December 15, 2011

Face to face India : Interviews with Karan Thapar

For several seasons, BBC’s groundbreaking television interview programme Face to Face India kept viewers glued to their screens. As the anchor of the popular programme, Karan Thapar set new standards in television journalism. Many of his guests were reticent, reclusive people who were making a rare television appearance. But they felt so much at ease in the course of their conversations with Karan Thapar that they revealed intimate details about themselves that they had never before made public.

This book is a collection of some of the most memorable moments from the television programme: Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar recounts how Nehru fell asleep at one of his recitals and how the audience did not clap at the end since they did not want to disturb the Prime Minister; Amitav Ghosh recalls sitting in a Defence Colony barsaati at the height of summer, a lungi wrapped around him, furiously typing out his first novel; Sachin Tendulkar talks about how he idolized John McEnroe and copied him, right down to the headband; Raghu Rai remembers chasing a baby donkey halfway across the village to take a photograph that would go on to appear in the London Times; and Shah Rukh Khan regales us with the pranks he played at school with a group of friends called the C Gang.

Also included are landmark interviews with A.R. Rahman, Aishwarya Rai, Amartya Sen, Arundhati Roy, Dev Anand, Maharani Gayatri Devi, Kapil Dev, Karan Johar, Kumarmangalam Birla, R.K. Laxman, Ratan Tata, Sam Maneckshaw, Sonal Mansingh, Vishwanathan Anand and Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Intimate, candid and introspective, these interviews provide fascinating insights into the lives and minds of some of the most defining figures of contemporary India.

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