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‘What Do You Remember?’: Nostalgic Short Film Looks Forward to Mumbai Post Lockdown

Titled ‘Mumbai,’ the two-minute clip reminds Mumbaikars of what awaits them

Jessica Xalxo Apr 14, 2020

A still from ‘Mumbai’

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We’ve all seen the images… the world coming to a halt as streets and trains empty of footfall and once chaotic seasides and marketplaces turn palpably silent. As countries observe lockdowns to curb and contain the coronavirus pandemic, there’s an uncertainty that tinges visions of the future with people counting days in tandem with flashing numbers in news headlines. It’s amidst this unpredictability that noted ad honcho Tista Sen (Regional Creative Director, Wunderman Thompson – South Asia) sought to remind people, particularly Mumbaikars, about the life that awaits them post lockdown. “I wanted to create something that was busy and alive so people could feel and be reminded of the memories that make up their individual experiences in the city, to remember that (even behind closed doors) they are the essence of Mumbai,” she says. 

Sen invokes the city in ‘Mumbai’ to give a message of hope. Photo: Courtesy of Sen

Written by Sen and edited by Abhay Arekar, the short film Mumbai came together largely because of goodwill, with publications and photographers sharing their captures of the city in a bid to bind its people together during a trying time. Addressing 603 square kilometers of memories and 18 million hearts of hope, Sen wanted Mumbaikars to feel connected to the community of the city as their doors become the distance that forbids crossing. “The memory is that we will be Mumbai once again,” she says.

Rolling in black and white, the two-minute short film is a slideshow of nostalgia. The inaudible but tangible call to prayer, train platforms teeming with crowding commuters, the unstoppable strides of dabbawalas and more flash across the screen, all stills from a time frozen and put on hold, with people ardently awaiting its return. As Mumbaikars take refuge in their personal spaces, Sen invokes the city to share a message of hope and the final line, voiced by veteran actor Denzil Smith, echoes long after it’s spoken — “Know that soon we shall rise together and relive every moment in our city, once again.”

Watch ‘Mumbai’ below:

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