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They make their music with hammers, chisels, spanners and other tools. And this percussion band performs not during breaks from their toil, but as part of their work, melding their music with their labour. With 44 rivers, Kerala has long had a lot of boat traffic on its waterways. But due to the advent of extensive road networks and mostly machine-made, prefabricated vessels, the labour force in the boat-making industry has declined sharply. What remains is a fast-shrinking group of highly-skilled boat repairmen who still keep many ageing, almost antique craft afloat with their unrivalled expertise. In this film, they tell us their story.


V. Sasikumar is a Thiruvananthapuram-based filmmaker who focuses on rural, social and cultural issues. This film was made as a part of his 2015 PARI fellowship.