Crowded places in India
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and that is something the Indians can be proud of. They can also be proud of the fact that India is the largest democracy in the whole world and has progressed a lot, ever since Independence. Although, despite the growth, one of the struggles India faces is the increasing population. Currently, whopping 1.3 billion people reside in India and it is also the second most populous country in the world, after China and comprises seventy percent of total world's population, with its major cities suffering the most.
What is a crowd actually?
A crowd is a large group of people that are gathered or considered together. A crowd may be definable through a common purpose or set of emotions, such as at a political rally, a sports event, or during looting and this is known as a psychological crowd or may simply be made up of many people going about their business in a busy area and the term 'The crowd' may sometimes refer to the lower orders of people in general. Sometimes, you will be taken aback by a crowded place, with no warning that there was going to be a crowd at all. Other times, you just flat-out cannot avoid the crowd for whatever reason and maybe it is rush hour at your current location. Because of this, it is important to have coping mechanisms for when you do have to deal with crowds. In order to avoid a crowded area in India in the first place, you are going to have to have a rough idea of how many people tend to gather at the area in question. For instance, religious gatherings are typically jam-packed with people who are all loud and you are almost guaranteed to get jostled around in India. On the flip side, somewhere like a museum or a library is much quieter and the people in it are less likely to be in clusters. All environments are different and when you walk into a place one can always look for a place to get out if that is of course what you want. Do your best to know about at least two. The street you came in through and another street that you know leads to outside the busy and crowded area or a quieter place. The term 'Crowded' means that a place is filled with many or too many people or things a crowded room/theater a beach crowded with people a crowded itinerary. Indian streets, markets and bazaars are jam-packed with people, vehicles and at certain times, animals and streets tend to be narrow.
Mumbai with 22.5 million people
As a photographer and traveler in India it is hard to ignore that some people will unabashedly stare at foreign tourists, who can also be magnets for persistent touts and beggars. People may shove their mobile phone in your face and take pictures; just turn your head. Beggars, especially malnourished children and the badly deformed, can be particularly disturbing. Most visitors quickly get inured to these things and start seeing the good sides too, but take it easy on your first few days and schedule some time to get away from it all. You should not be surprised to know that Mumbai is the most populated city, after all Mumbai is 'Sapno ki Nagri'. Having the famous prolific industry, Bollywood, people from all over India rush here to make their dreams come true. It is the city where many millionaires live and serve an inspiration to all those who want to make it big. People moving to Mumbai have nothing but hopes to achieve what they want. And yes, there is a lot of traffic. Often people spend hours stuck in traffic congestion, but despite that, the city is known to have its own playful rhythm which apparently, people fall in love with. And then, they do not leave.
Delhi with 18.6 million people
Delhi is the education hub of the country, attracting students from all over India, but, the increasing population is resulting in a strain on the resources and one can ask oneself about why Delhi is so polluted. One of the reasons is the rising vehicular traffic and the city is getting choked and even the crime rate is increasing and one might wonder why people even choose to live here. Well, often there are mentions about helpful strangers and you must have heard, 'Dilli hai Dil Walo Ki'. People here are content with the happening culture and lifestyle contributing to their success stories. Overpopulation is a serious threat to the nation, as it is only adding more woes to the progress of the country and the economic growth would not show results if the small cities get overcrowded, as it only results in dysfunctionality of plans made for improving infrastructure and social welfare. Other cities in India are not far behind, like chasing rat-race, with both cities having more than 4 million residents. If the situation does not come under control, then India would soon beat China, the country which saved itself by implementing one-child policy for three decades. Foreigners would continue visiting India for photography and leave with their camera roll filled with pictures of poverty-struck people, but would the Indians themselves be proud of theirr culture then.
"With a population of more than 1 billion people, it sure can get crowded in India, especially during festivals and in busy city market areas and these particularly crowded places are both captivating and confronting"
Women travelers in India
In crowded places many things can happen and incidents against female travelers in India are uncommon, however obviously foreign women will attract a lot of unwanted male attention in the form of staring or pointing. This happens mostly in rural areas or small towns. In metropolitan areas, people are used to seeing foreigners so you will just blend in. Dressing modestly in such places will help reduce the amount of unwanted attention you receive, as Indian women dress modestly and by not doing so you invite attention. If asked if you are married, always say yes. Groping is common in some areas, especially in large crowds of people where it may be hard to identify the groper. If you do get groped, it is best to move away as quickly as possible or report to the police rather than engage with the groper. There have been some rapes of foreign women and highly publicised rapes of Indian women. Avoid walking on streets or lanes without many people after sunset and be cautious when taking a taxi or auto-rickshaw at night and do not take unregistered taxis. Delhi has the second-highest per capita rate of rape in India and please do not let go of your commonsense. As a general rule, you can remember that South and North-East India are much safer places for women when compared to North India. India has been characterised as one of the countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape, but a large number of rapes go unreported, as elsewhere in the world. The willingness to report rape has increased in recent years, after several incidents of rape received widespread media attention and triggered widespread public protest, prompting the government of India to reform its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault.
Has anything changed in relation to the initial impression? Well, India hits you hard. The quantities of people, the smells, the colors, the size of the towns, the slums, the living in the streets alongside the great wealth. Those who arrive with a narrow mindset, critical and arrogant, will not feel the heart of India and no other place they are visiting and they will not be influenced by the power of India and it does not necessarily mean that you should become Hindu but definitely have a deeper understanding of India. "- I believe that this is how I came to India. Very open to see, listen, absorb and I think that's also why my impression of India has not changed after the visit. The opposite, I know people who visited India one time who says, "I'm not going to India anymore" or "I'm not coming back to India anymore". I do and I will", the Photographer says.
Read also: Overpopulation in India