The Bengali Bonti and fish preparation

Maachwala – Cutting and Cleaning Fish the Bengali Way – New Delhi, India from Parvati Dev on Vimeo.

Despite the recent incursion of knives, peelers, graters, and other modern, Western-style kitchen utensils, the bonti is still alive and well in the rural and urban kitchens of Bengal – Gastronomica

Or, in the case of Parvati Dev’s above video, it’s in the hands of the local – Bengali – fish seller who comes calling with fish and neighbourhood news that the ‘bonti’ makes an appearance.

Channel 4 ends its Autumn Indian film season with The Square Circle

Daayra film posterIt looks like Chanel 4 will end this Autumn’s Indian film season with The Square Circle (Daaryaa).

The 1996 drama is set on the north-eastern coast of India and tells the story of a transvestite and an abducted girl who find friendship.

The abducted girl (Sonali Kulkarni) suffers terrible violence at the hands of a group of men she encounters. But, escaping them, she finds refuge with a transvestite (Nirmal Pandey). Continue reading

Channel 4 prepares to screen English Vinglish, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Lootera and B.A. Pass

English Vinglish film posterWatching the beautifully shot, measured and thoughtful With You, Without You recently was very enjoyable.

But, as much as I enjoy the less-travelled roads of South Asian cinema, I do sometimes wish Channel 4 would show more of the films that get a mention on Love Bollywood on a Saturday morning.

So I’m particularly looking forward to the next instalment of Channel 4’s current Autumn Bollywood season, which will feature Sridevi in English Vinglish, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and two other interesting-sounding recent films. Continue reading

Facebook resources for learning Bengali

Facebook Bengali Bangla learning resources

Posting here, and elsewhere, over the last year and a half has been sporadic to say the least, but thankfully there are others making progress.

I would certainly include in this the Let’s Learn Bengali group on Facebook, who recently started using the social network to compile on- and off-line resources for those studying Bangla.

So head over to the Let’s Learn Bengali Guide to Resources (it’s sure to be more up-to-date than this).

HT: My Bangla Diary

Channel 4’s mini-Marathi film season set to continue with Kaksparsh and Ha Bharat Maza

Continuing Channel 4’s mini-season of Marathi films will be Kaksparsh – from established director-actor Mahesh Manjrekar (who played a gangster in Slumdog Millionaire) – and Ha Bharat Maza.

Set in Konkan in the 1930s, Kaksparsh (The Crow’s Touch) explores themes of sacrifice and morality within a Brahmin family.  Continue reading

A slacker bromance and a series of Marathi films – more Indian cinema on Channel 4

Sulemani Keeda Indian film movie

The next set of Indian films on Channel 4 prove that diversity remains the watch-word of their programming team, with offerings that range from a slacker ‘bromance’ comedy to a Kolkata-shot Hindi film from Bengali director Goutam Ghose to a mini-series of Marathi films.

First up, that ‘bromance’. Sulemani Keeda (street slang for ‘pain in the arse’) is a quirky comedy-drama from writer-director Amit Masurkar’s. The 2013 film fits the new trend in Indian cinema towards movies with more realistic stories, dialogue and settings, that eschew top star names. Continue reading

Indian film time on Channel 4 again

Ship Of Theseus (film)It’s that time of year again – Indian film season on Channel 4.

This Autumn’s run of Bollywood films kicks off with first-time writer-director Anand Gandhi’s drama Ship Of Theseus.

The 2012 film is based on the intellectual proposition that questioned: As the planks of Theseus’ ship needed repair, so they were replaced one by one, until not a single original part remained – so was it then still the same ship? Continue reading