by Maithili Rao
About the book: In the three decades since Smita Patil died-at the impossibly young age of thirty-one-she has unwaveringly been one of Indian cinema's biggest icons. That is unusual enough for a 'parallel cinema' actor, rendered more remarkable in a career that spanned a mere ten years. Patil, one of the leading lights of the New Indian Cinema of the mid-1970s, has a body of work that would make veterans proud. Smita Patil: A Brief Incandescence tells her remarkable story, tracing it from her childhood to stardom, controversial marriage and untimely death. Her close friends remember 'Smi' as outspoken and bindaas, not beyond hurling abuses or taking off on bikes for impromptu joyrides. Film-makers like Shyam Benegal and Jabbar Patel, and co-stars Om Puri and Shabana Azmi talk about Patil's dedication to her craft and her intuitive pursuit of that perfect take. From the difficult equation she shared with her mother to her propensity for 'wrong' relationships, about which she was always open unlike other stars of the time, this is a complex and honest exploration of Patil's life. The book also includes a sharp critique of the films that defined her. They read like a roster of the best of New Indian Cinema: Bhumika, Mandi, Manthan, Umbartha, Bhavni Bhavai, Akaler Sandhane, Chakra, Chidambaram and Mirch Masala among them. Maithili Rao also examines Patil's many unfortunate forays into mainstream commercial cinema. Incisive and insightful, Smita Patil: A Brief Incandescence is an invaluable addition to film studies in India, bringing alive an entire era when cinema in India was truly different. It is also the definitive biography of a rare talent and a haunting life.
About the book: The Life and Times of India's Greatest Tragedienne Vinod Mehta's riveting account of Meena Kumari's life begins with her death, weeks after the release of her swan-song Pakeezah. He goes back in time to Meetawala Chawl in Dadar East, where she was born, and to the flats and mansions she lived in, the studios where she worked, the hospital where she died and the cemetery she was cremated in. Having never met the star, Mehta talks to all those who were close to her - her much-maligned husband Kamal Amrohi, her sisters, her in-laws, her colleagues and co-stars - to create a complex portrait of a woman who carefully cultivated the image of someone 'unfairly exploited and betrayed by her lovers and lady luck'. It was a picture that blended with her on-screen persona. The media had, after all, already anointed her Hindi cinema's 'great tragedienne'. First published in 1972, this revised edition comes with a fresh introduction by the author and introduces a legend of Indian cinema to a new readership.
by Leela Naidu
About the book: Leela Naidu was listed as one of the five most beautiful women in the world by Vogue magazine. But she was much more. She was the fine- boned, haunting face in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anuradha;
by Jerry Pinto
About the book: Main Saare Zamaane Ke Gham Ki Dawaa Hoon. (I Am The Cure Of All The Sorrows Of The World.) Lyrics From Helen S Song In The Film Adhikaar (1971) It Is Now Over Two Decades Since The Hindi-Film Heroine Drove The Vamp Into Extinction, And Even Longer Since The Silver Screen Was Ignited By The True Bollywood Version Of A Cabaret. Yet, Helen Nicknamed H-Bomb At The Height Of Her Career Continues To Rule The Popular Imagination. Improbably, For A Dancer And A Vamp, She Has Become An Icon. Jerry Pinto S Gloriously Readable Book Is A Study Of The Phenomenon That Was Helen: Why Did A Refugee Of French-Burmese Parentage Succeed As Wildly As She Did In Bollywood? How Could Otherwise Conservative Families Sit Through, And Even Enjoy, Her Cabarets ? What Made Helen The Desire That You Need Not Be Embarrassed About Feeling ? How Did She Manage The Unimaginable: Vamp Three Generations Of Men On Screen? Equally, The Book Is A Wonderfully Witty And Provocative Examination Of Middle-Class Indian Morality; The Politics Of Religion, Gender And Sexuality In Popular Culture; And The Importance Of The Song, The Item-Number And The Wayward Woman In Hindi Cinema.
by Khatija Akbar
About the book: Madhubala – the very name conjures up vivid images of a love goddess possessing bewitching beauty, dazzling radiance, subtle sensuality, and, above all, a tantalizing screen presence. Her ‘reel life’ histrionic performances held (and continue to hold) audiences/viewers entranced. Her talent was phenomenal, and she could literally glide through a movie, whatever be the role. She could convey an impressive array of emotions with her eloquent eyes and facial expressions without resorting to melodramatic contortions. Tragedy, romance, comedy, drama, and what have you – she could take everything in her stride, exquisitely and flawlessly, as convincingly proved by superhits such as Mahal, Tarana, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and the magnum opus, Mughal-e-Azam. All this she achieved despite a major heart disease, which assumed serious proportions as her career soared. This volume presents a fascinating panorama not only of the ‘reel life’ Madhubala but also of the ‘real life’ Madhubala, who was an extremely compassionate and caring human being, but lived in the shadow of her dominant father. The author recounts her captivating saga, right from her first film – Basant (1942), as a child star, up to the magnificent Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and beyond. Enthralling cameos from her masterpieces such as Mahal, Mr & Mrs 55 and Amar, are depicted in graphic detail. Also, all the drama involved in her love affair with Dilip Kumar, which culminated in intense acrimony, has been poignantly portrayed. The last few years of her life were spent in virtual solitude in spite of her being married to Kishore Kumar, and death, in a way, came as a release for her.
by Shoma Chatterji
About the book: Arguably the greatest star of Bengali cinema, Suchitra Sen mesmerized audiences for years, before withdrawing from the public gaze and refusing to emerge in the limelight in the last decade of her life. In this nuanced biography, Shoma Chatterji unveils the two different dimensions of the Suchitra Sen persona: as a legendary romantic star with an audience pull spanning over two decades, and her slow but steady metamorphosis into a powerful performing artist through films like Deep Jele Jai, Hospital, Mamta and Aandhi who could seamlessly and effortlessly essay completely different characters without the on-screen partnership of Uttam Kumar. Award-winning author and film critic Shoma Chatterji presents a fascinating portrait of an icon of Indian cinema, addressing two significant elements that have not been touched by other writers: Suchitra Sen as a working woman in films and her wilful social seclusion.
by Kareena Kapoor
About the book: Kareena Kapoor was born to be a star! In her first-ever book, the ultimate glamour girl lets you into her fabulous life and reveals her best-kept style and beauty secrets. Bebo’s fashion, beauty and make-up tricks and tips! Get a Size Zero body with Bebo’s diet and fitness regime Replicate her looks from all her hit films Learn about Bebo’s must-visit hotels and restaurants Learn how to treat and dress your man right and the inside story of the romance with Saif Ali Khan
by Anu Aggarwal
About the book: Anusual is the story of Anu Aggarwal, the dusky Delhi girl who went to Bombay and became an international model, and then a star with her very first Bollywood movie, Aashiqui, only to chuck it all up and join a yogashram.Coming back to Bombay, she was involved in a horrifying car crash that put her in a coma for twenty-nine days. Miraculously, the girl who broke into a million pieces recovered, and put the pieces of her life back together, first taking sanyas and then returning to Bombay to teach yoga. This fascinating story of a woman's self-discovery, a near-death experience and amazing recovery is told in a straight-from-theheart, unbuttoned style, including details of the men in her life, from millionaire jet-setters to superyogis. In the end, as she says, love is all there is.