A snapshot from Mumbai’s annual Kala Ghoda festival
UT TAM GHOSH
Five foreign correspondents view India through the prism of Maximum City
Rhys Blakely’s mobile phone rings as we enter his south Mumbai apartment. His caller tune is a popular num-
ber from the 2006 Shah Rukh Khan
As he excuses himself, we leave our
footwear near the main door, an Indian
custom that ironically many Indians are doing away with.
Blakely is not an Indian. He is a journalist with
, London, and has been reporting from Mumbai for
the last two years. His wife Helen isn’t Indian either but
their 18-month-old daughter Evelyn was born in India and
there is another on its way. Mumbai, Blakely says, has
treated them quite well.
His relationship with the city has gone “through peaks
When he first landed in the city, Blakely was prepared for
the heat and humidity.
“I had traveled to South India with my best friend about
10 years ago. Then, as a technology correspondent for
, I had visited Bangalore and Hyderabad,” he says.
‘To fall in love with
Confident that he was equipped for the ‘India experience’,
he stepped out of the international terminal one September
morning two years ago and was “quite taken aback by the
“I wasn’t ready, for instance, to be in a car for 30 minutes
to travel a few hundred yards,” he says.
Watching Evelyn play, he continues, “London is a great
city for kids. The climate is kinder. Mumbai is challenging.
You cannot simply take the stroller to the park because
there aren’t a lot of pavements here. It isn’t as green a city
as London is and is congested. Also, there are fewer things
to do with a one-year-old in Mumbai than in London.”
The way to fall in love with Mumbai, he says, is to head
out of the city on a regular basis. “I make it a point to go out
of town once every three weeks.”
He has visited Goa, Delhi,
Hyderabad, Chandigarh and parts
of South India. And like many trav-
el-conscious Indians, he hopes to
visit the Northeast soon.
Mumbai, head out of it’
in this issue
Click to subscribe to this magazine
article text for page
< previous story
next story >
Share this page with a friend
Save to “My Stuff”
Subscribe to this magazine