The world of Bollywood is a fascinating one. I was fortunate enough to take a tour of one of the Bollywood Studios through World of Bollywood Tours. It was a cool tour. I saw live filming for a show. It was a comedy show and even though I couldn’t understand what they were saying I knew it was funny. I saw many permanent sets and took photos on some sets including in jail and as a judge. I watched the crew set up for filming and got a glimpse of a popular Bollywood actress. She was beautiful! And I saw her yelling at a crew member. That lasted forever. I wish I could have understood what she was saying but she was not happy.
From the Bollywood studio I went to lunch with the tour guide. We walked into Persian Darbar. This place is the real deal! The food was excellent. The lamb mutton was unbelievable. I also had a pudding for dessert that was excellent. The restaurant was beautiful and there were plenty of people to serve us. It was a very nice dining experience.
The final part of the tour was a tour of the Dharavi Slums. This was a highlight in my trip to India. Many who live in western nations are led to believe that the people in the slums are desolate and desperate to leave and are hungry. That is not the case. It is a way of life for the people who live there and they are happy and fed and have a strong sense of community. Our tour guide was amazing. He was a well spoken young man and his passion for his home showed through immediately.
The slum is about 535 acres (just shy of 1 square mile) and has a population of up to about 1 million people. They have everything they need within their community and don’t have to leave if they don’t want to. They manufacture goods and do an astonishing amount of recycling. All that plastic in the US that they tell us isn’t recyclable, isn’t true. I think it’s just too labor intensive for them to recycle it the US. I got to see the entire process of how things are recycled and it’s incredible. They make clothes and leather goods and many items they make are exported all over the world. It was such an educational experience. Apparently, the land that the slum is on is extremely valuable but I don’t think they will be forced out. The people who live there love it! It’s a strong community.
Finally, on the way back to the hotel, we stopped to have tea. It was good tea. They eat it with buttered white bread. I didn’t try the bread but the tea was very good. Two and a half hours later…I was sick. Yes, I had been so careful. I brushed my teeth with bottled water. I only ate at the places the tour guides took me and at the hotel. It wasn’t pretty! Luckily it was short lived and I was able to make my flight. I slept the entire way home and thanked God for business class.
My trip to India was swift and full of activities. I had the best time and met wonderful people. I am blessed to have such opportunities and I’m unsure how much longer these opportunities will be available. I’m taking advantage while I can.
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Living life and it’s so good.