Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed

End the desecration of Indian classics

Futurama: much will be yakked-’n’-yodelled about on the centenary of Indian cinema next year.

Pioneer of the wave that was

He shows no signs of a 77-year itch. Septuagenarian Shyam Benegal, lounging in his office in Mumbai’s traffic-strangled Tardeo neighbourhood, is cooler than the airconditioning.

Lalitaji had the Pawar

Left eye a-twitching, a voice which could cut glass and a body lingo that said no-trespassing, there she was — harsher than-life: the she-devil everyone loved to hate.

A H’wood fanzine bites tinsel dust

Inevitable perhaps — with the pressure of market forces and fattening competition, Variety will not be the spice of entertainment any more.

Directors and the Bong connection

A tantalising English pop song continues to replay on the turn-table of the mind. The song, rendered with harmonious ease, went like this:
I’ve kissed the girls of Naples… I’ve kissed them in Paris… but the girls of Calcutta do something
to me.

For a Mumbaikar, way more than that song, Kolkata has meant Rabindranath Tagore’s superb Gitanjali, Satyajit Ray’s masterly Apu trilogy, Madhabi Mukherjee, Sharmila Tagore, and its sweet delights: mishti doi and K.C. Das’ roshogollas. Colloquially called the “Bongs” the mahanagar’s teeming population is unlike any other in the world. There is a dignity and a humaneness in the face of persistent poverty and sufferance.

The unmaking of a femmé fatale

The dead don’t talk back. If Parveen Babi had survived her mental disorders, she would have been 63 on January 20. It has been seven years since she passed away.

Classic films: From celluloid to dustbin

Believe this: Film prints of the black-and-white classics as well as countless hits from the 1970s are on their deathbed or have perished already.

Baritone of Assam

It has been a cruel year: M.F. Husain, Shammi Kapoor, Mani Kaul, Gautam Rajadhyaksha, and now Bhupen Hazarika are no longer in our midst.

The timeless poster boy of Hindi cinema

Evenings at Mumbai’s Prithvi theatre, he makes an occasional guest appearance — on a wheelchair. At the end of the performance, he smiles like a Chinese Buddha at those who halt to ask, “Hello sir, how are you?” He nods gratefully, his eyes greying. And then he’s wheeled to his apartment in a high-rise opposite the theatre hub.

Starry, starry tweets

It’s prudent to be politically correct. No wonder Mumbai’s film community tweeted, darted TV bytes and occupied reams of newspaper print, extending their support to Anna Hazare. Rajinikanth, too, currently the superstar No 1 of Indian cinema, came out of recuperation to give Mr Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade the thumbs up.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.