CMCS - The Master Tailor of Koliwada: Ganga Dominic Koli
Director: Sanjay Pratap Singh, Smita Lakhra, Subuhi Jiwani
Duration: 00:06:56; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 8.883; Saturation: 0.158; Lightness: 0.313; Volume: 0.158; Cuts per Minute: 17.575; Words per Minute: 74.911
Summary: Directed by Sanjay Pratap Singh, Smita Lakhra and Subuhi Jiwani
This documentary delves into the professional and creative life of Ganga Dominic Koli, a tailor, businesswoman and Koli singer/songwriter, living in Koliwada, Dharavi. The directors made this film during their Master's at the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS.
Ganga: Since I opened the shop I've been the master tailor. In 80... 1980 my elder brother bought Hotel Sholay (in Dharavi). He said,' Why don't I give you some space for a shop? Why do you go here and there looking for work?' In our family no woman had gone out for work. I said, Sure why not? Since then I have bought six sewing machines. In 1980, I would charge Rs 7 for a blouse ... today I charge Rs. 60. I studied till the seventh standard... in those days schools in Dharavi were only til the seventh standard. But my father wanted us to study further, so he enrolled me in a sewing class.
Ganga:Earlier, people thought of tailoring as lowly... they preferred jobs or selling fish. Today, they give me respect... they say, look here is a daring woman, a woman who earns. My father used to fish off the coast near Open talkies, as kids we would separate different kinds of fish. We'd take out the big ones,my mother used to take care of us and our aunt would sell fish to the wholesalers in the market. My father also used to run a folk dance party for which my siblings and I would sing. I also used to stitch clothes for the dance company... I made ornaments. In my free time I also write songs. Our family recently brought out a DVD of Koli songs. Our old songs should reach people, otherwise we will only listen to them at home.
(The song starts): The crab has bitten the fisher woman. Lyricist: Mrs Ganga Koli and others.
Song: Do we really suit each other? I am young and you, old. In two years time you will be as good as my father in law.
Ganga: I used to think that since I'm a woman... that I should employ women tailors. I had hired two women tailors but there's no use hiring women because they would often take holidays during festivals. They had to work at home too! He (Ganga's husband) does the over lock, the ironing, he goes and opens the shop, sweeps it, gets it ready... and then I go.
(A Koli video starts)
Song: I'm Johnny from Goa. I've roamed the world and have spread my love along the way.
Ganga: There are tailors for women, but they're men... men do the measuring and the cutting. Most of my South Indian clients don't like men to measure them. They give the tailor an old suit of theirs and the tailors use that for measurement... because my father had put me in a sewing class on the basis of that I could build my own future. My husband or in-laws never had much money but I was able to educate my children till the 12th standard and got two of them married. I could do this only because of my tailoring shop.
(Another Koli video starts)
Song:The mouth of the shell opens(Twice). as the sun rises and the birds have come to collect the pearls.
Ganga: Outside Koliwada? I go when there is a social function... I have never ventured out alone.