An early shout-out for a book that I’m going to make time to read over the next few weeks (it will take a while because my Hindi-reading speed is very slow). शहर और सिनेमा: वाया दिल्ली (Shahar aur Cinema: Via Delhi) is by my young friend Mihir Pandya, who blogs at आवारा हूँ – the book examines representations of the city, specifically Delhi, in Hindi cinema over the decades. (Apart from being a subject that interests me personally, it is also very relevant at the present moment – what with Delhi having just completed 100 years of being India’s capital, and Indian cinema having just entered its hundredth year.) There are essays on movies ranging from Ab Dilli Dur Nahin, Tere Ghar ke Saamne and Chashme Baddoor to Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi, Khosla ka Ghosla and Dev D, as well as the transcript of a long conversation on cinema and Delhi, which was organised especially for the book – the discussion features Mihir along with writer-historian-Dastango Mahmood Farooqui, NDTV India’s Ravish Kumar, Delhi Belly writer Akshat Verma and writer-historian Ravikant.
I’ve often complained in this space about the lack of good film literature in India, and Mihir tells me that this is even more the case in Hindi publishing. If the quality of the film writing on his blog is anything to go by, his book will help fill this gap. Distribution and display are always a problem for Hindi publications, so I’m glad Flipkart is making it available – here’s the link. Please do spread the word to anyone who might be interested.