While binge-watching seems to be the go-to activity in lockdown, many have looked to books for comfort and distraction. As part of our new series, we asked actors and creators about their favourite books and what they're reading. This week, we asked internet sensation Saloni Gaur AKA Nazma Aaapi to recommend her favourite book.
"It's a satire from the point of view of a Phd researcher on how politics work in rural India and the whole country and shows the connection between corrupt politicians, police and criminals and how everybody is helpless in front of them. The book exposes the reality of how filthy politics is and how people can go to any extent to remain in power. The best thing about it is that it was published in 1968 but it is still relevant."
And here's what Team Film Companion recommends:
An anthropologist chances upon Tamil cinema when a farming community he is researching sings cinema music to the beats of their work. From there it is a journey to Kodambakkam in Chennai, where he sits in Mysskin's writers room, follows others directors across continents seeing how they shoot 'love-songs', interviewing hopeful writers, producers who would soon run out of money, tired lightmen, under-valued production designers and exciting musicians. The book is loving look at cinema, much of whose beauty, like this book, is an accident. Pandiyan also won the Infosys Prize this year for his work in the field of anthropology. – Prathyush Parsuraman
A closet fan of their movies growing up, the Ramsays (especially their TV show later on) and their films appealed to a certain part of you that wanted to watch horror films but didn't want to get scared. Reading Don't Disturb The Dead by Shamya Dasgupta took me back to a period where you'd strike secret deals with video lending libraries for them to insert the cassette of either a Veerana or Purani Haveli inside the cover of deceptively plain choices like Sound of Music or Home Alone. The book gives you an insight into their 'honest-to-devil' spirit most indie filmmakers today can only aspire for. But beyond their strange films and their making-of stories, the book is eventually a sincere account of the classic Indian family business and the roles each of them play to keep it running, even it means doing a hundred little things at once. – Vishal Menon