The People Called Series: 

People Called Lucknow

People Called Ahmedabad

People Called Shillong

People Called Mumbai

People Called Delhi

People Called Kolkata

Our first, the People Called… Series explores the space of personal stories that form compartments of a collective narrative depicting the history and the socio-cultural fabric of the place. These anthologies bring forth multiple perspectives and hitherto unknown stories - providing an empathetic rereading of the place we inhabit. Started in 2015, with our first title People Called Mumbai, the project now aims to explore other models of the written word that can talk about places, people and more.


What makes Mumbai ‘Mumbai’, is its people. With a diverse population influx each minute, every person here is a story in its own. But their story is not theirs alone. Many a time, it belongs to a collective narrative, falling into compartments of the city's history. We often zoom past people, landmarks, places, with a little thought that they could hold within them a beautiful account of their life. People Called Mumbai is compilation of many such accounts!

the process

the 'people' called mumbai


Team Mumbai

keeping the spirit alive

stories by the sea


इस शहर में जहां सब कुछ बदलता है

एक समुद्र जो कभी नहीं बदलता

(In the city that alters every moment, it is only the sea that remains constant)


The People Place Project is micro-mapping Mumbai, this time of People by the Sea! The sea that borders the city unknowingly influences the life of every Mumbaikar. Meandering by the coastal promenades of the city, we came across more stories that needed to be heard and told. STORIES BY THE SEA is an on-going curatorial project that talks about these stories from the queen’s necklace up to the untouched beaches of the northern-most tip of the magical city. 

by Saylee Soundalgekar & Vishanka Gandhi


Apnu Amdavad is a rich myriad of monuments, educational institutions, museums as well as cultures of food, performing arts and markets . These flavors of Ahmedabad are enriched and beautified by none other than the Amdavadis. ‘People Called Ahmedabad’ is an attempt to map the enticing city through personal narratives while unraveling the story of the city itself.

the process

the 'people' called 'ahmedabad


team ahmedabad


February 13, 2016 
Hutheesingh Visual Art Centre 


Our flight landed and a pleasant breeze kissed our faces as we stepped out. It was a reminiscent of the purpose of our visit, to dig deeper beyond the surface, into the untold accounts that the city holds. The smooth taxi ride from the airport at 7.30am, the sparsely populated roads and the signature smell of the chai, fafda and dhoklas took us to the CEPT campus. Rushing in with added enthusiasm about the workshop at 9 am, we set out to check the arrangements for the same. But, Ahmedabad was still in its slumber!!! After an hour well-spent in anticipation, ‘precisely’ ten minutes to 9, the canteen served upma and the gallery welcomed us into a large hall. A hall three times larger than our requirement! A laid back, relaxed lifestyle and hearts larger than ever, it was about re-discovering Amdavad! 


people called SHILLONG

Breathing between never-ending blankets of forests and clouds, Shillong is the gem of a city hidden beyond the reach of your average holiday. Home to the Khasi, the Garo and the Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya and many others who left their homes behind to make one among the local community; it’s a beauty that retains its old-world charm even in today’s era of malls and multiplexes! People Called Shillong intends to survey the life and landscape here to let you in on this mesmerizing universe that many know nothing about.

the process

the 'people' called SHILLONG

Team shillong

as we continue


September 21, 2017
Suchita Mundhra

It is a strange feeling when I enter a bazaar. Any bazaar! At times even my local vegetable supplies bazaar! The numerous voices that flow in the air - some off course known while most unknown fascinate me. I wanted to discover Shillong through its bazaar. Through all the numerous tastes and smells - the raw Shillong!  

 My first day in Shillong I entered this bazaar space with no plan in mind. All  that I did was look around and see the multitude of activities that the bazaar houses. It assumes different looks at the cross of every few meters. Moving step by step into this space called the ‘Bara Bazaar’ - I kept asking for directions. And everyone signalled in the same direction and that it was just a few steps ahead. Funnily, the bazaars have no visible boundaries, they grow each day and then someone just said "you are in bara bazaar” - what are you really looking for ? I wasn’t looking for anything but a strange visionary imagination of the bazaar that I had formed in my mind- and was actually just looking for my imagination to take the shape of the bazaar. 


Popular definitions of Lucknow refer to its famed etiquette, refined culture and gastronomy. After all, for a long time, Lucknow has been one of those few cities in our country that have been a haven for great architecture, literature, music and food; where various forms of art and craft have blossomed. However, the newer times have opened up this Awadhi melting pot to fresh aspirations and negotiations.

People Called Lucknow characterises this rich multifaceted mosaic of the city, with 45 stories. Stories that traverse through time present and past, with hope and longing for a brighter future: from 12-year-old Wajid who makes paper envelopes to Malika Kishwar a few hundred years ago to Lucknow's legendary host Farid Faridi alongside a poignant story of love and loss but triumph of the spirit in Channu Lal.

For the 44 authors, who are ardent lovers of Lucknow, penning these stories have been an act of pause and reflection. In the city’s inherent lyrical andaz, the book allows you to unlayer time, giving an insight into its very soul.

the process

the 'people' called lucknow


Siddharth is the principal architect at “Studio Inkling” which is involved in architecture, heritage conservation and furniture design projects. He currently teaches at CEPT University and has lectured at various other institutes. He is actively involved in research based on art, cognition and creative processes. Siddharth is passionate about music and enjoys singing.

Jyotsna is a marketing professional, now promoting sustainable livelihoods for women and community development. With others as committed, she runs Book-a-Book, Lucknow’s 1st Children’s Library and Creative Writing Classes. Jyotsna has been published widely in her corporate avatar. A love for heritage and culture pervades her being. She organises UP Mango Festival, Lucknow Farmers' Market and other initiatives
in and around Lucknow.

keeping the spirit alive

stories by the sea

Lucknow – the very name conjures up images of beauty, romance, etiquette, gourmet gastronomy and a resonance of the history of our freedom movement. In the stories narrated in (People Called Lucknow) the reader will find flavors of all of these, and much more.

Divided into sections – Occupations, Human Interest, Culture, Food, Communities and Migration – this is a collection of tales penned by residents of a great city with a historic legacy. Each of these topics springing from its origins to the great days of Ayodhya and indeed many of the city’s present landmarks are associated with the family of the Lord Rama. The stories are touching, sometimes sad, but always full of the joy of life, as part of a mosaic that is ever changing but yet constant in its continuity. This is what gives Lucknow its peerless character, for it is not simply an entity wherein lives a variety of happy residents, but is in itself a living entity in which its residents are partners.

Publishing Partners:

The People Place Project is an initiative that explores text as a tool of place-making and foster a spirit of city consciousness. The publications are a way to share the experience.


Our patrons and partners help us sustain our research and mission. We thank them for their belief and support.

PATRONS & Partners




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