Multimedia

The life and times of Mumbai’s dhobis

This is a teaser for a short video I’m working on about India’s largest outdoor laundry – Mahalaxhmi Dhobi Ghat. You can hear tour guide, Samir Malim talking about the life of the laundry mat.

I’ve been interested in Dhobi Ghats since moving to India, as our apartment overlooked a small laundry in Bandra. At 5.30 every morning we would wake to the surprisingly loud sound of wet cloth being smacked on concrete. Outside a single, straggly Indian would be pounding away, knee deep in suddy water.

Dhobis are some of the hardest working people in Mumbai. They slap, pound and scrub from before sunrise to after people cook their evening meals of curry and chapatis.

The dhobis represent an old world – before washing machines and tumble dryers – where every muscle is put to hard labour.

Full video coming soon . . .

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