India Insight

A Minute With: Rajkumar Hirani

December 17, 2014

A Minute With: Rajkumar HiraniKaran Johar calls him a legend and a genius, the only filmmaker in the country who is capable of achieving the perfect blend of commercial and meaningful cinema. But a laughing Rajkumar Hirani shrugs it all off. The 52-year-old, who is as big a brand as some of Bollywood’s A-list actors, is also one of the highest paid in the industry.

Russia’s ambassador to India: the quotable Alexander Kadakin

December 9, 2014

(Russian President Vladimir Putin is coming to India this week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to discuss ways to improve relations. Moscow and New Delhi enjoyed warm ties during the days of the Soviet Union, when India was a member of a non-aligned bloc of nations. The friendship recently has become strained as India relies more on U.S. and French companies to meet its defence needs, something that chafes Russia as it deals with sanctions from western nations over Ukraine. Russia meanwhile has alarmed Indian public opinion with a recent visit by its defence minister to Pakistan. Russia’s ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a veteran diplomat first posted to New Delhi more than 40 years ago, discussed Putin’s visit at a press conference on Monday. Here are some of his remarks.

Movie Review: Action Jackson

December 5, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

There’s a scene in the rock music mock documentary “This Is Spinal Tap” in which Christopher Guest, playing the brainless guitarist Nigel Tufnel, shows off his amps to a documentary filmmaker. One special amp, he says, is so loud that its dials don’t just go up to 10, they go to 11.

Movie Review: Sulemani Keeda

December 5, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Sulemani Keeda“Sulemani Keeda”, a slacker comedy about two struggling writers in Bollywood, seems like an inside joke that only a few people are let in on. Produced on a shoe-string budget, it almost seems like the director is describing his own struggling days through the film. And while it might be an engaging story, most people may not be able to relate to it.

Interview: Amin Jaffer of Christie’s on the art scene in India

December 3, 2014

India is falling behind China as an emerging powerhouse on the global art scene because it rarely turns up at international art fairs or invests in new museums to promote its artists, an official at auctioneer Christie’s said.

New venture hopes to bring dormant Indian plays to life

December 2, 2014

A new venture hopes to document and popularise Indian plays by turning them into movies. CinePlay, the brainchild of businessman Subodh Maskara, will film contemporary and older Indian plays, and make them available for viewing online as well as in cinemas.

Movie Review: Ungli

November 28, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

 Rensil D’Silva’s “Ungli” (The Finger), about a gang of vigilantes who set out to right the wrongs in a rotting system, seems to take off from where “Rang De Basanti” (a film he co-wrote) ended. Young, angry and frustrated, four friends form a secret organisation that aims to get rid of every single pet peeve that the Indian urban middle class has – from corrupt government officials to errant rickshaw drivers and bribe-seeking traffic policemen.

Movie Review: Zed Plus

November 28, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

One of the reasons whyA photo taken from the official Facebook page of "Zed Plus" Adil Hussain took the lead role in Director Chandra Prakash Dwivedi‘s “Zed Plus” (a play on ‘Z-plus security’, the highest level of security provided by the government to VIPs barring the prime minister) was that he felt it was a rare and sensible Bollywood script.

Forever21 sets sights on Indian cities, but please hold the hot pants

November 27, 2014

Reuters spoke to Timmy Sarna, managing director of DLF Brands, which runs the operations of “fast-fashion” clothing store Forever21 in India. Sarna discussed the recent opening of Forever21’s first store in Bangalore, why store shopping beats online shopping for now, and the company’s expansion plans for Hyderabad, Pune and other cities. (An earlier version of this interview contained a reference by Timmy Sarna to “,” which is not the correct website address. The correct site address is The India site is here.)

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings

November 27, 2014

In the 1960s, historian Geeti Sen visited Indian artist Jamini Roy’s workshop in what was then Calcutta to buy a painting for her father. Although she eventually picked up a Gopal Ghose, what struck her most about Roy was his accessibility.