I’m often amazed by the cultural riches that casually appear online for our use and enjoyment – Open Culture being an excellent contributor and curator to this trend.
Another is the British Film Institute (BFI), whose National Archives recently released a collection of newly-digitised films from India from the turn of the 20th century to partition. Continue reading
I really enjoyed watching Kahaani (lit: story) recently, but two of the things that gave me the greatest pleasure about this Bollywood film were its setting for a short restaurant scene and the way the Bengali language was woven into the film’s plot.
There was much to recommend it beyond that, as it was also a great, a-typical, Bollywood film, with no dance scenes and little use of music. (Not, I hasten to add, that I think Bollywood films have to be a-typical or – heaven forbid, music-less – in order to be great).
The film also made great use of Kolkata as a backdrop – though admittedly I am always on the lookout for Kolkata on film, and it rarely makes it to glossy Bollywood films. Continue reading
Visiting Kolkata every five or six years I have a handful of places that I’ll always make time to seek out.
It’s not a long list. Mocambo for food, Flurry’s for cakes or pastries, Oxford Bookstore for … well … books, and Music World.
So it was with sadness that I learnt this week that the wasting away of the high street music shop is not confined to the West and that Music World will shortly close (HT: Beth Loves Bollywood). Continue reading
I read Bengali really, really slowly (which doesn’t bode well for the Feluda book I bought in Kolkata over Christmas).
Nevertheless, for me there’s a real thrill in being able to decipher the script as it appears on the sides of buses, on shop signs* or those prohibiting something or other.
* Even if many of these are straight transliterations from the way they’re written in English.