26 Aug 2010

I M Merchant Road



Ramadaan 2010 Series: Silence

The air is thick with the smells of food, rain, attar and a strange silence that rings loudly in the ears for several minutes before the fast is broken in and around Mohammed Ali Road. The hunger and the tiredness caused by the day long fast has sapped the strength of the families who have come to the street to break the fast.

Surrounded by this silence, people break fast in groups. Either with extended families with the women and children sitting and men ordering and serving the food or groups of men who work together or pray together. The women occupy pandals that are erected outside restaurants just for this purpose.

The men also congregate in places like the one shown above.



The groups men form are also decided by which part of India you are from. Gujarati, Malayali, Karanataka, etc. Most groups have their own association buildings and place to congregate. And you are likely to hear several languages being murmured, especially, Gujarati, Tamil and Malayalam. (The boys from Karnataka speak the colourful Urdu, similar to the one actor Mehmood uses). However, they all switch to regular Mumbaiya when they speak to others.

This place also has a lot of single men and travellers who live in the many cheap lodges that dot the area. They are usually traders, salesmen or men from different parts of India waiting to go to the middle east through manpower agents who conduct their business from this part of town.





The silence is short lived. Once the fast is broken and the people have gained some strength, the decibels slowly rise. The hawkers are back to business and shouting out to customers.


2 comments:

Marijke said...

Thats life...Now with Ramadan ithink no sound??

Appu said...

The photography - excellent.
Thanks for sharing.

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