The temperature is in the mid-30s. I’m going on a walking tour of Dharavi, Mumbai. In pre-Covid times, this would have entailed carrying a water bottle, scarf, sunscreen and sunglasses. Today, I switch on the air-conditioner, settle down on my favourite armchair and log in to Zoom, where my guide Shailesh Jethwa awaits. Curated by tourHQ, an online platform that connects travellers with tourism service providers, this tour promises virtual tourists an intimate peep into life in Dharavi and a taste of its street food.
We start with a tour of Jethwa’s house in Kumbharwada (literally, neighbourhood of potters), a unique vertical structure with iron ladders going to upper floors. Three generations of his family have lived here. In some ways,