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Fair Servings

These short takes are easy reads. Hopefully, the series will continue.

Fair Servings
Women In Indian Film: Profiles Of The Life And Work Of Ten
By Series Editor: Nasreen Munni Kabir
Zubaan Rs 595
We have here ten mini books that will comfortably fit in your pocket. They are on ten women in Indian cinema: Aarti Bajaj, Aparna Sen, Farah Khan, Jaya Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Mumtaz, Nutan, Saira Banu, Smita Patil and Zeenat Aman. Can you pick the odd one out among them?

It has to be Aarti Bajaj. You may not have heard of her. She is the only one in the group who has not appeared on the screen. (Farah Khan is a choreographer and a director but she does appear in films from time to time and steals scenes from superstars.) Ms Bajaj is one of our best film editors (Black Friday, Jab We Met). More and more women are now working behind the camera as technicians, something unheard of in Indian cinema in the past.

The editor, Nasreen Munni Kabir, seems to have chosen her subjects at random. Some of the more famous names like Nargis and Meena Kumari are excluded. Fair enough. We already have numerous books on them.

Since this is a Zubaan publication, the authors are women, including Outlook’s own Namrata Joshi (Mumtaz and Nutan) and India Today’s Kaveree Bamzai (Madhuri Dixit and Saira Banu ). These short takes are easy reads. Hopefully, the series will continue. It would be nice if some women who once enchanted us, now forgotten, are included. At one time stars like Suchitra Sen, Geeta Bali and Sadhna lit up our lives.

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