India in focus on HBO

Budhia Singh, the little guy leading this pack of runners, is the subject of “Marathon Boy,” part of HBO’s monthlong series of documentaries examining contemporary India.

Modern-day life in the South Asian nation is highlighted in four documentaries airing throughout November on HBO and HBO2.

‘Marathon Boy’
Premieres tomorrow at
8 p.m. on HBO
Most people
can’t imagine running one marathon in their lifetime. Budhia Singh ran
48 marathons by the age of 4. This fascinating story, filmed with
unprecedented access over a five-year period, details the rise of a boy
who was born into poverty, taken in by a master showman who recognized
his natural talent for long-distance running and exploited en route to
becoming a national hero.

‘The Bengali Detective’
Premieres Nov. 16 at
8 p.m. on HBO2
The plot almost plays out like a Kolkata-set episode of “Bored to Death” — Rajesh Ji, founder of the Always Investigating & Security Concern detective agency, is a Bollywood-obsessed private eye who solves crimes (from the counterfeiting of fake-hair goods to murder) for citizens who have lost trust in local authorities.

‘The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical’
Premieres Nov. 23 at
8 p.m. on HBO2
Performing “The Sound of Music” offers the chance to dream of a life off the streets as the Bombay Chamber Orchestra recruits kids from the slums to stage a one-time-only choral concert of the Rogers and Hammerstein score. And 11-year-old solo performer Ashish is dreaming big — he hopes to inspire a patron to sponsor his education, or maybe even win the affections an upper-class girl.

‘Pink Saris’
Premieres Nov. 30 at
8 p.m. on HBO2
Amid devastating stories of abuse against women in arranged marriages in Northern India, hope comes in the form of a pink sari. Sampat Pal escaped her own horrors — she was often beaten by the family she was married into as a young girl — to found the Gulabi Gang (aka the Pink Gang), a vigilante group who, yes, don bright pink clothes, but also battle antiquated caste traditions that endanger women.


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