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Manik and I
“It is unusual to come across a life so rich in varied experiences as the one that Bijoya Ray, wife and constant companion to the renowned film-maker Satyajit Ray, has lived. Despite being closely related, Satyajit—‘Manik’ to his friends and family—and Bijoya fell in love and embarked on a life together years before Ray’s groundbreaking film Pather Panchali was made, and their long, happy married life lasted right until Ray’s death in 1992.
Bijoya Ray never felt the urge to write her memoirs, but was finally persuaded to pick up the pen when she was well into her eighties. Manik and I brims over with hitherto unknown stories of her life with Satyajit Ray, told in candid, vivid detail.
Rajinikanth is, quite simply, the biggest superstar cinema-crazy India has ever seen. His stylized dialogues and screen mannerisms are legion, and his guy-next-door-cum-superhero image has found a hysterically appreciative following among millions of moviegoers.Naman Ramachandran’s marvellous biography recounts Rajini’s career in meticulous detail, tracing his incredible cinematic journey from Apoorva Raagangal (1975) to Kochadaiyaan (2013). Along the way, the book provides rare insights into the Thalaivar’s personal life, from his childhood days to his times of struggle—when he was still Shivaji Rao Gaekwad—and then his eventual stardom: revealing how a legend was born.
Uparwali Chai: The Indian Art of High Tea
Resul Pookutty, India’s best-known sound designer and audiographer, won an Oscar for his work in Slumdog Millionaire.Sounding Off, his autobiography, is the amazing odyssey of a village boy from Kerela whose resilience and conviction took him to the very cutting edge of cinematic sound technology—from struggling in the ruthless film world of Mumbai to winning international glory. Already a huge bestseller in Malayalam, this definitive translation is a celebration of both cinema and life.
The greatest show on earth
“‘Hindi films go deep into us. They allow us to play a number of roles…They offer us a vocabulary for the moments that are too deep—or sometimes too improbable—for language.’
Bollywood rules our lives: it entertains us, gives us dreams, fills us with longing, makes us laugh. It is glorious and it is absurd. The Greatest Show on Earth celebrates all that is fascinating about Hindi cinema.
Writers and industry insiders like Saadat Hasan Manto, Salman Rushdie, Bhisham Sahni, R.K. Narayan, Ismat Chughtai, Suketu Mehta, Shobhaa Dé, Dev Anand, Dada Kondke and Manna Dey write about superstars and strugglers, filmmakers and playback singers, on-screen kisses and off-screen romance, the casting couch and censorship.
Compiled and edited by one of India’s most perceptive and entertaining commentators on the Hindi film industry, this eclectic, wide-ranging anthology will inform and delight everyone with an interest in Indian cinema and popular culture.”
Helen: The Life and Times of A Bollywood H-Bomb
It is now over two decades since the Hindi-film heroine drove the vamp into extinction, and even longer since the silver screen was ignited by the true Bollywood version of a cabaret. Yet, Helen – nicknamed ‘H-Bomb’ at the height of her career – continues to rule the popular imagination. Improbably, for a dancer and a vamp she has become an icon.
Jerry Pinto’s gloriously readable book is a study of the phenomenon that was Helen: Why did a refugee of French-Burmese parentage succeed as wildly as she did in mainstream Indian cinema? How could otherwise conservative families sit through, and even enjoy, her ‘cabarets’? What made Helen ‘the desire that you need not be embarrassed about feeling’? How did she manage the unimaginable: vamp three generations of men on screen?
Equally, the book is a brilliantly witty and provocative examination of middle-class Indian morality; the politics of religion, gender and sexuality in popular culture; and the importance of the song, the item number and the wayward woman in Hindi cinema.
