There’s an almost endless array of words you could use to describe Mumbai, but “empty” has never been one of them. The city is bustling, vibrant and full of life at every turn, from the opulent shores of Marine Drive to dense centers of Dharavi.
In a world grappling with unprecedented health concerns however, Mumbai is now practically a ghost town, and a film crew from Mumbai Live was invited to document the surreal look at life in one of the world’s busiest cities, without any of the busy.
No cricket, no selfies outside the Gateway of India, no jogs along Marine Drive, no buses chock full of people- is this India?
This is perhaps a once in a lifetime, or even many lifetime look at a city in a way it will perhaps never be seen again. Is it sad? Absolutely. Is it beautiful? Absolutely, yes it is. There’s never been a time in modern history where the streets of a city home to over 18 million people have looked anything like this.
There’s something remarkable about immaculately clean streets, but there’s something harrowing about the lack of buzz. After all, it’s the people of Mumbai which make it unlike anywhere else.
Mumbai is, and will remain one of the most fascinating and worthwhile destinations to explore, and is the perfect jumping off point for any trip further into India. For those who consider food as life, you can’t miss a chance to tour the city’s incredible, aromatic, centuries old spice markets.
Ideally, a quick cooking less to follow never hurts either.
Despite the immense struggle and existential threat to global tourism posed by current world health concerns, there’s a silver lining in the positive effects experienced in nature. Coral reefs are regaining life, Canals in Venice are clearing, beaches around the world are clearing.
The world will be a better place when Mumbai looks like a city without enough room for anyone to move an inch, but until that day comes, and even when it does, this reminder of what could be, and what once was will remain surreal.