Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sandra from Bandra

[For non-Indian readers: "Sandra from Bandra" is one of the commonest stereotypical monikers for Roman Catholics in Bombay, Bandra being a heavily Catholic suburb of the megapolis. The following just showed up in an email. I've made a note to watch the documentary Thursday night and will have a report on here afterwards. Sounds interesting! By the way, I do know a Sandra, and she is from Bandra!]

[Ah the short documentary is actually online. Here's a description by the producer. It reeks of post-modern post-colonial academia -- minority women, suppressed voices given light, etc. etc. Should be fascinating! I think I'll still wait for it on the idiot-box.]

WHERE'S SANDRA?
(Documentary, 18 min., English, Digital Video)
Produced by: CELEBRATE BANDRA TRUST Directed by: PAROMITA VOHRA
Camera: AVIJIT MUKUL KISHORE Sound: ANITA KUSHWAHA Editors: JABEEN
MERCHANT, SANKALP MESHRAM Actors: TUHINA VOHRA, SONALI VERMA, RACHEL
LOPEZ

Who is Sandra? And if she's from Bandra where is she? If you saw her
would you know her? As you walk through Bandra past the rozedars
buying food from Jeff's, the college kids making the mochas last, the
aunties haggling with the vegetable sellers, the biker boys on
Bandstand, the commuters pouring out of the sunlit old station
building you may well ask Where's Sandra?

This short film looks for the answers in random encounters and
intimate conversations – in Church, with a priest who leads us through
the graveyard, in the words of poets and the songs of Hindi films, in
the ladies compartment of the local train where a group of women sing
Konkani songs, finally finding several Sandras in Bandra. Some hate
their name, some love it but didn't start out in Bandra and some turn
out to be fraudulently claiming the title.

The film wanders around Bandra wondering about Sandra – stereotype or
fantasy? Affectionate parody or vicious mockery? Still here or just a
figment from the past?

No comments: