Amateur, hobbyists, crazy fans of Hindi movies have always been there. They used to gather in small meetings, later in Radio Listeners' clubs. Internet, of course, revolutionized it and people moved to Mailing Lists and Usenet groups. Thus was born the mother of all such groups, the RMIM, now about to finish its 29th year and still going strong.
Many discoveries were made here and written about. The fact that Lata could not have sung 25,000 songs because she had sung even fewer songs than Asha! Or, the first female music director was neither Saraswati Devi nor Jaddan Bai (as told to us by the professionals) but Isharat Jehan Begam aka Bibbo.
Later many amateurs started websites, worked hard to make progress on the archaeology of Hindi cinema by digging out old articles, magazines, rare books, meeting and interviewing the surviving members of the industry and their children etc. But the academic world completely ignored us.
Until recently! I have mentioned earlier how RMIM found a mention in the book, “Music in Contemporary Indian Film”, edited by Jayson-Beaster-Jones and Natalie Sarraz. Now another professor (from Columbia University) has actually used some of the material gathered by fanatic but amateur truth-seekers about the first few decades. This is how Professor Debashree Mukherjee acknowledges us in the preface to her recent book, “Bombay Hustle: Making Movies in a Colonial City”. Indeed a great time for all of us deewaane to celebrate. “They” finally noticed :)
Now You Know!