Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Moochhwala, Gardhab Das

Detective Moochhwala in "Robot Raiders" by Ajit Ninan (1988)

Gardhab Das by brothers Neelabh and Jayanto Banerjee

Both are from 1988 Annual issue of Target Magazine

Want to see more
Check out some more Requiem-ing done by Anita & Amit

Target Magazine 1988 Annual Issue

Target Magazine

Cover of Target Magazine1988 Annual Issue (June)

It's a copy that a cousin brother of mine owns. Years ago, I discovered this wonderful magazine only thanks to him. I was too young, about seven, when I first laid my hand on it. I never owned a single copy, my cousin used to do the buying. By the time I decided it was time for me to buy my first copy, the publishers had called quit on the magazine. Yes I did buy a copy of Teens Today. But never again.

On the cover image above, one can see Granny, Gardhab Das, Detective Moochwala with his Pooch and many other characters that made this magazine special .


Related post:
Cherry Blossom ad featuring Gavaskar from this magazine


Apr 23, 2014

Rama shared April 1988 issue of Target Magazine 

Vintage Indian Saree Ad featuring Persis Khambatta

vintage saree ad
Khatau bring you the pick of the bunch
- the first flowers of early spring!
All 'Terene' and 'terene'-cotton Sarees

from The Reader's Digest, March 1972

I believe that the model on the right is Persis Khambatta.
A search for names of some other Sari models of that era leads to Shobha Rajadhyaksha (now De of TOI), Meher Mistry (now Castelino) and Geeta Khanna.

In 1972, Garden sarees/Vareli dress material ran a print ad campaign based on floral prints. The Khatau campaign on the left seems to have been in response to the Garden Sari ad. Interestingly, Persis Khambatta, famously, became the face of Garden sarees only much later in 1985 in an ad that with the catch line, 'you fascinate me', revived the fortune of Sari fashion in India. A fashion that began in 1970s with the growth of Surat based Sari czars of synthytic textile industry.

Zeenat aman in Hai Hai yeh Majboori'Terene' was the synthetic wonder textile of that era ( just like lycra of this era). Terene was non-crush, non-wrinkle, non-iron and (people didn't advertise this but it was) also water proof. To test the wonderful properties of this synthetic fabric you need to check out Sari clad Zeenat Aman dancing rain drenched to the song 'Hai Hai yeh Majboori' in 1974 film Roti Kapda Aur Makaan.


Result of an image overlap test run by Soumyadip (check the first comment)
It looks like a match.


Related post:
Check out rest of the vintage ads here

Basohli Paintings: Calendar Art

Basohli Paintings evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries as a distinctive style of painting by fusion of Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature techniques and folk art of the local hills. The painting style derives its name from the place of its origin - hill town of Basohli about 80 Km. from the centre of district Kathua in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

This style of painting was first introduced to the world in the annual report (1918-19) of the Archaeological  Survey of India published in 1921. At that time this style was yet to be properly categorized and studied.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, who was first to publish them, in Rajput Paintings in 1916, wrote about this style of painting believing it to be Jammu style. Discussing these Jammu paintings, Coomaraswamy observed:
The Jammu are well and vigorously designed often with a decorative simplicity very suggestive of large scale mural art. In several examples there reappears that savage vitality which has been already remarked in the early Rajasthani raginis, but it is here associated with more exaggeration and with a strange physical type, the peculiar sloping forehead and very large eyes are especially characteristics of some of the portraits..the coloring is hot. Silver is used as well as gold. A remarkable feature is the occasional use of fragments of beetle's wings to represent jewelery, and by the peculiar character of the architecture, with turrets, paneled doors, latticed windows and plinths ending in grotesque heads...Krsna and Radha or Mahadeva and Uma play the parts of hero and heroine. 
The most popular themes of Basohli Paintings come from Shringara literature like  Rasamanjari or Bouquet of Delight ( a long love poem written in 15th century by Bhanudatta of Tirhut Bihar ), Gita Govinda and Ragamala. These paintings are marked by striking blazing colors, red borders, bold lines and rich symbols. The faces of the figures painted are characterized by the receding foreheads and large expressive eyes, shaped like lotus petals. The painting themselves are mostly painted in the primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow.

