Saturday, June 01, 2013

Trains in Indian cinema - an essay

The new issue of the magazine The Indian Quarterly is in bookstores now. I have an essay in it about the use of trains - as harbingers of love, tragedy, development and action - in Indian cinema. Had fun writing it, and reviving my own memories of "Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai", Half Ticket, The Burning Train, the chook-chook song from Aashirwad, the train as a hypnotic black serpent in the Apu Trilogy, and many other films. Do look out for the magazine. (There isn’t an updated website for it yet, but you can see some of the pieces from the first issue at this link. The Facebook page is here, and subscription information is available at

P.S. Somewhat related – here is a piece I did about the 1973 film 27 Down, about a man who measures his lives in train journeys. And here is an old post about The Burning Train (also known as The Turning Brain for the effect it has been known to have on audiences’ minds).

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