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   Govind Nihalani must be the best director in India today.... (July 10, 1985)

Govind Nihalani must be the best director in India today. And Vijaya Mehta the best actress. And the party the kind or programme that should raise the quality and content of doordarshan.

Ever since Pearl Padamsee used to come late to parties, because she was shooting for "Govind's Party at Raj Kamal studio," I have been keen on seeing the film. Of course but for a combination of Doordarshan and the rains, I do not think I would ever have got down to seeing it.

I hate the entire process of going to Hindi movies at cinemas in Grant Road, the crowds people tugging at my sleeves (half-seleeves) and demanding, any extra" door-keepers, the two month old news in the interval, the coming out through some rear exit and into a strange backyard.

So, I would not have seen The Party but for yesterday's once in seven year combination of circumstances.

It was like being at one of those parties of dozens of people that I know and do not think should identify. And it was like being among those hundreds of cocktail party guests that I have been with and would not also like to identify. Even the food was served suitably late very late according to the standards of Bombay parties.

Mr. Nihalani though I have so far seen him only once at party and that was at Mrs. Uma Da Cunha's (which in any case is not a very typical party) seems to have observed well and carefully.

There was the writer in whose honour the party was given the author who has found the right formula and is exploiting it to the full a litle like Doordarshan's own Kamleshwar, who also began his career by interviewing liftmen and office peons.

There is the alcoholic Rohini Hattangady exactly like some of these otherwise talented women become in the shadow of their husband's successes. In India in this particular segment of society I find it is difficult for the wife to adjust to her husband's success in other countries it is the opposite. There are of course notable exceptions.

There is the gushing little poet, all adulation very committed, not likely to make any money in life. And the woman who has turned Marxist because given her station in life it is the only way she can project herself.

The bored husband who yawns and then goes to sleep Pearly Padamsee Shafi Inamdar as Dilip Kumar (though Dilip Kumar is not so obvious about his art at parties), Om Puri who comes in from the cold and probably goes out again.

About the obly thing I did not care for was Doordarshan's introduction to the film the tete a tete with the author and the critic. Which was exactly the kind or pseudointellectual affectation that Mr. Nihalani was making a point of in his film.

 
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