Well, hello there!
Half of April has passed us by and our schedule for Mumbai is starting to take shape. We have as stated earlier confirmed a meeting with Professor Anjali Monteiro from TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), who is going to tell us about her work at the university and hopefully introduce us to some university students. We’ve also confirmed meetings with Majlis, Swedish journalist Jonas Hellman and the Swedish Consulate (finally!), where Fredrika Ornbrant is going to receive us.
We’re still waiting on response from several other contacts, but we’re also in the process of contacting a few local politicians and journalists. And then there is of course the issue of not knowing exactly how to “get inside Bollywood”, but we’ll figure that out. Eventually.
We still don’t know how difficult it’s going to be for us to get around in Mumbai. We met Anna Lindberg from SASNET today, and she told us it would be almost impossible for us to get to our meetings in time if we relied solely on taxi rides in divided cars, suggesting that we rent a minibus + driver for the week. We were under the impression that since we were going to acclimate to the town’s nature by only booking one meeting each day (two, tops), this wouldn’t be a problem. But we may have to reconsider it, as she sounded very convincing. Ah, Mumbai.
In other news: Everyone has either received their Visas or sent their Visa applications at this point, and we all went ahead and booked our flights last week! We will arrive on the 5-6th of June and return on the 20th. We’ll stay in Mumbai until the 13th and the plan has up until now been to hang out in Kerala for a week after a very educational stay in Mumbai. But we had completely neglected the fact that the monsoon hits the southwest coast of India in June, and we have now decided to move north instead. So far, Kashmir and Udaipur have been suggested. Udaipur seems like an amazingly beautiful city with the added possibility of booking additional meetings, but it’s got the incredible heat working against it. Kashmir, or Himachal Pradesh, will be a lot cooler but then we’d basically have to rely on the mountains for activities. We’ll see where we end up!