Bombay Hustle:

Debashree Mukherjee's latest book

Debashree Mukherjee's Bombay Hustle has been published by Columbia University Press. She discusses her inspiration behind the book, her reading list, and the ideal dinner party, with Columbia News.

“More than a decade ago, I had quite a different life and career. I was working full-time in Mumbai’s film and TV industries, navigating many different emotions and situations—from joy in my work to freelancer precarity, ridiculously overpriced rental apartments to a fantastic community of kind, talented colleagues. As a freelancer, I had a lot of spare time between gigs, and I started to ask questions about the history of film practice in Mumbai. Why do we make the films we do? Where did these techniques, aesthetics, and ideas about cinema come from? These questions arose out of my own deeply felt identification of myself as a media worker. I had to make a deep dive into official and unofficial archives, searching for fragile traces of lived experience to try to answer the questions. I believe that understanding the past—its practices and its people—can give us a critical view of who we are today, and also help us imagine our futures differently.”

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