Sunday, May 24, 2009

the island city

This blog entry comes from the cool (as in not dreadfully hot) hill station of Mahabalashwar, in the state of Maharastra, India. About six hours ride from Bombay, its a great long weekend respite from the heat of great island city.

The British, when they ruled India, realized that if they were going to have to stay here they'd need to do something about the heat. They sought out and built little hill stations where they could come for weeks on end and escape the persistent heat and humidity of the low lying areas they governed.

Bombay continues to mesmerize, entrance, piss off, violate and seduce the senses. Its one of the tougher places I've lived but the opportunities here seem as endless as the incoherent urban sprawl. The city was founded by traders, thrived on trading, business and commerce and continues to do so. Its a strange combination of national socialist sentiment and every man (woman and child) for himself, a mixture of first world ideas and third world infrastructure.

Its a city of paradox. Homeless child beggars tap on the windows of a newly imported Mercedez. Apartment buildings housing hundreds peels in dangerous decay while next door they put a fresh coat of paint on a Ganesha temple. 

High tech and IT booms while the city struggles to keep the power on for millions of slum dwellers. The government boasts of an emerging 21st century India as half the city can't get drinkable water. Such is the paradox of this place and as one coming from a place where things generally work well, there is a strange comfort in knowing that I'm a part of this throbbing mass of life.

more coming soon...


Ken Tucker said...

Thanks for a great interview on LightSource. It was extremely informative. As a photographer, I really appreciate a photographer such as yourself sharing and giving back to the industry. Thanks again.


Neil said...

Hey Martoon, you're "useless"!!! Haha, hey thanks for the very nice phone message, made my day. Looks like you are well and having a very interesting time. Can't wait to see you and Tonya, take good care of yourselves!