Thursday, July 2, 2009


Terrence, an old Indian weirdo approaches me at the Cyber Cafe, he speaks a few words in French. I'm not easily impressed unfortunately for him. He starts talking spirituality and wants to show me the true reality through a guided tour of Dharavi, the reputedly "biggest slum in Asia", for a little money. I reply that I'm not interested to pay to have someone showing me misery. And I'm currently satisfied about meeting middle class Indian people as their life is already very different from mine and I learn a lot from that, and that too is reality for me anyway. His arguments range from assuring me that I will remain ignorant unless I follow him there (as 60% of Mumbaikars live in slums) to "I will not show you things but make you go through unique experiences" to "I don't take tourists for walking and talking dollar bags". Not working for me, and he will leave me with those words: "You will forever be the rotten apple!!!".

I would like to visit Dharavi sometimes, or some other place of extreme misery, but I certainly won't do it as a financial exchange with a "guide". I would much rather get in touch with some people who help one way or another, with education or other issues. The exchange would be much more genuine and interesting.

Santa Cruz station, West Side.
I drop my backpack at the Pillay's family house, with whom I will spend the next few days. I meet Victor and Leena and Noel, their son. According to Noel I look like an environmentalist, kaki green combats and "Discovery Channel" hat, black tee-shirt, trekking shoes and camera bag.

I meet up with some members of the website for some drinks at Mocha Cafe, a trendy bar in Bandra. The area is nice and lively, quite fashinable but not over the top, rather easy-going. I will sleep at Versova at Vivek's place. He writes scripts for the movies and he knows quite a few Indian actors (including Nandita Das) and a lot about French movies.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmmm.....i think we spoke more than that your alleged environmentalist look!!!!!