The story of this remarkable man has been told by the author in
a capsule of just 67 pages, and the result is that it leaves the
reader wanting to know more about him and what he stood for. The
author could also have avoided references to all the
supernatural events believed to be associated with his life. A
simple narration would have been more appropriate. After all,
Buddha’s main attack was on superstition, ritualism and faith
in the supernatural.
by Shoma A. Chatterji.
Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 71. Rs 195.
Any mention of
Bengali cinema brings to mind three names—Satyajit Ray, Ritwik
Ghatak and Mrinal Sen. Ray and Ghatak are no more with us but
Mrinal Sen continues to give us thought-provoking films.
Chatterji, who has been writing about cinema and television for
nearly two decades, besides other topics such as human rights
and gender issues, presents the life of this remarkable
film-maker mostly in his own words. The book is full of direct
quotes from him.
At a time when
Satyajit Ray dominated the Bengali cinema with a hit a film a
year, Mrinal Sen created an audience for himself. His films
provoke people into a serious debate. But his departure from the
conventional narrative form and venturing into the exploration
of the human mind did not always go well with the audience.
Obviously, the response was not as enthusiastic as it was to Ray’s
films. Undeterred, Mrinal Sen never lost sight of his objectives
and created a style that carried his special stamp. He moved
from contemporary social and political themes to a searching
analysis of the individual mind.
He is one of the
pioneers of what has been known as the New Indian Cinema. This
movement, however, fizzled out by the mid-80s, but Sen held on
to his vision and continued to take risks that brought him more
disappointments than rewards.
Mrinal Sen has
been presented in this book with all his successes and failures,
with all his strong and weak points. At the end, he regrets that
you live only once. "I wish I could start from scratch so
that I can correct the mistakes I have made in my life and
re-live a better life."
by Baldev Singh. Punjabi
Pages 74. Rs 60.
If you were hoping to get some
insight into how to approach the entrance test for a course that
you are keen to join, you are in for a disappointment. This, in
fact, is a handbook on how to hold an entrance test. It is meant
not for the candidates but for those who organise these
examinations. It starts with an explanation of the concept of an
entrance test, its administrative requirements such as setting
up of examination centres, evaluation centres and other
preliminary steps. Then it moves on to preparation of
prospectus, receipt of forms, allocation of roll numbers and the
conduct of the examination. The book also discusses problems
associated with paper setting, printing the paper and its
delivery at different centres. Then follow evaluation,
declaration of the result and counselling. Thus, by the end you
have a fair idea of what an institution holding an entrance test
has to go through in the course of running the project.