[M]umbai, city that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant, Fun – this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to – Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalisation and modernization. With population of 13 million, Mumbai is India’s largest city and its most diverse, cosmopolitan and westernized.
Mumbai has a transfusion of various communities, following different religions and customs. Mumbaikar or Bombayite is the term used for the inhabitants of Mumbai. Mumbaikars are lively people, who live life to its fullest. It is a city which will make you feel poor and rich at the same time.
Being Mumbaikar and staying here for past 27 years has i have very close connection to Mumbai and its people. This essay “Random red numbers” is dedicated to several unnoticed people of Mumbai known for their warmth, love, anger, boldness, determination and courage just like color red symbolizes. Project shows random essence of Mumbai’s life around the Marine drive pavement with the help of red numbers on walls which were written by local municipal body during recent extensive refurbishment and general neatening-up program.
Marine Drive is a 4.3-kilometer-long boulevard in South Mumbai that stretches north from Nariman Point’s high-rise buildings to infamous Chowpatty Beach, located at the foot of Malabar Hill. The great wall, the queen’s necklace or simply Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg, whatever you may call it, Mumbai’s Marine Drive is popular among the young and the old alike. It’s the ultimate seaside promenade, where Mumbaikars come to escape the claustrophobia of central Mumbai,gratefully eyeing an endless horizon while strolling or jogging along the broad windswept promenade. Marine Drive crowded with a diverse population of Tourists, Joggers, cyclists, street performers, kids, people from aristocratic elite to the homeless poor.
Marine Drive is where Mumbaikars come for a few moments of freedom from the stresses of commuting, of high living costs, of cramped homes. It is a place that breathes possibly.
Q&A with Neenad Arul
Photography for me is love affair with my life, it’s there with you in good and bad times.
It’s records the extraordinary moments in the ordinary life around me, it still remembers little things, long after I have forgotten everything. It allowed me to get outside of myself.
Photography and writing…
… is paused cinematic moments of life with subtitles.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
Avi Malik, my paragliding instructor. A kind and visionary friend, left biggest impression on me and my life when I met him 4 years ago. Learned to fly free and high but stay grounded at the same time from him. Love n light.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am 27 years old street photographer who loves traveling, paragliding and meeting people from different cultures.
Neenad Arul (website) is a self taught street photographer born in Mumbai. Network engineer by profession. When not at work, he focuses his creativity on exploring the hidden emotions and art on streets through photography. A curious spectator in the true, open-air theater of the streets. Through his work, he constantly tries to transcend the banality of everyday life.