I've always had a fascination for hanging laundry, which is highly satiated whenever I find myself travelling around India. No matter where you are in the country, you can always see people washing clothes - in their homes, on the street, in buckets, basins, and rivers. When I visited Bombay, last January, my friend Sumaiya knew exactly where to take me: The ‘Dhobi Ghat’, where most hospitals and hotels (amongst other places) come and get their sheets and uniforms washed. Located in the south of the city near, Mahalaxmi railway station, this incredible place is home to hundreds of washers, locally known as 'dhobis', and their families. And like in most contexts in India, washing clothes is a multi-generational phenomenon. As we got deeper and deeper inside, we discovered this seemingly endless maze of fabrics, basins, ironing halls, clothes heaps, children, women and men - all living, washing, ironing and drying together in the world's largest outdoor laundromat. But more than a laundromat, this place is a real community, which is absolutely fascinating to witness.
The second series of photographs is of the Dhobi Khana in Fort Kochi, Kerala - what might possibly be the only Dhobi Khana (community laundry space) in Kerala, existing in the city successfully for many decades, thanks to a fair number of Kochi citizens who prefer their clothes washed by hand. At present, there are about 40 families in the community who use this Khana. Each cubicle with wash pens and water tanks is allotted to one family.