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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Monday, 10 January 2011

A place called home

I pushed that boundary today. I went to a slum that to me is special and I walked around while it was abuzz with activity as the sun was finally out and people were coming out of their little houses to warm themselves up. Yesterday which was probably the coldest day of the year so far, many may have remained inside for warmth, inside their hovels, their cardboard frames, their tarpaulin slung over two pieces of corrugated metal.  The slum is built on the corner of two highways, perched on a hill, brimming with people too poor to go anywhere else but in that squalor and the misery of their unbelievable poverty is also their hope for life and their determination against all odds to create even out of this a place called home. The homes are decorated with bright colours and painted with flowers. There are children playing in the dust and women putting the clothes out to air. Men sit smoking or playing cards and dogs, well this one in particular, is loved and looked after and found its own place called home, dressed for the cold and lying in a metal pot warm from the sun.


  1. marina - i went there last year and was impressed with how well-organized it was inside. also, you could see the various levels of empowerment, with the poorest folks on living in tin and plastic on the boundaries while the "wealthier" residents lived in brightly painted mud homes. i also saw satellite dishes and tv's and refrigerators. unfortunately, the communal bathroom is the landfill next door and the ladies go together in the evenings. (i took my driver with me to translate..) i'll go with you through the juggi (sp?) near school any day... t

  2. This is one of my favorite spots in Delhi also ... (and one of the most mysterious to me so far as well).

    I was incensed the first time I saw the CWG banners hiding what they could of this slum ... and HAPPY when they took them down again.

    Glad you took a little self-guided tour and shared it with us!

  3. I think a lot of people forget that in India slums are really self-created "affordable housing" schemes for working-class people. Unfortunately, they are also illegal and unauthorized (unless the government regularizes them) and hence their pathetic condition with no sewers, no water, no electricity. But many western people are so conditioned to think of slums as a form of "horror", in fact of poverty itself as a kind of "horror" that they often can't go beyond the facade and understand that these places are living and vital communities, where the people are working and supporting their families, not sitting around in a drug-induced stupor (well not all of them anyway). Congratulations to you to taking the first step towards understanding the place where your maid servant and your dhobi and your ironing wallah probably live.

    Most middle class Indians shun slum dwellers and slums not because they are violent places or people, but because they are "dirty" (unfortunately they are, because they have no municipal services). But I have walked around Indian slums with a far greater sense of security than I have around the south side of Chicago.


  4. Thanks for that insightful comment Sharmishtha
    I very much wanted to do it and I am glad I did because it affirms so much of what you say.
    Kind regards


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