Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas: Mrinal Sen’s Short Films

On following Mrinal Sen’s filmography, one notices a change around the 80s. From sharp socio-political commentaries to self-introspection, there is a gradual shift from looking outward to looking inward. With his earlier films, he earns for himself the title of being a ‘political filmmaker’, while his later films situate themselves within the spaces of the […]

Love, Lost: Revisiting Basu Bhattacharya’s Marriage Trilogy

The 70s and the 80s were a vibrant time for Hindi cinema, with Bollywood churning out action-and-adventure-packed blockbusters of glitz and glamour with tales of characters who were very distinctly in the black or the white, the growth of the parallel cinema movement in sync with the cinema of other Indian languages like Bengali or […]

In the Twilight of the Mind: Revisiting G. Aravindan’s Pokkuveyil

‘Somewhere within your loving look I sense,Without the least intention to deceive,Without suspicion, without evidence,Somewhere within your heart the heart to leave.’ ‘Interpretation’, Vikram Seth A lot of who we are is shaped by the people around us. We become friends, care, and love – and each of these social acts builds us; even in […]

A Night of Memories

‘Aadate bhi ajeeb hoti hai saans lena bhi kaisi aadat hai jiye jaana bhi kya rivayat hai jiye jaate hai, jiye jaate hai aadate bhi ajeeb hoti hai’ (Aadat/ Maya’s nazm – Gulzar) A tale of memories, separation, and love that becomes difficult to separate from habit. A poet went behind the lens, translated his […]

The Mountains and the Mist

Every time I’m asked to name my favourite Satyajit Ray film, I do not know how to respond. Earlier, I used to stare stupidly for a while and then blurt out a name which, for no apparent reason, came first to my mind. Once you decide on a favourite, it is thereon easy to explain […]

Cinema for Change: Shyam Benegal’s Rural Trilogy

‘Through my films I can say, “Here is the world, and here are the possibilities we have,”’ – perhaps it is the existence of these possibilities that made Shyam Benegal the bearer of the winds of change in Indian cinema. There were filmmakers before him working independent of mainstream cinema, experimenting with different styles of […]


A young woman doesn’t return home for a night. A retired professor casually leaves his home one evening but never returns. The young servant boy of a middle-class Kolkata household is found dead one morning. Delay, disappearance, death – three films made over almost a decade, but connected through their central idea, form Mrinal Sen’s […]

The Music of Ritwik Ghatak

“Why do you always sing sad songs?” Ishwar asks his sister Sita in Subarnarekha. “It is almost as if there is nothing in this world beyond pain and suffering.” When art stems from lived experiences, it must be truthful. And truth is seldom under the compulsion to have a happy ending. Cinema, for Ritwik Ghatak, […]

The Other Lens

An account of some of the most prominent photographer characters in Indian cinema