ACROSS A LARGE PUDDLE that fills the centre of an unpaved alley in Delhi’s Khirki Extension there’s a gate labelled “KHŌJ”. It’s the first Friday of July, and the art space KHŌJ is hosting a screening of Pakistani horror films as part of its (Re)building Project Series, ongoing as the venue renovates and expands.
But after leaping over mud to reach the building, it becomes clear that the entrance is locked. No light is on inside. Behind the cracks in the gate is a room filled with plywood and assorted metal junk. Just then, a fruitseller hanging out along the low wall to the right of the closed gate decides to push his bicycle cart onward. A previously unnoticed side entrance appears behind him—and a volunteer materialises to usher confused visitors past scaffolding to the first floor.
Inside, digital projectors sit ready to begin the show, lighting up empty rooms. As rain begins to drizzle into KHŌJ’s courtyard, Bangalore-based writer and researcher Achal Prabhala steps up to introduce the movies and briefly sketches out the three feature films that will be shown simultaneously that evening, along with a documentary on subcontinental horror.