On my recent visit to Mumbai, I happened to go on a small photography trip to Elephanta Caves. When you climb up your way to the caves, on both sides you have the usual artifacts and handicraft shops. In fact, the artifacts are the same across the length and breadth of the country. Unlike most of the tourist locations in the West, they are not customized for the destination.
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai – Insights
On our way back in the same lane, we were trying to click some photographs of the artifacts. We were just discussing how in any other country people would have asked for money to take pictures. Just then we started talking to this lady, who was the owner of one of the stalls there, selling jewelry made out of stones. She asked whether she could get a copy of the pictures that we have taken. When we told her that it was a digital camera and if she has an e-mail address we can e-mail it to her. She thought for a minute and asked us if we can help her create an e-mail address and also teach her how to use it.
Hearing us talk, another neighbor of hers came and joined us. He requested us to click some photographs for him too. He went a step ahead and picked some good pieces, placed them on a proper background, and observed us keenly as we clicked pictures. Then he tried to understand how e-mail works and how he can use e-mail to enhance his business. All these questions came after he came to know that he does not need to own a computer to have an e-mail address. And he can go to a cyber café and use the power of electronic communication at an affordable cost. At the end of the conversation, he asked my friend to create his e-mail Id and took his number. And said he would visit him one of these days and learn more.
It was an amazing display of optimism in the air. The optimism about the opportunities that lay ahead. A few years back he would hardly know anything outside his area. A confidence that I can do whatever others can do. Some time back people carried an air of disappointment and frustration. And then thought only the well-connected and well-placed people can do something in life. Confidence to talk to an absolute stranger and discuss the business, some time back people would just answer your questions about their business. But would not look at you as if you hold a window of opportunity that they might want to explore. A hope that the person will help me, an ability to take some risks for higher returns…this is the real changing face of India. If we have to change our attitudes at this level, the future cannot be anywhere but here.
Visit these heritage caves while in Mumbai.
Recommend you to read the following Travel Blogs about Places to Visit in Mumbai.