Welcome to Bombay

As I walked the streets of Mumbai, a kind of peace came over me. It has been four long years since I traveled abroad. The dirty crowded streets, with people and cars crisscrossing each other’s paths was not as overwhelming as expected, but rather I felt a sense of calmness -almost as if I had returned home.

IMG_1496With a deep inhale you could smell a blend of the various scents that come with a crazy city like Mumbai. More than 16 million people live in what used to be Bombay. The smells range from the captivating smell of spices and street food to overwhelming smells of trash, urine, fish, and pollution, and if you really looked for it, a hint of Jasmine. I don’t know if it was the area we landed in, Colaba Mumbai, or the time of day, but it didn’t seem nearly as chaotic as expected. We walked the quiet alleys in the early Sunday morning hours, as the city slowly woke up and we just enjoyed getting lost in a new city.

IMG_1507One of the things that really was surprising to me was the tolerance of stray animals. The dogs and cats were not nearly as mangy or skinny as you normally see in other countries. Of course, compared to western standards where most living things could be considered obese, we would see these animals as thin, but I have seen way worse. There were dogs wagging their tails at people, and women cuddling with stray street cats.

Of course looking at history, there is a reason that animals and people can coexist the way they do in India. For thousands of years animals have had an extremely important part in religion and spirituality. Animals in the Hindu religion are viewed as vehicles of god or deities.

IMG_0946Modern times have also seen some amazing development for wildlife and nature. Before 1972, India only had five national parks. Today there are around 100 national parks and 500 wildlife sanctuaries, making up about 5% of all of India’s landmass. The government and nature and wildlife organizations are also working on providing safe migration routes by linking the various parks together.

Our first day in India was just amazing. We have quickly fallen in love and cannot wait for the upcoming spectacles. Tomorrow we head north. Rhinos here we come!

 

4 thoughts on “Welcome to Bombay

  1. Tyler Vankanan

    Wow what a trip. I am loving the photos, great story too gave me a feel for the streets of India. I am glad the animals there are doing okay, great to hear. Save travels can’t wait to hear more stories!

    Reply
  2. robin

    yes! you are back on yet another adventure ! i am living vicariously through you so dont stop writing!!!!!!
    soak it all up!
    robin

    Reply
    1. scubamartin Post author

      Hey Robin! Great to hear that you are following us. The trip has been amazing and is nearing its end. Where to next? Maybe Brazil 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ken Kai

    My good friend Sahil just returned back to Mumbai. I’m happy for him because hes in the top running for male model of Mumbai as well, at this moment I believe!

    Would like to check out India soon in my travels.

    Reply

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