Descendants of the indigenous populations of Mumbai, the East Indian community originated from diverse local groups such as farmers, fishing people, toddy tappers, salt pan workers and others. Several of them were agriculturalists working on land that they also owned.

Today, as owners of ancestral property in a city that is developing at an aggressive pace, the community finds itself rapidly losing land to government and corporate forces. For the community as a whole, this has meant losing a valuable connection with the soil to which their culture is tied- the ‘story of us’. But for many, especially those in the rural areas this has also meant a threat to livelihood and consequently, as a small community, a threat to their very existence.

‘Bottle Masala in Moile’ focuses on a few of these stories. The film is divided into two thematically interconnected but dramatically discrete chapters.  ‘Belly of the Whale,’ based in mainland Mumbai, is a collection of individual stories loosely held together by a common thread, that of the experience of loss. ‘Eye of the Storm,’ is set in Dharavi Island, and is driven by the narrative of the community’s resistance movement against land acquisition.

Genre: Documentary

Format: DV

Duration: 38 min

Release Date: 8 June 2013 

"‘Bottle Masala in Moile’ works at two levels – firstly, by telling the story of a community that is no longer significant to the modern, homogenising narrative of a metropolis; secondly, by painting the tensions between traditional livelihoods that depend on terrain and geography, and the advance of urban infrastructure, which values concrete above mangroves, time above space, and access above all. A significant contribution to our understanding of Mumbai in particular, and urbanization in general.”
Jury Citation, Jeevika Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival, 2013



and Awards

Best Short Documentary Award, 10th Jeevika Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival, Delhi, 2013

Bronze Remi Award, Houston International Film Festival, USA, 2013

6th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Competition Section, Trivandrum, 2013 (World Premiere)

2nd Delhi International Film Festival, Delhi, 2013

International Izmir Artemis Film Festival, Turkey, 2013

Urban Film Festival at Do Din, Hyderabad, 2013

3rd Flashpoint Human Rights Film Festival, Mumbai, 2013

15th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Madurai, 2013

Rios – 2ยบ Festival Internacional de Cinema Documental e Transmedia, Competition Section, Portugal, 2013

Ladakh International Film Festival, Competition Section, Leh, 2013

Tinai Eco Film Festival, Goa, 2014

Nashik International Film Festival, 2014

Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, Malaysia, 2014

Mumbai Women's International Film Festival, 2014 (Upcoming

Other Screenings

Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia

Williams College, Massachusetts

National Center for the Performing Arts, Mumbai

Labour and Globalization: 3 films, (Cinema of Resistance and People's Film Collective), Kolkata

Ethnocineca Filmclub, Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna

Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bangalore

Vikalp@Prithvi, Mumbai

Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Sunday Screenings, Mumbai

Maathu Kathe, India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore

The FD Zone: Inner Circle, 27th Edition, Mumbai

Mount Carmel College, (Pedestrian Pictures), Bangalore

Jyoti Nivas College, (Pedestrian Pictures), Bangalore