producer-director-lyricist-script writer recounts how he
borrowed Rs 25 from his wife for his journey from Amritsar to
Calcutta (now Kolkata), hoping to meet his favourite director,
Debaki Bose, and find work with him.
His period of
struggle in which he received tremendous support from Prithviraj
Kapoor and Kundan Lal Saigal who were then working for New
Theatres is described with much exuberance and even glee which
all combine to highlight his determination to make a mark in
films. But it was his hobby, painting, which gave him entry into
the film world. His first job in a film studio was that of a
backdrop screen painter and a poster painter.
From here his
journey to the top rung of film makers is narrated in a series
of incidents which illustrate the ups and downs of the film
world and his own progress in a profession which recognises only
success, even if achieved by mediocrity, and gives no quarter to
failure even if suffered by a genius.
He recounts how
he once gave a hard slap to his third assistant who had messed
up a scene during an outdoor shooting. This young man, Ranbir
Raj, later became a legend in Indian cinema as Raj Kapoor. As a
director, he earned a name as a promoter of new talent. His
gifts to the Hindi cinema include Raj Kapoor, Madhubala, Geeta
Bali, Mala Sinha, Bharat Bhushan and Tanuja. The films that bear
his stamp in one way or the other are Devdas (with K.L.
Saigal) Vidyapati, Chitralekha (two versions), Neel
Kamal, Suhag Rat, Jogan, Baware Nain, Hamari Yad Aayegi and
several others. Besides, music directors Roshan and Bullo C.
Rani owe much to the encouragement they received from Kidar
unconventional and to a great extent iconoclastic film
personality died on April 29, 1999, almost unsung by the
industry to which he had given so much.
manuscript of this book which includes events up to the 60s of
the last century was approved by him before his death.
by R.N. Sharma; Shubhi
Publications, Delhi. Pages 319. Rs 850.
acknowledged as a global problem after September 11, 2001, when
the symbols of the USA’s economic and military might came
under attack.Known as "Black Tuesday", the day is
regarded as the starting point of a united international action
against terrorism, with Osama bin Laden, the prime promoter of
terrorism, as the prime target.
This book is a
record of world reaction to September 11, and a catalogue of
events, attitudes and actions of different world powers in
relation to the US crusade against Osama and Al-Qaida, his
describes the author as a person who is always keen to take up
any important problem and present it in book form. Such a person
could not have left alone a problem as big as global terrorism.
But if you open the book hoping to get some inside information
about the terror outfits or some untold details of the position
of different world powers, you are in for a disappointment. It
contains hardly anything beyond published reports and the known
stand of different world powers.
That the book
is primarily a cut-and-paste job done rather inexpertly, is
clear from expressions such as ".... if the Alliance
succeed in wresting Mazar-i-Sharif in the next few
days"; or "Pakistan’s mainstream
political parties today came out in support of President
Pervez Musharraf..."; or "When Colin Powel, the US
Secretary of State, visits New Delhi next week..."; or...
The Washington Post reported Wednesday"; or "A
high-level Pakistani team flew back to Islamabad on Tuesday";
or "He was however, awaiting details of the order which
could become available later today or tomorrow"; or
"Last week Washington released a list of 26 banned
terrorist organisations"; and "Indian Foreign Minister
Jaswant Singh, during his trip to the US, is also expected to
push India’s case". These are only a few of the numerous
The book tries
to give a profile of various terrorist organisations operating
in India but says precious little about Indo-Pakistan relations
enmeshed in the web of terrorism, apart from quoting some
commentators and columnists.
edited and compiled by
Siddhartha Basu; Penguin Books India, New Delhi. Pages 507. Rs
If you are a
quiz buff then here is a treasure trove of questions and answers
that gives all the whos, whats, whys, whens, and whereas that
any quiz master can hope to ask. Here is an enormous list of
3,560 questions and their answers from the third series of
Mastermind India, a programme telecast by BBC Worldwide in 2000,
which has been keeping thousands of viewers glued to their TV
sets because of its wide sweep.
who has complied this list needs no introduction. When Amitabh
Bachchan in "Kaun Banega Crorepati" asked "Computerji"
whether the contestant in the "hot seat" had given the
right answer, the information was in fact supplied by Siddhartha
Basu and his team of gifted researchers. Over the past 15 years
he has presented and produced a number of quiz shows including
three series of Mastermind India.
The contents of this book have
been categorised in 84 sections of general knowledge, besides a
number of special areas that cover politics, economics, history,
mythology, literature, cinema, sports and so on, which can
enable the reader to pit his wits against any quiz champion.