Bollywood’s Top 20: Superstars of Indian Cinema
Hindi cinema has cast a seductive spell over its spectators for close to a century now. Visually arresting, dynamic in outlook and pulsating with life, Bollywood has entertained and enthralled moviegoers over the years with its melodious music, its colourful drama and its lively plotlines. At the very heart of the Bollywood mystique is the towering presence of its galaxy of stars-demigods and divas who have shaped and defined popular cinema, and popular imagination, from one generation to the next.
Bollywood’s Top 20 is an exciting collection of brand new essays by renowned writers that pays tribute to Hindi popular cinema’s biggest stars of all time-from Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Madhubala to Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor-who are indispensable to the Bollywood pantheon. Each piece offers unique insights into the lives of Bollywood’s most exceptional legends-their struggles and triumphs, downfalls and scandals, and the inscrutable x-factor that made them carve a niche for themselves in an industry bursting with talented professionals and desperate hopefuls.
K. L. Saigal
“A tribute to the first Singer-Superstar of Indian Cinema
Hailed as shahenshah-e-mausiqi (emperor of music) and acclaimed as the ghazal king, K.L. Saigal became a phenomenon in his own lifetime. Idolized for his distinctive style by the first generation of Bollywood playback singers, he is now also the subject of study by several scholars.
With no formal training, Saigal recorded 185 songs, including the immortal Diya jalao jagmag jagmag, Rumjhum rumjhum chaal tihari, Baag laga doon sajani and Jab dil hi toot gaya. He also acted in thirty-six feature films, including Tansen, Street Singer and Shahjehan. His popularity, however, skyrocketed with Devdas in which he played the doomed lover to perfection, a portrayal which would influence every actor playing a tragic hero thereafter.
This book, interspersed with archival photographs and appended with a filmography and selected songs, provides a fascinating account of one of Hindi cinema’s greatest legends.”
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Based on the bestselling novel by Mohsin Hamid
Internationally acclaimed director Mira Nair offers the reader an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the creation of her most ambitious film yet: The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Covering every aspect of the film-making process, this magnificently designed film book comprises an incredible array of images as well as short essays by those involved in the film-making process. Mira Nair discusses how the novel was turned into a screenplay; Mohsin Hamid reminisces about his first experience on a film set; production designer Michael Carlin recounts the thrill of transforming Old Delhi into contemporary Lahore; lead actor Riz Ahmed reveals how he got under the skin of his character Changez; and editor Shimit Amin demystifies some of his tricks on the editing table. This book also features a series of gorgeous black-and-white photographs by celebrated photographer Brigitte Lacombe.
Suriani Kitchen, The
“A.R.Rahman is an Indian film composer, record producer, musician and singer. His film scoring career began in the early 1990s. He has won twenty five Filmfare Awards, four National Film Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, two Grammys and two Academy Awards.
Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre, by 2003, Rahman, in a career spanning over a decade, has sol…d more than 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over 200 million cassettes, making him one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists.
Time Magazine has referred to him as the “”Mozart of Madras”” and several Tamil commentators have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal”
“A stunning array of voices guaranteed to make you think, feel, dream
The MetroPlus Playwright Award was instituted in 2008 by The Hindu for the best original, unpublished and unperformed English script.
Harlesden High Street by Abhishek Majumdar, the 2008 winner, is an evocative, complex play about displacement and optimism. Through its motley characters and shifts of time and space, this play captures the limited world of immigrants, their frustrations and their dilemmas.
The Skeleton Woman by Prashant Prakash and Kalki Koechlin, the 2009 winners, is a love story about two people who defeat fantastical odds to be together. Swinging between reality and make-believe, it weaves together an Inuit folk tale and a modern-day story about a young fisherman-turned-writer with a potent imagination and his long-suffering wife.
Taramandal by Neel Chaudhuri, the winner for 2010, borrows the protagonist from Satyajit Ray’s short story ‘Patol Babu Filmstar’. Chaudhuri uses a host of characters to masterfully construct a parallel narrative that mirrors Patol’s journey to disillusionment.
Three Plays questions definitions and pushes boundaries. It is a powerful reminder of who and where we are on the cultural map.