Exploring Mumbai, cautiously

Finally bit my tongue and brought out the camera. It is illegal (since Slumdog Millionaire – which I saw for the first time yesterday with my flatmates) to take pictures in the slums, or of children on the streets. In fact, many of the places helping children who desperately need it won’t allow me around the children at all – instead, I have been visiting their offices and meeting people who run the show and handle the logistics. One of my flatmates actually made a documentary for an India-wide group called Childline, which you can see here (it’s worth watching!). It is sad that I cannot meet the children who have benefited from Childline, but I understand their reasoning behind it. Though photos are not allowed, they have permitted me to visit the headquarters where they take emergency calls 24/7 and have answered all of my questions about their work. I’m excited for next week, because I will be able to visit a shelter for boys run by Catholic-Indian priests. I am eager for the beginning of the Ganesh festival, which is starting soon, and the city is already prickling with excitement.

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*the picture of the boy in the black shirt: he came up to me and said he was my new boyfriend, and he and his friends wanted me to take their pictures. They followed me for about 20 minutes. He had an astonishingly large wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth.

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