New Delhi (India), September 5: The popular view is that the 68-year-young Joy Bimal Roy should have authored a book a long time ago. This comes as no surprise, as Joy has managed to convert people who otherwise wouldn’t touch books with a barge pole into voracious readers, through his writings that turn everyday people into stars, and stars into everyday people.
Named Shankar at birth, the only son of noted Indian filmmaker Bimal Roy, Joy was given a name that he proclaims perfectly matches his personality. Known for his joie de vivre, Joy sparks good cheer thanks to his characteristic, impromptu wit and big-heartedness.
A topper in English at the Bombay Scottish School, Joy was raised on books written by British authors – Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse. You will detect a Wodehousian influence in the bonmots and irony that lace his written works.
A man of many talents with a creative bent of mind, Joy has not followed a traditional career path, yet he has not been idle. He entered the film world as an assistant to film director Shyam Benegal and even directed two documentaries: ‘Remembering Bimal Roy’ which critiqued his father’s films and ‘On The Threshold’ which delved into the world of mentally challenged children. He worked briefly in the music industry as an executive with HMV before pursuing his penchant for design – creating beautiful homes, dream weddings and elegant clothing – his recent work being ‘Touch of Joy’ – a saree upcycling initiative for a social cause.
A resident of Bombay, but a true Bengali at heart, this Babu-moshai will spoil you with his generous hospitality and delectable Bengali fare.
The Book – Ramblings of a Bandra Boy
Unveiled at St Paul’s Institute of Communication, Bandra by Aditi Rao Hydari, Ramblings of a Bandra Boy is a delightful compilation of Joy Bimal Roy’s articulate Facebook posts that recall episodes from his daily life, both recent and past. Each incident is a vivid description of an everyday event that blends the extraordinary and the mundane in a manner that entertains.
Joy brings to life a cast of characters from celebrities to household staff, who scheme and hatch plots, trying to present a particular version of themselves to the world but eventually revealing their true natures. Joy is very much part of these happenings, sometimes playing the main character who extricates himself and flees the scene and at other times an extra who gets roped into the action.
The book promises to amuse you with its moments of happiness and causes you to reflect about life through narratives of despair.
One of the popular characters is Joy’s Man Friday, J. Joy and J. engage in a battle of wits as Joy wants something done his way but J. wants to do it his. Joy produces a recipe and asks J. to follow it. J. completely ignores Joy, finding a similar recipe online which is an improvisation on the original. Joy admits defeat but another round of jousting ensues.
There is a streak of sadness too in the stories, as Joy recalls his childhood and his love for his mother and the house in which he and his siblings had a joyful childhood. Joy mentions his struggles with mental health and his dislike of studying and the world of business.
As an insider in the film industry, being the only son of India’s greatest film maker – Bimal Roy, Joy has witnessed and interacted with many legends of the film world. He recounts juicy stories using discreet codes and it is fun to puzzle out who some of the key figures are.
Joy is not just a gentleman about town, he is a flâneur and an observer of the world which he so naturally translates into his narrations and portrayals of characters in Ramblings of a Bandra Boy. When you read Joy’s wry pieces, a smile breaks onto your face before it graduates to a grin, and finally a chuckle. This book promises to be yet another addition to the many milestones scaled by the reticent Joy.
The book launch at the hands of Aditi Rao Hydari will see an introduction by Neale Murray, followed by the Screening of Bimal Roy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, with readings by Denzil Smith and Nandita Puri followed by Joy Bimal Roy in Conversation with Dinesh Raheja. Celebrities of the likes of Ila Arun, Vinta Nanda, Samir Asgar ally among many others will grace the function.
Ramblings of a Bandra Boy is Joy’s ‘Kheror Khata’– a traditional cloth-bound notebook with notes on a segment of India’s uppermiddle class society. It’s to be savoured when sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and Bengali ‘jol khabar’ and ‘mishti’.
Yours to pick up a copy of Ramblings of A Bandra Boy by Joy Bimal Roy, priced at an introductory Rs 500, the book is available at Title Waves, Bandra. And enjoy moments of the masterpiece.
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