Filmindia, was one of the first film magazines published in India (if not the first — inaugurated in the 1930s), written and edited by a hilariously acerbic gentleman by the name of Baburao Patel. His caustic wit and sharp tongue are legendary and he spared nobody — politicans and film people alike were all fair game for his particular brand of satirical sarcasm.
In his fantastic book “Stars From Another Sky” Saadat Hasan Manto has written a whole chapter on Baburao Patel. In it he says: “Babu Rao wrote with eloquence and power. He had a sharp and inimitable sense of humour, often barbed. There was a tough-guy assertiveness about his writing. He could also be venomous in a way which no other writer of English in India has ever been able to match.” He also describes meeting the infamous editor for the first time: “I had imagined that the author of such elegant and finely-honed humour would be slim and good-looking, but when I saw a peasant sitting in a revolving chair behind a huge table, I was disappointed.” Manto paints a picture of a self-made man who couldn’t stand the arrogant elite, but had a soft heart and was always willing to help out an underdog.
Apparently, the Kapoors were not his favorites. He had a reputation for being extremely biased on a personal level, and for bashing up people he didn’t care for. According to Manto, when Filmindia was initially launched it was almost exclusively about film, although by the 1950s he wrote generally about politics and other subjects in addition (sex being a favorite as well).