When landing in Mumbai in the evening you start right away to feel in your nose the fragrance of India. It’s in the air, a warm and tired whiff reminiscent of a hot day kind of forgotten under the canopy of trees that cover the Fort area streets. Mumbai’s traffic is hell looking like a game where each and every tiny spot on the stalled road would be filled up by something, be it a car, motorbike, bike, person, animal, anything. The cars are so close together that you easily would be able from the front seat to touch the other driver if you want. The puzzle is always complete and it snakes like one body dividing in multiple rivers that later unite in a cascade of tiny lights.
The Gateway of India is the place from where boats leave for Elephanta Island that has on it a collection of caves, the specialty of this part of India, full of Hindu statues from around the 7th century, an UNESCO heritage site. The temples dug in rock inside the caves are decorated with carvings dedicated to Lord Shiva, whose multiple manifestations are summed up in the middle magnificent and enormous sculpture that contains the Lord’s three main forms: Mahadeva in the middle, representing the cosmic source also represented by the lingam that is present in each Shiva temple, Bhaivara, representing the wrathful manifestation of the destroyer and Uma, the feminine and the beautiful for the destruction that would trigger the rebirth.