So what’s the problem? It’s this: I feel bad for Bombay.
If you type ‘Bombay’ or even ‘Mumbai’ in the image search toolbar of pretty much any site, this is what you get.
Gateway of India
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Crowded railway stations
Pictures of Old Bombay
The Taj Mahal Hotel
No, hey, I get it, Bombay IS all these things. But is it just these things? Isn’t there any photographer in this entire city who can see the innate romance, the hidden beauty of this place? And if there is, then why won’t he or she put up their little pictorial love-songs to the city on Pinterest? Show me Bombay skies pregnant with rain clouds. Show me South Bombay roads, empty and welcoming on a weekend. Show me the view from Malabar Hill in the grey light of dawn. Show me the fiery gulmohurs on Ballard Estate in spring. Go on, show me.
I’ve never been to Paris. Or New York. Or London. But common sense dictates that none of these cities can exist without poverty-stricken ghettos, traffic jams and all the other urban madness that makes a city a city. Photographers have merely looked beyond these things and captured the beauty of these places.
It’s about time we did the same with Bombay. No?