top of page

Mumbai's Midnight Gardeners




Divya Pathak

NY Times Op-Docs

Pravin Bheke, Rajesh Jadhav

About the Project

A documentary short film by Divya Pathak


Meet the people who keep their city running while the rest of the world sleeps. Two night shift workers reflect upon their loves, lives and losses as they work their way around Mumbai after dark.

"Another magnificent Op-Doc, by New York Times. The well crafted online video series by the American news organisation. ‘Mumbai’s Midnight Gardeners’ features two night workers; Rajesh and Ganesh. They water the many plants of the Indian capital. At night. When the city sleeps but a working day for these men is in full effect.

In (and on top of) their water truck they disclose their life stories. Love life, the Indian cast system, daily struggles, everything comes to light.

Documentary filmmaker Divya Pathak creates an intimate, beautifully shot and color graded video portrait. The empty the streets of the night, in stark contrast to the day, the amazing soundscapes, the charming main characters, it all adds up to another exquisite Op-Doc." - 

"In February this year (2019), it screened in competition at the Oscar-qualifying Big Sky Documentary Festival in Montana. The film caught the attention of the New York Times, which bought it a few months later. This helped Pathak, who had self-funded the documentary, to recover some of it's budget." - Gayle Sequeira, 

mumbai's midnight gardeners


Director Divya Pathak wanted an ambient, tranquil sound palette using synth textures to subtly underscore Pravin and Rajesh as they go about their nightly business. Tom and Daisy also blended some regional percussion with the ambient synth beds to give a sense of time and place, and occasionally peppered the score with piano for the more emotional beats.

bottom of page