Today, there is hardly anyone who hasn't visited the swanky shopping malls, nightclubs, lounge bars, clubs and other such lifestyle destinations that sprung up across the centre of Mumbai. However, very few know that buried deep below these glittering edifices to consumerism lies the dark, dirty and painful reality of many thousands of mill workers who once worked the cotton mills in this very same area. Rising and toiling to the wail of the mill sirens each and every day, seven days a week, these workers embodied the true unbridled zeal and unflagging spirit of the city and played a pivotal role in the evolution of Mumbai as the modern day business capital of India. And then it suddenly was as if they never existed. Following the mill workers strike in the mid-80s, these mills began closing down rapidly and the mill-workers mysteriously disappeared. What happened to them, and where they went is one of the most shameful secrets that the city of Mumbai will have to bear for generations... Written by
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Alternate-language version of Lalbaug Parel