Motornama: Tours - 03
Director: Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran
Duration: 00:44:16; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 11.337; Saturation: 0.058; Lightness: 0.381; Volume: 0.328; Cuts per Minute: 24.775; Words per Minute: 82.318
A ride through the industrial district around Roshanara Road, New Delhi. We come across various sites and histories of the "industrial age" in the city, and its related narratives of automation, pollution, labour and closure. The tour is on cycle rickshaws, with rickshawwallahs
as narrators and guides.
Sites visited include houses in the shadow of the new metro, a hundred year-old ice factory, a car-cover karkhana, a derelict cinema, motor repair and re-boring shops, a printing press transported from Lahore, a famous clock tower, amongst others.
Roshanara Motornama tour guides:
Rajesh, Raju, Lalji, Ajay kumar, Dinesh, Saddam, Ranjit, Rakesh, Tirloki, Durga Prasad, Nankhe, Panna Lal, Ramesh, Ram Bahadur. Vijay Kumar Misra. Akhilesh, Ram Surat, Ram Sajiwan, Ram Sajan, Raj Kumar, Suresh Kumar, Anil Kumar, Dharam Raj, Nihroo.
Roshanara Motornama was part of '48 degrees C' held in New Delhi, December 12-21, 2008. Curated by Pooja Sood. Organised by the Goethe Institut, Delhi.
A project by Shaina Anand (http://www.chitrakarkhana.net/
) and Ashok Sukumaran (http://0ut.in
See also Motornama Roshanara
Offscreen: Till then park the big rickshaw.
Offscreen: Both the rickshaws are waiting there.
Shaina: No, this is your tour so you take it. Ramswaroop! I forgot your name..
Shaina: Ramswaroop, let Bhola take the tour.
Shaina: Go! Go!
Bhola: How long will you go yaar?
Offscreen: Madam have you packed everything?
Shaina: Come up!
Shaina: Have they gone or are they still there?
Brown: Take my picture!
Offscreen: There it has been kept- near the TV.
Shaina: There isn't any TV there.
Shaina: I will get it. I said after 16th right? When I will be free I will go and click photos. I will give them to you for sure.
Bhola: ... Then they captured everything further. But those who had the documents got the profits. And those who didn't have the documents were staying in huts. Those poor people went off to nowhere.
Bholu: The bird flies about the whole day but returns to his nest in the evening. Then your house must be precious to you all..
Bholu: .. First it cotton was used which could be woven 3-4 times. But now its hybrid seed is available. It is called Betty Cotton. It is found is Rajastan. But the farmers are more dependent on this as it can be used only once as it is a hybrid variety.
Bholu: They look very worried as they don't get much profits out of this. But this was first made by using the spinning wheel. The people were less. So the work was possible using the spinning wheel. But some scientists made progress and now it is operated using the motor.
Bhola: Now this spinning wheel is used and the population is more. But now we use the motor and it is useful for weaving clothes.
Scarf: Pay attention to it and you will follow it! First it was printed with the foot. This same work was done. It used to be completed earlier too. But you see now, in 1983, this godown has been made. In 1983 this came to India from Lahore. Very beautifully, the motor makes it revolve. It is being printing even now, as you see before you. So madam, this was the last of our Motornama.
Scarf: Now we will take you to your destination.
Driver 1: This is a man who has come from the Metro. Do you like it? Had you come before you would have to use the taanga and horse. 2,000 of us would leave you to your destination.
Driver 1: Let's leave.
Shaina: First you explain to me.. here itself. And show me all this.. move to the corner a little. Okay.
Shaina: Yes, tell me.
Driver 2: Now you see.. the metro.. it is in losses.. 2 years back when you came here, then the horsecart was popular.
Shaina: How many years back?
Driver 2: Two years back?
Shaina: 2 years back there was the horsecart?!
Driver 2: 10 years back then..
Shaina: Many years back.
Driver 2: 30 years?
Shaina: 50 years.
Driver 2: Okay. Had you come 50 years back then you would ind horsecarts. Now these rickshawallahs will take you around every alley. Even I will drop you. Now come lets take a tour.
