New Delhi, Sep 26, 2004
New York-based Indian author Suketu Mehta is penning the next Merchant-Ivory
production "The Goddess" starring Tina Turner in the lead
Directed and produced by the duo of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory,
"The Goddess" is inspired by an old Indian fable of a ghost
who asks riddles to a king.
"Tina Turner is playing the goddess and she will sing four songs
composed by tabla maestro Zakir Hussain," Mehta told IANS. He is
now on a tour of India to promote his new book on Mumbai, "Maximum
City: Bombay Lost & Found".
"The songs would be in English with snatches of different languages,"
Suketu Mehta is a fiction
writer and journalist based in New York
Penning the next Merchant-Ivory production "The
Goddess" starring Tina Turner in the lead role.
Suketu Mehta is a fiction writer and journalist based in New York.
He has won the Whiting Writers Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New
York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his fiction. Mehta's work
has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Granta, Harper's
magazine, Time, Condé Nast Traveler, and The Village Voice, and
has been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
Mehta also cowrote Mission Kashmir, a Bollywood movie.
Mehta was born in Calcutta and raised in Bombay and New York. He is
a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
He is currently writing an original screenplay for 'The Goddess,' a
Merchant-Ivory film starring Tina Turner.
Bombay native Mehta fills his kaleidoscopic portrait of "the biggest,
fastest, richest city in India" with captivating moments of danger
and dismay. Returning to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) from New York
after a 21-year absence, Mehta is depressed by his beloved city's transformation,
now swelled to 18 million and choked by pollution. Investigating the
city's bloody 1992-1993 riots, he meets Hindus who massacred Muslims,
and their leader, the notorious Godfather-like founder of the Hindu
nationalist Shiv Sena party, Bal Thackeray, "the one man most directly
responsible for ruining the city I grew up in." Daring to explore
further the violent world of warring Hindu and Muslim gangs, Mehta travels
into the city's labyrinthine criminal underworld with tough top cop
Ajay Lal, developing an uneasy familiarity with hit men who display
no remorse for their crimes. Mehta likewise deploys a gritty documentary
style when he investigates Bombay's sex industry, profiling an alluring,
doomed dancing girl and a cross-dressing male dancer who leads a strange
double life. Mehta includes so-called "Bollywood" in his sweeping
account of Bombay's subcultures: he hilariously recounts, in diary style,
day-to-day life on the set among the aging male stars of the action
movie Mission Kashmir. Mehta, winner of a Whiting Award and an O. Henry
Prize, is a gifted stylist. His sophisticated voice conveys postmodern
Bombay with a carefully calibrated balance of wit and outrage, harking
back to such great Victorian urban chroniclers as Dickens and Mayhew
while introducing the reader to much that is truly new and strange.
Agent, Faith Childs Literary Agency.
ARTICLES BY SUKETU MEHTA
Peace in Paradise
On Sri Lanka, Condé Nast Traveler, July 2004
On the Meltingest Pot of New York City
The New York Times Magazine, October 5, 2003
Stuck in the Middle in a Very High Place
On a Nepalese Novel, The New York Times Book Review, January 12, 2003
I have to pick up my son from KG, the Bhopal Gas Cloud has come
to haunt New York
On being in New York on September 11, 2001, Indian Express, September
Big Apple tastes better in the dark
On the Great New York Blackout of 2003, Indian Express, August 16, 2003
A Fatal Love
On Partition (A Talk for the Center for the Study of Developing Societies)
Too beautiful for death
On Kashmir, Mother Jones, July-August, 2003
Gangsters in Exile
On Bombay gangsters in exile, Time Magazine, April 29, 2002
On Bollywood, The Todd Mundt Show, August 22, 2002
Runaway: a chronicle of metropolitan transience
On a Bombay Runaway, Seminar, August, 2003