Mumbai Sleeping | Photography: Dhruv Dhawan | PHOTOGRAPHERS |

I began photographing Mumbai Sleeping in the summer of 2009 to explore the diversity of a basic human experience such as sleep. I was in awe of the taxi drivers in particular who slept in such a romantic balance with their vehicles after leaving their families in the rural parts of India to make a living in the city of dreams. 

I was also motivated by the opportunity to photograph people while they are unaware of the camera and to remove the politics of the pose from my images. In this sense I liked to believe I was capturing portraits of the unconscious. 

Of the few people that awoke while I was photographing them, no one objected to my actions after I explained what I was doing. I remain ever grateful to India and its people that allow artists to capture real life without the politics of consent.

Over 350 images later I still find myself compelled to document this phenomena of urbanization in the 21st century where space has become so scarce in a city like Mumbai that 'private' acts are often conducted in public. Mumbai Sleeping is a testament to the strength and human spirit of the lower class urban population that drive the wheel of the city by day and sleep on it at night - forcing us to question whether a good night’s sleep is a luxury or a necessity.