Mumbai, India

  • Date
  • 5 February 2001

Dhobi ghat, Mumbai’s outdoor laundry, is a must visit. Hundreds of men and older boys wash countless thousands of pieces of clothing in somewhat muddy-looking water. Many wash by moving the clothing in the water, but others take the item overhead and then thrust it against the short cement wall separating each ‘washing room’. Several men iron using coal to heat the metal flattener, some men wash only whites while others green or blue items, a few men dip clothes in huge, blue vats for bleaching, a handful of men wash themselves and many stand around perhaps waiting for a role in this production. Amazingly all of this is organized, so that the thousands of pieces of clothing arrive at the owner’s address on the given day.