Shaina: You don't want to play a song?
Shaina: Just tell me. Come on..
Shaina: One minute. Come again.
Driver 1: There were a lot of houses here. And because of the advent of the Metro, a lot of houses were demolished. Those who had the documents got their houses and those who didn't have them didn't get anything and ended up nowhere.
Driver 1: There were a lot of houses here. They got demolished. They were demolished because of the Metro. Those who had the documents got the money and those who didn't, didn't get it. And later because this wall fell, these four parts broke down.
Driver 2: Madam as you see this apartment was demolished. Since the Metro came, it was demolished. Those who had the documents got the profit and those who didn't went nowhere. And there was a wall here. It also broke and some people there died.
Driver 2: Now see this.
Driver 1: First it was operated with a paddle and now it is operated by a motor. It has motors. It is such a seed which is found in Maharashtra. It is called cotton.
Driver: It was first operated with a paddle. Now it is operated by a motor. This is cotton which is found in Maharashtra. Initially there were a lot of losses. The farmers didn't know about the crop. So a lot of people committed suicide.
Blue: They committed suicide because of BT cotton? BT cotton is cotton?
Driver 1: Yes. First cloth was woven using it.
Shaina: You explain now. Speak to uncle and ask him how it happens.
Driver 2: Now lets see this.
Shaina: Yeah. Show.
Driver 2: This is a factory. First it was operated with a paddle and now its operated with a motor. A lot of factories don't exist here. They have gone elsewhere. This is the only factory left here. We don't know what is happening. It is all shut down. They have shifted because of the government.
Offscreen: The government shut them down. The enactments led to the shutting of the factories.
Driver 2: Cotton is grown in Maharashtra. This is a spinning wheel... it has now changed to a motor.
Offscreen: The Gandhiji kind?
Driver 2: Yes the Gandhiji kind.
Driver 2: Clothes are woven by this. Cotton clothes.
Driver 2: The seed could be planted twice earlier. But this crop is such that it can be planted only once. It has to be bought again to be used.
Blue: For each harvest?
Driver 2: Yes for each harvest. It is thus expensive. This is the case of BT cotton.
Driver 2: So it turns out to be expensive. It has to be bought time and again. Hence it all becomes very expensive.
Driver 1: This was a household factory and hence it was saved. It was the only factory and it was run in the house.
Driver 1: Most factories had to be relocated but this was in the house and hence it got saved.
Blue: People must be troubled in all this..
Driver 1: One has to buy a house and one has to do harvest.
Driver 1: If one buys a good crop like wheat then 8 months go in harvesting. One then goes again to buy seeds to a shop.. if one gets a good crop and sells it and does not really make a good living. They get cuts.
Blue: Now will you tell how all this happens? And where does the spindle go from here?
Shaina: Hand him the songs.
Driver 1: I had given it to you.
Driver 1: Songs.. that thing that was there..
Shaina: Someone must have taken it..
Shaina: Search for it or else its gone!
Shaina: See in your pockets.
Shaina: Wait for us ok?
Shaina: Is it jammed?
Driver 2: Yes it is jammed.
Shaina: Where have you brought us?
Driver 2: These houses are shut.. (?)
Shaina: Who were here earlier? Gujratis..
Driver 1: They all knew each other.. They all went and some others came.. this was a residential area...
Shaina: You mean.. can you tell us again? Did this belong to the Britishers?
Driver 1: Yes this belonged to the Britishers. They stayed here. They did their work here. They did their trade over here. They then went away. Others came and stayed here. Long time back this was a haunted place.
Driver 1: It was very quiter here earlier. No one stayed here. So it was considered to be haunted. Then some people came to stay here. People then started staying here.
Driver 2: This was a haunted place. Now lets see what all happens here.
Driver 1: The boys said this place was haunted. Now lets see what is happening there.
Driver 1: Come lets go.
Driver 1: This was made by the British. It is wooden.
Shaina: What if there is a fire?
