Life on the streets of Mumbai

(July 19, 2010) Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is the most populous city in India. It is the second most populous city in the world, with a population of approximately 14 million. Along with the neighboring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world, located on the west coast of India.

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment center of India, generating 5 percent of India's GDP, and accounting for 25 percent of industrial output, 40 percent of maritime trade, and 70 percent of capital transactions to India's economy.

Gary Fornecker, a researcher from North Carolina, spent several weeks working in Mumbai and recorded many street scenes. His pictures show streets teaming with people, bicycles, motorcycles, work trucks, cars of all makes and vintages, rickshaws and cattle.

Mumbai is the headquarters of the country's leading car maker, Tata, so it is not surprising that most of the vehicles carry a Tata emblem. But Suzuki is the most popular brand in the huge city, we have been told. Fornecker said the taxi of choice is Fiat.

Fornecker has shared his pictures with and we have selected a couple dozen that show what life is like, not so much in the glitzy part of the city, but in the working class neighborhoods and slums.

Welcome to India!

Three types of propulsion — bus, motorcycle and camel.

Welcome to the world of motorized rickshaws

Let's load up has a differenet connotation in India — this small truck is packed with men

The family that rides together stays together

Motorcycles predominate on this crowded street

It's not unusual to see a Fiat taxi

These "pedestrians" have the right of way

Cattle drive on a busy highway

Two cattle power

A typical cargo-hauling truck

A motorcycle parking lot

Buses are usually packed, no air conditioning and temperatures in triple digits

Tractors are loaded up

Maruti Ranger (center) and a Toyota Innova

A small Honda vehicle

One of the motorcycles of choice — the Honda Hero

Tata vehicles are seen everywhere