Life’s a Pitch

Book by Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley

A sunny afternoon, usual crowd strolling at the corridor, suddenly a black limousine stops and shofar runs to open the door. A door open and a well-dressed man comes out and suddenly two more men accompany him. He starts walking and goes through the glass door. It is a regular scene at Taj Mumbai. Millions of people dream for this life. It is a dream of many aspirants. Last week, I got one book, Life is a Pitch. This book is written by two successful business men.

Roger Mavity who is a Writer and Photographer, he founded his own advertising agency, Mavity Gilmore Jaume, in 1981. After ten successful years, he sold the business and became Chief Executive of Granada Group’s leisure division. There he led the pitch for the company’s takeover of the Forte Group then with many landmarks in his life he came up with this book. Since 2013 he do writing and photography. He is known for his artwork and it is his first book, ‘Life’s a Pitch’,

Another writer of this book, Stephen Bayley considered as think tank in Britain”, he graduated from Universities of Manchester and Liverpool, he taught at the University of Kent He is a an Honorary Fellow of The RIBA, a Trustee of The Royal Fine Arts Commission Trust and a Fellow of The University of Wales. Today he is one of the leading product designer.

This is a life book which is written by two eminent personalities by putting their own experience, knowledge and observations. As a reader you will be thrilled with many anecdotes, quotes or snippets.

Pitch a word used in advertising. When I saw this book, It triggered my curiosity this book guides us. On each aspect of our life. Be it a professional life, client meeting or a family function. We are always been watched, today with social media each this intensity has crossed all limits.

This book is written and printed in a very reader friendly way. We find, Heading, subheading, into bold and bigger font. Each chapter mentions the take away at the end.  This book is reader friendly, any first time reader will be enticed with book. One can glance and get all the crux in one go.

This books suggests, how any single idea to be presented in business or personal life? Everyone gets one chance. It is up to us how we utilize it.

I recall a take away, “Life is a theater don’t act like an actor think like a playwright.”

The writers have offered various examples from real life, books, business and cinema.

This book guides us on each step of life and business, “a rehearsal is important.” It was another take away. You will find many guide lines to your business, professional life and everyday situations. It is a ready reckoner and an office table book.

I suggest to all professionals, businessmen and students, I signoff my review with a quote from the book. Our life is non-stop, pitch. 

A hundred years of jump cut and fade-outs a book by Shoma Chatterjee

Our country is also known for Indian film Industry. There are thousands of people who earn their livelihood with Bollywood. It is the biggest entertainment industry in the world. There are many book written on Indian Cinema. This time I got an interesting book by Shoma Chatterjee, she is Author, Film Scholar and Academician. She has won two national awards 1991 best book on Cinema 2002 best film critic.

Apart from these Awards. There are several awards she has received at National and international level. She is one of the most. Senior film critic today in India. She has written 18 books till date. She has also been on various Film Festival jury.

As a film critic she brings our attention towards the different aspects and themes used in Indian cinema. As a film goer. Or a cinema student it is necessary to understand the background behind the cinema. One cannot appreciate a film in isolation.

This book helps us to understand the body of work by a director. Satyajit Ray has once said, “Cinema is a reflection of society”. This book is divided into chapters. And each chapter is an independent essay on film. These essays analyzed films on specific parameters and offers us to build our understanding.

It is interesting to see how Indian Cinema has traveled over last hundred years how it has created landmarks. Indian films initially started with drama and literature adaptation. The independent India began with urbanization. This offered a new genre as a Road films in Indian Cinema. Films like Awara and many other made on the same line. The sound brought the playback singing, music composition, dialogue dubbing industry. It paved the way for many music directors, composers, music conductors, singers and many more.

The introduction of color into cinema added the different dimension into cinematic look, each technological development took us much near to the subject. The Indian parallel cinema portrayed the plight of social issues, urban poverty, naxalism, terrorism issues and many subtle subjects which were interwoven into our cultural fabric.

This book also talk about films, which are inspired by our political, social events. Indian cinema portrayed socio-political psychological issues time to time. Industrial development, Industrial exploitation, emerge of mafia and various personalities shaped Indian Cinema over the years. Indian Cinema, since beginning predominantly revolves around human relations and their place in the society. Today when lifestyle has changed but basic DNA remains the same.

Shoma Chatterjee has put focus on various social issues like gender representation, film censorship, inclusion of item number in Indian cinema and much more. It is interesting to read how she cites the examples of literary adaptations in Bollywood.

As a film critic I will say this book offers a broad perspective of Indian Cinema.

Guru Dutt

Since my college days when professors talked about Gurudutt it was a mystery around his work. I read many article about his life and the stories. Calendars changed cinema travelled from celluloid to digital. In 2005 V K Murthy awarded IIFA life time achievement award and 2010 Dadasaheb Phalke award.

