Surat – Mumbai

Brought the bike to the Parcel Office (kind of the check-in for large luggage and cargo when traveling by train) and made a porter unhappy by refusing to pay him an unreasonable sum for loading the bike onto the train.

The platform was changed last minute and I almost missed the train. The bike was no better of, it reached Mumbai with the next train.

So I sat there in Mumbai Central station waiting for the bike, when a guy said ‘hello’, asking me if I was Todd. Sure, that’s me, and the guy was Daniel, who coincidently happened to be at the station with a friend.

We waited for the bike together and then walked to the office of an organization called SPARC which is run by slum-dwellers and works for organizing the slum people and giving them a voice and fighting (politically) for proper housing. They are really nice people. I got invited for lunch and they let me stow my luggage and the bike there for the day.

Meanwhile, Daniel had arranged for me to meet the founder of and moving figure behind SPARC, a guy called Jockin. So we took the train to Dadar, one of the biggest slum areas in Mumbai, where the organization has another office.

Walked around the nightly central Mumbai and to the Ali Something mosque. It’s been built on an island in one of the bays of the Mumbai peninsula, connected to the mainland only by a walk-way that is flooded at high-tide.

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