I spent a Saturday in the bazaars and streets of Mumbai, walking around and taking pictures. I also had my own car and driver that I hired for about $16 for the whole day. He sat in the car on the edge of this area, and I kept going back and forth to swap out lenses or change memory cards… but I found all kind of interesting things… like this guy… every shot I got of him with the 300mm was just as intriguing!
When wandering around the outskirts and wilds of the Taj Mahal, where no tourists can be found (you all know I am not fond of clueless tourists that use their flash when they are 500 yards from the subject… you all probably feel the same way!), I found this other wandering camel that stopped for a rest. I don’t know what all the brands on his neck are for – although I assume they denote ownership to the boy in the red’s family.
Outside the gates to Fatehpur Sikri, an Indian boy waits to take my shoes. I pay him a few rupees to keep track of them for me. I walked several miles in bare feet inside and quickly discovered why everyone has such dirty feet. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine, but, like dropping your keys in a river of lava, I just had to let it go.
This place is a hundred times cooler than the Red Fort in Agra.
This is Akbar’s capital palace near Agra that is called Fatehpur Sikri. Most tourists do not make it out here because they just spend one day looking at the Taj Mahal in the morning and the Red Fort in the afternoon. Since I was there on Saturday and Sunday, I got to spend the second day exploring this palace.
I was frankly more impressed by this place than the Ancient Roman Forum. The Roman Forum is a lot older, but this place is really amazing…
Humayun’s Tomb which was built in 1570. Humayun kept busy conquering Kabul and Delhi for the Mughals.
This tomb, built by his wife after he died, served as an early architectural influence of the Taj Mahal. He probably left her some cash and paid off her Nordstrom’s account, so the least she could do was build him a nice tomb.
This is Secret.
I found her walking with her hooded ilk around the back streets of Mumbai. Usually when I see a cadre of the enshrouded, they are accompanied by Muslim man that is glaring at almost everyone. This time there seemed to be no alpha around, so I asked her for her name. She looked at me and smiled (I think) and then looked furtively around to see if anyone was watching. I got the distinct impression that since I was a white oddity that actually spoke to her that she wanted to talk, but then thought better of it and made a slight bow before gliding away.
I had a great time in India! I am very thankful to my various hosts for showing me such a good time.
Besides a weekend trip to the Taj Mahal, as you can see below, I was also treated to a full immersion into Bollywood here in Mumbai, the center of the movie world here in India. It started with a 3-hour viewing of Om Shanti Om, complete with a pre-show standing for the Indian national anthem. Afterwards, we ate dinner at Olive’s, which is a trendy place where many of the Bollywood stars go to see and be seen by the Page 3 newspapers. My host was leaning over to me telling me who was the sister-in-law of whom and which directors were entering while escorting which starlets.
Two Sari-laden beggars guard the door at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.
Later, while I was walking around Delhi, I was photographed by another Indian photographer that recognized me. He sent them along and it was kind of strange to see myself like that… but not as strange as when I was listening to Pink Floyd on 11 on my iPod while inside the tomb.