Driver 1: It will burn.
Blue: Just the same thing can be found in the Lord's ground in England.
Shaina: That's a bell below and above it is an anemometer.
Shaina: So who says the British made this? C'mon..
Shaina: But that was a nice information you shared Ajay... the wooden floor and even above..
Shaina: How is it going?
Driver 1: All covers are made here. Earlier it was all woollens.. it is now done by the motor.. these are covers which are made using the motor.
Shaina: Machine.. tailoring machine..
Driver 1: This was not done here earlier.
Shaina: Allow us to speak to them sometimes. Where have they all come from?
Driver 2: Car covers are made here.
Shaina: Where have they come from?
Driver 1: Where have you all come from?
Shaina: You don't ask. Ask them.
Driver 1: Where have you come from?
Driver 1: These are our brothers from Rajasthan. They make covers here. You may speak to them.
Shaina: Do you all want to say anything? Since how many years?
Shirt: 6 years..
Shaina: 4 years.. okay..
Shaina: You all are from the same village?
T shirt: We all are neighbours.
Shaina: So you all knew each other?
Shaina: How many covers do you make in a day?
Shaina: Per person? And how many of you are here in all?
Shaina: So who keeps an account of all this? How many are made in a day?
T shirt: That is all added up in the evening.
Shaina: No, no.. 15 people make 400. So how many does one person make?
Shaina: And are there all kind of car covers?
Shaina: Even bike covers?
Offscreen: Except planes and trains we make everything.
Shaina: Yeah! Except cycle and rickshaw..
Brown: No we make cycle and rickshaw covers too.
Shaina: Have you ever made those covers?
Brown: No. We will make them!
Shaina: You will make them!
T shirt: Take a look at the shop below.
Shaina: Yes.. small ones..
Shaina: So should we make a bet for you to make cycle and rickshaw covers? Train and plane are too big. ]
T shirt: We will make them but there will be no end to it!
Shaina: That's the thing !
T shirt: If you want one for the engine then we can make that.
Shaina: Okay lets make a design.. of a rickshaw cover. Come.
Offscreen: What about a picture of us?
Shaina: Yes I will give. Who hasn't got one?
Shaina: I will give. Yes I had said.. I remembered while climbing up.
Shaina: Sit a little outside so I can see you. Sit on a side so I can see you.
Shaina: Don't go ahead of him.
Shaina: I should get down here too? Why?
Driver 2: This is Palace cinema.
Driver 2: It has been shut for many days. It is 100 years old.
Shaina: Go on.
Driver 2: This is Palace. It is shut for many days.
Shaina: What is Palace?
Driver 2: In Palace there are 800 seats. This was very famous once. Ten years back there used to be a lot of crowd here. One couldn't even get a ticket. But now we don't know why it is shut.
Shaina: Since how many years?
Driver 2: Its been 10 years.
Shaina: But what is this place?
Driver 2: Palace is a cinema hall.
Shaina: Its a cinema!
Driver 2: It screens movies.
Shaina: What is the connection between movies and motor?
Driver 2: It is also driven by the motor. Four brothers had a fight. And so it is shut.
Driver 1: After indepence it got the license for the first time.
Shaina: For the first time in the sense? One gets a license again and again?
Shaina: This was the first cinema to get a license in India.
Driver 1: This cinema got the license for the first time in India.
Shaina: After independence.
Driver 1: After independence. This got the license for the first time after independence.
Driver 1: There were 800 seats for viewers. Then a feud happened between 4 brothers. Hence it is shut for ten years. It is shut for ten years.
Shaina: Yeah go on.
Driver 1: It has been shut for 10 years and the reel is operated by the motor. Films are screened that way.
Shaina: Yeah tell me.
Coat: That's why I am here actually... so far nobody has reached us... nobody has officially reached our Roshanara recondition association...
Shaina: And this is no doubt of all the businessmen..
Coat: All the businessmen... it includes spare part shops, and engine boring shops... hat boring shops... lace workshops.. and... reconditioning parts shops...
