Poonam Saxena is the national weekend editor of the Hindustan Times. She writes on cinema, television, culture and books
Articles by Poonam Saxena
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2021 06:41 AM IST
From falling in love in a coupé to finding closure on a platform, the railways have steered cinema in memorable directions.
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2021 06:28 AM IST
On screen and off, the sewing machine transformed lives for decades, and it’s still appearing in the role of agent of change.
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 10:13 AM IST
The best-selling novelist was Bollywood’s go-to storyteller in the 1960s. He wrote family dramas shot through with suspense. The films live on, but what a pity so few even know his name.
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2021 07:04 PM IST
It now lives on largely in books and film, but the courtyard was where we cooked, celebrated, slept under the stars on summer nights.
PUBLISHED ON DEC 18, 2020 03:51 PM IST
Hindi novelist Usha Priyamvada turns 90 this year, and the quiet lives of unusual women remain at the core of her work.
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 06:41 PM IST
If we go on one now, it’s likely for want of other options in the pandemic. But these were once times of fun, family, courtship.
UPDATED ON NOV 20, 2020 07:32 PM IST
Music all day, sleeping on the floor, a tailor, dhobi and halwai on hand at all times — before the planners took over, everything was done in-house. It was chaotic, messy and so much fun.
UPDATED ON NOV 14, 2020 08:34 PM IST
Yash Raj Films has acted as an informal school for filmmakers, set templates for the Hindi blockbuster, been among the first to take Bollywood corporate, and of course created DDLJ.
UPDATED ON NOV 06, 2020 08:32 PM IST
Asking her out in the age of bouffants and drainpipe trousers was no simple affair. But films from the period paint an innocent age in the backdrop of the big city.
UPDATED ON OCT 11, 2020 04:44 PM IST
It was the at-home attire of most well-off Bollywood dads in the ’50s and ’60s. Dressing downs haven’t been the same since.
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2020 05:47 PM IST
The story of Rajbala Ghosh, the first woman to write short stories in Hindi
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2020 11:07 AM IST
A performance, a piano, a crowd standing still. Why was the party song such a fixture of Hindi cinema in decades past?
UPDATED ON SEP 12, 2020 10:21 AM IST
Mohan Rakesh didn’t book tickets in advance and make hotel reservations. He went where the road led, and kept going.
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2020 10:39 AM IST
Despite how heavily they borrowed from the West, the early spooky movies remain some of our best in the genre.
UPDATED ON AUG 16, 2020 05:54 PM IST
The first Hindi film playback song was recorded 85 years ago. Take a look at how it acquired the shape it has today.
UPDATED ON AUG 02, 2020 03:18 PM IST
To mark his 140th birth anniversary, a look at the writer’s move to the city, and why he left it in less than a year.
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2020 08:33 AM IST
Kaun Banega Crorepati marked our first trysts with reality TV, heedless consumerism, and a revived Amitabh Bachchan.
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2020 07:50 AM IST
With mental health a growing concern in the pandemic, it’s worth revisiting a writer’s searing first-person account.
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2020 10:13 AM IST
As Atlas shuts its last manufacturing plant, a look at all that bicycles have meant to India, from the Raj era to the pandemic.
UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 07:52 AM IST
In Pride Month, we’re re-reading Prateeksha, a lesser known, no-holds-barred lesbian love story from 1962.
By Poonam Saxena | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2020 04:38 AM IST
Most readers are probably familiar with Ismat Chughtai’s 1942 story, Lihaaf (The Quilt), with its erotic lesbian undercurrents.
By Poonam Saxena | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 28, 2020 04:38 AM IST
Once again, you can watch Ramayan and Mahabharat on DD. The streets outside will still be empty – though, it’s a different kind of lockdown, necessitated by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
UPDATED ON SEP 28, 2019 09:12 PM IST
...A habit that kept his deceptively frail-looking body strong & hardy
UPDATED ON OCT 01, 2020 05:39 PM IST
An austere eater, Gandhi constantly experimented with his diet. These experiments were based on his beliefs and part of a deep, spiritual quest
UPDATED ON APR 27, 2019 07:25 PM IST
As The Big Bang Theory winds up after 12 seasons, we talk to the fresh-faced, tousle-haired Nayyar, the actor with the winning smile and sharp sense of comedy
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2019 10:58 PM IST
The author of eight novels, two novellas, a collection of short stories and three volumes of profiles of other writers (the last under the pen name Hashmat), Krishna Sobti was born in Gujarat, Pakistan, studied in Delhi and Lahore, and finally moved to India after Partition.
By Poonam Saxena | New Delhi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2018 11:39 PM IST
What set Sridevi apart from other, earlier leading ladies in Hindi cinema was that she made a roaring success of films that revolved around her – rare in an industry dominated by heroes.
By Poonam Saxena, Indo Asian News Service | Indo Asian News Service
UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2018 05:28 PM IST
In a new Translating India series, ten noted translators will share their experiences of translating from their respective languages. In the fifth part, author and journalist Poonam Saxena writes about the difficulties she faced while translating Dharamvir Bharati’s iconic Hindi novel Gunahon Ka Devta into English.
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2018 10:00 AM IST
Rakesh was part of the celebrated trio of writers who change the course of the Hindi short story
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2017 11:42 PM IST
Bollywood icon Shashi Kapoor -- a star of 1970s Indian cinema and a member of the Hindi film industry’s famous Kapoor family -- died on Monday aged 79 after a long illness.