This place, this place. The sheer size of it at times overwhelms.
Take these for numbers (I have been told them from various people, so don’t takes them as a given.. but I reckon they are pretty close)
18 million inhabitants.. give or take a few million, no one really knows.
6 million living in the slums.. give or take a few million, no one really counts.
I have been warned not to travel in rush hour, for I may end up very squashed, and very lost. This is why.
6 million people travel on the trains each day. There are only two main lines into the city.. In a nine carriage train, about 5000 people push in. Do the maths per carriage; that is a very tight squeeze. Not all make it. There are more deaths from people falling off the trains each year, than they have been in all the terrorist attacks in India.
But it is not only the trains which are packed. There are a lot of building here and on average there are 4.7 inhabitants per room.
Then there are the cars, and rickshaws, and taxis, and buses, and carts, and bikes, and trucks..
I ask myself, can they really all fit into this place.
I am not sure how, but somehow they do. Tightly.