Saturday, 7 December 2013

The other in Mumbai Metropolis

Key Words: The Other, The Fifth World India, Development

The Other in Mumbai-1
The Other:   It has been used in social science to understand the processes by which societies and groups exclude 'Others' whom they want to subordinate or who do not fit into their society. (Read More >>

The Other in Mumbai-2
The Fifth World India of the displaced and marginalized, (by the development projects, riots, floods, joblessness, cyclones, droughts…) from their kin, community and homestead…

The Other in Mumbai-3
They move in search of work for sustenance; they depend upon self reliance, self-help.

The Other in Mumbai-4
On my way to public library I notice them happy and content, though they don’t have even a shelter, leave aside other possessions. The Flowers are their shelter!

The Other in Mumbai-5
Their children acquire life supporting skills from their parents. They also become their helping hands and support the family.

The Other in Mumbai-6
Two generations have come of age on the pavements of Mumbai since the Independence. We have heard that during Vietnam War entire generation was born. grew up and took up guns to fight the war.
In India there is war going on the Other without a Bang.

The Other in Mumbai-7
Metropolis of Mumbai – the Great Parasite – has left its footprint on the regions far and wide; now the displaced and marginalized come to the threshold of Mumbai.

Would there ever be Payback time for Mumbai and other mega-cities?

(When I am posting this the family in the photographs has moved somewhere else.)

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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Water Fountain near Museum, Mumbai

Fountain near Museum, Mumbai
I noticed this fountain came alive after decades. Perhaps, this season there is good rain, and the citizens are assured that they would get water to drink till next monsoon, which has been erratic for some time.

A Relic from British Raj, updated with car park, landscape, fence etc. Aesthetics of Visual Hedonism. It may suit in cold regions! In tropical India, people have integrated large water bodies in city centres like this.

Water reservoir in the traditional city centre: Sur Sagar, Vadodara

 Read MORE >> Water Parks in Wanting

While Mumbai has been facing recurring floods, or droughts.

Floods in Mumbai is a recurring feature
 Read MORE >> Floods in Mumbai - DELUGE 26/7/2005 MUMBAI: A Tip of the Iceberg

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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Street Artist in Mumbai

Life and Survival in Mumbai 

Street Artist in Mumbai

He is deaf, mute and disabled. He is literate in Marathi, conveys in brief writing and in gestures.

The street is his canvas, a chalk his medium. He paints murals appropriate to scale of street, always in seating posture, obviously.
His street art also falls in the category of ancient ritual as Land Art of Rangoli / Alpana / Kolam practice by Indian women householders.

Life and Survival in Mumbai
Ganesha is his Idol and subject, appears in various attires of great people. Here Shivaji personified as Ganesha. This, of course, is in tune with culture in Maharashtra.

He has tremendous ‘sense of scale’ and ‘economy of means’, which even the most learned & the highly placed elite – politicians, experts, professionals etc. – may miss in their work & lifestyle.

I cannot guess his age; it seems he has arrested aging by constructive creativity.

Some benevolent institution may have given him a carriage for conveyance. There his rehabilitation comes to an end.

He shows me his album, many photographs of his paintings, and newspaper cuttings: he is a celebrity in his own right.

Indeed for many well known artists, honorarium amount they receive is never enough; whatever this person receives is never less. Government supports authors and other artists, however, this street artist may not appear in their lists; there many, too many, like him in India.

The Artist, his Land Art and Belongings in Mumbai
While parting, I simply salute him.
Life is larger than all Arts, Sciences, Religions, Philosophies, trade, techs, States ... through times and places. ― Remigius de Souza


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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Friday, 22 February 2013


Survival and Life in Mumbai – Daily Bread

Squatter Mother, Child and Hearth
 Two generations have born and grew up in Mumbai in such subhuman conditions. But no one knows how to give them fair deal as citizens of this great nation - India

Mother and Father: Marathi proverb modified
In Mumbai about 60% persons live in "Grey Land Use Zone", which is illegal or unrecognized. They are landless, homeless, displaced and marginalized in their motherland. The elite are chasing them away everywhere.

Survival and Life in City: Mother's Little Helpers

Precious childhood learns life-supporting skills in the nursery school of Life itself: there is no better teacher anywhere. What memories would they carry as they grow-up? Who knows? They may not have been entered even the Census Survey of India. 

Mother Nature!, Give us this day our honest bread!
The marginalized and displaced have no demands even for their needs
from anyone.

Learning aids - 1
This hawker on street has her kin and clan and close-knit community scattered in city: They don't suffer Identity crisis, though homeless in their Motherland.

"यही मुंबै मेरी जान ।"
This Mumbai My Love!


