Skip to main content

Wah Taj! Wah Zeenat!

Zeenat Aman in Taj Mahal Tea Ad
India’s finest CTC tea
Brooke Bond

Stronger liquor
Plus superb taste
To give you
Total tea

This Ad of Taj Mahal Tea featuring Zeenat Aman is from the year 1972. Zeenat Aman's film Hare Rama Hare Krishna had been recently released in the year 1971 making her the most famous Indian hippie and the quintessential Indian sex- symbol. This particular Ad could be older as she looks really young in it.
Who would have thought that kohl eyed Zeenat Aman could sell tea wearing a purple suit, big danglers in ear and having a centrally parted two-chowtyeed hair. Wah Zeenat! Wah!


Wah! Ustaad Wah!
Arre huzoor, wah Taj boliye

Wah Taj! catch line was adopted in the late 80s when tabla maestro Zakeer Hussain was employed (or rather his peculiar hair was employed) to promote the hazaron me ek chai.


This is the first post from the series on Vintage Indian Print Ads based on Ads I collected from an old edition of The Reader’s Digest
Check out rest of the Ads at the Index of Vintage Indian Print Ads


An interesting footnote:
While drinking her tea, for instance, she no longer posed as a society lady or model on a television commercial. Or if she did, we no longer noticed these poses as poses – they had entered the physical being of her character. Previously, while she drank tea, we would think: ‘Oh, she imagines that she’s Zeenat Aman on the Taj Mahal Tea commercial.’ Now we focused on the drinking of the tea itself, its relaxing effect and the change in the rhythms of the body.
Rustom Bharucha writing about Sulabha Deshpande in his book Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture. Sulabha Deshpande, Marathi theatre artist, has also acted in critically acclaimed films like Salaam Bombay! and Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai. She was a regular on Doordarshan and acted in many mainstream Masala movies too. For those who don’t recall her face: her recent film Monsoon



  1. In December 1974, Cine Blitz was launched with Rita Mehta, Russy Karanjia's daughter as its editor. The first issue of the magazine had Zeenat Aman on its cover and the inside pages had Protima Bedi running naked on Juhu beach.
    Read the complete story at Hindustan Times.

  2. Hey Good amount of information. but i would like to know more about what was the impact of the ad and what does that headline....India's ctc tea, SStronger liquor
    Plus superb taste
    To give you
    Total tea
    If anyone could help me with this....i would be very thankful

  3. CTC stands for "cut, tear, curl”, it is an automated method of tea picking. Don't know about the impact of this particular ad but Taj Mahal tea was one of the biggest brand of tea in India for a long time.


Post a Comment

I always like to hear back :)
However, irrelevant comments and irrelevant links will not be published. Needless to say, same goes for abusive comment and spam. Leaving back links related to the topic is encouraged. I know it can be tempting but try not to leave your email ids, phone nos and CVs in the comment.

Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment.
[Update 1: Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry]
[Update 2: Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.]
[Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makersof“The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]

 Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.”

Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met…

While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cigaret…

Kishore Kumar, Yodel-ay-ee-oooo Songs, A List

*Updated with corrections pointed out by Bart Plantenga, author of some incredible book on Yodeling including Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World.


Kishore Kumar's brother Anoop Kumar, who we basically know for the line 'O manu tera toh hua ab mera kya hoga', used to own lots of Austrian music records. And from these records, Kishore Kumar picked up the art of Yodel singing, an art perfected in bathroom and then introduced by him to the world of Hindi film music. According to his biography 'Kishore Kumar: method in madness‎ ' by Derek Bose, "Kishore was a fan of the Swiss singer Tex Norton [* Tex Morton, an Australian cowboy born in New Zealand who sang  in the gene autry / Jimmie Rodgers style] and the Australian Jimmy Rogers [*Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps the most American and one of the most famous yodelers in the world, famous for his blue yodels] as well."

Although most of these songs by Kishore Kumar are thought to be '…