'...but no serious damage....'

  • September 2, 1966
  • 264 Words

Dear Mr.Garga

I know from Mr.Merchant that you are not in India, but I assume this letter will eventually reach you.

As you know from Mr.Merchant, the B.D.Garga collection was a great success at the Festival From India. We thank you very much for the opportunity to let us use it and hope that there is something in the future that we can do as well, as we hope that next year we can have another Indian Festival .If you have any ideas, please let me know.

We have had especially built a very fine packing case for the collection, as the cardboard packing case was not in very good shape and we want no further damage to occur to the photos. (Some of the corners were bent, etc. upon arrival, but no serious damage.) This we have done at our own expense.

Ismail Merchant is taking care of getting your honorarium to you, and it is more than we had originally said - this was procured with great difficulty on my part, as the Festival was very expensive to produce and advertise and the American Society for Eastern Arts who presented the Festival lost a great deal of money. At any rate, I have done the best I can for you.

Please let me know if you have ever done any special projects for children as our office is very interested in things for children.

Yours sincerely,
Deborah E.Steinfirst
Associate Producer

'...it was a smash.'

  • 377 Words


Dear Bhagwan,

Your exhibition was most appreciated - it was a smash - we could only use 50 stills from the entire set. We added two here - one from The Householder and one from Shakespearewallah. Krishna seems to be very pleased with it too. I also convinced the J.Hoffman organization to pay you more than they had originally offered. Now it will be 150 and that will be sent to Krishna by the third week of August.

I am glad you are coming to Paris. I wish I could meet you in London. But it is not possible as things are moving swiftly on the production slated for this winter. The film is called Vertigal and Horizontal. Do you think you can take a trip to the States - if so it would be very nice seeing you.

Channel 13, an educational TV station is very excited about your photographs and want to do a show on it. They will let me know in a couple of days. I had told Krishna that the photographs will be sent to her by the end of August in case something is done on this network - Shakespearewallah is planned for fall release in India - Bansal is distributing throughout the country. I hope he does a good job. Jim is going to London within a few days and he will be discussing some future deals - a couple of films to be made in India - England and here. Of course, the main thing is the screen adaptation.

Shafi wrote me a letter asking me to recommend Tom Selvin regarding a production job - I have done so and am sending a copy of that letter to Shafi. Jim sends his regards to you and your family and much love to you and your family from me.

Let me know if you want me to do anything here.


'...do you think you'll be coming this way?'

  • 233 Words


My dear Garga,

The film has been selected and we understand that it is made a very good impression on the committee. It’s being put in the competitive section. Thank you very much for recommending the film in the first place.

We’re now getting the print sub-titled and the end of next week Jim and I will go to Paris for a few days before the festival starts on the 25th . Shashi, Madhur Jaffrey and Phoo, Shashi’s sister-in-law, who plays Lizzie, are all expected. Do you think you’ll be coming this way?

I hope your work is coming along smoothly and that Shafi has replaced the reel of sound as he was to do. Please let me know if he has not. I’ll send you stills of Shakespearewallah within a few days.

Is there anything I can do for you in this part of the world? Let me know. Jim joins me in sending regards to you and Mrs.Garga, who it was such a pleasure to be with the night before we left for Kabul.

Yours truly

'...you will of course, be paid for this...'

  • 154 Words

Dear B.D.,

This is to introduce Tim Selvin to you. A very good friend of mine. He is interested in seeing the docoumentary on Ray. He will be in Bombay a couple of days and if you can arrange for the screening I would appreciate it very much.

You know the photographic exhibition Jim put together on Indian films - I think if you want I can arrange it at the Lincoln Centre. A week on India is being organized here in New York and I think it would be wonderful to have an article from you on Indian films and then photographs. You will of course, be paid for this. Shakesperewallah is a hit here - and I will write to you all the details later.

Meanwhile all the best and love to your wife and little one,


'...unfortunately the possibilities for creative work in India...'

  • 536 Words


Dear Ismail,

Many thanks for your two letters. I have been following with keen interest the wonderful success of Shakespearewallah. Particularly, the American press had been so good and understanding. I am indeed happy for you and Jim. You must be very careful with the selection of your next subject. Anyway, you know all that.

I was in London last November when you were negotiating with Charlie Cooper for your film. The morning I went to see Cooper he said you had left for New York. What a shame. I might be going to Europe in September. Is there any chance of you being around?

I did meet your friend Tom Selvin and arranged the screening of both my films for him and his colleague Jim Beveridge. (Many years back Beveridge was in India as head of the Shell film Unit). Both of them seemed to like my film. Or so they said. I had no idea that Tom Selvin had a similar series - Creative Artists - on his production schedule. He asked me if I would be in India in September when he comes to India with his unit to shoot his film. I wasn’t sure how and in what capacity I could cooperate with him. Would you care to find out if there is anything I can do for television (Tom Selvin or anybody else’s company) from here? Unfortunately the possibilities for creative work in India (not due to lack of material, which is inexhaustible but because of the lack of sponsorship and limited outlets) are narrowing down day by day.

Necessarily one has to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Now about the photographs. My entire collection of stills is at the moment in Paris. I see no difficulty in having them sent to New York. But Tom Selvin had an excellent suggestion that the Lincoln Centre should request our embassy in Washington, or mission in New York to have the photographs sent by diplomatic bag. That would cut out delays and customs and other formalities. Under separate cover I am sending you 2 copies of a booklet which was published by India House, London when they had put up my exhibition there. The booklet also contains my article on the film industry in India. Besides using serial numbers as a guide (these may not be in a running order as I believe they were ‘lifted’ in London) you can caption the photographs.

As regards the payment etc., I leave all that to you to settle. It is necessary to have a letter from the Lincoln Centre asking for the loan of my collection. Altogether there are 100 photographs (20x24) size. On hearing from you and or the Centre, I shall write to my friend in Paris to deliver the photographs to our Embassy there.

Best wishes from my wife and myself to you and Jim.

Bhagwan D. Garga