Amita Malik has been the doyenne — often the stormy petrel — of Indian
journalism for 40 years. Her autobiography, Amita, No Holds Barred, is a personal story, but rich
with anecdotes of famous people and the vagaries of a nascent media; it is
also an important history of the media in India. Living the garret life in Bombay in the
'50s, Amita and her husband Iqbal Malik met people like Guru Dutt, Zohra and Uzra
Mumtaz, M. F Husain and the Rushdies while they were still struggling. Later working with
AIR , Doordarshan and as a freelance journalist, Amita famously interviewed legendary
giants like Elia Kazan, Marlon Brando and Satyajit Ray. Once as a 4-year-old, out of a
vague sense of wrong, Amita threw a jar of cream at a servant who had tried to paw her.
"I'll tell your father," roared he. "I'll tell my father too," retorted she.
They left it at that. But this quality of spirited self-defence has served
Amita well through many skirmishes, both personal and professional. These extracts showcase some, like her run-in with friend...