The human species is a force of nature.
Our imprint on the planet is unmistakable and surrounds us everyday. So much so, that a large part of the human race is on a constant mission to seek solace, discover untouched places, go where many of our own do not live. Be it that remote waterfall you want to visit with your friends during the monsoon or NASA’s historic operation of Ingenuity on Mars on April 19th, 20211; we want to seek, conquer, and leave our mark.
What if we took a step back, zoomed out a little from our human centric world.
Long before humans roamed the earth; atmospheric, oceanic, and geologic processes over billions of years played an integral role in creating an environment conducive to our existence.
This photo essay is an attempt to take a look at the kinetic movements that have shaped the megalopolis that is Mumbai, that as of 2018, close to 20 million people call home2.
What existed here before?
Before Mumbai became the film and financial capital of the country. Before the Quit India Movement and reclamation of the islands. Before it was colonised. Before the Koli community called it home.
Rock structures that formed over the Reunion Hotspot over 60 million years ago3 and since travelled north of the equator during the continental drift4; the 50 million year old Arabian Sea5 that has enabled trade, transportation, fishing livelihoods, and a source of oil and natural gas; the 5 million year old6 southwest monsoon that we depend on for replenishing groundwater and city reservoirs form the foundation of this city we call home.
Ancient rocks, rivers, creeks, tidal flats, forests, and monsoons all define one of the world’s most densely populated cities today; juxtaposed against infrastructure developments, a kinetic force in their own right, we see this constant tussle for space between human and environment.
2 – https://population.un.org/wup/Publications/Files/WUP2018-Report.pdf
3 – http://suvratk.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-geology-of-mumbai.html
4 – https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/continental-drift/
5 – https://www.britannica.com/place/Arabian-Sea
6 – https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jess/109/03/0315-0328