Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What I've been doing

...looks like I will be staying here.

Hi everyone,

I haven't had the time to write posts because I have been searching for a summer job. Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who left me comments and tips about my summer job in London. But I really need money for university so I decided to save up and stay in Montreal. Maybe next summer I will be able to go.

Before summer actually starts, for school, I had to write a term paper on one of my favorite directors. I chose a director I liked, Raj Kapoor, but I really wanted to choose an indian director I didn't know much about (You know like more underground). But after doing some research I found out that there is not much decent info, in english or french, on indian directors. The only south asian director that has lots of books written on him and his work is the bengali director, Satyajit Ray. I don't know if it's the lack of translation by indian film scholars or just the lack of people seriously studying and analysing indian cinema? Don't get me wrong, good books exist but they are rare. I have a small collection of books, but with what I have read I feel that it's not enough. The books don't go deep enough, there is no analysis of a directors work. However I did discover a book on Raj Kapoor called Harmony of Discourse but it's rare and I could not find it to buy anywhere. If anyone knows how to get that book and other more serious works on indian cinema please feel free to give any suggestions.

On May 24th my dance teacher Sudeshna Maulik had a kathak performance. It was the closing show for an asian heritage festival in Montreal called Acces Asie. There where many south asian performers, I especially liked the Dhol and the Bhangra. Anyway, I have only been learning Kathak for 6 months but me and two other students performed as well. That's me in the back, to see more pictures just click here.

On June 2nd I was invited on CJLO a Concordia university radio talk show called There you have it folks! hosted by Nicole and Sinbad Richardson. It was really fun, I might do it again or this fall I will start my own Bollywood radio show. Whichever I will keep you all posted because CJLO is broadcasted on the Internet as well.
Anyway, now back to posting albums ...
Have a great summer!


Prof. Grewbeard said...

your site is great and the dance photos were full of joy, keep up the good work. sorry things didn't quite work out the way you wanted.

Anonymous said...

There is definitely a dearth of good in-depth books about Hindi cinema...especially about lesser-known (but very prolific) directors and actors.

One volume I like (but it is expensive) is Encyclopedia Britannica's "Encyclopedia of Hindi Cinema". It's not necessarily really in depth but does cover the entire history of Hindi films.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Stella_1. An interesting coincidence: Within about an hour of the time that I visited this post, I also happened to find an interesting site containing lots of papers on Hindi films, from Philip Lutgendorf, who is apparently a professor of South Asian Studies. It's over here:

This site also contains a syllabus - with lots of very interesting-looking books and articles - for a course in Hindi cinema that he taught in 2004. It is "popular" cinema, though - doesn't seem to be much underground stuff covered here - but it does look like a good resource for people writing papers on Hindi films:

And by the way, another coincidence is that I stumbled upon his site while I was looking for more information on the film "Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai," with Padmini and Raj Kapoor...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
isfahani said...

hi hi hi - I have been wondering what happened to you, it is probably a good time to save money, the way things are going!

So, you are a Kathak student. It's probably my favorite dance form.

I did get to see the masters Birju Maharaj and Zakir Hussain go at it together here in the Twin Cities just a few weeks ago. What a treat, it was awesome! Of which lineage is your school from?

I hope your search for more info bears fruit - I always thought it was a shame that Satyajit Ray gets the lion's share of attention in the west, while other worthies are simply unknown. I would like to see Criterion start with Raj Kapoor's films someday soon.

But then most westerners I know have long since dismissed "Bollywood" as they have only been exposed to the more base and typified commercial examples...

Thanks to the other posters for
more information!

Stella_1 said...


jeffree g. moore - Thanks for the encouraging words.

Memsaab - Yeah I have the encyclopedia, it's great but I am searching for books that analyse either certain films or a director's work. If ever you find a good and complete books on indian cinema contact me. Thanks

Richard S. - Thanks, I already knew about his site because I am going into south asian studies this fall at Concordia , but befor I chose I was looking at the south asian programs in the US until I figured out it costs 10X more to go to university in the States than in Quebec. Thanks

Stephen - Wow you are so lucky to have seen the best Kathak dancers in New York. My teacher learned at a young age from Pandit Chitresh Das but then mostly from Birju Maharaj in Delhi.Thanks

Jesse said...

Nice Blog, can you add mine to you list. Check it out first, and Thanks. Cheers, Jesse

Jesse said...

Crap, I forogot the link.

Thanks, Jesse

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

omg- so so impressed w/ your dancing! I've always loved your commentary on music and songs, but never realized you had such amazing talent. brilliant work ms- kudos to you!