Shaikh Ayaz


Ayaz is a contributor based in Mumbai. He writes about Bollywood.

Happy birthday Amitabh Bachchan: A look back at ‘1975’ and why it was a banner year for the Zanjeer actor
Thu, Oct 11, 2018

Ever wondered if the 1970s belonged to Amitabh Bachchan? Is there a year or a particular moment in that decade that could be regarded as his very best? '1975' has a good claim, as this was the year that saw Big B at his peak, both as a star and actor.

The enduring fame, and pain, of Bollywood’s original diva Rekha
Wed, Oct 10, 2018

On Rekha's 64th birthday, we take a look at her biography, Rekha: The Untold Story, written by Yasser Usman, which attempts to bring forth the extraordinary personality though it takes the familiar route that kept gossip and fan magazines of a certain era in circulation – Rekha’s salacious personal life.

Vinod Khanna’s 72nd birth anniversary: The man from the ’70s who was too good looking to be a villain
Sat, Oct 06, 2018

The 1970s star and politician who died last year starred in scores of broad-chested male fests. His popular pairing with Amitabh Bachchan gave us such hits as Parvarish, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar and Amar Akbar Anthony. One theory speculates that if he hadn't quit movies in 1982 to follow spirituality, history (and most certainly the career of Big B, a close competitor) would have turned out differently.

Happy birthday Lata Mangeshkar: The nightingale, with 25,000 songs in over seven decades, is a gift that keeps giving
Fri, Sep 28, 2018

Lata Mangeshkar birthday: She’s Hindi cinema’s greatest playback singer and even today, though she playbacks ever so rarely, Lata Mangeshkar’s melodious voice, as Dilip Kumar rightly put it, resides in all of us.

A look at Vishal Bhardwaj’s fascination for twins and dualities
Fri, Sep 28, 2018

What Pataakha, Vishal Bhardwaj's latest black comedy starring warring on-screen sisters Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan, says about the recurring imagery of twins in his films.

Kalpana Lajmi: The maker of women-centric, socially relevant cinema was a mould-breaker in every sense
Sun, Sep 23, 2018

Guru Dutt's niece, painter Lalita Lajmi's daughter and Bhupen Hazarika's live-in partner, Kalpana Lajmi was more than the sum of those beings. She was a radical filmmaker and though her oeuvre is short, it's an important one for Hindi cinema.

Manto from another sky: The writer of Partition spent his best years in 1940s Bombay as a film reporter
Wed, Sep 19, 2018

As Nandita Das’ biopic Manto, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rasika Dugal releases this week, we look at the literary bad boy’s Bollywood years in the 1940s, his juicy portraits of the matinee idols and how his intimate friendships with Shyam (unknown to today’s film audiences) and Ashok Kumar shaped him.

The dazzling and unsurprising reinvention of Akshay Kumar
Sun, Sep 09, 2018

Happy birthday Akshay Kumar: Here’s exploring Akshay Kumar's consistency and box-office bankability and why, just like Dharmendra in an earlier era, fellow Punjabi Akshay had to wait for years before, at long last, proving that he matters.

Asha Bhosle at 85: The Bollywood legend who was once the perennial ‘Number 2’ (after Lata Mangeshkar) is second to none today
Sat, Sep 08, 2018

Happy birthday Asha Bhosle: As the evergreen singer turns a year “younger,” a look at her legendary musical journey, the famed rivalry with elder sister Lata Mangeshkar, the men in her life (O.P Nayyar and RD Burman) and her love for cooking.

The meaning of Patriotic Indian, according to Bollywood
Wed, Aug 15, 2018

Exploring the changing face of nationalism, from the idealistic days of Raj Kapoor and Manoj Kumar down to the jingoistic fervour of Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar.

Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk seeks to decode the meaning of both patriotism and terrorism
Tue, Aug 07, 2018

Starring Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Rajat Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Manoj Pahwa and Prateik Babbar, Mulk addresses the meaning of patriotism and religious polarisation among other political and communal issues that have haunted the national headlines in recent years.

Pyaasa Meets Parichay: Remembering Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar on their birth anniversaries today
Mon, Jul 09, 2018

Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar birth anniversaries: Guru Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar's turbulent, tragic and unlucky-in-love personas haunted the two stars throughout their life, cruelly and creatively manifesting itself both on screen and off it.

RD Burman’s 79th birth anniversary is a perfect time to revisit the classic Gulzar-Pancham combination
Wed, Jun 27, 2018

Rahul Dev Burman 79th birth anniversary: RD Burman and Gulzar were more than just friends. Their friendship sparked what would become one of Hindi cinema’s greatest creative partnerships.

30 years of QSQT: The film that made Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla overnight stars and changed the template for Hindi film hero
Sun, Apr 29, 2018

As Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak turns 30, we look back at the film’s tentative beginnings and its influential legacy. At a time when action stars and angry young men were a norm, Aamir Khan was a refreshing anomaly.

10 films from 2000s that foreshadow what audiences are watching today
Wed, Mar 07, 2018

2000s was a decade that began with Hrithik Roshan’s instant stardom and ended with Aamir Khan’s reinvention into a box-office behemoth. Somewhere in between, a new crop of filmmakers had also emerged – Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bhardwaj to name a few – infusing new sensibilities and ideas into formulaic Bollywood.

Remembering Sridevi: Can you think of any other star who has continuously faced the camera for 50 years?
Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Sridevi’s comic timing was arguably the sharpest among her contemporaries and always gets mentioned in any discussion about the MOM actress. So does her legendary beauty. Though shy in person, she loved to face the camera.

Why Sridevi’s non-Bollywood work, especially in Tamil cinema, was ground-breaking
Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Before Bollywood appropriated Sridevi, the multilingual star who acted in over 300 titles was a major tour de force in all regional cinemas of the South including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

On Madhubala’s 85th birth anniversary, we revisit Mughal-e-Azam, a classic that truly belongs to the ‘Venus of Indian Cinema’
Wed, Feb 14, 2018

Madhubala’s powerful and confrontational scenes with Prithviraj Kapoor and romantic and tender moments with Dilip Kumar tie Mughal-e-Azam together.

Pran’s 98th birth anniversary: The man who gave the Bollywood villain a stylish makeover
Mon, Feb 12, 2018

Pran 98th birth anniversary: One of Indian cinema’s greats, Pran may have personified evil on celluloid (such was his reputation that new-borns weren’t named after him) but off screen, many vouch for his self-respecting ways and generosity.

Does Akki have a ‘Dharmendra problem’? The dazzling and unsurprising reinvention of Akshay Kumar
Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Here’s exploring the Padman star’s consistency and box-office bankability and why, just like Dharmendra in an earlier era, fellow Punjabi Akshay Kumar had to wait for years before, at long last, proving that he matters.