India in pictures

Concrete Jungle

8:28 AM

Today in India in Pictures, I give you the view I had from the previous flat I was living in before being where I am now.
This is suburban Mumbai for you! A succession of high rise buildings after high rises. People neatly packed into little boxes at the end of their work day. Mumbai is a city where space is a luxury, and square feet come at a premium. The average modern 2BHK in the suburbs is around 800sq ft (and that is still considered big). Ours was a whooping 900 sq ft which is already considered huge. It of course came at the rent price of a 3-4 BHK Bungalow in Bangalore. Mumbai is a costly city to live in, and the real estate prices are the highest in the country that I heard of, with Delhi coming close behind that.

On an Island city, going vertical is a necessity. As a result, your view is likely to resemble the one in the picture above : a concrete jungle.


  1. Anonymous2:35 PM

    I think you already did this before. We haven't seen much about the cuisine. Would like to see more of that. From my perspective I have seen a huge diversity in the cuisine. Sadly I didn't get to spend any time in south India when I went on vacation. From my three day stay in tamilnadu I witnessed such a huge difference in the north south culture that I was forced to explain everyone back home that India isn't just curry. Its not just taj mahal. Ppl dont dance randomly on the streets. Interestingly many of the most educated and sensible ppl living in both metros and suburbs haven't a tiny bit of interest in Bollywood. You've been living in India for so long. One of the oldest expats experiences and opinions count a lot.

    1. The Sunday pictures are random snaps from my personal collection. I have been so long in India that I really don't do the ethnic thing and typical Indian stereotype. There are plenty of blogs who are just about that around. Mine has become a blog that gives less into the exotic factor and more into the reality of the urban dwelling expat that I am.
      I chose to stay away from Indian recipes and food too, again there are no shortage of blogs about this. But there far less about continental cuisine that can be made with ingredients available in India. It's not to say that I don't post an Indian recipe from time to time.

    2. Anonymous9:28 AM

      Congratulations!!! India has won against Pakistan for the sixth time in World Cup. India's record remains intact. It also means that you can escape the World Cup now, LOL. Thus, with great joy I give you this news.

      About concrete jungle, I remember when I and mother used to visit our present house, we were amazed to see rows and rows of high rise buildings. It was surreal, we had not seen so many houses at the same time. We used to come back before dusk as we were afraid to stay in a vacant house. However, we decided to stay on the day of our Griyapravesh (house warming pooja) at night. We were delighted to see the apartments lit up. "So humans do live in this jungle". I always felt apartments are like small prisons with high grills and gates. They are also like small secure fortresses in the midst of wilderness. That was my initial reaction when we started living there. I felt suffocated. People are also very formal. In our government accommodation, you could see the neighbor's house after opening your door. The houses were all the same, so there was no class difference. Plus, there were playgrounds for children. Here, children don't know what to do in a tiny place which is already encroached upon by cars. There are parks but you cannot go there everyday. You also need a vehicle to commute inside the colony. The commute to and fro to office is not just expensive but also tiring. Then there are endless arguments with rickshaws and autos. Not the kind of life we were used to. I guess the experience is the same in all suburban areas in big cities.


    3. Our washing machine broke during the week and the repair guy came on Sunday to deliver the verdict I already knew : broken beyond repair and no way to order the electronic board as the model has been discontinued for 6 years. We have piles of dirty laundry everywhere, but the India Pakistan match ruled over everything :-) so we ended up going to buy a new one yesterday and it should be delivered today...I can't wait to get it, there are loads of things I don't want to attempt handwashing.

      I was icing in Bangalore before Mumbai, and we had a lovely apartment in a rooftop terrace independant home. I knew all my neighbours, there were trees all around. Then we shifted to Navi Mumbai, and I had the shock of my life, it was sterile, packed with high rises and nobody really spent time to know their neighbours much. We shifted back to Bangalore 7 months later, and this time we were in a 7 storey apartment block, but people still had time to talk, and again I knew a lot of my neighbours. 6 months later, we moved back to Mumbai, in the giant complex with the concrete jungle you see in that pic I shared. I lived there 1.3 years before our landlord decided to sell the place. In all that time I didn't get to see or talk to a single neighbour in the building! People just ignored each other, stayed indoor and sent the maid to the playground downstairs with the kids, it was a sad little life, but the few friends I made through Ishita's school assured me it was very common in big societies in Mumbai, people are too pressed for time to bother interacting with neighbours.
      When we shifted where we are now, it took a little time to get to know people, but I now know a couple of my neighbours the way I knew my Bangalore ones. it is a smaller, older building within the enclave which could be why, there is less coming and going from tenants and less change. Luckily the area has several parks that are within walking distance, which is the reason why I love living there, and there are a few more parks within quick reach by auto. One of the great thing about Mumbai is that a vast majority of auto drivers are honest and turn the meter without discussion, and rarely argue the fare or refuse to give change. The only time one will have a hard time getting one is between 7-8pm but otherwise it is fine.


  2. Great photo Cyn....did you ever see your neighbours across?
    Across from us there is only 1 apartment building - a girl who dances every evening! Then beside them there is a gay guy couple.


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