BENGALURU: One of India’s best-loved film directors, Hrishikesh Mukherjee is perhaps most famous 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.
In his book The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Penguin Books India), Jai Arjun Singh looks closely at Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s oeuvre, from well-known films like Bawarchi, 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.
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 newspapers, Yahoo! India, Tehelka, Caravan, Sunday Guardian, Forbes, Open and Indian Quarterly, among many other publications.