A swarm of hornets

Buzzing motors, distinctive liveries and aggression
The impression that Mumbai’s tuk-tuks give is a swarm of hornets
An exoskeleton hammered from steel plates is not much protection but enough to intimidate pedestrians
It’s the driver’s prothesis, forged to him after a lifetime at the handlebars, allowing him to unfairly compete with the crowd spilling from the pavement

This morning a line of tuk-tuks wait at the junction of Turner Road their drivers lost in thought, day-dreaming of Ambassadors
Legs crossed lazily, bare foot, soles facing the traffic but ready like greyhounds in their traps for the lights to change


Cyclists are treated with condescension
Motor-less, lacking a third wheel, they’re a low caste of vehicle
Nonetheless with their rust patinated antiquated iron bicycles, they are an agreeable group
Straight-backed, wobbling dangerously, with knees pointing obtusely from the frame they pass along eight lane carriageways, hugging the curb in ferocious heat, humidity, dust and pollution with traffic passing at speed
A phlegmatic character the cyclist accepts danger for the sake of low cost mobility

photography and text by Tim Harris


This entry was published on June 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm. It’s filed under India, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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