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  • Next time. Okay, now they really all want a piece.

  • Hi, I'm Tom.

  • I'm traveling through one of the most colorful and vibrant countries in the world,

  • and with the help of local knowledge, I'll be trying to find out what makes this place so special.

  • Join me on a journey through India.

  • Our first stop is Mumbai.

  • Located on the west coast of the country, it's home to 21 million people.

  • Frantic but functional, this is India's economic powerhouse and the home of Bollywood.

  • From luxury high rises to some of Asia's biggest slums, everyone here lives in the fast lane.

  • This is one of the most densely-populated cities in the world.

  • Getting around on the roads can be pretty slow, so we're going to take the train.

  • This looks pretty busy.

  • Right. On we go.

  • Not too bad.

  • Mumbai's suburban railway is fast but crowded,

  • with 11 million people using the city's public transport every day.

  • The elbow-to-elbow experience, however, may be coming to an end.

  • A new Mumbai metro network more than 100 miles long is being built.

  • Its aim is to boost the city's rail capacity and reduce traffic congestion.

  • For your wife?

  • Lovely roses.

  • Can I smell?

  • Perfect, smells fresh.

  • Well, that wasn't too bad, no worse than the Central line in London,

  • and now we're in downtown Mumbai ready to explore the rest of the city.

  • To help me do that and understand where this city gets its energy from,

  • I'm meeting up with a fellow journalist.

  • Kevin?

  • Hi, how are you?

  • Hi, all good.

  • Nice to meet you.

  • Welcome to Mumbai.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Kevin Lee is a reporter for CNBC TV18 and has lived and worked in the city for several years.

  • Have you gotten a chance to look around the city a little bit?

  • Yeah, we came in on the train.

  • Did you get pushed around a little bit?

  • A little bit, a little bit.

  • It's part of the charm of the city.

  • Have you eaten anything? Do you want to get a bite?

  • No, but I could eat.

  • Let's get you some Bombay delicacies.

  • Mumbai's reputation for street food is legendary, but its famous fare was actually born out of necessity.

  • The city's early prosperity came from its textile mills, and workers needed quick and cheap food on the go.

  • The mills may have faded into the past, but the cheap eats have not.

  • And in this 24-hour megacity, the streets are still buzzing with thousands of hawkers dishing out their specialties late into the night.

  • Khau Galli literally translates, the street of food.

  • So you have these all over Bombay, but it's not very fancy food.

  • It's just functional food that you can get in 10, 15 minutes, you can have a whole meal.

  • We're going to try some chaat first. Chaat is a famous Bombay thing. I don't know exactly how to define it.

  • It's just a mixture of a lot of flavors, savory, sweet, spicy, etc, just thrown together.

  • How spicy are we talking?

  • Oh, this isn't spicy. You don't have to worry that much.

  • Okay, we'll start low.

  • We'll start you off easy, yeah?

  • And get a bit of everything in one bite.

  • Okay, that's quite a big mouthful

  • Yeah, yeah. You can do it.

  • There's just a lot going on. Right?

  • A lot.

  • You can't isolate one flavor.

  • There's loads of different textures as well.

  • He's got a tiny little kitchen back there, like this tiny stall and he manages to create

  • something that even looks pretty as well as tastes good.

  • So now we're going to try something called pav bhaji, which is another thing that's famous in Bombay.

  • This one involves a fair bit of cooking, unlike the chaat.

  • So it's this gravy that's smeared with potatoes, tomatoes and a little bit of capsicum, a little bit of onion.

  • It's all just mashed together and he serves it with a lot of butter, and pav which is basically bread.

  • Absolutely drenched in butter.

  • Yeah, I wasn't exaggerating.

  • It's just a lot of butter.

  • He's used half a kilo!

  • Good work.

  • Really good.

  • Kevin, thank you very much for showing me your Mumbai.

  • I hope your stomach is fine tomorrow morning.

  • Well if it's not, I blame you.

  • Thanks, man. Cheers.

  • Refueled, I'm heading to my next stop in the heart of Mumbai.

  • But with its limited public transport, we're taking the roads and this is a city famous for its traffic.

  • You may not realize it, but there is actually traffic lights at this intersection.

  • The guys who installed it must have been laughing because there are no rules.

  • Slightly less noisy but no less busy is Dharavi.

  • Home to one million people, this is one of the world's largest slums

  • and like the rest of the city, it's full of energy and industry.

  • I've hired the help of Naynish Salvi, a tour guide attached to the NGO Reality Gives.

  • The money from tours of the slums is used to support families and help run educational programs for people that didn't finish school,

  • to increase their chances of finding employment.

  • The word slum itself surrounds with negativity.

  • People always try to relate it with favelas and basically those kinds of things.