I have great regards for V K, he has been an inspiration to many cinematographers. He inspired generations. He is one of those people who worked very closely with Gurudutt.

Nasreen Munni Kabir is a documentary filmmaker, associated BBC Channel 4 as a producer and also has been Indian film researcher. It is her hard work to find and meet various actors, technical people and the people who have lived with Gurudutt. It is interesting to strive this journey to explore the time and chimes of black and white era.

The Newly independent India, blooming urbanization, and social milieu. Gurudutt always choose characters and their tormented life from real situations. This is why, today when we look at his films, we find the characters more interesting than the story. Gurudutt is one of those few directors who worked more on his characters, he took special efforts to caste the actors.

Gurudutt started his career as a dance director with Mohan Sehagal, Then in 1951 his first film Baazi hit the screens. He became independent director. 1952 he gave break to Jhonny Walker and they remain united till the end. He gave a song to Jhonny Walker and it became the landmark song. Today Jhonny Walkar is known by this song.  When we look at the dialogues and characters in Gurudutt film, we find the repetition. The dialogue in Baazi between Taxi driver and a passenger was enough to showcase the class difference and much more. This is repeatedly used by Gurudutt to showcase the class difference, a space of solace or be it a cozy space to share thought. This peculiar habit of Gurudutt is remembered forever. I remember a song, which is shot in Garage and there is no property other than a car. See the camera work. Two characters and the song, Sun Sun Sun Zalima a song from Aar Paar 1954. It is interesting to see how the camera work is down and how less is the property. We can see the acting done only by face.

VK Murthy who was assisting for camera, once he suggested a shot to recompose and retake to Gurudutt. He liked it so much that V K Murthy became his all-time cinematographer. Raaj Khosala who assisted Gurudutt, Gurudutt made him an independent director. There are many stories of those times in this book. Abrar Alvi joined Gurudutt as a script writer and shares the insights behind many films and casting of many actors for specific roles.

As we all know, Pyasa film is an adaptation of Sahir Ludhiyanvi’s Ghazals to screen but do we know? The role of poet was the role of painter. Sahir Ludhiyanvi was very reluctant to write for films but later how he turned towards film lyrics. This book talks about various experiments of V K Murthy in cinematography and how he was praised by Firdous Irani the cinematographer of Mother India.

The famous shot of Kaagaz ke phool in a studio where Gurudutt is sitting on camera crain and a strobe of light falls on Wahida Rehman, as she intrudes on set. It was in script but this shot became a metaphor for Indian Cinema. We see the same used in Om Shanti Om which is a homage to Bollywood film making and Sudhir Mishra’s Khoya Khoya Chand which is a film dedicated to Gurudutt. This shot is used by many cinematographers for various reasons in many films in India and abroad.

This book unveils many aspects of Bollywood and his life. How he picked up actors and caste them into a peculiar role which offered them identity. It is interesting to know how much he was passionate about film making through his friends. Wahida Rehman share how she met Gurudutt and how he took her test of hindi diction. Wahida joyfully shares the remarks of Gurudutt, ‘Acting is done with face’ rest is assembly.

While talking about his films Nasreen Munni Kabir makes us rich about the times and chimes of Indian Golden Period of Cinema. Being a producer she works with BBC and extensively wrote on Bollywood. I see this book is a feast to all cinema lovers.

The Life Book to be Rich

Retirement Planning by Meera Kulkarni

Ageing is unavoidable process. We never realize the importance of planning for retirement. We spend our childhood in school, young age is a magic wand it gets over once we enter into 40s. The life ahead through next two decades is full of challenges at professional front, family front and health front. Many who neglect the retirement planning and land swiftly into retirement age face many questions?

‘Retirement Planning’ books reveals the process of planning with insightful and interesting anecdotes of various people who choose different paths and how they landed into retirement stage. How they dealt with the situation and how they avoided some troubles. School empowers us with knowledge, parents and teachers fuel us with motivation and when we land on professional front we perform at our best but when we retire, life changes inside out. We realize the difference of colleague, acquaintance, childhood friend, friend and companion.

Post retirement financial gap and social void triggers our temperament. The loneliness become the first enemy. Nagging health issues increase worries. Dr. Meera Kulkarni guides us through ten steps.  She takes us through planning for our nest, investment and health. She explains the concept of Ikigai, a Japanese concept to find the purpose of life. Once we find the purpose we can lead a meaningful life. The step of managing personal finances, hobbies, leisure and perusing creative call. How this is important to manage life and stress balance.

