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January 22 , 2011

The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee

The Filmmaker Everyone Loves


One of India’s best-loved film directors, Hrishikesh Mukherjee is perhaps best known today for his perennially popular creations like Anand, Chupke Chupke and Gol Maal. But Hrishi-da’s best work was provocative, wide-ranging and always aware of the complexities of people and their relationships, even when the setting was a simple, middle-class household. Often combining breezy narratives with serious ideas, his films created a distinct world with recurring themes such as the relationship between fantasy and life, an individual’s journey towards becoming more responsible in a flawed world, performance (naatak-baazi) as a revelation of character, and gender relations in a conservative society. Jai Arjun Singh looks closely at Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s oeuvre, from well-known films like Satyakam, Guddi, Abhimaan and Khubsoorat to lesser known (but equally notable) works such as Mem-Didi, Biwi aur Makaan and Anuradha. Combining a fan’s passion with a critic’s rigour, The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee is a book for anyone who takes their filmed entertainment seriously. AUTHOR BIO Jai Arjun Singh has previously authored a book about the cult comedy film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and edited The Popcorn Essayists, an anthology of personal essays on cinema. His columns, reviews and essays have appeared in Business Standard, The Hindu, Yahoo! India, Tehelka, Caravan, Sunday Guardian, Forbes, Open and Indian Quarterly, among many other publications. Most of his published writings can be found on his widely read culture blog Jabberwock (
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