I am now 2 weeks into my residency in Mumbai. After a few jet – lagged walks dodging cars, tuk tuks, dogs and cows I am happy to say I can cross the road now without thinking my life is going to end. People are really friendly – friendlier than most places I’ve ever been. Except a few folk just stare or laugh and one kid turned around, saw me and nearly jumped out his skin but mostly they are just really nice.
I’m staying in an apartment I found through air BnB with Sangeeta the host and her maid Kala. Kala doesn’t speak much english, and my hindi is nowhere in sight yet so we have a laugh kind of dancing at each other. She actually doesn’t dance, mostly just smiles and talks at me in Hindi. She makes an amazing masala chai. I was having about 3 a day when I first arrived. It has a lot of sugar and I thought my teeth were going to fall out one night so I’ve lowered the masala chai dose and got out the Sensodyne.
My mentor for the residency is Vicky Cave and she came out for the first week to help me find my feet and meet the organisations.
The first person we met was Ramesh. He runs a school for street kids called Aashansh. The school started with 2 pupils and now has 22 regularly attending pupils. Ramesh worked hard to convince the families that education was good by going to their homes and talking to them. I will be doing a music session with them once a week.
The other organisations we met were Muktangan, Mewsic, Gateway School for special needs, Blue Frog and St Jude’s Day Care Centre – I will talk about them more individually as I write more blog posts. I will pretty much be going into these centres once a week, teaching music to the kids, or swapping and discussing ideas with the teachers.