Gulabi Talkies

When going into the cinema turned into clicking through OTT platforms during the pandemic, we adapted to the 1920 x 1080 screen size and relegated the good ol’ Talkies to nostalgia. But cinema is not only a medium for story-telling, is it? It also stands as a character, bearing witness to a changing city—who enters, who leaves mid-way, and who stays.

Gulabi Talkies, Vaidehi’s story in Kannada, tells the story of a single-screen theatre in a small town shaking up women’s lives like a storm in a tea-cup. Through the character of Lillibai, a midwife turned gatekeeper of the Talkies, the theatre births for women a new understanding and identity, just like a midwife does.

In this episode, the story has been transliterated in Hindi with a musical imagination of dialogues and tracks from 1970s/1980s Bollywood cinema that invoke our collective sheher, kasbah, and gaon.

Tune into the story to meet these women at Gulabi Talkies. Lillibai is already at the gate.

Illustration by Sutanu Panigrahi

Madhuri revels in storytelling and uses it as a tool to create dialogues between different communities and generations of women. When she is not recording or taking interviews, she is at her Kahaniyon Ka Adda on YouTube, finding and documenting everyday acts of rebellion. As a learner and a practitioner from the field of humanities, she constantly pushes to critically examine structures around her till she finds a way to talk about it over a cup of coffee. Madhuri is the Podcast Producer for The Third Eye.
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