Coat: See I was still doing that and he just called me and I am here.
Shaina: No... that's very good. And where is your group?
Coat: I thought probably you are here to dislocate us and lot of people are trying to do that.
Shaina: No no ! We want to tell about the
Coat: No a lot of people are trying to do that and we are fighting our cases in High court and Supreme court..
Shaina: No true true... but we wanted to remind people that you speak correctly about the environment and then you say that shut the 1996 court order.. 2006 serial... don't forget that there are big..
Coat: Somehow we have survived celing and I hope we survive again but we are not able to understand the recession and competition among us...
Shaina: So how are your'll united then? Together?
Coat: Just because of the cases we are handling.
Shaina: So there's also direct competition amongst all of your'll... yeah.
Coat: And that's killing us... not only among us but others in..
Shaina: You said all of us for all these years...
Coat: Papaji was president of the union.
Papaji: Not was but he is!
Coat: He still is but the union is not functioning as well because they are quite old right now. So, what they are doing is, they are just guiding us and we are running around.
Shaina: Because all are saying that almost 90% come.. business is down... once again, what it was in the time?
Coat: I belong to the second generation but among the third generation I started doing the same business.
Coat: I belong to the second generation... right now..
Shaina: So third generation has not thought that whether there is or not a future in this..
Coat: There is or not... there is only those who have been forced.. they have come.
Coat: And.,. I definotely won't bring my children out there.
Shaina: What will they do? They are young now?
Coat: Yes thet are young.. no... they are quite old.. small right now.. but, they won't come to Roshanara road..
Shaina: But can you explain to me basic history? From 50's.. when this opened to owners.... this was Asia's largest transport sector..
Coat: It was Asia's largest transport sector.. and in crossing this stretch of 1.3 kms, on an average it used to take 1.5-2 hours.. there used to be many trucks... and they were not power sailing ... they were manually driven.. those who used to park used to take a lot of time... so there used to be a jam here.
Coat: So people avoided Roshanara road... only those who had work drove here... no one from outside came here. Now it is such that if you take a bike or rickshaw from here, then you won't have to pull the brakes on the whole road. It's so open.
Coat: And earlier we used to do around 200-250 engines per day. Now it has come down to around 5,60,70 engines per day.
Shaina: No, no.. see, sir, sir, I will explain to you.. this is my project. And we met as many people as we can. And all the motot shops I went to, I even asked them... honestly..
Coat: When did you meet them? When did you speak to them?
Shaina: I came once in October for 5-6 days.
Coat: I think you officially chose any random workshop and spoke to them.
Shaina: Yes on random... we also found that Palace cinema was shut... it's history... star mills.. why it didn't shut down.. Bihar mill... we went upto Ghantaghar... we also went to Barf Khana.. and we spoke to about 7-8 motor shops..
Coat: 7-8 people..
Shaina: And I wish we had found you earlier..
Coat: Yes exactly no one told us or else we would have made you meet people of the government trucks.. because most of them are not commoners.. the old people..
Shaina: And see... coming to point by point.. no one showed me this... jaipur golden... somebody said meet some Goldy guy.. I went to meet him and he was not there... somebody said meet Crown motors .. some old Papaji is there...
Coat: No I came to know today itself.. the uncle in Crown whom you met... his son met me today... in fact today morning we spoke... what is this all about? Motornama...
Shaina: So basically as you know.. Akbarnama or Babarnama... we said that let's understand the history of the motor on Roshanara road.. so then we named it Motornama...
Shaina: This has a hidden history.. and then this new development plan... they want to erase it in some way or the other...
Coat: Now in the India artists center, there was a monthly plan of 2021... in that they have some redevelopment plan of Roshanara road.. it is there in it.. they have developed 2-3 spots.. roshanara gardens.. maybe you must have gathered more information than me about it. So they are going to do some redevelopment there also... they are doing some redevelopment near that station..
Coat: There will be some dislocation because of the flyover project here... which will also lead to some..
Coat: There are around 20 MCD shops which have already been disloacted because of the Metro...
