Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Yul Brynner And Indrajit

Kamal: Films about Texas are also exciting. Why do you do see good movies at all?
Bimal: Amal, have you seen any of Yul Brynner's movies?
Amal: I've seen them all. He acts so well! You may admire Marlon Brando as much as you like, but he's nothing compared to Yul Brynner. Have you seen him, Indra?
Indrajit: Yes, Once or twice.
Kamal: Pooh! Bald head.
Amal: But what a head! He can well afford the courage of keeping it bald.

- And Indrajit (Ebong Indrajit)
by Badal Sircar
Translated from Bengali by Sheela Mukherjee
- Written in 1963, the play is about Calcutta's middle class as represented by characters: Amal, Bimal, Kamal. And Indrajit.

Found it in New Writings in India (1974) by Adil Jussawalla


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Special effect for the poster of Yul Brynner created using irfanview

Ram Setu, Biruni, and other thoughts

Rama's Bridge. A subset of Landsat 5 TM true color composite of Rama's bridge or Ram Setu (referred by British cartographers as Adam's Bridge). Path 142 Row 54; Bands 742 (RGB); Resolution 30 meter. Original image acquired on 6 February, 1988 at 4:42:00 GMT.


In Ram Setu case, appearing for the government, senior advocate Fali S Nariman said: “If you want to go strictly by the religious scriptures, the Padma Purana states Lord Rama broke the bridge after rescuing Sita. And according to the Hindu faith, something that is broken cannot be worshipped.”

The distance from Panjayavar to Ramsher (Rameshar, Rameshwaram?) is 40 farsakh, that between Ramsher and Setubandha 2 farsakh. Setubandha means bridge of the ocean. It is the dike of Rama, the son of Dasaratha, which he built from the continent to the castle Lanka. At present it consists of isolated mountains between which the ocean flows. Sixteen farsakh from Setubandha towards the east is Kihkind the mountain of the monkey. Every day the king of monkeys comes out of the thicket together with his hosts, and settles down in particular seats prepared for them. The inhabitants of that region prepare for them cooked rice, and bring it to them on leaves. After having eaten it they return into the thicket, but in case they are neglected, this would be the ruin of the country, as they are not only numerous but also savage and aggressive. According to the popular belief, they are a race of men changed into monkeys on account of the help which they had afforded Rama when making war against the demons; he is believed to have bequeathed those villages to them as a legacy. When a man happens to fall in with them, and he recites to them the poetry of Rama and pronounces the incarnations of Rama, they will quietly listen to him; they will even lead on the right path him who has gone astray and give him meat and drink. At all events, thus the matter stands according to popular belief.
- India by Al-Biruni, page 100-101
Abridged Edition of Dr. Edward C. Sachau's English Translation
Edited with Introduction and Notes by Qeyamuddin Ahmad,
Second Edition
Third Reprint 1995

farsakh: a persian unit for measuring distance that equals three and a half to four miles

Abu Raihan Muhammad ibn Ahmad, a Muslim of Iranian origin, commonly known as Al-Beruni, born A.D. 973 at the outskirts of Khawarizm (modern day Khiva in Uzbekistan), wrote Kitabu'l Hind in around 1030 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud. He was the first person to document Hindu beliefs regarding Setubandha, now known as Ram Setu.


A temple in middle of no where with a plastic water tub just outside its door. Inside the tub a pockmarked floating stone of Lord Rama, a holy stone brought all the way from Ram Setu, a remnant of the holy bridge, a stone known as Pumice, a volcanic stone formed when molten lava cools down rapidly trapping too many air bubbles inside.

Drop this stone in water and, unlike 1 and 5 rupee coins that keep it company in the tub, the stone keeps breaking the surface of water.
Air seeks air.


Unrelated post:

Dylan Thomas: Poem of May 23, 1933

And this is true, No man can live
Who does not bury god in a deep grave
And then raise up the skeleton again,
No man who does not break and make,
Who in the bones finds not new faith,
Lends not flesh to ribs and neck,
Who does not break and make his final faith.
- Dylan Thomas
Poem of May 23, 1933 in February 1933 Notebook

About the image:
Flammarion Woodcut by an unknown artist and first documented in 1888.
Read more about the image at wiki


Kashmir secedes from this Blog
Almost all the posts on Kashmir, except selected few, have been deleted from here and posted a new at my other blog about Kashmir: Search Kashmir

A friend and a reader of this blog, alarmed by my spate of recent posts on Kashmir, emailed to ask if from now on I will only write about Kashmir.
Got me thinking...
Since I don't see myself running out of stories about Kashmir, stories that would need separate set of readers, thought it would be proper to give these stories a separate space. Hence the new blog!


The Novel is Dead Long Live the Novel

The novel as practiced today is an archaic form that no longer answers the needs of the modern psyche.
It presents a rigid, exhausted formula, and has grown unwieldy as an instrument of expression.
It lacks the possibility of further evolution, because it clings to the descriptive requisites of a banal universe.
It has grown artificial, and, like the rhyme, represents a straitjacket to the creative visionary of our age.
The novel of the future will be a compendium of all the manifestation of life in a timeless and spaceless projection.
The novel of the future will use telegrams, letters, decrees, fairy tales, legends, and dreams as documents for the new mythos.
The novel of the future will be a plastic encyclopedia of the fusion of subjective and objective reality.
The novel of the future will synthesize all the styles of the epoch in an effort towards unity.
The novel of the future will plunge into the underworld of out being and create fables in consciousness.
The novel of the future will produce new myths of dynamic movement of the century.
The novel of the future will express the magic reality in a language that is non-imitative and evolutionary.

Harry Crosby
Stuart Gilbert
Eugene Jolas
Theo Rutra
Robert Sage
- transition no. 18, November 1929

Found this manifesto in Appendix (Some Notes on the Contents of transition, 1929 - 1936. ) to Dylan Thomas' Early Prose: A Study in Creative Mythology by Annis Pratt. According to the writer of the book, "The essays, manifestos, stories, and poems in this avant-grade periodical [transition, published in Paris] of 1927 - 1938 bear striking analogy to the concerns underlying Dylan Thomas' early prose."

"Novel is dead!" has been exclaimed many times ( at times we read it twice every six month in newspapers and non-fiction books). Invariable, someone denies and cries aloud, "Long Live the Novel!"

What really interested me in this particular manifesto from 1929 were the lines about "timeless and spaceless projection", "telegrams, letters, decrees, fairy tales, legends, and dreams as documents for the new mythos" and "a plastic encyclopedia of the fusion of subjective and objective reality".

Isn't the Internet, as an instrument of expression, already ebbing along the same lines?


* Theo Rutra was a pseudonym used by Eugene Jolas on many occasions.
You can see the "introduction" to the Manifesto here

stuff Photoshopped

My hard disk crashed recently. The screen kept giving me "cannot read disk" error. All the data, pdf files of downloaded books, word documents, music, movies, stuff that took months to collect, photographs, half doodled posts that I thought of completing someday to put here and the post that I was working on for past few days - all gone. Nothing cannot be read anymore. Hours and hours gone.
I felt bad, but, it could have been worse. I could have lost all the photographs of Kashmir that I clicked on my recent visit, a visit that took more than 18 years to actually happen. Luckily, I hadn't uploaded them yet!

Anyway, since that hard disk was rendered useless, I decided to use an old hard disk of mine that I had with me during collage. Found some Photoshopped images that I made long ago.

Sushma Reddy
Sushma Reddy

Maria Conchita Alonso
Maria Conchita Alonso

Don't remember this one.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. If you choose to use this or any part of this post on your site please link back to this page.


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