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Daily Life in Mumbai

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Living in Mumbai Apartments
Daily Life in Mumbai

Middle class apartment building in a Mumbai suburb.

Sharell Cook

In a city of over 20 million people, space is understandably at a premium in Mumbai. For the working class, daily life in Mumbai is commonly played out in what are called chawls -- multi level tenements with single small rooms, which usually accommodate a whole family, often with a shared bathroom for each floor. There's little privacy but the benefits are a strong sense of camaraderie and support.

The burgeoning middle class live in mass produced apartments of various shapes and sizes, ranging from around 450 square feet to 1,400 square feet. Most have one or two bedrooms, which again accommodate whole families including grandparents. It's not uncommon for family members to sleep in the lounge room or even the kitchen. Prices are ridiculously expensive, even more so than Manhattan!

You'd think that living in such an environment would be very restrictive but it's surprisingly the opposite (once you get used to the lack of space!). Apartment complexes, especially the newer ones, are usually built with a great range of facilities including gyms, club houses, gardens, and playgrounds. Residents organize social occasions throughout the year, and celebrate festivals together. The children have an almost endless array of playmates, and often get together for games of cricket or to ride their bikes.

The property market in Mumbai has just gone through a massive boom, and towering apartment complexes are popping up all through the suburbs. Below them, you'll find that live goes on as usual, with small shops and markets doing their day to day trade.

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