Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
James Prakash Younger
Director's Statement: Mosaic
Mumbai is a vibrant, faced-paced city bursting with culture and life. But it is also a deeply segregated city with decadent skyscrapers standing between masses of slums and abject poverty. The bridge between these entirely different worlds is very narrow – interaction is limited to necessity, like when the rich employ the poor for menial labour at abysmally low wages, or when the hundreds of people living on the street beg at car windows of the rich. But most strikingly, this social order is deeply normalized and internalized by both sides. These divisions manifest culturally, linguistically and politically as much as they do socioeconomically – they are omnipresent and laid bare for everyone to see, yet no one really looks. Within this status quo, people on every level face their own unique struggles, hopes, problems and dreams. Like Ayesha and Harshal – whose lives unfold within their own small worlds – everyone has a story.
The stories of Ayesha – too sheltered by educated, protective parents, facing pressure to conform to societal norms, prone to rebelliousness – and Harshal – suave, confident and caring on the outside, dealing with years of neglect from a troubled family, witnessing his mother in an abusive relationship, and a subsequent descent into substance abuse himself – are not new stories. In fact, these stories are so ubiquitous that they bare the burden of being clichés. With this project, I wanted to situate these stories within the broader context of life in Mumbai, seen through the eyes of my characters. I am observing the city and its people as they are, without imposing any ideological agenda. This is not a voyeuristic film about “poverty in India” or a saviour-narrative that fetishizes the Third World. It is a modest attempt to get people to introspect, empathize and look at their worlds differently.
Soni, Paroma S., "Mosaic". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2017.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/680