Revisiting Dhobi Ghat

A fake act. A loose beginning. The plot was set. And like a toddler, after a few efforts, the movie got its feet. And it didn’t just walk, but later glided into an oblivion that left its mark.

An actor was finding his space, while an established one was losing his. In this mesh of being effortless, an approachable deity was making eyes flock towards herself. And not that of lust, but a desire that was rightly convoluted. The most beautifully written character was filmed within a film. Love stories  were chronologically deranged.  And from this intertwined labyrinth, arose Dhobi Ghat.

Whiskey bettered with rain water, stories swallowed by a wave, professions that never showed personality before and a divide that the rich couldn’t afford, the poor let go and the middle class could not have, ghazals that painted the pangs of the olden city everyone deems modern today, and many such interspersed beautiful moments wrote these Mumbai Diaries.

Sounds that resonated with the past. Notes that haunt you in present. And silences that slowed your existence. An ever rising emotional storey where Begum Akhtar and Gustavo Santaolalla were just taking you higher, what your heart was listening to was what we know as music.

The black and white photographic montage, the morning beach, the dingy apartment, the echoing subways, the quarter of a railway quarter, the rich house, mohammad ali road, the tints, the shades, the happy yellows, the gloomy blues, the dhobi ghat. Oh, so beautiful.

A recorded cassette that broke one heart. A night that broke two. A sacrifice that broke many. And within that moment, the storyteller broke the inertia of thoughtless cinema. As Shai left the screen, Kiran Rao entered our world.

This post is an entry to the Reel-Life Bloggers contest organized by and


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