Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Post No. 1- 6th march

I am Anuja Ghosalkar, I have been a lecturer and researcher in film in Bombay for the last five years. I have also been involved with an experimental theatre group in Mumbai for over half a decade, called The Company Theatre. All of last year I was a research associate with Rosie Thomas who was writing a book on early Indian Cinema and the Stunt film. I have also been a co-curator of Made By Women, an international women's film festival. I am currently working with Breakthrough – a globally active human rights organization.

My research project is on my grand father who I call Papa Ajoba, which is also the project title.

This project will chronicle the life of my grand father, as a make up artist in the Hindi film industry from 1941 to 2000: from his early years at Raj Kamal studio with V. Shantaram (when they literally made their own make-up) to his 17 years spent at the Filmistan studio. There will be a sharper focus on the 1960’s - when he predominantly worked with Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh, Sadhana & Saira Banu. It will also document film history from the point of view of a technician who might lacquer it with his own stories. It is finally, a tribute to a grandfather who narrated stories of his everyday life, not knowing that stories often become history.

The research will primarily be through interviews, previously published books on the history of Indian cinema and material from magazines like Film India , Rangabhoomi, Screen, etc.

The presentation will be in an audio-visual form with a written thesis.

Update on the Research: I have just finished recording one, one hour audio tape with my grand father with some basic information of him and industry. I just realized that even though I have lived with him all my life, there are so many things that I did not know, I now need to transcribe the tape and do some more recording.

So that’s where I am at right now… getting started hesitantly but also with a sense of great excitement.


Abhipraya said...

Hi Anuja,

Very interesting project. Looking forward to more postings

BTW you have not mentioned your grand dad's name anywhere...

Anuja said...

hi abhipraya,
thanks, its a really good point..I wonder why I ve forgotten to mention his name....BTW it is Ram Tipnis.

ashu said...


Congrats, very intersting research.
What kind of theatre they were doing in 1930s and 40s? It was recession
period on theatre. Do you have any photographs of those days? Also, what was
economics of those plays? I read few letters of those days written by
artists. If you need for your research, I can make them available. Well, my
grandfather was Varkari and he too was acting in those days. But not like
yours. Mine was part of bhajani mandals. I heard about Mhamulal Sangaonkar,
Chotekhan Sangaonkar from him. I have some documents left of those days. I
think your grandpa could say something about communication between various
natak mandalis in the gandarv period. I read that small dynasts have
motivated many artists, especially theatre artists. In the same way, did
they help film industry? It seems they didn't (I am not sure).
Your post makes me wait eagerly for next.


neha said...

Hi Anuja,
Excellent site. I am glad to see that research is being done on the people behind the stars.

Please keep it up and update your blog :)

memsaab said...

Hi Anuja, I just found your blog; I love Hindi films from the 50s-60s (and beyond, but especially then). What a wonderful blog this is!!! so many great photos (especially of my favorite Shammi Kapoor) :-)

Hope you keep posting! Cheers.

Pitu said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. Fabulous! It was such fun to read about cinema in those days, and I found the bit about making their own makeup fascinating. Lovely photos too, Leela Chitnis looks gorgeous in that close-up from Kisi se na kehna.

fuzzylogicbaba said...

lovely blog ...

fuzzylogicbaba said...

sorry, thats nikhil in case you don't remember :p