New York-based Banker, Shai, travels to Mumbai in order to take some photographs. She first meets with a reclusive artist, Arun, whose much taller wife divorced him and re-located to Australia along with their son. After spending a night together, she finds out they are incompatible but is unable to get him out of her mind. Arun then re-locates, and she finds out his new address through her Dhobi, Zohaib, rents a room opposite Arun’s building and starts to secretly photograph him. She befriends Zohaib, even prepares a portfolio so that he can advance his career as a Bollywood actor, as well as goes to the movies and eats out with him. Things change after Zohaib finds out that she prefers Arun, who is engrossed in watching recorded camcorder tapes of a previous tenant, Yasmin Noor; Zohaib’s brother, Salim, is killed; and Shai inadvertently discovers Zohaib’s night-time job.
Dhobi Ghat(Hindi-partly English) AKA Mumbai Diaries is the story of four very different people whose worlds collide. As they find themselves drawn into compelling relationships, the city finds its way into their lives. Fragments of their experience – seen through a video diary, black and white photos and paintings form a compelling portrait of Mumbai and its people.
The lives of four people intersect in Mumbai: a washer-man who wants to become an actor, a banker-turned-photographer, a painter looking for inspiration, and a newly-married immigrant who journals her experiences on home video.