Browsing All Posts filed under »Books«

The Bishop and the Beautiful

February 1, 2015


When I heard about the demise of Colleen McCullough a few days ago, I felt a twinge. Maybe “twinge” is too strong a word, but right now, I’m unable to think of an alternative. Maybe it’s easier to describe the emotion behind the word I’m groping for. Remember the boy who sat next to you […]

The launch…

December 9, 2014


This is a Book Club event and entry is by invite only, so do let me know in advance if you need an invite. Look forward to seeing at least some of you there.


November 25, 2014


REVIEWS IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA A review by Sudhir Srinivasan, in The Hindu, is here. An excerpt: While it may seem like a fairly plain statement to make, you catch yourself going back to it during the infrequent times that you disagree with his points. Whether you agree with the reviews or not, there’s little […]

Names of south Indian noir films…

November 3, 2014


Sidharth Bhatia is doing some research on crime films, esp from the 1950s and 60s. He need the names of some really well known Noirish films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam from the time. I have sent him some names in Tamil, but do write in about anything you have in mind (either in […]

Coming soon…

October 6, 2014


Acts of life

October 5, 2014


Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir is unflinching, evocative, witty, even if feels somewhat incomplete. Sometime during the “bone-wrenchingly boring six-month shoot” of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Naseeruddin Shah began to type out what would become a memoir. In the book, titled And Then One Day, Shah explains why. “For me it’s an exorcism of sorts, and […]

The king of tragedy

July 29, 2014


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”

May 9, 2014


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 […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Book love in the time of cinema”

May 2, 2014


On Márquez. On language. On books. On movies made from them. Such are the accelerated times we live in that I wondered, in a moment of panic, if this essay might be too late. It was spurred by the demise of Gabriel García Márquez on the afternoon of 17 April, a Thursday. But that was […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Memories of another day”

April 11, 2014


With film-based books, our enjoyment is twofold. We enjoy the memories in the book. And we enjoy our own memories that rise from these memories. In Nasreen Munni Kabir’s Conversations with Waheeda Rehman, the actress talks about a problem with a costume she had to wear for the Kahin pe nigahen song sequence in C.I.D. […]

Happy 2014

December 30, 2013


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 […]

The Tamil edition…

December 14, 2013


When the book first came out, a lot of people asked me if there would be a Tamil translation. Thanks to Badri Seshadri and his team at Kizhakku Pathippagam, this is now a reality. Thanks to all, especially to the translator, Aravind Satchidanandam. Here’s a link about this translation from Badri Seshadri’s blog: And […]

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

December 13, 2013


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, […]

The paperback…

December 3, 2013


A man and his muse

December 3, 2013


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

August 17, 2013


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 […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Through a prism, differently”

August 16, 2013


Among the great pleasures of pop culture is the viewing of cinema through the skewed eyes of someone else. Bill Condon, the director of Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls remembers his reaction to certain scenes in Bonnie and Clyde. “There was something about [the film] that I think I connected to at a very, very basic level… There’s a whole […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The life and times of a hero”

June 7, 2013


A book about Uttam Kumar attempts to get at the man behind the movie screen, with middling results. Swapan Mullick, the author of Mahanayak Revisited: The World of Uttam Kumar, writes early on about his curiosity about the man behind the larger-than-life personalities the actor depicted on screen. His curiosity is ours – for who […]

The same old rune

June 1, 2013


Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ is stuffed with clues, chases, chunks of general knowledge, and possibly an insight into why this author does what he does. Midway through Dan Brown’s latest thriller, I began to wonder about the future adventures of Robert Langdon, the Harvard University professor with a penchant for scouring the European landscape for answers […]

A century through the eyes of a city

March 19, 2013


A book as unusual as dates.sites: Project Cinema City: Bombay/Mumbai is best described through the words of Madhushree Datta, who came up with the concept and authored the text. “This volume presents a timeline of the city of Bombay/Mumbai in the 20th century, anchored to its most adored public institution – cinema.” The book, thus, “is divided […]


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