When we first see Naved Shaikh in Disha Noyonika Rindani’s short film Bombay 70, he looks like many dutiful young men from Mumbai’s working-class Kurla neighbourhood. He is dressed in a white salwar kameez and has a skullcap on.
Minutes later, Naved is transformed into the baseball cap-wearing Nazey, who raps into a microphone through a tea strainer, “Born in the year 1993. Born in a chawl, Ram Bachan Chawl, Kholi No 24, Bombay Sattar.”
Bombay 70 topped the Best Short Film category in the Mumbai Dimensions section at the 2014 edition of the Mumbai Film Festival. The film sketches Naved’s transformation from a juvenile thief into a rapper who uses English and Hindi to reflect on his life and the state of the nation. Not everybody in his family gets his passion: a relative thought “rap” was the same thing as “rape.”
Naved aka Nezy is no amateur artist. He has his own YouTube channel, called Naezy TV, where he posts videos along with his partner Nikhil Naik.