I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Mumbai, India for work in November of 2017. Compared to Los Angeles it is physically the other side of the planet, taking about 24 continuous hours of flying to reach. Culturally as well, it's another world. The city is a hot, loud place, where everyone's moves are based on what everyone else does. Traffic moves like a living organism, each successive move pushing everyone forward.
Stepping off the plane you're hit with a wave of smells and sounds. The airport is in the middle of the city, lending to the air pollution problems, and on first entry the city feels like a million miles away from California. I was sent there with Netflix to speak at an event and meet with vendors around the city in anticipation of our upcoming Indian original series.
The week was once of extremes. The heat in November reaches into the 90s with 75% humidity, the air is think and balmy. We stayed at hotels that were stunningly gorgeous, while just outside the walls people would using the ocean as a bathtub and a toilet. Sidewalks don't really exist in some parts, people just walk along the sides of the street near cars moving in and out of traffic.
My favorite part of the trip was the time spent exploring with photographer Craig Boehman and walking the streets of Mumbai. We explored Dobi Ghat, the laundry neighborhood where 2 million pieces of laundry are cleaned each year; Dharavi Slum pottery section and Chor Bazaar. Each neighborhood was vibrant and alive, almost every square inch of Mumbai has something else going on. Since the population is so large and dense, there is little room for there not to be life everywhere. I was moved by the generosity and openness of strangers. The kids would chase after us to have their photos taken, young men would come over to shake our hands and use whatever little English they knew. Even in some of the poorest neighborhoods I have ever seen, there was total joy and love of life in the inhabitants hearts. I got to see the extreme ends of wealth and poverty right next to each other. I can't wait to go back to India and continue to explore the streets and cities, hopefully meeting more people along the way.
Above are some of my favorite shots.