Collected the following beautiful images from The J&K Bank 2008 Annual Calendar

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

Radha giving butter-milk to Krishna                                                 Krishna lifting the mountain Govardhana

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

Radha and Krishna rejoicing the moments of togetherness            The holy family of Parvati and Shiva

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

The vigil of the Expectant heroine Utkanthita              Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh paying homage to Trimurti

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

Naiyka of Ragamala awakening the Nayak                                Radha listening to the music of Krishna's flute

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

Krishna swallowing the forest fire of Vrindavan     Radha holds the restless calf while Krishna is milking a cow

Basohli PaintingBasohli Painting

Krishna bringing the Parijata tree from Indra's Heaven                             View from the window

(Name of artists(not in any order): Lalit Kumar Dogra, Surinder Singh Billawaria, Sohan Singh Billawaria, Dharam Pal, Dheeraj Kapoor, Sona upadhaya, Shakeel Ahmed Raza, Arun Dogra, M.K. Wadhera and Sushil Padha)

You can check out these links if you are interested in knowing more about the art and history of Basohli Paintings:
Recommended Read and Acknowledgment:
Centres of Pahari Painting By Chandramani Singh

Kurti, Kameez and Sari from the 70s

70s ad for Kurti
The age of 'Terene'

Intricate prints
Dramatic colours
In non-crush,
non-wrinkle, non-iron,
textured 'Terene'/cotton.
For dresses, Kurtas,
Kameezes and pant-suits.
For the finest in fabrics...simply ask for simplex
Registered trademark of
Chemicals and Fibres of India Limited
 -Manufacturers of fibre.

No, I cannot tell you if Kameezes is actually a word or not, but to make up  for that I can tell you more a bit about Terene.
Terene was the magic fabric of that era. A polyester. A trade name for Polyethylene terephthalate. More by a more popular trade name: Terylene (trademark of ICI ).

Still some women were still interested in natural least this ad did try to interest them:

Sari ad from the 70s

are doing
things with

Join the new X-citement! Like wear up a Century Saree with new flair. Like turn a saree into a kaftan; a kurta; a lungi. Try the Century range from Anuradha, Kadambini, two x two Monica, Rohini, Kalpana...You'd never believe they're cotton!
Century - for 100% cotton textiles
The Century SPG.& MFG.CO.LTD.,

 Related post on dressing up that 70s man

Check out rest of the 70s ads here

Signature Tune of Doordarshan and the Montage

Doordarshan montage, collageIn 1973, the signature tune of Doordarshan was first brought to life by Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan during his shehnai recital in an hour and a half long inauguration ceremony of Doordarshan Television Channel held at Vigyan Bhava in new Delhi. Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan was the one who first breathed life into that sad sounding tune.

As more and more cities started receiving the signals of Doordarshan, the number of its viewers kept increasing. It became a truly powerful medium. But, a medium of what - this was yet to be decided. Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister at the time, understood the power of this new medium. A common sentiment of the public during the turbulent 70s was: Nehru was a visionary, Shastri a revisionary, and Indira Gandhi a televisionary. Indira Gandhi knew how to wield and harvest the power of television. Indira Gandhi wanted the signature tune of Doordarshan to be based on the national song of India - Iqbal's saarey jahan se acha.
The task of composing the tune was entrusted to sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. But, he realized that the actual tune of saarey jahan se acha was of a bit longer duration. Working with Ustad Ali Ahmad Hussain Khan, Ravi Shankar finally came up with a variation of the original tune and created what can truly be termed the 'National tune of India'. A slow mournful sounding tune that became a cherished memory for generations of Indians. A memory twisted in swirls...the swirl.


