Remembering Amita MalikPersonal Reminiscences of
A Rare Early Picture of Amita Malik with David Lean
One could never ignore her. She made her presence felt. Through her words. She spoke up. A lot. Fiercely. Independently. Fearlessly. In fact, she evoked fear in others. In I&B officials, in Doordarshan officials and programmers, in performers and practitioners. She straddled all the major film and TV columns in all major dailies. She was the last word.
You could resent what she said. Her pen was dipped in vitriol and as an English critic once said of her, “She chewed glass bottles..”. But she had the reputation of being someone who mattered – an authority on the media – and one could never ignore her. Her word was law. If she did not like you or your programme or performance, you were practically finished because she was the ultimate “quality check” in Indian broadcasting. And she held this position despite her health in her declining years. And she never forgot anything.
She paid a lot of attention to me when I appeared on Doordarshan in my very first programme, interviewing an English puppeteer, Elizabeth Puckle. Sure enough, I appeared in her column and my debut was lauded and my joy knew no bounds. To be praised by Amita Malik was heady stuff! But soon she wrote about how I was in
There was mutual respect after that. She gave me her aashirvaad when I left for Media Studies in
But one cannot forget her. She was a film/media criticism pioneer in
Editor: Manohar Khushalani
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