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High Walls – A symbiotic relationship

Mumbai, India – March 2016 A fluid seashore, known to most to be a place to let go and relax.

High Walls – A symbiotic relationship, photo essay by Souradeep Roy


Beaches are celebrated to be a neighbourhood for recreation, a place to let go of the day-to-day life and have a quiet time. It is, in most metropolitan cities, also known for its beach side properties and sea-facing villas for the affluent communities. But Mumbai, India’s economy capital differs from most cities. In this city, the beach becomes a liaison for the prosperous and the underprivileged.

In this city, the beach becomes a liaison for the prosperous and the underprivileged.

Residencies of both the prosperous businessmen and the deprived slum dwellers within kilometres of one another are hard to miss. The rich build high white-washed walls and fences around their villas and the underprivileged hang and dry clothes on them. The closed sea facing windows of the air conditioned rooms compliment the window-less shanties.
PRIVATE 43 – Other side India The high walls meant to keep privacy inside the bungalows are used by couples who sit on the other side of the wall for a quick afternoon romance, seeking a piece of the privacy for themselves. In these beaches people’s resilience in co-existing and conquering the hardships of the social order become prevalent. A symbiotic relationship prevails, working and living through social discrepancy, and an act of triumph of human spirit, ignored perhaps because of their own cultural baggage.

This ongoing photo series tries to get a clearer picture of what thousands of people see, but ignore, on a daily basis. (Souradeep Roy)

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Mumbai, India – March 2016 A gate separates one of many beach side properties that are known to be some of the most expensive in the country.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 Local residents run towards the beach as a seaside property overlooks the scene.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 A local help waters plants as a security person looks on from a high rise near the beach.

Mumbai, India – April 2016 Two fisher women walk past rows of shanty, another ‘beachside property’, built on the beaches, overlooking a highrise.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 Tall trees peek from the high walls that maintain the privacy of the swanky buildings near the sea beach.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 Local fishermen’s children play on the beach

Mumbai, India – April 2016 A man stretches as another gets off a horse. These horses are meant to give short rides on the beach to whoever can afford them. Fishermen also double up as horse riders, instant photographers etc as a secondary source of income.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 A boy stands near a gate, that guards a high rise on the beach.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 Two balloon monkeys fly as a plane passes by, as seen on the beach. Symbolism of the relationship both the communities share.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 A regular scene, overlooked by many, of a small shanty balcony that stands ahead of a high rise with air-conditioned windows overlooking the sea.

Mumbai, India – March 2016 A fisherman’s colony on the beach.

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