Show me your words


51tbEP9oOcL Urdu, Hindi, Hinglish, English…multilingualism complicates and enriches Bollywood filmmaking, as does the linguistic interplay between generations in a time of rapid societal change. ‘What language is mine and just how ‘mine’ is it?’ is but one of the questions posed in Show Me Your Words. In this book, Connie Haham tours the rich sociolinguistic landscape in evidence both in the making of Hindi movies and in the movies themselves. Sounds, words and lines come to us via the human voice in this audio-visual medium and provide a power and poetry essential to the well-crafted scene.

Featuring insightful conversations with noted film personalities such as Javed Akhtar, Shabhana Azmi, Jaideep Sahni, Piyush Mishra, Nagesh Kukunoor, Elahe Hiptoola, Kader Khan, Javed Siddiqi, Shridhar Raghavan, and many more, this book analyses attitudes towards language and language change through the prism of Hindi cinema.

See the book’s Footnotes with web content.


A sampling of Illustrations by Simon P. Holzman:

shakti father-son

Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) and his policeman father (Dilip Kumar) in Shakti.


shahrukh -chak de - simon

Shah Rukh Khan in Chak De! India


taxi 9211-simon

‘Ye Bombay hai; yahaan time ka matlab hai paisa’: Nana Patekar and John Abraham in Taxi No. 9 2 11. (Sketch by Simon P. Holzman)


sholay - bullet-simon

‘Now eat my bullet’: Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh in Sholay.


waheeda kaagaz-simon

An image of poetry: Waheeda Rehman in Kaagaz Ke Phool.


aaja jalebi simon hi-2

The ‘jalebi’ scene in Aaja Nachle: Yashpal Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Ranvir Shorey.


Pakeezah simon best

Meena Kumari in Pakeezah (Sketch by Simon P. Holzman)


muqaddar ka sikandar-simon

Kader Khan as the faqir in Muqaddar ka Sikandar, opposite Mayur Verma.


shree 420 raju-simon

Raj Kapoor as Raju in Shree 420.