The life after retirement is a challenging as the attitude of family, friends, neighbor changes towards us. We starting facing a questions every day, what to do? How to socialize? Where to find company? How to ask for help? The biggest issue is the answer No. we start getting this answer often. It is important to understand the changes takes place around us. One need to manage the temperament and adjust according to changing time and chimes.

The book also focus upon, making a ‘Will’ and maintaining health should be our agenda. How to avoid fights over property when we are alive or later. Writer has offers step by step information, Dr. Meera Kulkarni digs deep, how important for us to understand the youngsters and how important for youngsters to support elderly. Once day everyone become old. It seems difficult in old age to ask for help when they have passed many decades independently. It is difficult to digest loneness. Today when we all live the life ‘on the go’, one hardly find time to spend and take care of elderly people, writer suggest how organizations like Anubhuti, Silver Homes are working for elderly to help them lead dignified life.  

I recommend this book to all youngsters to understand the importance of planning. This book suggest a well-planned approach for investment. Dr. Meera Kulkarni reveals the secret of Ikigai and helps us to balance stress and life. This book offers us various ways to cement social bonds, nurture relationships and making a Will to avoid any trouble. This book makes us aware, how we can solve the problems of elderly with compassion.

Find the book on link as under,

Find exclusive interview with writer

Kai Po Che

Kai Po Che film of 2013 film introduced a trend for this decade. This film gave a platform to Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Rao and Amit Saadh. The film has a basic theme, to find the meaning of life? This films offered themes like self-Identity, friendship and collaboration. We find these themes very often used in Bollywood films today. Kai Po Che film today is considered as a film which exclusively showcase how we take decision. How dreams and reality collide.  How life of characters changes with passage of time. The near real portrayal made this film as Bollywood milestone. 

Bollywood Journey of Last Two Decades

We always feel, this decade has passed fast. Let’s linger back on some moments.  When the decade began it was a curiosity, who will lead this decade? Who will be the star for this decade?

Many talents donned the directorial chair for the first Vijay Lalwani with Karthik Calling Karthik, Parmeet Sethi with Badmaash Company, Muddassar Aziz with Dulha Mil Gaya and Abhishek Chaubey’s delightful Ishqiya. Abhishek Chaubey became an independent director. There are many who made their career and shine.  Maneesh Sharma of Band Baaja Baaraat director gave first film hit and made Ranbir Singh hit. Who knew that later the same Ranbir Singh will give us Romeo Juliet Indian version of SLB? Undoubtedly Ranbir Singh came out as a star. Rohit Shetty who gave many hits during this two decade was also into limelight for his reality show. He made Ranbir Singh, Ajay Devgan as Singham.

Punit Malhotra who directed I Hate Luv Storys, made few films later.  Habib Faisal screenwriter of Do Dooni Char gave numerous out of the box concepts to Bollywood. He challenged all creative muscles of actors and directors. These two decade has also some fables. Salman Khan worked on his voice and Ronny Screwwala wrote Dabaang. A film which broke all she preconceived notions which Bollywood has created over years. Audience liked so much that Dabaang 2010, then Dabaang 2 in 2012 and Dabaang 3 in 2019.

Indian experimental cinema welcomed new professionals joining in,  Anusha Rizvi and Mahmood Farooqui with Peepli Live, Abhishek Sharma with Tere Bin Laden, Vikramaditya Motwane with Udaan, Sushil Rajpal with Antardwand and Faruk Kabir with Bollywood’s take on City of God — Allah Kay Bandey. It is not the matter of box-office but it is a positive sign that Bollywood is growing with content and style. Bollywood now realized the talent of new generation. This is the wind of change.

While director Dibakar Banerjee gave us a new concept of cyberworld later many films were on the concept. Neha Chauhan, Arya Banerjee, Raj Kumar, Herry Tangri, Amit Sial, Anshuman Jha Atul Mongia became rooted in Bollywood. It is great to see this new actors and their new approach to taking up a role. Undinably today actors work our more precisely.   

Kanu Behl marked his writing debut His wife Namrata Rao who edited LSD apart from acting into it. It is the decade when some foreign film technicians tried their luck in Bollywood.

Pakistani singer Ali Zafar won many hearts with his acting debut in the comic satire Tere Bin Laden. Yash Raj Films gave a chance to Maneesh Sharma in Band Baaja Baaraat and fresh face Ranvir Singh was introduced to Bollywood.

This decade has been a success to many than to tears for few. Film TV OTT and UGC content was the highlight of this decade. These films brew many stories. And stories are to be told. The mojo of Cinema Hall cannot be replaced. It is sad that due to pandemic film production is stopped. I am sure soon the camera will roll. Writer, directors, cinematographers will soon be back in groove.