After the first morning stretch we all got ready for a long and exciting day ahead! Team Shikshangram spent most of the day retrieving supplies for the pathway that we are implementing. Our design is well underway and for the next couple of days we will be labouring under the hot sun. Thankfully we have many little helpers eager to work with us side by side. The actual construction workers amaze us everyday, they wake up at 6am and continue to astonish us until about 8pm. They barely break a sweat, while we almost collapse from just taking a walk up the hill! We often look like exhausted pups panting in the shade. My mind is constantly racing for water, we are so unacostemed to this heat that its practically the only thing we talk about.
We often have mirages of pools in the distance or even winter coming early. You know youve gone absolutely mad when your praying for snow in May. With extreme temperatures come extreme storms. The growl of the thunder came without warning, gusts of wind flowed through shikshangram and the kids went wild, they were ready for what was coming next. We all waited in anticipation until finally the first drop poured down with millions following it. Then suddenly it was mayham, 7 year olds jumping off platforms into puddles, slipping and sliding in every direction, we all started dancing and feeling the rain. It had been weeks since the last drop of water, it came so fast and left within minutes. We were soaked through and through but had never felt better in our lives, our hearts were pumping and faces were red. My cheeks were hurting from my smiling so much! With a gran finale the express storm gave us a double rainbow show. The heat came back and we sat in absoloute content starring up at the colourful sky.
Entering this mega city we’re immediately captivated by the staggering amount of people roaming the streets and taking over the markets. Formally known as Bombay, Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state Maharashtra. With a population of 18.4 million people this fast paced cosmopolitan thrives and pulsates from the crack of dawn until the wee hours of the night. We began our journey through the sweltering city with the ‘Haji Ali Mosque’. Floating like a mirage in the distance, the mosque is only reachable by a long walkway into the Arabian Sea. As we quickly navigated through people and tons of street vendors or should I say, “Arabian sea vendors” we finally made it to the tomb of the Muslim Saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. Having only been there a few seconds, our striking differences were amplified in such close quarters. We became the new attraction, people came over asking for pictures and some even handed their children over for photo shoots. Our way back was quite the event, but we seemed to be the only ones steering cautiously and trying not to slip from the high tide quickly coming in and splashing onto the long walkway back to the metropolis. For lunch we ate at the world renowned Cafe Leopold. We indulged in classic american food; pasta, fish & chips and burgers! We ate like kings and continued on to spend like them too! The market outside Cafe Leopold stretched out for miles, I don’t think I have ever been so solicited in my life.
After spending most of our money, we walked to the Gateway of India. On February 28th, 1948, the last British troops made their way out of India through this incredible monument. Obviously we were extremely popular, the Gateway of India and foreigners, what more could you ask for in a picture!?
As the sun slowly went down and the city still moved with every last ounce, we made our last stop at the beach. Looking out to a beautiful sunset and admiring everything Mumbai has to offer our day was coming to an end. With the massive city behind us and still craving some familiar food we had pizza for dinner.
Major: Sculpture and Installation
During my second year at OCADU I’ve been able to explore textures and forms of all shapes and sizes. I’m currently in a complete love affair with installation work and design. Sculpture has enabled me to understand how materials move and understand each other. I love testing material limits and the process work behind my ideas.
I am extremely excited for our next up and coming adventure to India. The opportunity to design, work and learn somewhere out of my own element is such an incredible gift. I can’t wait to brainstorm and connect with the creative minds of my fellow team members in this program.