BBC London 94.9

Kaleem Sheikh presented the A to Z of Indian Film and Classical music to a mainstream and specialist audience.

Poetry in Film

An extract Ben Gwalchmai’s review of Poetry in Film

Next Jay Visva Deva and Kaleem Sheikh showed us film clips, played us songs and talked in depth about how in the times before Bollywood and now in contemporary Bollywood poetry is indistinguishable from Indian cinema. Poets have been drafted in to write the songs of films since the beginning of Indian cinema – I was interested to hear that some of the first filmmaking took place in India in the late 1800s. These clips – including Barsaat [Rain] and Mother India of which I’d seen – plus Kaleem’s reverential knowledge were enough to encourage me to later ask Kaleem if he had ever written or composed any poetry for screen. “He has done more than that, young Gwalchmai. He is a singer.” Jay smiled out, sipping his wine.
“A singer? Will you sing us something Kaleem?”

He did. I have never had the good fortune to hear Urdu poetry sung in person before. I often consider myself a fortunate man. Monday was no exception.But back to the event and not what came after – for those things are for those that were there.

An extract Ben Gwalchmai's review of Poetry in Film