The Indian Express reports that the Indian Railways will pilot voice and data connectivity in trains between Ahmedabad and Mumbai; liveblogging about the difficulty of managing one’s bodily functions on a squat toilet with a malfunctioning lock soon to follow.

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The Times of India reports that it’s now as expensive to lease a flat in Mumbai as it is in NYC.  Nauzer Bharucha writes:

“A three-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side can be rented for about $5,000 to $8,000, or Rs 2 lakh-Rs 3.20 lakh a month. In Mumbai, a similar-sized apartment in any good building between central Mumbai and Bandra could cost as much, or even more, according to realty experts.  …

“The rental segment of the residential market is booming mainly because of expats and a large number of senior executives belonging to corporates setting up base in Mumbai,” claimed Joygopal Sanyal of Jones Lang Lasalle Megraj, a global property consultancy firm. According to him, large flats in south Mumbai could fetch upwards of Rs 10 lakh a month.”

This is bloody bonkers! I guess I got out of India at the right time ….

Interesting write-up of a photographer’s work on explicit graffiti in Bombay’s commuter rail lines (an example of which I’ve posted above — taken about a year ago when the hub and I visited a friend in Mumbai) — Chirodeep exhibited some of his pieces at the city’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

This was the tenth year of the Kala Ghoda event; a full listing of artists and workshops is here. A blog chronicling some of the work from the festival is still being maintained — and added to — which takes the fest to a new level; even though I’m no longer in India, I can get a feel for Kala Ghoda’s heady, artistic atmosphere. If that’s not enough, there are some great pictures at Fractal Enlightenment.

Man. Wish I could have gone.

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(Image of Emperor Tughlak, taken by John Sache in the mid-19th century)

Great video presentation of historical images of India juxtaposed with current photos: LINK.

Bonus: An old favorite of mine is Kamat’s Potpourri, which has all sorts of awesomeness around the theme “India’s history, mystery, and diversity” — particularly enriching is the site’s photoblog.

Super-bonus: There’s some interesting British Raj photography on Harappa, and the site also offers cool vintage postcards, engravings, and lithographs.

 

Tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race season 12 million (or whatever) is set in Mumbai, India. Moments of zen?

“Seeing Vyxsin twisting, turning, and contorting her body is always a highlight for me, and I think it was a highlight for the instructor as well” (Kynt, token goth, during a “speed bump” obstacle that involved them emulating a series of asanas, because yoga is all about tawdriness, titillation, and ogling supple young women)

“Follow the music to the bridegroom? Do we give it to the elephant?” (Token hot blond, looking to deliver a garland of flowers she just made)

“You know, I think this guy just wanted a free ride” (Racer — more, racer with race-induced hernia! — conned into allowing a young man to ride atop his bicycle load of gas cylinders under the aegis of getting directions from a local)

 “We’ve gotta find someone who speaks English!” (Token hot blond, again, who seems unaware that there are approximately 100 million English-language speakers in the subconty, the great majority of which are in metropolises like Mumbai)

Also? Obligatory India marvels: Man in a turban! Crazy traffic! Bollywood! Yoga! People dancing! Wedding! (Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check!) What could be more mystical and exciting?

Personally, I wish they had made them ride the local trains. My favorite picture of all time? Graffiti on one of the cars. Witness perfection:

Slow trains sucks!