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Spending India’s 65th Republic Day in Mumbai

I love Sundays in big cities. They take a chill pill and it makes for great wandering. Mumbai got a good dose of sedatives today, despite it being India’s Republic Day, commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Constitution of India. It’s obviously a proud and important day to Indians. I felt lucky to be here for it.

Indian flagTraffic was less overwhelming. People wandered the streets less frantically. Honking was reduced by 30%. And, I felt completed relaxed aimlessly wandering streets snapping away. Even animals took it down a notch.

Sacred CowMy first stop of the day was the Haji Ali Dargah, a complex housing the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.).

Little girl in redEven earlyish in the morning, it was packed. I drove by later in the day and there was easily 3 times the people visiting. The Haji Ali Dargah was definitely the most intimidating place I’ve explored so far. There was an incredible amount of begging, people with deformities, lots of trash, malnourished goats and a lot of other difficult things to see. I avoided taking photos of anything related to these scenes. I did however, see this gentleman. He looked so handsome and wise and fortunately, he agreed to pose for me.

Indian man at Haji Ali DargahI hopped in another cab and headed to the Colaba Causeway. My first activity was to watch the ceremonial raising of the India flag (for Republic day), followed by a shave, face and head massage ($2.75).
India's 65th Republic Day
Before and after - the shaveI’ve now had straight edge razor shaves in Sicily, Capri, Turkey, India and Indianapolis.

Colaba Causeway is part open air market, part knock-off central. Haggling is essential and it was in a fairly commercial area. This was good because my bank card only works in about 8% of machines – so I was finally able to get some money out.
Man pushing a bike
Women selling at Colaba Causeway
ApartmentsI was able to pick up my first gifts. Ollie will be disappointed since his gift has nothing to do with Star Wars, the Incredible Hulk or Pirates.

Beautiful doorI took time to walk the quieter streets of Mumbai. And I felt relaxed, safe and confident. I saw really striking colors. I do love Sundays in big cities.

Red foodHappy Republic Day!

More pics here.

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