(DIRECTOR: SABIHA SUMAR) SCREENPLAY, STORY DEVELOPMENT: PAROMITA VOHRA
KHAMOSHI: THE MUSICAL
(DIRECTOR: SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI) ADDITIONAL SCREENPLAY: PAROMITA VOHRA
(DIRECTOR: ANJALI PANJABI; SCRIPT CONSULTANT:PAROMITA VOHRA)
THE HOUSE ON GULMOHAR AVENUE
(DIRECTOR – SAMINA MISHRA; SCRIPT CONSULTANT- PAROMITA VOHRA)
(DIRECTOR – REENA MOHAN; SCRIPT AND DIALOGUE-PAROMITA VOHRA)
A FEW THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER
(DIRECTOR: ANJALI PANJABI; SCRIPT AND NARRATION:PAROMITA VOHRA)
IF YOU PAUSE: IN A MUSEUM OF CRAFT
(DIRECTOR: SAMEERA JAIN; CO-WRITER: PAROMITA VOHRA)
“The First Time”
Short story Published in First Proof :New Writings From India Vol 1 Penguin
“The One Billion Rupee Home”
Non fiction Published in Bombay Meri Jaan: Writings On Mumbai (eds, Fernandes and Pinto) Penguin, 2003
Non fiction Published in Recess: The Penguin Book of Schooldays Ed. Palash Krishna Mehrotra
Short Story Published in Electric Feather: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories, Ed. Ruchir Joshi
SEPARATION ANXIETY:The Schisms and Schemas of Feminist Advocacy
Essay-Published in Defeinding Our Dreams: Young Feminist Writings from Around the World, Eds Shamillah Wilson and Anasuya Sengupta; Zed Books
It’s the 1930s and freedom’s in the air. Not only because JRD Tata makes the first civil flight from Karachi to Bombay, or Gandhi issues a call to Do or Die from Manibhavan. Bombay in the 1930s is not a bad time and place to be a woman.
The Mother of all Movies
It was a big year, 1975. The year in which Sanjay Gandhi and the protagonists of two huge Bollywood hits were saying the same thing: mere paas ma hai.
Jai Santoshi Ma was a top grosser in 1975, briefly overtaking Sholay and Deewar. Seemingly just another god-movie, it was really a new mythology for the times – a film that spoke to Angry Young Women, who didn’t know they were, though it exemplified forbearance. It catapulted Santoshi Ma – a goddess said to have emerged post Independence, into a famous and established deity. Women had ecstatic visitations in cinemas and Solah Shukrawar became a raging religious fashion– 16 Friday fasts for the Mother to guarantee that most unfettered thing: your heart’s desire. Main to arti utaaroon re, Santoshi mata ki became a no.1 hit, its transporting, dulcet tones arousing instant piety. And if you weren’t among the faithful, but felt it get you still, you didn’t talk abou it because you knew it was all things infra-dig for English speaking, “modern” Indians– religious, vernacular, mofussil.
Now you Simi, Now you Don't
It’s time to hold hands in a pink and white freeze frame again. Rendezvous with Simi Garewal will kick off its ninth season on Feb.12 with new sets – although let’s face it, how many shades of white can you do on TV? But news of this return isn’t exactly generating thrill and thrall.
First there are those who hate to love Simi. They look ambivalent and sheepish, then cite the Camp Defence. Yes, Simi is truly the queen of camp. But the kitsch poshness, the demented whiteness, the insistent well-keptness can take you only so far. The truth is – we love celebrities and Simi pulls in the A-list and makes them talk, not just re-state their celebrity, which is what makes the show a delicious indulgence.
My Heart's in these Parts
Some nights I get drunk with friends in South Bombay, and, too lazy for the train, I take a cab. To salvage budget and conscience, I switch to a rickshaw at the loopy crossroads spread like a concrete octopus with flyover arms above Mahim creek. The tape plays something not quite nostalgic, maybe aana hi pada sajna, zaalim hai dil ki lagi. As I fly over the endless shiny undulations of the Western Express Highway, alongside are the ever more translucent layers of quintessential Bombay buildings – Co-operative Housing Societies.
Sure, Marine drive gives me a bit of an art deco thrill, but my heart’s in these parts, not yet packaged into heritage precint or lifestyle district. I love North Bombay for its profuse, sometimes ugly, blocks of flats, old and new but two monsoons old, resident holders of Bombay’s city-of-dreams status and come one-come all-do whatever spirit.
A Nose for Melody
Even as Himesh Reshammiya’s star rises, so do the number of people who look for ever new analogies to describe his peculiar voice. Yet every negative comment unleashes a barrage of squealing, misspelt, indignant comments on blogs and websites. To provide a representative sample: “TO ALL OF YOU WHO FINK HE IS A LOSER …well folks just pay a visit to a psychiatrist….something aint working in ur heads”; “himesh ah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, my god he sings mind blowing , n i m his bigest fan”. Less explicably - I HAVE 12 PICTURES OF UR’S & 3 OF THEM ARE WITHOUT A CAP. PLEASE REPLY THIS TIME I’LL SEND ALL OF THEM TO U. And finally, less articulate, but no less hearfelt - ohhh huzzzzzooooooorrrrrrrrrrr.”
Of course you are going to listen to Rabbi. The point is – how? I suggest, with time and the CD jacket in your hands. The 29-year old singer from Delhi, is a poet of the urban soul, rendering ancient forms contemporary, creating music of the city from a memory of the village. Son of a priest and a teacher, Rabbi counts among his influences Springsteen, the Guru Granth Saheb and Delhi’s West Mukherji Nagar – “ordinary and unremarkable place which gave me a place to incubate my ideas.”
Self-proclaimed protectors of Hinduism in parts of South India have kicked up a row over inter-religious marriages, which they claim are designed to lure unsuspecting but romantic Hindu women. The media, symbolised by this “Ignorant” anchor, has added to the noise.
“How is it that you know my name?” she asked
“Knowing names is my art. To weave the magic of a thing, one must find its true name out. In my land, we keep our true names hidden all our lives long, from all but those whom we trust utterly; for there is great power and great peril, in a name.”
- Ursula Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan (Book II of the Earthsea Quartet)