The king of tragedy

Thoughts on a lopsided autobiography of Dilip Kumar, which sheds light on the actor’s early life and career, but skimps on what we really want to know. A few pages into Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow, an autobiography “narrated to Udayatara Nayar,” Dilip Kumar admits that he does not know how he came […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A small tribute to a big legend”

A slim compilation of B Nagi Reddi’s memories is a welcome addition to the increasing number of books on Indian cinema. In the introduction to Many Shades Make a Rainbow: Reminiscences of B Nagi Reddi, the publisher (and Nagi Reddi’s son), Viswam, lays out what the book is about. He says that his father’s birth […]

Happy 2014

Happy new year to all. Two things coming up in January. First, a discussion on censorship with Kamal Haasan and K Hariharan at the Hindu Lit for Life. Do come. It’s on January 13th, 10 AM at Sri Muthavenkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Chetpet. Second, an essay on “Subramaniyapuram” and its filmic forebears in a book […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Snow worlds and survival strategies”

Thoughts on the two biggest pre-“Hobbit” Hollywood blockbusters of the season, both of which are playing at a theatre near you. I hadn’t heard of Suzanne Collins or her Hunger Games novels until the first film was released, and I watched it because I was asked to review it. Otherwise, I may have avoided it, […]

A man and his muse

When Meena Kumari died of cirrhosis of the liver (precipitated by excessive drinking), in March 1972, Vinod Mehta was working as a copywriter in an advertising agency. He accepted a commission to write about the actress and delivered the manuscript in October that year, and the book was published a couple of weeks later. (This […]

A world of words

The hills were alive with the sound of musings, says Baradwaj Rangan, on the recently concluded Mountain Echoes literary festival in Thimphu. Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Festival of Literature, Art and Culture, 2013, opened in Thimphu with a session that featured Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. She spoke about her childhood […]