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.