Mumbai doesn’t so much make an impression as have an impact on you. It’s hot and it’s dusty and it’s roads are crowded and chaotic. Crippling poverty rubs shoulders with fabulous fortunes. Thus was it ever so. For Mumbai was once Bombay. An Indian city redolent of the British Empire – with images of Imperial Airways aircraft and the magnificent Gateway to India on it’s bustling waterfront. Signs of Mumbai’s recent imperial past are all around in the architecture of it’s grandest buildings, not merely the iconic Gateway to India. There’s Victoria Station. A quick double-take and you could be opposite St Pancras in London. Although in London you’re unlikely to see an infant left to shelter in the mid-day heat in a makeshift muslin sling suspended from the railing right outside, no parent in sight. Look closely and you can just see the shape of the child’s legs.
The heat quite simply seems to make even the locals wilt. For the visitor, the surge of colours all around just never ends. Even an ordinary fruit stall is a visual feast. As dusk falls, allow a few mishaps with the shutter speed and the results capture something of Mumbai’s unique character. Above all it’s the colour and the people of Mumbai that make the greatest impact.