Bombay Sonic - an audio documentation project of the city.

This edition is a collection of conversations with individuals on the streets of Bombay.

Click on the red dots to tune in >> See Project Notes below >>

This collection of anecdotes attempts to seek out the meta-narrative of the city. Every tale is loaded with metaphors and ironies of city life. Each story reveals a love-hate relationship between the character and the city - every pleasure comes with the pain. Coming to terms with the city requires the acceptance of this fact. 'Mr. Bombay Man' compares it to coming to terms with the ugly appearance of one's spouse.

In a most apt appropriation, the 73-year-old Parsi gentleman spontaneously assumes the avatar of 'Mr. Bombay Man'! The city becomes Mr. Bombay Man's wife - a not so pretty one, but the one that will be his companion forever. The pretty woman he was married to is no more, but the walks on the city's marine drive still provide him solace.

John - the flower seller - has long been seeking a beloved. A life partner is essential in life, he proclaims, but for that, first one needs money and a house. All day he sells flowers for income, but will he like his clients, ever find someone to gift flowers to?

Young Ashutosh, promoting cutting-edge communication technology, ironically finds himself stuck in the local train when the city's communication lines crumble under the assault of heavy rains. Will the technology he is promoting help deliver the city from the woes of inadequate infrastructure? Ashutosh, however, also comes up with the most optimistic city story of people joining in to share a meal distributed by the caterer who can no longer deliver it to his client as he too is stuck in the train.

Sunita and Munni, the two prostitutes, directly spell out the city as a paradox of liberation and entrapment. Unfortunate circumstances brought them to the city, but now they can never go back to their villages. Only the city will accept them and they too now consider it their home.

Surviving in the city on his own, Naunaad, the street kid, discovers friends and thieves. The money he earns from odd jobs is often stolen away by other street kids. However, the corner-store owner is a trustworthy friend with whom he can deposit his daily collections for safekeeping.

The underwear seller talks about the lure of the big city that draws people like him from small villages. However, the only space the vast metropolis has to offer him is a small stall in the labyrinth of its subways.

Anna Rodricks, the office secretary, is a city girl and well adapted to the lack of personal space in the city. She and her friends are constantly on internet chat as only cyber space facilitates their need for an independent and private space. Anna finds the city "crowded", but "its OK", she adds.