Duration: 00:15:56; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 121.393; Saturation: 0.011; Lightness: 0.459; Cuts per Minute: 1.569
Summary: NVR footage from CCTV Landscape from Lower Parel.
The word kamra and camera have the same root. A camera is just a room with a hole in it. Small people inside this room can see an image of the great outdoors, without themselves being seen. This experience, of watching without being watched, is at the very heart of cinema.
These days, it is more difficult to achieve, since there are reportedly more cameras than people in the world. Yet, we can stage such an experience, from inside a dark cinema hall in the heart of the city.
In around 1880, a series of hot-air balloon ascents took place in Parel. For the first time, Bombay could be seen from above, by a creature that was not a bird. Through the long 20th century, the chimneys of the Bombay mills tried to expel the fumes of wood and coal, labour and land-based struggles, into the faraway atmosphere. Today, we find ourselves floating above the chimneys in the overloaded vertical matrix that is Parel, surrounded by remnants and restaurants, swimming pools and waterlogged streets, memories and birds, songs and construction sites, dreams and fears.
Maybe the true destiny of CCTV is to make us secretly intimate with each other and our surroundings.
The mill districts of Parel and Lower Parel had considerable Muslim residents. The Bawla Masjid or the Masjid Saboo Sadiq, is the second largest mosque of the city. Parel had a sizeable population of muslims before the partition and they worked in Mills and at Docks. Many of Chawls had muslim names like Haji Cassum chawl and the Haji Habib chawl.