Street vendor in Mumbai

This street vender, though s/he may be illiterate, but knows well:
  • about 'survival' (means 'to live sanely') better than 'Authority';
  • about what things sell in this metropolis;
  • about life that teaches lessons in the country-wide-classroom;
  • about authority that is a faceless entity;
  • about glossy paper books that fail to teach lessons in Real Life, Down to Earth;
  • about the pampered kids pushed to live in the Virtual Reality, day in and day out;
  • And about how to save to her portable shop, from the baton...
Street vendor in Mumbai

There are many dimensions to this frugal figure acquired through the glorious past, an Epic Poem in Person.

The elders in elite society hardly have time to take their kids to nearby places to look at vegetable and fish market, grocery shop, gardens and parks - though a very few, paddy farms on the outskirts of the city/suburbs or town, which offer innumerable variety in every aspect described in these glossy books, and much more.

Poor pampered elite kids! Despite affluence they don’t have grandparents who could help, nearby.

Children have countless curiosities — questions, keen observation with all their senses, above all, their spontaneity and innocence!
But before long, before they see, experience and understand the real world around them, not even their immediate neighbourhood, they are pushed into Virtual Reality: Ready canned food, drinks, spices, views in TV, cell phone, MP3, Info-Technology.
At a tender age of 2-3, they are admitted into a public domain called 'nursery school', when they are not even introduced to their kin and clan: So they become 'smart' guys 'n gals.
This is rubbing salt on the wounded cohesive collective by the demise of joint family.
  • Can a school impart social values and life-supporting skills, which kinship and community could inculcate without a paid lecturer?
  • Could the Industry & Trade remove this social lack of values and morality?
  • Can a physicist and an economist sitting on high chairs at the helm of country's affairs provide answer with rockets and global market economy?
∴ The elders, each one, should try to find the answers.

Life is larger than all Arts, Sciences, Religions, Philosophies, trade, technologies, States... through times and places, — Remigius de Souza

Remi's other blogs:
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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Nature – Primal Source of Wealth

Mother Nature – Srishti - within us and outside, even beyond the Earth, Infinite

Mother Nature - Srishti


Nature – Primal Source of Wealth

Labour of living-beings creates wealth,
From Land and Waters,

with help of Five Primal Elements;
Not in a mint, factory or stock market.
There happen processes,

building-breaking, energy-expenditure.

(Translated from the original in Marathi by the author)
Remigius de Souza | Mumbai | 15-01-2013

सृष्टी साधन  संपत्तीचे
Image of original Marathi poem

Remigius de Souza | Mumbai | 15-01-2013

Note: In the image 'Mother Nature – Srishti' above, background picture is by NASA.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ © Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Ganesha Festival Pandal for Green Initiative

Creative in Concept and Context

 Greenery is meant to live with, not merely for visual pleasure.

Entrance to Ganesha Festival Pandal in Mumbai
A neighbourhood, in Dadar, Mumbai, promoted ‘Green Initiative’ as their theme for the Ganesh Festival. This indeed is unique timely move.

The youths took lead to organize the festival with Collective Participation, albeit with leadership.

They have imaginatively used the narrow lane that leads to the deity.

Bridge over Water Pool: Ganesha for Green
The pathway to the deity has red carpet lined with potted plants. On the pathway there are a couple of water pools. One of them is under a bridge. From here you have a panoramic view of wider vista in front of Ganesha in view across another pool of water.

On the way there were statues nearly in Greek style, while the pandal is in Indian Style.
It's COOL! Looks specious!! Creative in Concept and Context!!!

This initiative indeed keeps with the concept of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who started the Public Ganesh Festival during the Independence Movement.

Passage leading to the deity
It is important to take the Green Initiative to Action, beyond a slogan.

And there is scope also to practice the Green Initiative close by within the locality few steps away. The place is the 'Vasant Prabhu Garden'.

It is but important to decide, what corrective action is to be taken at ground level at any place.

The Sanctuary
Temple architecture goes with Water reservoir, Coconut tree, Banana plant...

The garden indeed needs some corrective action in my opinion. But I don't claim to be an authority. I use common sense as a user of the place.

The Municipal Corporation is the recognize authority. The garden is within the jurisdiction of the corporation (BMC). People seem to be indifferent or resigned as usual.

However, a lot could be done to improve the place, if people, particularly the youth, take initiative and also take further their green initiative from the last Ganesha Festival.

Greenery is meant to live with, not merely to look at for visual pleasure.

Working with greenery rejuvenates our mental and physical health and energies. 

The lane to Ganesha pandal and VP Garden
The lane with red carpet as in Image-2 and 3

For more on Vasant Prabhu Garden see forthcoming post.
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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Resting on Winter Morning in Mumbai

Life and Survival in Mumbai

Resting on Winter Morning in Mumbai
No tension! No insurance!

 More than 60% people in Mumbai are slum dwellers and squatters. Many of them are daily wagers. Whenever there "Bandh" — "close-down" in Mumbai, they may not get even water, not only food. 

He, perhaps, is compensating his sleepless night in the morning sun during this winter.

The Planners, Policy makers, perhaps can't help them because there is no provision in the prevailing acts and laws, or perhaps  they are not aware of both.

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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.