Article source : Hindustan Times. 

Watch an oft-ignored part of the suburb come to life, as the Collage Collective stages a play titled House of Shops on Friday and Sunday.


The play is based on the ‘cultural ecosystem’ of Bazaar Road and is the culmination of a 16-month process of engaging with the local communities, says Anthony Soni, a writer and theatre actor who founded the Collage artists collective in January.

“While diversity still exists in Mumbai, our communities have grown increasingly segregated,” Soni says.

I n March 2 0 1 3 , Colla g e Collective began a community kitchen on this road, as a way of reaching out to local businessmen, vendors and residents. “Six of us would get together twice a month and cook enough food for about 25 people,” says Soni. “This became an ‘in’ for us, as the people slowly opened up to us about their lives and began telling us their stories.”

House of Shops features puppetry, short dance routines and live painting sessions, says Reshma Shetty, a Bharata Natyam dancer, theatre actor and director of the play. “On Bazaar Road, every home extends into a shop, so the play also deals with the idea of duality — how we have an inner and an outer life,” Shetty adds.

“On Bazaar Road, you can see both — what Bombay was and what Mumbai is — as different communities, interests and eras collide in the name of commerce,” Soni adds.

Believed to be the oldest road in Bandra — originally called Rua do Bazar by the Portuguese — Bazaar Road has a mutton market located 5 metres away from a Jain temple, where Maharashtrian families have been living since the Mill Era.