Scene opens on a conference room lit only by the light reflected off the projection screen. The camera pans around the table, over the faces of the ForbesLife India editorial team. The editor speaks.
“Right, so what’s popular, relevant, and something everyone in India loves and, more important, has an opinion about?”
Cut to the editorial intern, a fresh-faced lass with shining eyes undimmed by years of deadlines. She squeaks speaks:
The camera jump-cuts to the various faces around the table. All are smiling.
Pan to grizzled visage of the editor.
“Well that’s alright, then. Meeting over.”
There is a thundering noise as the editorial team stampedes to the pantry.
The end-credits scroll over and empty conference room.
That’s only a mildly-fictionalised account of how we decided what our cover story would be about. Ever since Dhundiraj Govind Phalke rolled cameras for the first time, just over a century ago, we as a nation have waited eagerly for the next movie, and the next, and the next. We love our cinema, and we live it.
In this issue, we mark the forthcoming hundredth anniversary of Indian cinema (Phalke’s Raja Harischandra opened in May 1913) with a tribute to the great film-makers, the ones whose oeuvres have shaped not just cinema but our very lives, with a wonderful round-up by a film writer we always enjoy reading, Jai Arjun Singh (page 26). And of course cinema cannot exist without audiences, and Amit Madheshiya’s photo (page 36) essay is a perfect companion piece.
It’s difficult to pick favourites with a publication as carefully curated as this one, but I’d like to draw your attention to a few of our other offerings in this issue. On page 56, you can take a tour of the USA’s verdant wine hub, the Napa Valley. And on page 110, you can share a collector’s obsession with war planes. No, not models; these are very real (and air-worthy) machines whose cannons have fired very real shells. And of course, dotted through the issue, our Curators of Interestingness pick the best books, movies, music, art, toys, tools and objets. For dessert, try page 121, where we take a sly look at a phenomenon that seems to be taking over our cultural circuit, the literature festival. Or perhaps the wonderful photo feature assembled by Dinesh Krishnan and Madhu Kapparath, Beautiful People (page 138). Or what the heck, splurge, try both. Bon appétit!
This text above is from the editor’s letter from the new issue. Alongside, you can get a look at the contents of the issue.
Our contributors this time include (besides Jai and Amit, mentioned above), Manjula Padmanabhan‘s whimsical ‘Gadgets as yet uninvented,’ Meenakshi Shedde (on film), Uday Benegal (on music) and Deepanjana Pal (on art) have, with Jai Arjun Singh (0n books), conspired to curate an ‘Interesting Ideas’ section devoted to humour, Anand Ramachandran on Japan’s quirky gaming scene, Nanda Majumdar on coprorate culture, the globe-trotting Ashwini Kakkad on Cape Town, and Marco D’Souza nosing out interesting toys, tools and objets.
That’s just our regular columnists. There’s more: a feature on the commercialisation of yoga by the writer (and yoga teacher) Ira Trivedi, Sirish Chandran, who has driven a supercar or three, on how to get the best out of one, Sujatha Bagal on volunteerism, a graphic short story created for us by Manta Ray Comics, and a delightful (and funny) art + copy collaboration between Rajiv Eipe and Rahul Bhatia.
And from the in-house team, there’s Madhu Kapparath and Dinesh Krishnan curating ‘Beautiful People,’ Sumana Mukherjee on food, Rohin Dharmakumar enjoying himself with his usual contrarian stance on tech, and Jasodhara Banerjee and Vikas Khot on a day in the life of a sommelier.
p.s. You can subscribe to ForbesLife India here.