Bhawana Somaaya in 2000
|Occupation||film critic, film historian,
Editor Screen (2000–2007)
|Years active||1978 – present|
Bhawana Somaaya is a noted Indian film journalist, critic, author and historian. She has been honoured with the Padma Shri in the year 2017 by the honourable President of India - Mr Pranab Mukherjee. Starting her career as film reporter in 1978, she went to work with several film magazines, through the 1980s and 1990s. Eventually, she remained editor of Screen, a leading film magazine, from 2000 to 2007. She has written over 13 books on history of Hindi cinema and biographies of Bollywood stars, including Salaam Bollywood (2000), The Story So Far (2003) and her trilogy, Amitabh Bachchan – The Legend (1999), Bachchanalia – The Films And Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan (2009) and Amitabh Lexicon (2011).
Early life and background
Somaaya(September 7) was born and brought up Mumbai. She is the youngest child amongst her eight siblings.
After her schooling, she did her graduation in Psychology and acquired a degree in L.L.B. (Criminology) from Government Law College, Mumbai, University of Mumbai. She also studied Journalism at K. C. College, Mumbai.
Somaaya started her career as a film journalist and columnist with in 1978, and writing the column, "Casually Speaking" in film weekly, Cinema Journal published by The Free Press Journal. After working in Super magazine (1980–1981), she joined the Movie magazine published by India Book House as an assistant editor and became co-editor in 1985, and worked here till 1988. In 1989, she became the editor of G, a film magazine by Chitralekha Group. This was followed by her tenure as editor of noted film weekly, Screen from 2000 to 2007.
Over the years, her columns have appeared in publications like The Observer, Afternoon, Janmabhoomi, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times and Indian Express. In 1999, she started her career as an author, with biography, Amitabh: The Legend. This led to biographies of other film celebrities, like Lata Mangeshkar and Hema Malini, plus two more book of Amitabh Bachchan, Bachchanalia – The Films And Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan (2009) and Amitabh Lexicon (2011). Bachchanalia was co-authored by the Osians Centre for Archiving, Research & Development (CARD) and also included publicity material from the 40 years of his film career. She has also written books on Hindi cinema history, Salaam Bollywood (2000) and Take 25 – Star Insights and Attitudes (2002), which was released by actress Rekha at a function in Mumbai and entailed Somaaya's 25 years as a film journalist. This was followed by The Story So Far (2003) published by Indian Express and Talking Cinema: Conversations with Actors and Film-Makers (2013).
Shifting to television, in 2008, when she joined Swastik Pictures, a television production company, which made TV series, Amber Dhara as a media consultant. In May 2012, she started appearing on air, as a Friday-film reviewer, BIG FM 92.7, Reliance Media's FM radio station. In 2012, she joined Blockbuster, the newly launched film trade magazine.
- Bhawana Somaaya (1999). Amitabh Bachchan: The Legend. Macmillan India Limited. ISBN 978-0-333-93355-8.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2000). Salaam Bollywood: The Pain and the Passion. Spantech & Lancer. ISBN 978-1-897829-54-7.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2002). Take 25: Star Insights & Attitudes. Sambhav Publishers. ISBN 978-81-901354-1-2.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2003). The Story So Far. Indian Express Group.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2004). Cinema Images And Issues. Rupa Publications. ISBN 978-8129103703.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2006). "Lata Mangeshkar". In Malvika Singh. Freeing the Spirit: The Iconic Women of Modern India. New York. ISBN 978-0-14-310082-9.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2007). Hema Malini: The Authorized Biography. Lotus Collection. ISBN 978-81-7436-467-8.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2008). Fragmented Frames: Reflections of a Critic. Pustak Mahal. ISBN 978-81-223-1016-0.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2008). Krishna-The God Who Lived As Man. Pustak Mahal. ISBN 978-81-223-1027-6.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2009). Bachchanalia: The Films and Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan. Osian's-Connoisseurs of Art. ISBN 978-81-8174-027-4.
- Bhawana Somaaya; Jigna Kothari; Supriya Madangarli (2012). Mother Maiden Mistress: Women in Hindi Cinema, 1950–2010. HarperCollins, India. ISBN 978-81-7223-859-9.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2011). Amitabh Lexicon. Pustak Mahal. ISBN 978-8122311891.
- Bhawana Somaaya (2013). Talking Cinema: Conversations with Actors and Film-Makers. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-9350296455.
- Her name is often misspelled as Bhavana Somaiya or Bhavana Somaya.
- "March of the botox brigade". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 23 July 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- Aradhika Sharma (14 August 2011). "Bollywood chronicler". The Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- Farhana Farook (12 July 2013). ""Mr. Bachchan never compliments me" – Bhawana Somaaya". Filmfare. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
- "Bhawana Somaaya: Journalist". Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- Bhawana Somaaya on IMDb
- "Bhawana Somaaya Columns, Leading Columnist". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Bhawana Somaaya: The Amitabh Bachchan I know". CNN-IBN. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Osian launches Bachchanalia". CNN-IBN. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "'Bachchanalia' – the Big B as hero, lover, conman". The Hindu. 24 January 2009. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Of a bygone era". The Hindu. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Ode to Bollywood". The Indian Express. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Bhawana Somaaya joins Swastik Pictures". Mint. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Bhawana Somaaya to host Paisal Vasool show on BIG FM". .medianewsline.com. Retrieved 19 August 2013.