Sevanti Ninan, no slouch of a media critic herself, writes a beautiful obituary of the legendary journalist and media critic Amita Malik.
Most of us who write on film, TV and radio today are pale shadows of the woman who led the way. Amita Malik was that unusual critic who was a very competitive reporter at the same time, and a confidant interviewer of the accomplished and famous. She combined the reviewer’s instinct for recognizing a dud, the story getter’s natural aggression and the TV anchor’s easy confidence.
It was a rare combination. It produced a body of writings on film, radio and television, a number of radio and TV interviews with international film stars and directors, and an engaging autobiography of a colourful life. She was enough of a specialist to sit on film juries at home and abroad, and pull off an interview with a notoriously interview-hating Igmar Bergman. And enough of a news reporter to wangle interviews with people ranging from Indira Gandhi to Nirad Chaudhuri to Shiekh Mujibur Rehman.
I remember reading Amita Malik’s columns way back when and thinking at that time that she had strong opinions. I don’t know why or when her columns stopped appearing (in the newspapers that I was reading) because I’m a loss to remember when I last read her work.
The Hindu has a news item about her passing away.