Women Viewing Cinema
Women viewing cinema
Women’s access to public spaces and public amenities across class and locations is mapped through the trajectory of urban development. Memories of cinema are recounted in the context of the contemporary trend of domesticating entertainment.Read More
- Pyasa I think I saw bunking…everyone was talking about it, songs were very good. First it used to be a reward, ‘Let’s watch a film’. And then they started relating to the story…it is an interpolation, you know how women like taking a bath, at there leisure. Unless they are rushed to go to work it’s just being alone by themselves. Maybe cinema provided them with that. They are alone with that screen and by themselves women don’t have that space unless they are praying, no one minds that. That time is their own I remember my neighbour that time not the current but the one who lived there earlier minding it very much when the video library started. She said once a month this guy used to take me out…it’s an outing it’s going out. She said if he is at home then I have to prepare his snacks at home, earlier during interval he would eat samosa or popcorn. It’s definitely about going out.
Sonal Shukla 68 years old. Hindu Gujarati. Feminist activist; educationist; Director, Vacha Women’s Library. Has lived all her life in Bombay. Primary language: English and Gujarati. Current residence: Vile Parle West
- I came to Bombay during the period of Emergency, in 1975. Bombay symbolised freedom. I got married and within a week I was in Bombay. And you get in a local train nobody recognizes you, you stand at a paan beedi shop nobody recognizes you; you can have your bhel, you can enjoy your freedom. For me Bombay is liberation from lot of dos and don’ts and from unwanted ties. It is a city that lets you be. I suppose films in some way give you that platform of shared activity, because you suddenly feel integral part of what you are watching. You are not a passive audience, you are active and Bombay gives you that chance.
Farrukh Waris 59 years old. Aristocrat Shia Muslim. Vice Principal and Prof. of History and Mass Media, Burhani college, Nagpada. Migrated from Lucknow after marriage in 1975. Primary language: English, Urdu, Hindi. Residence: Bandra West
- They show Amitabh as a porter in films… in Deewar, in other filims also. They showed godis (docks) in Deewar, Hum… I have seen all these places. I used to go to godis (docks) with my father. He was a loader there. Then last year we went to Town…Town, Gateway of India, Nariman Point, all those places we saw… I could recognise everything from the pictures. I also told my children, ‘see this is the road, this is the water… isn’t it just like the pictures that we have seen?’ I didn’t see these places earlier but now I have… they are like that only… Town is like what you see in filims.
Sushila 33 years old. Tulu (Makhadwadi) caste. Works as domestic maid. Has lived all her life in Kunchikarve slum, Kalina in Bombay. Primary language: Hindi-Marathi
- Since there are many girls here who have never been to a theatre we had once arranged a trip. We went to Eternity Mall in Thane – 8 or 9 girls from Rehnuma (a Public Library for Muslim girls). Everyone was wearing burqa and we faced a lot of difficulties because of that. The security people got very hassled as they couldn’t see anyone’s face. They made everyone remove their burqas. Everyone around us was so suspicious… we were baffled. Then it dawned on me. We were in Thane and so many girls in burqa had come from Mumbra… that was the issue. These days one sees this trend and that’s the reason why many women have stopped wearing burqa. I too have stopped wearing burqa… even in public places like in the train the way people look at us or behave with us has changed…
Aqila 24 years old. Wahabi Muslim Works in a NGO for Muslim women. Primary language: Hindi. Current residence: Ambarnath
- When I was working, in various places… Charni Road and places like that, during my break, I used to go to see movies in town – alone, by myself only. Sometimes I used to go for an interview and watch the first show that used to get over just before the rush hour. Because the interview was at about 10/11’o clock… so the matinee show I could catch. I used to see that show all by myself after the interview and then come back home. I used to often escape to go for movies. Mostly I would go on Saturdays. Or sometimes I used to bunk to go see a movie. But on Saturdays instead of coming home in the afternoon 12 to 4 I would watch a movie and come home. They used to always wonder why I have come so late. When I would go for a movie in town I would never tell them.
Liby In her late ‘60s. Goan Christian. Former Stenographer. Had come to Bombay from Goa at the age of 10 and lived in Bandra since then. Currently being the care giver for her ailing mother. Primary language: Konkani, English. Current residence: Pali village, Bandra
- During Ganapati and Holi and other such things, these people used to show films on the road. All the children used to gather there, then the bhaiyyas (people from up North), people from the mohallahs (neighbourhood) nearby, ‘the women’ (from the red light area) too – everyone. And that my father had strictly forbidden. Even if it was literally behind my house he would say, a no is a no… go to bed. Feeling dejected, I would lie wide awake on my bed and savour the film dialogues through the night. But my father was all game to take me to watch these Gujarati comedy plays. On our birthdays or Navroze as a family we would all dress up and go to Tejpal or Sophia and laugh our hearts out. On one hand we read Shakespeare in school and then we watched these hilarious parodies, full of sexual innuendos… Much Bhonu about nothing, Rumi and Juliet and others like Moby Dikra, Mota dil na mota bawa…
Pervin Dordia 50 years old. Parsi Housewife. Lived near Falkland Road before marriage. Now lives in a Parsi Colony in Andheri East. Primary Language: English and Parsi Gujarati.
- Six years… we were brought to this place six years back. We were living in Kurla, Jari Mari. They demolished our homes… they said to expand the airport. So, we were sent here. We had to face a lot of trouble ‘cause there is no job nothing here. There I worked in a company… a paper company. Now I not go there. Traveling to that place you need lot of money… you travel all the way, duty starts at 9… The pride of Bombay, Film City is just next door. My son wants work in the Film City. He keeps running, but he will get his due only when God is with him. God is sleeping now, that is why… a bird flies…with its wings… but only when it spots a tree can the bird rest. It has to find a branch to sit on. If the bird doesn’t find a branch, then where will it sit? Tell me, where will the bird sit?
Radhika Bhansude 50 years old. Chambhar caste from the Ghats. Former industrial worker. Rehabilitated from Jari Mari slum near the airport to Goregaon East near the Film City and Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Currently works as domestic maid. Primary language: Marathi. Current residence: NNP Colony, Goregaon East