Shaina: 20 motor shops!
Coat: 20 motor shops... exact 20!
Shaina: And have they been reloacted? Compensate...
Coat: Oh they are still fighting actually... they were not agreeing to what they were getting earlier... and they are still fighting the case...
Shaina: And for these all years...
Coat: We are also fighting the case...
Shaina: But which case are you fighting now?
Coat: Hemnanda Mehra case.. you know...
Coat: It had actually started from encroachment... basically about encroachment and traffic movement.. so.. it is a PIL... if anyone has a problem in Delhi... if anyone encroaches in front of anyone's shop you can directly seal that shop..the court has given an order... if anyone encoaches.. ok in one way...
Coat: So we said that there is no encroahment by us... there were a lot of transports here that time... now officially..
Coat: Now officially there is no transport here.... officially there is 24 hours entry here... officially there is 24 hours no entry on Roshanara road... so transport cannot survive here. Workshops are fighting cases because we are not dependent on the traffic (?)... we are dependent on the mechanics.. who open the parts and bring them.
Shaina: What is it?
Coat: And there are other motor parts too not only truck parts.. generator parts and all that... we are not directly involved with the trucks we are fighting the case with this only..
Coat: In one case.. the Mehra case we ... we got a little success... we made a party and gave affidavits that we won't encroach... and we won't park our vehicles on the way... what not..
Coat: So because of that the stay we got... we are surviving on that... and the other case of MCD we fought is... that they gave us some so called notices... that it is the order of the High Court that encroachment should not happen... there should be smooth traffic movements... you should make a policy...
Coat: And they have made a policy to close down all the shops... who are related with trucks...So I told them to close down the grocery shops also... the truck owner goes there to buy the clothes... on his way.. So we are not concerned with the physical presence of the trucks... so we are surviving... till now... so we are fighting this case...
Shaina: So have they been shifted... someone said.. Sanjay Gandhi...
Coat: All the truck owners have been shifted... but the godowns, transport... all of them have been shifted.. officially their offices are here only now..
Shaina: So as long as you bring the parts here you can repair them.
Shaina: And have the car repairs been affected? With authorized service center..
Coat: Actually the market deals more in commercial dealer vehicles... we can do cars also but it's small-small markets have been developed.
Coat: Initially there were 2-3 of them.... now there are 20-30 of them.
Shaina: And where does your labour come from?
Coat: Labour is mostly from surrounding areas.. all of them stay locally... in 2-3 kms radius... some 20-25% people come from afar also..
Shaina: No but are they normally Punjabi?
Coat: They are 20-25% Muslims.. others are Punjabis, SC's NT's are there... they are all of them.. its mixed..
Shaina: So are they skilled? Is skilled labour less?
Coat: They don't come as skilled labourers.. in fact skilled labour is moving out. They go out and become our competitiors.. they start their own business and they are giving us good competition..
Shaina: So otherwise you train them?
Coat: Yes..its a good training center..
Shaina: So we want to meet all of them...really I would like to talk to your ...
Coat: I was telling you he has not come as yet.. (?)... officially all the people who are there are too old... you will feel very happy after meeting him.. but now no one is there...
Shaina: The problem is that today at 5 PM we are going back to Mumbai.. but see our good fortune that we met you all... we couldn't meet you since 10 days... I am coming back on the 20th... but what I was thinking is that today if we could meet some of you'll... for 15 minutes or something or on the 20th maybe..
Shaina: On the 20th...yes? Won't be possible...
Shaina: Give this black thing of yours to Lalji.. he doesn't have it.. he has only one vehicle right? He isn't getting it...
Shaina: Ok now you show..
Driver: Will she listen?
Shaina: First say this then she will listen.
Driver: Yes, madam.. have you come from the Metro?
Driver: I have heard that the Metro is very fast. It has great speed and runs fast...
Driver: So.. how did you find it?
Driver: How did you find the journey to be?
Driver: Was it good? First motors used to run here... now there are no motors...
Shaina: Go together both of you ok?
Shaina: Lalji go together!