Monday, 22 January 2018, 11:50
There will be a wedding and a dance, as in all Bollywood films, but this one is Spanish through and through. The idea of making it arose when it was decided that the end was near for Bazar Kirpa.
Title El Bazar de mis Padres.
Director/scriptwriter Rakesh Narwani.
Producer Objetivo 50 Films.
The story Bazar Kirpa opened for business in 1982. Since then, thousands of clients have bought everything from radio cassette players to the latest in mobile phones. Its owners, Bhagwan K. and Manju B. Narwani, retire after 35 years running the business.
It is now 35 years since owners Bhagwan K. and Manju B. Narwani opened this popular shop in Calle Carretería, selling the best electronic items, from Casio watches to the latest radio cassette players for cars.
From that time to the revolution of today's mobile phones, this little shop has grown at the same rate as the couple's son, Rakesh Narwani, who cut his teeth behind the counter.
Although his father insists that he is an excellent salesman, Rakesh has always been more interested in looking through cameras than selling them.
And so, when Bhagwan and Manju decided to close the shop shortly after Christmas, their son, who has already made the short films Clóset and Hospital Cromático, began to film a new documentary. He's called it simply El Bazar de mis Padres (My Parents' Shop).
I hardly knew anything about Spain, only that there was bullfighting, but a friend told me he had opened shops here so I came to work with him, explains Bhagwan K. Narwani, who everyone has called 'Paco' since a client renamed him because he said Bhagwan was too difficult to pronounce.
When he left his native India he went to Ceuta first, and later decided to make the move to Malaga and set up his own family business with his wife, Manju.
He also sought a bit of divine assistance in making the new venture a success, by calling the shop 'Kirpa'. In his own country it means 'blessing of God', and Paco believed it helped: the couple had no problems in adapting to their new life, despite the cultural differences.
Their son, Rakesh, is a good example of this double identity. As Indian as he is 'malagueño', he grew up watching colourful Bollywood films with one eye and Hollywood adventure films by Spielberg and Co with the other.
When I watched the films my parents liked, I realised there was another way of telling stories, a way which was different to that of the West, he says, and that Asian and European combination will be reflected in his new documentary.
The story of Bazar Kirpa is also the Narwani family's own story, so the film is structured around three weddings: the one between Paco and Manju, their daughter Poonam's wedding, and the most recent one between relatives, celebrated in full Indian pomp and tradition.
Mine isn't going to be in the film, jokes Rakesh, who also intends to show how Malaga has evolved socially during the past 35 years, the period during which the owners of this popular shop have seen the city evolve alongside them.
A shop full of people
Apart from Kirpa's help, however, Paco Narwani admits that he had a couple of other allies in making the business a success: the prices and the slogan 'if we don't have it, we'll get it'.
I remember when we put up a sign saying four batteries for 50 pesetas (30 céntimos now) and the driver of a bus full of people stopped in the street, got off and came in to buy batteries, ignoring the queue of cars behind! says Paco, who has always tried hard to keep his customers happy.
We didn't sell light bulbs, but when one person asked me for them, and then another, I thought: well, why not sell light bulbs as well? adds Paco, whose shop also became a type of social centre.
When the first portable Nintendos arrived he used to let children play with them.
I told him they would make them dirty and we wouldn't be able to sell them, but he said it was important that the shop was never empty because that attracted more people, says Manju, who also recalls how excited her husband was when Pepa Flores came in to have a radio cassette player repaired.
When he came to Ceuta to work, his first job was in a shop called Marisol, named after the actress, says Manju, who as well as working behind the counter also deals with all the orders and invoices.
The building in which Bazar Kirpa is located has been renovated and the rent is going up, another reason why the Narwanis decided it was time to retire after more than three decades of commercial life and an exemplary cultural adaptation.
As a family, they have many stories to tell. For instance, at junior school the other children used to call Rakesh 'Raqueta', which means 'racquet'. So when I went to secondary school, I asked everyone to call me Salvi, which is the translation of my name, says the young man.
Like the children with the Nintendos, he used an item borrowed from the shop to make his first recordings: a Canon camera. Now, however, he films with a Sony HD which belongs to the production company, Objetivo 50.
Paco and Manju say they will miss the contact with their clients and seeing life pass by their shop window, but they are adamant that this is still the place they want to be.
Of course we sometimes dream of going back, but our life is here now, they say. A western ending for a long journey in Bollywood style.
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