MAHATMA PHULE VYAYAM SHALA
University Project | 16 mins | 2014
Three generations of men come together and share their stories to tell us why they need the Mahatma Phule Vyayam Shala and the sport of kushti. Set in Lower Parel, Mumbai, this film is a universal story of migration and the aspirations it brings. A reflection on the concerns surrounding a dying sport.
‘Mahatma Phule Vyayam Shala’ is a gymkhana established in the 30s to house and train kushti wrestlers who worked at the cotton mills of Bombay. Following the demise of the mills at the end of the 20th Century, this ‘vyayam shala’ now stands at the brink of extinction. With its context eroding from the city, the sport is slowly disappearing. Today, it struggles to remain open, provide space for practice and fitness for its members.
Both films are housed in the DiverCity web-archive as part of ‘GiranMumbai/MillMumbai’ series.”
PADMINI, MY LOVE
University Project | 20 mins | 2014
This short documentary emerges from a government order in Mumbai, which reduced the age limit of the iconic black-and-yellow Padmini taxis to a maximum of 20 years. This means that, in a few years, the charming-yet-robust Padmini taxi will have vanished from the streets of Mumbai, taking away with it the livelihoods of many who depend on it for their day-to-day survival.
The film explores the various ways in which the government imposed age limit affects the livehoods of the taxi drivers on the one hand, and shatters a peripheral economy around the taxi, on the other. The four protagonists of the film - Ravindranath, Tareef, Ansari and AL Quadros - talk about issues of migrant labour, the status of taxi drivers and the importance of taxis in the city of Mumbai. Through their own personal narratives, they offer a ringside view of the changing city and its invisibilized workers.