This appeared in the July/August 2017 issue.
When I was growing up and visiting India, many of these dhobis (laundry workers) were unable to read-- meaning that when you handed them a bundle of various clothing, they returned every item to you the next day without being able to write, keep track, or catalogue who gave them which item.
It is definitely an attraction... you're eyes will not stop trying to see how far the laundry stations go at Dhobi Ghat.
Contrary to what some might think, Dhobi Ghat is beyond functional and efficient. Hotels and restaurants from all over the city bring here their pounds (sorry, Kilos!) of laundry to be cleaned in the fresh air of Bombay! Organized in its own way,it all works in unisync, like a perfect Indian dance from from a classical Bollywood movie: ecstatic and perfectly synchronized!
This astonishing human-powered Laundromat near Mahalaxmi Station is where scores of dhobis (laundrymen) bring dirty clothes from homes and hotels from all over the city each morning to clean them by hand in big open-air troughs. It’s an incredible sight—hundreds of thousands of items of apparel are said to pass through here each day—and what's even more incredible is that each shirt, vest and sock finds its way back to its rightful owner, clean and folded, later that day.