Mumbai's Chowpatty Beach, in a sheltered cove on India’s western coast, is a popular spot for families, couples, and teens, particularly in the evenings. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Young boys on the beach posed for a photographer. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Muslim families, including women wearing all-black 'hijab' (modest Muslim dress, sometimes with face veils, or 'niqab'), also come to Chowpatty beach. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Two young girls selling balloons pause to chat. The beach attracts many visitors, which in turn attract vendors of all kinds. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Beach visitors can also ride a human-powered Ferris wheel, which requires the operator to climb up its side and then jump onto the wheel, grabbing onto a bar and using his weight to start the ride revolving. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Another vendor offers roasted corn for sale. Most visitors stroll or wade rather than swim in the Arabian Sea. One reason is the heavily polluted water; modesty and not knowing how to swim are others. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Imran Zaki (r.) holds 2-month-old Zahra while sitting on the beach to enjoy the sunset with his wife, Zeena, and daughter Sanya. The beach begins to get crowded at dusk, especially on weekends and holidays. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
A pinwheel salesman stops to eat a snack. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Indians of all ages make the beach scene here, including this group of colorfully dressed women. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
In death as in life, Bal Thackeray divided Mumbai. Mumbaikars shuttered shops fearing violence, while hundreds of thousands thronged the funeral today of the Shiv Sena founder.
Rebecca Byerly, Correspondent /
November 18, 2012
The funeral of Bal Thackeray, a nativist leader who dominated the politics of Mumbai, has brought the city of nearly 20 million to a standstill. Shops widows are shuttered, movie theaters closed, and people across the metropolis are staying in their homes. But not everything is closing down out of respect: Many in Mumbai feel they have been forced into mourning.