New Delhi: “Words. Sounds. Images: A History of Indian Media & Entertainment” by Amit Khanna is a tour de force that is encyclopedic in the vastness of its canvas. It is now a required volume on the bookshelves of scholars, researchers, and aficionados of Indian cinema.
The essay in the book on the history of literature, music, dance and other entertainment arts is breathtaking and shows polymath with an insatiable hunger for knowledge, keen intelligence and a mind capable of absorbing an enormous amount of data.
The sincerity of his friendship, kindness, and helpfulness to all are such that no one grudges him his accomplishments. In an industry, like in all art fields, that has its rivalries, camps, and jealousies, Amit is one of the rare persons who never speak ill of another.
Through his working with two legends of the industry, Dev Anand and G.P. Sippy, and decades of leadership in the Film Federation of India and Producers Guild, he has been uniquely positioned to experience it from its core.
This, of course, is in addition to his own creation of being an Award-winning producer and director and the writer of some of the most memorable lyrics of cinema. By his investing all he had, his overnight entry into starting the first private video channels was truly heroic.
There are books on cinema that write about a single aspect of it - actors, directors, music, etc. This volume is unique in that it integrates all fields of creative media.
Not only does it succeed splendidly but does so in a highly absorbing manner with the highest levels of erudition and scholarship. It entertains and enlightens in a rare pageantry and enriching panorama into the history of drama, dance, music, poetry, puppetry of our civilization.
The book has valuable documentation of the landmark films of Indian cinema in all its various languages along with the creators like producers, directors, actor, music directors, playback singers, and lyricists, making it one of the most valuable reference books on cinema which cannot be improved upon till date. For at 952 pages with its rich information and documentation it does present a daunting challenge to even the most voracious reader and has to be savored in leisurely steps to be fully enriched by its multiple vistas. (IANS)