Mumbai Golf

Last year, Ammu Kannampilly, a friend of mine, worked on a short documentary about a caddy who plays golf in the slums of Mumbai, supported by his boss, a millionaire venture capitalist. It was recently aired on ESPN in India. It’s a fascinating video, with arresting shots of people fashioning golf clubs out of discarded steel and standing on the corrugated tin roofs of the slums to send the golf ball on its way. It serves as a reminder that the comfortable conditions the West lives in are so different from what people in other parts of the world have to navigate, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to achieve their ambitions. As Rob said recently, as a planner you need to use your mouth and ears and talk to different people – but if you can’t, at least be aware of how they live.

Mumbai Golf – ESPN E:60 from Evolve IMG Films Ltd. on Vimeo.

The Mumbai attacks

Since the Mumbai attacks began last week and finally concluded today, I have been observing the internet going nuts with social media activity. Twitter, blogs, Flickr, you name it. Tim Malbon, who I work with, has analysed the Twitter side of things rather well, so I’m not going go there again. Apart from the stuff being said on Twitter at #Mumbai, there has been the Mumbai Help blog, a lot of discussions on SAJA (of which I listened in to a live radiocast of one), the news networks I watch on TV (BBC and Sky News mostly), news sources online (The New York Times, CNN, NDTV, IBN Live, Hindustan Times, Times of India, BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, Mint), numerous friends updating their status with Mumbai-related news or thoughts on Facebook, and a host of blogs. All in all, an avalanche of media.

None of this detracts from the fact that nearly 200 innocent people died, including policemen and waiters at the hotels that were under siege. People who were doing their job. People who were living their lives, like you and me. 
Take one look at these photos at the Big Picture to keep it all in perspective.