Good bye India

7 02 2008

After a stay of six months I left India on January 31 with mixed feelings. I was looking forward coming back home  but at the same time I was sad to take leave of many good friends of different parts of India. I wish to express my sincere greatfulness to all my friends for their support during my travel and period of practicum, for their hospitality and all kind of advices. I also wish to thank all readers of my blog, especially those who gave me support by writing critical or encouraging comments. I am sure that I will visit India again.

Please notice that I’ll be uploading additional photographs of my trip in the near future.


Leaving Valsad

24 01 2008

Yesterday I left Valsad after finishing a three months internship there. I have undergone a very interesting training there in Gadhia Solar Energy Systems introducing me into the world of Business. Yesterday morning Ida who is leaving for Austria in mid of February and Valentin who is doing his civil service in the company dropped me at the station of Valsad.

It was quite a strange feeling somehow. I really would not claim Valsad as a place in which I could fall in love to. Still it was a strange feeling leaving the home I shared with Valentin and Ida for three months the last time. It felt strange driving from the place I called my ‘home’ for three months to Valsad the very last time. So often I was complaining about the overcrowded train from Valsad to Mumbai which was never running as the timetable pointed. On my last trip Western Railways had a special gift for me and the train was even more crowded as on all our trips to Mumbai. Apparently I was carrying more luggage than usual. The Indian Railways were obviously challenging me hard on my last trip.

The last week I am going to spend with friends in Delhi no, probably going to Pushkar again.


Dharavi | 5th Visit

22 01 2008

This tour to Dharavi was not meant to take place. Last Sunday I went to Mumbai in order to pick up my laptop which finally could not be repaired. It cost me 1.600 kilometers journey on Indian rail already till I was finally informed that it wouldn’t be possible to repair my laptop. Still I did not get my laptop back because the guy was not there in the office although we had an appointment. He sincerely informed me that it was Sunday and on Sundays the office is closed. I wonder why he is telling me then one day earlier to come that Sunday.

So seething with rage I headed for Dharavi where I must be well known already. Again I got lost in the lanes where I was roaming around four times already. Again and again it is an interesting experience roaming through Dharavi although I have to say that the photography results of my first visit remain to be the most impressive.

From all the places in Dharavi this one above remains in my mind like no other. Poignantly this place stands for the destiny of those people living in slums like Dharavi. The pipe that can be seen here carries drinking water to the central part of Mumbai whereas most of the residents of slums have no access to clean drinking water. For them it often means a very long walk.

(happy) new year!

10 01 2008

After almost two weeks of inactivity I am writing that post. Unfortunately the new year started with a hardware crash in my laptop exactly on 1st of January. Seems to be a delayed millenium crash or so. Anyway the problem seems to be pretty serious. Got the laptop to Mumbai for repair exactly one week ago and still it is not working but therefore it charged me 800 kilometers journey on Indian trains, two hotel nights and lot’s of time waste already. Consequently I am in quite a bad mood and working as well as updating blog and galleries has become quite difficult. The only good news is that all photographs are safe, thats all…

Anyway the Goa trip was really good we enjoyed new year on a big Goa Trance Rave and enjoyed till 9 AM in the morning. The trip back to Valsad was less comfortable. We went on a 15-hours bus trip and my knees were paining as they were squeezed somewhere under the front seat. Anyhow we were lucky to get back somehow and for a reasonable price.

Since our return to Valsad I made two trips to Mumbai already. On one of the trips I met Ayan a guy from Kolkata working as a Software Engineer in Bangalore right now. We went on another photo tour through Mumbai and covered Dharavi again and the Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai which is a huge infrastructure project to connect the city of Mumbai with the western suburbs Bandra and Andheri via a huge sea bridge.

Go, go, Goa!

29 12 2007

Well, quite spontanously me and Valentin decided to go to Goa yesterday. We’ve booked the flight just one day earlier for around 55 Euros what is amazingly cheap for a flight to Goa during this season and more than that we were flying with Kingfisher Airlines the best airline for domestic services you can imagine.

Arrived in Goa itself we rent two bikes and went to the north, near Vagator which is the most famous place if you wanna enjoy. The beaches are nice, the weather is cool and the parties we did not check yet. Surprisingly we met a fellow who was with us for the filmshoot in Mumbai again today, the world is just so small.

Well, still cannot imagine to be in Goa as we were still wondering what to do for new year two days earlier!

Merry Christmas!!!

24 12 2007

Wishing all readers and supporters a Merry Christmas and lot’s of success in the New Year!

Another trip to Dharavi

18 12 2007

Last weekend Valentin again went to Mumbai to meet some friends of ours on Friday and Saturday night and to visit Dharavi again. The trip to Dharavi was similar to our first trip one week ago. We wanted to see more of the slum and especially I wanted to do more photography there for a potential photo exhibition or illustrated book.

The happening that actually worth a report is our experience with the Indian Railways and Indian Police on the way back to Valsad as both proved to be really incompetent. On the internet we found the 23.35 train from Bandra Terminus to Valsad as the last available train on Saturday night. So we reached Bandra Terminus some minutes earlier, purchased tickets and were on our way to the platform. There was only one train there which was already about to move and we still had to run through the underpass. Confident that we would still be getting the train we were running as fast as possible and jumped on the moving train what is quite a normal procedure in India.

So somehow we got on the train but came to know that it was totally empty. We thought that there might not be that much travellers on a Saturday night so we did not question this any longer. But when the train stopped after a few kilometers and went back some meters things became really strange. We found ourselves in the washing bay. Now we were quite sure that this train would not be going to Valsad and walked all the way back to the station. Fortunately it was too long and and took the ticket seller to ask why he sold us a ticket for a train that was obviously not running but was mentioned in the online reservation system. We then came to know that our train has been rescheduled or whatever.

Anyway we had to spend the night there in the Bandra Terminal Building and wait for the first train the following morning. First we wanted to spend it on the platform but were told by some policemen that we would not be allowed to stay there but that it was possible to stay in the newly built terminal building. We went there, settled down were also other passengers were sitting and after some time we were asked by two police men to leave the station. They did not pay any attention to all the other passengers who were resting there and obviously we were really pissed. Not only because we did not have any other opportunity to sleep but rather because it was just us who were asked to go we got really pissed. We started arguing with the police men although it is quite senseless to argue with them because they are just so licentious. So also we did not give an inch as they usually stayed there but the bad impression about Indian police men stays.

Finally we got on the first train at 6.50 AM next morning where a stupid train conducter asked us to pay a penalty because our ticket that was for the last night train was not valid for that train. We came to know by another passenger that train conducters in India just have to charge a minimum of penalty fees per day and we just became another victim of their disposal.