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Meet The People Who Call Mumbai Home On ‘Humans Of Bombay’

Karishma Mehta

It’s the biggest city in arguably the most overwhelming country on earth. Over 20 million people live in Bombay’s (now officially known as Mumbai) metropolitan area, and the city is the poster child for India’s economic rise. Bollywood is based here, the city is one of the world’s top 10 centres for finance flow. As India’s financial, commercial, and entertainment capital, the lights of Bombay draw in people with big hopes and dreams, some of which come true.

Bombay’s history stretches back thousands of years, with the Portuguese and the British controlling it for periods in the past. But today it is a very Indian city. In many ways, the story of Bombay mirrors the story of India. The rapid growth (economically and population) of the nation has brought new opportunities, new prosperity, and new challenges. The country’s economic output per person has doubled in the past decade alone, though there’s a big inequality problem that hasn’t been solved. Some of India’s people are enjoying all of the benefits of globalisation and more resources, while big sections of the community are left in poverty.

The scale and sensory onslaught of Bombay can make it hard to see the city as a big collection of individual people and stories, but ultimately, that’s what every city is. To help to bring the city’s human stories to the forefront, Bombay resident Karishma Mehta started the Humans of Bombay Facebook page. Photographing and interviewing local people, Karishma said ‘It’s overwhelming to hear some of the stories and amazing to be a part of a city that has so many diverse backgrounds in the same space’.

She’s right, so let’s find out more about the everyday folk who inhabit Bombay.

"My biggest dream is to sit on an aeroplane. I've never sat on one before, but I've always wondered what it's like from up there. It's a small dream...but nothing would make me happier."

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Wednesday, 29 July 2015

"I went to the school at the end of this street and when I see a fresh set of young boys every year, running around care...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Thursday, 9 July 2015

“I got my first period at the age of 12 and I was told to keep it a secret from everyone - my father and brothers...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Thursday, 4 June 2015

"The members of the home I work at told me that there was an earthquake in Nepal and I should contact my family in Nepal...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Monday, 4 May 2015

"I'm an ordinary driver, but I'm very satisfied. All of my three children are educated and working, and that was one of...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Sunday, 3 May 2015

"I share a room with 12 other men and we pay 5000 Rupees all together for rent. It may sound like a small amount, but...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Monday, 20 April 2015

"We live in the same building - she lives on the 3rd floor and I live on the 4th - that's how we first met 45 years ago...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Saturday, 21 March 2015

“I was born in a very affluent family, and we lived in a massive bungalow with servers looking to our every need....

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Tuesday, 29 September 2015

"Your questions are too stressful...I haven't thought so much in a long time. If I had thought so much before writing my papers, I would have stood first...guaranteed."

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Monday, 28 September 2015

"Ever since I was a little boy, the only thing I knew was music. I grew up in Uttarkhand and every morning my mother...

Posted by Humans of Bombay on Friday, 25 September 2015

Want to see even more? Well you can. Check out the full Humans of Bombay page here.