A Walk along the River
Gopal M S takes a stroll along Mumbai’s Mithi river and uncovers several stories around this polluted, yet populated water body.
This article was originally published in July 2012.
During the 26 July 2005 Mumbai deluge, many of us stood in neck-deep water and noticed a large water body that flowed through the heart of this city—the Mithi river. On that day, a sudden and unexpected amount of rain proved too much for the city’s drainage system to handle, leading to unprecedented destruction and loss of life. Following the incident, crores have been spent to clear up the bottlenecks in the river system to avoid a repeat of the incident, but life along the heavily populated banks of the river continues to remain the same. For instance, there are several economic activities that operate around these drains, which are still going on.
It is unfortunate that one of the biggest drains of Mumbai is actually a river. It was the many facets of this harsh reality that I wished to portray in my series.
Tips for Attempting a Similar Project
- Wear a good pair of shoes, because there will be a lot of walking and exploring involved.
- Read as much as you can about the area you wish to photograph. Talk to the local residents. Get the inside scoop. You may be able to make a more comprehensive photo series then.
- Approach the subject with sensitivity and an open mind.
- Besides the obvious, look for instances that may negate or look different from the area’s characteristic features.
- Be prepared to wade through muck or face unpleasant environmental conditions while making such photographs. However, use them to your advantage to give the audience an idea of what the place is really like.
About Gopal MS
Gopal M S is a freelance photojournalist and writer based in Mumbai. When he is not working for magazines, he documents the streets of Mumbai through photographs and stories on his blog, mumbaipaused. blogspot.com