• 8 Letters

A section of the correspondence exchanged between Indian filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, and B.D. Garga, which seems to span a period of two to three decades. Ray notifies Garga at regular intervals of the progress he has made with the various films (primarily, Mahanagar), while also discussing with him the possibility of having him present on-set for one of the shoots.

The present section of letters reveals Garga's status as a figure who exists, simultaneously, in a state of exchange with representatives of various historical eras from the Indian cinema.

Art curator and collector Krishna Riboud was also one of Garga's chief accomplices. Here, they exchange views on 'recent' news and films, while also existing in a state of perpetual conceptualisation - in this case, of an exhibition of Indian film in Paris. Interesting, also: a bottle of wine as an icon of well-being.

Eisner, an instrumental figure in the perpetuation of film culture in the country, exchanges perfectly mundane details of arrivals and departures with Garga. This is essential, for beneath the apocryphal and the legendary, cinephilia is founded by banal, tedious legwork.

One half of the famous director-duo, Ismail Merchant exchanges notes with Garga about the reception of his latest film, while extoling him - as friends often do but not always mean - to visit soon.

An especially important piece, which determines the struggle for free thought and expression as a continuing, relentless combat with no real end, but whose very pursuit is its own goal. In this, Abbas expresses gratitude to Garga for the support the latter extended to him during his struggle to have his film, Char Shahar Ek Kahani (1968), passed by the censors.

A couple of letters written by Mrinal Sen to B.D. Garga, but essential, in his succinct but sharp observation of the film festival economy, which has only intensified over the years.

Devika Rani: An Invitation

  • April 27th, 1987
  • 1 Letter

In this, one of the earliest 'stars' of Indian silent cinema, Devika Rani, writes to B.D. Garga in 1987 on behalf of her husband, Stevoslav Roerich, and invites him to visit their estate in Kulu.