Why I choose to write about this sketch is not just because of the unending spread of the biggest washing machine in Mumbai, but the people who hover around or rather live in this place. As you would walk down from a narrow staircase from the Mahalakshmi station you will see the Dhobis carrying huge stack of clothes and running swiftly up and down the way. There will be many curious eyes clicking photographs, mostly the tourists. I followed a tourist through the narrowest lanes of Dhobi Ghat and by the end got lost in the smoky rooms inside. There are the Dhobis washing clothes religiously and you would wonder how they organize their work.
|The cramped up washing machine of Mumbai|
I went back to the narrow staircase which gives the best view of this place. I took out my sketchbook and got engrossed in it. Several people abused me directly for blocking their way but then they peeped into my book and smiled. Most of these people were returning back home after the day’s work and I wouldn't blame them for complaining. Soon, a large group gathered behind and blocked the entire stairway. To add to the commotion, a policeman came to see what had happened. He managed his way through the mob and before he could shout at me, he saw the sketch. Instantly he exclaimed, “Let him sketch! At least he isn't taking photographs. Let him stand here for as much time as he wants to!” Two little boys from the locality added, “Our little brother sketches better than him!” They then insisted on seeing all the sketches and finally gave me a high five!
Very often one gets to experience the upfront nature of Mumbai but it doesn't hurt you. It infact makes you smile at yourself and that reflects in what you do, in my case my sketches!
Have a 'good' 'Good-Friday'