For me it is the most present symbol of the current process that will have effects also on our daily lifes in the west.