The boy Krishna is abandoned by his mother at the Apollo Circus and she tells him that he can only return home when he can afford 500 rupees to pay for the bicycle of his brother that he ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shafiq Syed ...
Krishna / Chaipau
Hansa Vithal ...
Manju Golub
Chanda Sharma ...
Sola Saal
Chillum (as Raghubir Yadav)
Anita Kanwar ...
Rekha Golub (as Aneeta Kanwar)
Baba Golub
Anjaan ...
Child at the circus
Amrit Patel ...
Circus Boss
Murari Sharma ...
Ticket Seller
Ram Murthy ...
Mad Man (as Ram Moorti)
Sarfuddin Qureshi ...
Koyla (as Sarfuddin Quarassi)
Raju Barnad ...
Irshad Hashmi ...
Mohanraj Babu ...
Chandrashekhar Naidu ...


The boy Krishna is abandoned by his mother at the Apollo Circus and she tells him that he can only return home when he can afford 500 rupees to pay for the bicycle of his brother that he had trashed. Krishna is left behind by the circus and he takes a train to Bombay. Krishna is called Chaipau by the street children of Bombay and he works delivering and selling tea for Chacha, who owns a street bar. Krishna befriends the heroin addicted Chillum that sells drugs for the drug dealer and caftan Baba Golub, and the girl Manju Golub, who is the daughter of Baba with the prostitute Rekha Golub. Krishna dreams on saving 500 rupees to return home, but the life on the streets of Bombay is not easy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tea | street | job | drugs | prostitute | See All (114) »


Crime | Drama


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Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Salaam Bombay  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$2,080,046 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the young actors who appeared in the film were actual street children. They received dramatic training at a special workshop in Bombay before they appeared in the film. See more »


Krishna starts off with eight glasses of tea. One glass is broken by Sweet Sixteen when he offers her a drink. He is then seen walking back to the tea stand with eight full glasses, but when he gets back he has seven empty glasses. See more »


Rekha Golub: [To Baba] Just like a customer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ending credits: no guts no glory 52 locations 52 days what problem? no problem See more »


Written by Raghuvir Yadav
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User Reviews

A heart wrenching and very realistic drama.
7 July 2001 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

Having just returned from an extended trip to India I was keen to see a quality Indian film (not bollywood drival)and I have come across one of the most realistic and moving films I have ever seen. Having been involved in helping street kids in India I was pleased to come across this film which so accurately depicts life, love and death around a group of street boys in Bombay.

SALAAM BOMBAY is the story of a 12-year-old street boy surviving and etching out an existence on the squalled streets of Bombay. The interactions these kids have with each other made me feel I was watching a doco. The kids in India are so much like Chipau and the others depicted in Salaam Bombay its amazing. They all have there individual lives and dreams like us all but are burdened with extreame poverty.

The story lines in the film are about the prostitution business, drug addiction and homeless children. All these elements combine so as we see the people and lives behind them. These issues are rarely dealt with on such a personal and emotional level as we see in this film. This ain't Hollywood and it sure ain't Bollywood.

For me my favorite all time film. You may have difficulty in finding this film at your local video library but it truly is worth viewing.

Recently we showed this film to a group of street kids in Pune, India. They were amazed at its realism. All thought they were watching real people not actors,(These kids have grown up watching Bollywood films). This same group would have watched this film 5 times now. And all could identify with the characters.

52 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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