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.