Images of India : Mumbai’s one-rupee gutter cruise…

mgcThe ferrymen row for almost 14 hours every day and transport everything from goats to patients. From the planes flying over Mumbai’s Gazdhar Bandh every few minutes, the colour scheme below must seem pretty. At this impoverished end of the airport, both the sky and the plastic-littered earth are largely blue but the water is a deep, radioactive green. On one side of the long, algae-draped gutter lies the promise of Sunday fun, beach cricket, convent education, and open air toilets. On the other side is the cheaper, smellier, garbage-engulfed slum where most fights begin outside the six common toilets. A five-year-old hops on to the one-rupee gutter cruise, held afloat by thermocol and goodwill. One has to cross a knee-high boundary wall, brave rats and descend a set of crooked sandbag stairs. On board, you have to balance yourself by planting your legs slightly apart. Albeit unhealthy the gutter cruise is cheap and cheerful transportation for many.