Bazaar: Juhu Beach on Sunday Evening
Director: Madhusree Dutta; Cinematographer: Avijit Mukul Kishore
Duration: 00:27:13; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 13.769; Saturation: 0.096; Lightness: 0.278; Volume: 0.174; Cuts per Minute: 7.271; Words per Minute: 22.218
Searching for street culture and the associated aesthetics and narratives one Sunday evening we reached Juhu beach. The famous class leveler of Bombay. The beach is lined with multiple 5 star hotels and fancy eateries and designers wares. But at the foreground of the beach it also accommodates the lowest rungs of street entertainment. Open air massage, gigolo service, camel ride on the sea beach, assorted vendors, sumptuous food stalls, rides and sand castles, illegal drinks – Juhu beach has been a delight for all age and all class and immoratlised by various films and books. In 2006 the beach was cleansed and the food stalls have been re-located in neatly designed food mall. The unauthorised vendors and other services were chased out. The beach has become clean, safe, gentrifies but lost its colour. This shooting was commenced at the peak of Juhu beach’s glory.
A circular game ride for small children, Modeled on popular two wheelers the seats are painted in bright colors. But a zoom shot reveals that the back of each seat are pasted with various images of desires: an inviting woman, a pair of female eyes, a smooching couple, a leaping tiger etc. The teenager caretaker of the ride is completely disengaged of either our shooting paraphernalia or his lack of customer. The pointed sound of the metal ride is mixed with the popular film song playing at a distance.
The inflatable rides with the motif of Mickey mouse, most probably made in Ghatkopar or China. These are analogue versions of the popular cartoon videos of Disney. With their overwhelming scale they easily attract the children and also some adults. The players are suppose to jump around or slide on the lap of the Mickey mouse.
Wider shot of the Mickey mouse jumps with the happy crowd in the background. Ambience sound of children's delighted shrieks, vendors' calls, popular film songs on the loudspeaker and the sea waves. Closer shot of the children sliding on Mickey mouse jump. Ambience sound mixed with playing children and other surrounding sound
Wide shot of the merry-go-round at a distance. Blue toy parachutes dot the clear sky. Camera follows the flying parachutes, other activities such as a horse cart , idle people enter and leave frame in their own pace.
Handheld, free ambience shot. Multi-coloured balloons in the shape of insects climb a pole, toy parachutes fly almost a real height, golden colour weapons of olden epics (the narratives and aesthetics of that era has been re-invented in last two decades through popular soap operas), assorted crowd of various age group and social layers. A generic space for Sunday outing in the acutely space crunched city.
Announcement: fortune teller ambience.
Headphone: … it can be concluded that sometimes you keep good health and sometimes not. Hence you often get worried and anxious. This also gives you trouble. If you want to remain healthy then you must get rid of unnecessary worries… your work is art and skill oriented. Whatever work you take over it involves skill. You are fair and you also have confidence in yourself… whoever wants to cheat you will get cheated themselves… because you do not have…. You say the right things at the right opportunity. You easily understand other people and begin helping them. Though you have good friends, off late all your works are getting delayed. Despite a good income you are suffering from a deficiency of fund. You are thinking of a way of countering this finance crisis. Within three months this work of yours will be completed. Your worries will be over….. your lucky numbers are 2,4 and 6.
Here comes the master of street entertainment. The traditional palm readers are displaced by the techy looking robots with sequenced lights and head phones. The audio is as important as the visual.
(M): Hey buddy, do you put the same thing in all… how does it work?
Vendor:… its different… different things…
Headphone2:… you should take care of your diet… due to your principles and nature you help others with your own income. But the people you take favour from you do not acknowledge that obligation. But you don't care. You work very hard for your family, you always try to make your relatives happy… you are spending your money for others and your friends and relatives do not understand that. Please do not spend money on the people who think your goodness is your weakness. It would secure your future if you made some savings for yourself…. You are thinking of some schemes. You have been thinking for a long time whether this work will get done or not. No doubt that it will get done. But be careful and don't tell anyone. You will gain more if you do it yourself without telling anybody else. By scanning your age it is found that you will survive till 85.
(M): Finished… till 85!... hey what you were saying… about by the body and temperature…. say that
Vendor: yaah… we say that… but what now…
(M): No. What you say… do you record the thing and put in all your machines?
Vendor: … one machine will say one thing… same future.. others are different…
(M)… if you talk like that how would anybody come to you….
Vendor: … why not…
(M): What do you tell the customers? Tell us that.
Vendor: That I have to say myself…
(Vendor): After scanning the temperature of mind and body your future will be told… what has happened in life, what going to happen…in your life…
(M)… and how the scanning will happen?
(Vendor): (showing the headphone) If you put it in the scanning happen…
(M) Here I wear it and scanning happens… right?
Vendor: Yes… after a minute it automatically starts telling the future… understand?... astrology… computer…
(M): Thank you!
ultra x factor
A boat shaped ride painted in the colours of national flag. Children's scream out of delightful scare. The sun sets on the western coast of Arabian sea. Silhouettes of the ride. A man jumps on top of the boat in order to stop its motion. The boat shoots up with him standing on the tip against the setting sun. For brief few seconds he was the king…
Soap bubble vendor in colour coordinated pink and yellow.
Long shot of our friend, the 'scanner astrologer' doing a brisk business.
The night has set in. Lights from the 'scanner headphones' and cables and the robots flicker bright red and yellow. Futures are being doled out at a moderate price!
Close shot of another young boy with the fortune teller merchandise waiting for customers. The lights of the headphone reflect on his grim face. Future? Whose? Is he a child labour? Has he rented the machine from somebody to support his study? Or his family? Or is he a sort of boded labour? In the background we can hear our previous friend hard selling his stuff.
Vendor:… it will tell you about your life… future… you must listen… it will tell you what is in your heart…c'mon… what is in your future.. 'll tell you all… anybody there… want to hear future .. come…come… what has happened, what is going to happen… what is in your heart. Only after scanning your mind and body… future… secret… past… future… after scanning the temperature of the mind and body… only Rs.5
Vendor:… will tell your future… after scanning the temperature of your body and mind… shall tell you… what is going to happen… what has happened… what is in your heart… future…
Camera goes close to him. Framing him with the lights from his headphone. Suddenly the street smart boy looks his age and vulnerable.
5 Star hotel
Juhu Tara Road
Outside at the Juhu Tara road. Light and shadow of advertisement hoardings, 5 star hotels and fancy eateries and dark roads.