Salaam Bombay 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. Krishnas 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 others lives. When Chillum loses his job, and cant 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, dont 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 doesnt 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 doesnt 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 prostitutes 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 dont 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.