Books · Preview

Indian Preview: Our Top Five New Releases

  1. My Adventures with Satyajit Ray

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For those who know their Indian cinema, Shatranj Ke Khilari is film-maker Satyajit Ray’s only feature film in Hindi/Urdu and also his most expensive film, employing lavish stage design and stars of both Mumbai and Western cinema.

Jindal, Ray’s young and artistically committed producer of the movie, looks back on the gripping story of how Ray came to direct the film despite his unequivocal declaration that he would never write and direct a film that was not in Bengali. Quoting extensively from Ray’s fascinating unpublished letters to Jindal, it evokes the driving passion, original historical research and trademark devotion to detail that Ray brought to every aspect of the production.


2. Imagine

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From the time children are little we start making stories about them. ‘She has a mind of her own’, ‘He isn’t that intelligent but he tries.’ These narratives are like garments we weave out for them. The interesting thing is that the children learn to describe themselves and others start describing them according to these stories.
Imagine is about how the teachers can build that connect and help build richer stories for each child. It is about a deep commitment to make sure that no child is left invisible, and it is about spreading these rich stories far and wide.


3. A Home for Urvashi

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Death separates Dulari from her beloved twin sister, Ujjwala. Forlorn, her spirit remains on Earth as a powerless but constant companion to Ujjwala. Like the apsara Urvashi, she has the power to travel between worlds but no family, no one to love.
Dulari has a dream: she hopes to be reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter and find a home for herself. Twenty-nine years have gone by, but her dream remains unfulfilled. There is hope, though, for Ujjwala has a son and now longs for a daughter.
Then arrives a man from Ujjwala’s past. His presence upsets her life and sets into motion a series of events that threaten to destroy her completely. Only Dulari can save her sister, but to do that, she must relinquish her dream. Sensitively written and evocative, A Home for Urvashi depicts the bond of sisterhood that goes beyond life and death.


4. Home in the City

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Sooni Taraporevala’s photography provides a deeply personal insight into the people and landscape of Bombay/Mumbai. The photographs cross social boundaries between classes, convey a sense of the disjunction between the private and the public and capture a visual contrast that is predominantly candid, whether they are of homes, glamorous parties or the streets. They provide a quirky yet affecting and intimate view of the social and political fabric that make up the Maximum City.


5. Smart

5Digitization is accelerating globalization tenfold. Social networks have gone mobile: telephone, television and towns have gone ‘smart’. How did China manage to create clones of Google, Facebook and YouTube, and build its own censored version of the Internet? Drawing on hundreds of interviews in about fifty countries, Frederic Martel examines the different ‘Internets’ on five continents. In so doing, he reveals that we are moving not only into a connected, globalized world, but also a territorialized one. Smart shows that the Internet has never been truly global, and that it will become increasingly local.


 

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