Traffic Signal | 2007
Take a walk down its mean streets and one gets the essence of Mumbai; pause a while at one of its Traffic Signal and one gets the essence of life. In a day, scores of people go past multitudes of Traffic Signal's scattered all over the city. People sitting in their vehicles impatiently wait to get going. Though this waiting lasts but a few minutes, it feels like a lifetime to them. However unknown to them there thrives an industry that derives its livelihood from these people waiting at the Traffic Signals. It's comprised of a gamut of people thrown in together by fate or hunger. There are oddities to the likes of eunuchs, handicapped and impaired beggars, lepers, street kids, drug addicts, and prostitutes, vendors selling flowers, fruits, sunscreens to sunglasses. There is an intriguing world lurking behind all the poverty seen at these traffic signals. Each signal is said to have a manager who collects a certain percentage of the day's revenue from each of these working at the signal. The pecking order broadens further and each manager is supposed to hand over his weekly collection to the person who is in charge of the region that covers a dozen or more signals. The ladder is raised in its hierarchy and the collector of each region deposits the money with the local Mafioso, who then ensures that it reaches offshore to his master. One such signal is where Silsila, a young orphan, was born, and he is now its manager. For him, the Signal is his workplace and a home where he lived. He's a sensitive soul with a heart of gold who considers the people like his family. He loves all those working at the signal, which in a way is his family, but would spare nobody when it comes to business. He has a mentor, named Jaffar, who also is the collector of his region. Both he and Jaffar work for the local Mafioso, Haji, and would even lay down their lives.