Diamond cutter from ‘Diamond Road’ grows up

His life story was already fascinating at the age of 13 and it keeps getting better.

Diamond Road Documentary

We first met Manoj Bawaji in 2006, filming our feature documentary Diamond Road. India is the biggest diamond cutting centre in the world. About 90% of the world’s diamonds (12 billion dollars worth!) are cut and polished in the country each year.

Manoj is the eldest son of cotton share-cropping parents from a tiny village in rural India. In this clip from the film, Manoj explains why he moved to the city of Surat at such a young age. “I came here to cut diamonds so my brother and sister could go to school. That’s why I’ve sacrificed my education. Giving them that is my duty as the eldest son.”

While we were filming the documentary, Manoj was so fascinated with the sound recordist’s technology he wanted to learn the craft himself. Now “little” Manoj is a sound technician in Bombay!

And there’s even more good news.

Diamond Road director Nisha Pahuja was happy to tell us that Mr. Bawaji is now married! Nisha attended the wedding and shared these amazing photographs:

Manoj Bawaji wedding photo

Manoj Bawaji wedding photo 2

So much can happen in eight years! Congratulations Manoj — we wish you and your beautiful wife a fabulous first year of marriage.

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Diamond Road premiered at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) in November 2007. The film was also shown at Tri-Continental Film Festival in South Africa, DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, and several other festivals around the world. Diamond Road was broadcast by TVOntario, Knowledge Network, Discovery Times (USA), Discovery HD Theatre, Canal D, SBS (Australia) and ZDF/ARTE (Europe). The 99 minute feature version broadcast by ZDF (Europe).

Stream/buy the feature or 3-part series at the Kensington Store.