Health, Wealth, Name, and Fame (Maheshwari Udyaan) [excerpt], 2010, 2-Channel HD Video Installation w/Sound + C-Print (30″x36″), 52:55 and 39:39

[vimeo w=420&h=320]

Health, Wealth, Name, and Fame(Maheshwari Udyaan) is structured around untangling my grandmother’s revered recollections of her father and his role in the Quit India movement, which led to his repeated imprisonment during the 30’s and 40’s.

Maheshwari Udyaan, also known as King’s Circle, is the park in Matunga named for him.

In a 2-channel video I document a temporary installation, set up within my grandparent’s now vacant flat in London, where they moved just before India’s independence.

Installed within the flat are recent photographs and video projections of Maheshwari Udyaan and surrounding Matunga, footage from a meal shared with my grandmother’s estranged brother, as well as footage of the facade of the house in Matunga where they grew up together.

Embedding this imagery directly into the domicile where my grandmother spent half her life, half a world away from where she spent her youth, brings the story full circle.

Filming my grandmother candidly over the years her conversations were increasingly peppered with fleeting statements about her father. These particular memories, which she proudly recited over and over, grew most prominent in her mind as she approached death and age had narrowed her memories to a few defining moments.

These pieces of conversation have been digitally assembled and interspersed with fragments of dialogue taken from a recent recording of my grandmother’s brother recollecting about their father as well.

The audio collage is positioned as a kind of dream meeting between the siblings, one where they are able to fill in some of the gaps within each other’s recollections.

A murky narrative emerges, a previously lost history is unraveled.


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