HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Amitava Sanyal

Art around town

It took Yusuf Arakkal two long decades to give up his dayjob as a technician at Hindustan Aeronautics.

Two to Tango

They operate units of two. Their artistic identities are solely as twosomes. More than their working lives, they often share large swathes of personal space too.

Settling old scores with Rafi

Growing up in Calcutta in the 1970s and 80s, it was difficult to avoid the Rafi-Kishore binary. The animosity between the two camps was as potent as between supporters of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, Amitabh and Mithun, Gavaskar and Kapil. Amitava Sanyal reports.

The other KK

Earlier there was only one KK in Bollywood: Kishore Kumar, a Bengali boy who grew up in Khandwa and Bombay. Through much of the 1970s he was the king. Amitava Sanyal writes.

While Spain fights its former colonies

The Spanish film industry is going aggressively out into the world for the same reason as the Spanish navy sailed out half a millennium ago. The home economy is cash-strapped and the home market isn't big enough. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Conversations in the art ghetto

There has been for long a large vacuum in Indian art writing. The void has hung roughly between ponderous, academic treatises and lush, zero-gravity reportage.

Lodhi, Happy Birthday!

Delhi’s self-anointed ‘dirty old man’ Khushwant Singh puts forward his reason why men like to sprawl around the Bara Gumbad, the Big Dome at the heart of Lodhi Garden.


The year is 1965. A man and his two friends are sitting in a Fiat outside south Mumbai’s Regal theatre, looking for a woman. She’d called to propose an almost-blind date, claiming to have met the man and sought his autograph in Darjeeling not long before.

Another Shahnama begins

Three years ago, I had met a worried father. He was fine with the way the careers of his daughter and younger son were going. But he was dismissive of his elder son’s. “He has a band that plays here and there, earns a few thousand rupees,” he had said.

Shifting frontline of the climate war

Sheikh Lalmohan charts a map around his seat. “There were several houses and roads here... We used to live there.” The unusual bit is that the middle-aged farmer is marking all this out in the muddy waters near the mouth of the Ganga.

Why the $#%@ did the lyrics take so long?

DK Bose has stirred a debate, and rightly so. But worryingly, the reaction is more on the hand-wringing side. Several people are holding forth on how 'degrading' such lyrics are to the considerable legacy of Sahir, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar. How absurd! Amitava Sanyal writes.

The last performer

It can be debated whether Maqbool Fida Husain was the greatest artist India ever produced. But what’s beyond pale is that he was the most successful one.  Amitava Sanyal writes.

The lounge effect: Mix and the city

There seems to be a Lounge revival on in this part of the world. And much like the way the genre was reinvented in the 1980s and 90s, it's claiming shelf space in a chilled-out, down-beat, spaced-out manner. Amitava Sanyal writes.

They have a cunning plan

Kavi 'Das Narayan' Agrawal has hit one of the sweetest spots in the Indian music industry. By placing himself on the hyphen between the Nathpanth-influenced Kabir and the Nathpanth-inspired Sufis, the poet has claimed prime property in what's perhaps the industry's fastest growing sector. Amitava Sanyal writes.

The listening ages of man

If you have a kid at home, you would have noticed his or her preferential attention towards television ads featuring other kids. Amitava Sanyal writes.
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