Essay, Research Paper: Salaam Bombay


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Give a brief description of the main characters: The main characters in this
movie are Krishna, his friend Chillum, a prostitute with her small daughter, a
pimp, street-kids and a 16-yr old girl. Krishna: Krishna is a twelve year old
boy, who is in search for a job so that he can earn enough money to pay his
mother in order to return to his family. He is left behind by a travelling
circus where he works. Left with no other option Krishna decides to head to a
big city in search for a job. He heads to Bombay, a big metropolitan city in
India. He finds a job at a tea-shop as a tea-delivery boy. Apparently this
tea-shop is located near a prostitution area of the city, which Krishna has to
frequent to deliver the tea. There he comes across various people, such as a
prostitute who has a small daughter, a 16-yr old girl who has been forcefully
dragged into this profession, and these people then slowly become a part of his
life in the city. Krishna’s experiences in the city, his ability to withstand
the tough life in the city, his generosity towards his friend, the conflicts
that take place, all create interesting “bends” in this movie. The plight of
abandoned street children in Bombay is examined through the life of Krishna
works hard to overcome his conditions only to find there is no way out! Chillum:
Chillum like Krishna had ran away from his home in the village at a very young
age and came to Bombay. Chillum is a drug addict and works for a pimp in the
prostitution area. Chillum and Krishna slowly develop a close-knit friendship as
both can identify with each other’s lives. When Chillum loses his job, and
can’t any more, becomes dependent on Krishna for expenses on drugs. He dies
soon of drug abuse. In a way, through Chillum this movie portrays how drugs have
affected life of the poor street-kids of Bombay, how they are mistreated and
abused by people who take advantage of them because of their vulnerability. The
prostitute with her daughter: This is yet another result of human desire that
plagues human society- prostitution. As sad as it is, prostitution in cities
like Bombay is a big business. Most girls who become prostitutes, don’t do so
by choice, they are forced into it. Most of these girls are from small towns and
villages, who are brought to cities with big promises and then dumped into such
areas. The story of the prostitute in the movie is no different. The word
prostitute doesn’t seem apt for this lady, who shows such compassion and love.
It is a very sad situation that she is in, like many other prostitutes in cities
like Bombay. Through her daughter the movie portrays the life of many such kids,
who are abused and neglected by a parent, in her case, Baba. Her mother however
is very loving and cares for her, she doesn’t want her daughter to end up in
the same profession as her. She is the world to her mother. Baba (the pimp): The
pimp who calls himself Baba (respected master) is a dark character in this
movie. He is the father of the prostitute’s daughter. He apparently is also a
drug dealer who employs people like Chillum to distribute drugs around the city.
He lives off the money that the prostitute earns. He had promised her that he
will someday free her from this profession, but that was just a promise that he
never lives up to. Street-Kids: The street-kids portrayed in the movie, although
are seemingly very mean and nasty, they are a victim of the vicious circle of
poverty that exists in big cities like Bombay. many such kids run away from
their homes in small towns and villages in search of a better life or jobs and
the attraction of cities like Bombay, which is a center of the Indian
film-industry leads them there. This vicious circle makes them do crimes like
robbery, gambling and drug abuse. Source of Conflict: "Salaam Bombay!"
is the story of Krishna, a 12-year old boy who is left behind by the traveling
circus in which he works. He finds his way to Bombay and becomes a child of the
streets, working odd jobs to scrounge up the 500 rupees his mother is demanding
in order to return to his family. In the meantime, Krishna develops a new family
of pimps, prostitutes, junkies, and street kids. Although these friends educate
him on life in the big city, he never loses the desire to return to his family
and small town. He also maintains his generous nature, giving gifts and lending
money even though it constantly delays his journey home. Resolution of conflict:
This movie highlights the amazing resilience of children in the worst of
situations. Krishna perseveres a grim scenario, and still finds the energy to
create a glimmer of hope in the most despairing around him. But as that hope is
extinguished in each of his closest friends, Krishna finds himself, finally, at
his breaking point. What you learned about the values of this culture: Not only
is "Salaam Bombay!" a fascinating story, but it is a remarkable window
on the subtleties of Indian life. When Krishna walks around delivering glasses
of chai (tea) to local residents and workers, one gains a better understanding
of the ways Indians relate to one another. The movie also has scenes scenes of
Indian bureaucracy and chaotic religious festivals to give the viewer a feeling
of the loneliness and anonymity that are part of everyday life in the streets of
this vast and overpopulated country. It simply highlights the pluralism aspect
of India. Why (and for whom) this film was made: This film was made as a window
to the kind of life that many street-kids lead in big cities such as Bombay,
where they are faced with poverty and unemployment, which sometimes leads them
to commit crimes. Krishna represents the many children who run away from their
homes in villages in search of a job and a better life- which ironically enough
don’t exist for them in Bombay! It also brings forth another aspect of our
society, the profession of prostitution, which is the oldest in the world and
now the “saddest”. It shows the sad realities about the profession, how
sometimes innocent people are dragged into it, how it changes their lives and
the lives of the people around them.
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