This was an exciting year for Hindi cinema. Self-assured scripts were written on subjects and films made in ways that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
If you are the kind of person whose soul stirs and blood quickens if you hear even stray wafts of old Hindi film music somewhere around you, then this is the book for you.
The year India leaves behind was a grim one in so many ways: a year in which travelling with Eid gifts or singing carols became fraught with dangers; when hate attacks on innocents became routine; a year that saw toxic political discourse, a stuttering economy and no jobs for young people.
In a singularly sombre year for the Indian people, Hindi cinema offered some bright sparks in 2016. Some thoughtful, creative and inventive films with unusual themes and real people, were on offer.
I remember the film was Vittoria de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves. I still recall that the impact it had on me, akin to a sudden shaft of sunlight engulfing my heart. I was captivated, enchanted by evidence of what art could accomplish.