Kolkata's Chinatown was once home to a thriving community of over 20,000 ethnically Chinese Indian nationals. That number is now estimated to be as low as 2,000. Most of the inhabitants' ancestors moved to Kolkata in the early 20th century, setting up shops and businesses for families of Chinese origin. But of late, the younger generation of the community has been looking to move out of Chinatown, looking for better prospects and standards of living in countries like USA, UK, Australia and Canada. Does this spell the end for the once-bustling Chinatown in Kolkata?
Sarah Aunty is one of the last 'Malabar Jews', as the Jewish people from Kochi are also known. The 95-year-old's world famous store, Sarah Cohen's Hand Embroidery, sells Jewish specialty items in 'Jew Town', Mattancherry in Kerala. Her Muslim caretaker, Thaha Ibrahim, shares a touching relationship with her. He fondly remembers the glory days of Jew Town, when both sides of the street were home to members of the Jewish community.
Some say Dindigul is the murder capital of Tamil Nadu. It's no wonder it's home to people like MK Tevar — a local don who has played many roles in his life. From selling lottery tickets, to working at hotels, and even working as an electrician, Mr. Tevar talks about how going to jail actually exposed him to more criminals and 'rowdies'. This is what made him join a life of crime. But like most people in his line of work, what the don really has a passion for, is food.
Anwar Khan of the Great Golden Circus talks about its glory days, and the bleak future of the circus. His circus has a massive set up, spanning multiple tents and acts. While it used to boast of crowds of almost 2000 people per show, and four shows per day, it's facing a bleak future now. With his better shows seeing an audience of only around 100 people, Anwar fears that the days of the circus are numbered.
The era of the singing fakir announcing the 'sehri' during Ramzan may be over. Where a decade ago, there were over 100 fakirs in Kolkata, today, Mohammed Sabbir is just one of the handful left. Waking at 1 AM every day during Ramzan, he wanders the streets, singing to wake people up for the sehri or morning prayer. These days, mosques also announce the morning prayer, rendering the fakir's job defunct. For generations, Mohammed Sabbir's family has performed this duty, not for money, but as a good deed.
When most people look at Monica Liu, they see a smiling restaurant owner in Tangra, Kolkata. But this unassuming grandmother of nine is also known as the Don of Chinatown. Thanks to her, Calcuttans know what Chinese food made by Chinese people tastes like. But Kolkata's woman of steel comes from humble beginnings. During the Indo-China war in 1962, when Monica was just a child, her entire family was arrested and taken to Deoli Camp, Rajasthan. Finally, it was when Monica and another young boy in the camp wrote a letter to the Home Minister, that their release orders were processed. Starting a new life, Monica's mother would make momos to sell to make ends meet. It was from helping her mother every evening that Monica's journey began. Finally, in 1991, she opened Kim Ling, the family's first restaurant. When goons tried to intimidate the family into giving them free food, Monica responded in kind, eventually earning her the title 'Don of Tangra'.
Inspired by Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt, Salim 'Chopper' became Salim Bhai, when the violence and strife he grew up in left him no choice but to become a don. Taking us to his favourite restaurants, Salim Bhai shows us local foods that tickle his taste buds on 101 Dinner With The Dons, India's edgiest food show.
101 India introduces us to Umesh Soni, the founder of the brand Cowpathy. Cowpathy manufactures skincare products from cowdung and cow urine.
Ashok Bhadoriya is the encounter specialist that strikes fear in the hearts of Chambal's daakus. With 116 encounters in his name, Bhadoriya is largely responsible for clearing the valley of its dacoit population. 101 India ventures into the deep, daaku territory to learn how an encounter specialist sees the world of his targets.