  • But when they come over here, when they see the kind of things, it's something different to what they expect.

  • Because there are thriving businesses in Dharavi slum, that's right?

  • Roughly all in total, Dharavi has nearly 10,000 different businesses.

  • Wow.

  • And if we tell you, the annual amount of revenue generated from this slum,

  • only from businesses, is roughly $665 million a year.

  • $665 million? That's amazing.

  • That money comes from industries like pottery production, which began in Dharavi in the 1840s.

  • The slum is also home to a thriving recycling industry, which the city has become increasingly

  • dependent upon to manage waste, particularly plastic.

  • Everyday people roughly recycle between 13 and 14 tons of plastic a day.

  • Hard work?

  • Yeah, very hard work sir. 15 hours work here.

  • Leather production, however, is what Dharavi's most recognized for,

  • and it all started here at the city's first ever leather factory.

  • As well as developing its own brand, the factory also supplies leather to fashion houses around the world,

  • ensuring that Mumbai maintains its status as the fashion epicenter of India.

  • The owner, he was the person who introduced leather production to the city.

  • Basically, he started working when he was 12 years old.

  • Because sometimes the skins are thinner, some of them are thicker, they need to be surfaced.

  • Okay, so it's to a level?

  • And all the surfacing makes the skins softer.

  • There's a lot of guys here. I mean you've got six guys sorting...

  • They need to also be separated by the size as well, the size and the thickness as well.

  • They need to check what skins need to be shaved off or not.

  • Even just walking down one of the side streets, you wouldn't imagine that

  • there's 20 guys in here working hour after hour producing some of these leathers.

  • It's kind of amazing that it's all tucked away in these tiny little nooks and crannies of the slums.

  • When they say, "I've been inside Dharavi," it means they've actually passed within, from the street.

  • They haven't seen what you are able to see today. They just think, "Oh I've seen Dharavi, it's a slum, that's it."

  • But to break that barrier, to make them realize what actually they're missing

  • is the reason why we are here for.

  • This city doesn't seem to stop, so neither am I. I've got one final visit across town before the day ends.

  • A bit of retail therapy, but unlike I've ever experienced before.

  • So I've come down to Crawford Market, possibly one of the craziest places I've ever been

  • but hopefully, we'll find a little bargain, something to take home so that we have a little memento from our trip.

  • Crawford Market is the largest and most famous in Mumbai.

  • It began as a fruit and vegetable wholesale market way back in 1869,

  • and many of the city's big restaurants still come here to source their food.

  • But if you're looking for clothes and souvenirs, then the surrounding streets is where you'll find them.

  • Love it.

  • Could I give you ₹100 for this?

  • No ₹100, ₹250 best price, only price.

  • Okay.

  • Not sure about that, a little bit creepy.

  • I'm buying a present for my daughter. It's quite big. I don't think I can fit it in my suitcase.

  • Oh, I quite like that. How much is that?

  • ₹100 only.

  • 100?

  • Do you think it will fit me?

  • Yeah, perfect size.

  • Cheers guys, thank you.

  • Supposed to buy something for other people, but ended up buying something for myself.

  • About one-year-old girl.

  • Girl, girl, what do you want? Shoes?

  • Something traditional Indian, maybe a small sari or something?

  • Sweet.

  • I don't think my wife will let my daughter wear that, but I think it's quite fun.

  • What do you think? How much for?

  • ₹175.

  • How many pieces do you want?

  • I only buy one, I only have one child.

  • Okay, take it.

  • I haven't actually said yes that I'm going to buy it, but he's sort of given it to me.

  • ₹175?

  • ₹175.

  • What about ₹150?

  • Okay then.

  • Yeah, or what about ₹100?

  • Just terrible at haggling.

  • Cheers boss, thank you.

  • Thank you, welcome.

  • I want to buy a scarf.

  • Come, come, please sir.

  • Forcing me to sit.

  • What about this one here?

  • Show me how long two meters is.

  • Yeah, yeah.

  • Maybe I should have just bought a t-shirt.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Welcome, another time.

  • Cheers, thank you.

  • Lovely. It's lovely. No, it's okay.

  • If I had to describe my overall impressions of Mumbai, I'd say it's fast-paced and busy.

  • That can be overwhelming at first, but getting to meet people who live and work here

  • has helped me understand that they all thrive off that energy - and it's infectious.

  • All the shopping's now done, and I think I've experienced a fair bit of Mumbai, onto the next stop.

  • Hi everyone, thanks for joining us on our journey through India.

  • To catch our next stop, make sure you click here.

  • And do let us know your favorite travel destinations in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe.

Next time. Okay, now they really all want a piece.

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Journey Through India: Mumbai | CNBC International

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    April Lu posted on 2018/10/25
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