Most videos in this section have been produced by CMAC. These are part of a series of conversations, interviews and presentations. Look out for more updates.
Deepti Priya Mehrotra
Deepti Priya Mehrotra teaches at Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. She is the author of three books – Home Truths – Stories of Single Mothers, Gulab Bai – The Queen of Nautanki Theatre and Burning Bright – Irom Sharmila and the Struggle for Peace in Manipur.
Riyad Wadia (1967-2003)
Riyad Wadia was a writer, film maker and gay activist who revived Wadia Movietone founded in 1933 by his grandfather and grand uncle, JBH Wadia and Homi Wadia. He made “Fearless-The Hunterwali Story” in 1993. He also wrote, directed and produced BOMgAY and A Mermaid Called Aida.
Shahid Amin – Professor of History at Delhi University. He is the author of Event, Metaphor, Memory : Chauri Chaura, 1922-1992 (1995), and Writing Alternative Histories : A View from India (2002).
The Linguistic Survey of India was conducted by the British authorities from 1914 to 1929 to record Indian dialects and languages – ostensibly for the training of British civil servants in India. The recordings were untraceable for a long time and were recovered recently and quite unexpectedly from the basement of the British Library in London. The survey contains recordings of stories, poems, songs and other parts of our oral heritage which have been lost. This is what makes the recordings so valuable. Shahid Amin introduces these recordings and tells the incredible story of how they were conducted. He is in the process of digitizing them in collaboration with the University of Chicago. They will soon be available on this website.
© Shahid Amin
Ghosh Bari is located on 47, Pathuriaghata Street. It is home to Pradip Ghosh, a descendant of Khelat Chandra Ghosh, who built this sprawling nine-pillared house. According to information obtained from the manager of the property, it was built in the year 1842 and currently hosts the All Bengal Music Conference. The All Bengal Music Conference was started by Manmath Ghosh in 1953 in an older bari, located on an adjacent plot of land on 46 Pathuriaghata Street. It was built by Ramlochan Ghosh, father of Khelat Chandra Ghosh. The annual event was shifted here in 2005. The Ghoshs’ live on the first floor and on the ground floor is the office.
The association of Ghosh bari with the world of music is immediately evident. Portraits of early 20th century singers cover a substantial part of the walls. There is a beautiful portrait of a very young Gauhar Jan, Angurbala, Indubala and others. The jalsaghar was obviously no longer in use and its furniture was covered with sheets.
Geeta Sarabhai was a Hindustani classical singer and a player of the pakhavaj. In fact she may well have been the first woman to play that famously difficult-to-play percussion instrument. She was a member of the prestigious Sarabhai family and an energetic patron of music in her home city of Ahmedabad where she founded the Sangeet Kendra. She passed away in March 2011.
S. Kalidas is a leading musicologist and art critic. He made documentary on Begum Akhtar, Hai Akhtari, and is the author of her biography, Begum Akhtar : Love’s Own Voice. He also co-scripted the film Rasa Yatra on the life of his teacher, Mallikarjun Mansur. Here he speaks about devadasi writings.
Wadia Movietone / Malika Pukhraj
JBH Wadia, co-founder with his brother Homi Wadia, of Wadia Movietone (1934), was an art lover and patron. Homi Wadia was the businessman whereas JBH’s was the artist’s heart. His residence on Mumbai’s Worli Seaface was famous for its informal evening mehfils and his productions were usually preceded by ‘variety entertainment’ which introduced aspiring artists to the public for the first time. The video is an extract from a 1940 ‘variety entertainment’ featuring Malika Pukhraj. This was her very first appearance on screen.