Photo sellers at the Gateway of India

When you go to the Gateway of India, there are touts and sellers almost everywhere. People selling snacks in plastic bags, people selling giant balloons (often yellow, for some reason, and printed in a paint spatter pattern that’s a bit like a pebblecrete nightmare), people selling tours to take you to Elephanta Caves, and people selling cool drinks from aluminium buckets. There are also people selling blessings – the quality of the blessing in direct proportion to the size of the donation one gives. One of the most ubiquitous types of sellers are the photo sellers, who offer to take your picture in front of the arch or sitting on the wall that goes along the oceanfront, silhouetted against the Arabian Sea. I had romantic ideas of addresses being taken and pictures winging their way around India (or more likely chugging their way on a train), giving holidaymakers happy memories of their big trip to Mumbai.

As with most of my ideas about India, I was wrong.

Photo seller with Sagar

The photo sellers all have backpacks with photo printers, and will print your photo on the spot. This gentleman would print it for Rs 15 (about 30 cents Australian) a print. I was quite touched that Sagar wanted to have a photo with us (we asked for a printed copy too). He texted us a scan today –


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