Download the Signature Tune of Doordarshan ( .MP3, .99 MB)
The sound quality isn't great. But hey...still it is something!
Here is a little more clearer version (.MP3, 64Kbps, 535KB)

Here is something i did with the Doordarshan Montage (originally designed at NID) video uploaded at youtube. Fix you gaze all over again on that hypnotic swirl of good'ol Doordarshan. It's the total rewind:

You may also like to read my earlier post about signature tune of AIR
the freedom run torch song of Doordarshan

Haqeeqat, Hindi Chini in a Movie

(The virulent opinions (no they are not ramblings) expressed in this series are entirely mine and do not reflect the general opinion of India. India has its own set of problems with China.)

I think it all started with the Chinese in Haqeeqat shooting Dharmendra in the back. A really bad start. In the movie, scenes of Chinese Army attacking the Indian post were chilling to the bone. It was like watching waves of brain dead zombies attacking the last human outpost. Picture this: The last few soldiers keep shooting but the undead just keep coming in, walking in ranks, walking in straight lines. It was like watching million ants attacking a wet sugar cube.

Screenshots from the song ' kar chale hum fida' penned by Kaifi Azmi. The song was a sort of sum up of the film.

This was the first genuine Indian War film and a conscious effort at that.
Some of this conscious effort translated on screen into:
  • A Girl, a Ladakhi, in love with an Indian soldier, a girl trying save her honor from the lusty hands of Chinese soldiers - an allusion not to the Ladakhi resistance but to Tibetan resistance of China’s military capture of Tibet.
  • A limbless Indian Major, a Major who watches on haplessly as his men die - an allusion to general immobility of the mess in which India found itself and the immobility of the response.
The film is almost a testimony to the patriotic response of Indian people during the war.

Made in 1964 Haqeeqat was way ahead of its times. Why? Because, Night of the Living Dead, the harbinger of modern pop-zombie movie was made only much later in 1968. 'Nonsense!' you say. 'What has China got to do with man eating ghouls?' Nothing much except that there were incidents of cannibalism in China at the height of the Cultural Revolution in 1968. Of course, these incidents didn't inspire the makers of living dead, they couldn't have known about it. In fact nobody had even heard about these macabre incidents until the early nineties.

However, in 1964, the makers of Haqeeqat captured on screen an eerie feeling about this invasion of the post snatchers. Brilliant art direction by MS Satyu (director of partition movie Garam Hawa (1973)) be blamed for it. The real shock in the movie was the sheer Chinese numbers which were mind boggling. There is no way to know, but it is suspected that it was this movie that made the Indians conscious of their lesser numbers and pushed them into competing with China in terms of population. There is no sure way to know. What everyone is sure about is that one day India would surpass China in terms of population. Sad.

Sadly, in Haqeeqat India proved to be a no match for China. Many years later, Dharmendra did try to get back at the Chinese, beating the nunchaku out of Bruce Li - a famous counterfeit of Bruce Lee, in a little known film from 1981 called Katilon Ke Kaatil . Sadly, it was too much too late. It was desi ghee verses chowmein. Wait, I think that's a wrong analogy. Isn't cho'min also Indian?

Machismo represented by Dharmendra has a thing for being stabbed or shot in the back.
In Kamal Amrohi's 1983 film Razia Sultan, Dharmendra's character Yakut could only be killed by back stabbing. In the movie, flying daggers aimed at his iron chest never could produce the desired result.

Bengali in Kashmir

If areas around Indian railway tracks (at least in the north) are the dominion of Shahi Dawakhana and Hakeem Sahib, then area around Indian roadways are the dominion of Dr. Bengali. Why the roads? Is it the truckers and the soldiers? Maybe. More baffling is the question why the areas around railway tracks? Is it the coach driver? Anyway…
In Jammu city you are more likely to see ads for and expect help from Dr. Malhotra. But, the area along the highway to Kashmir is again under the monopoly of Dr. Bengali. Advertisements offering guaranteed cure for unmentionable diseases and unlimited power over unforgivable weaknesses appear all along the road to Kashmir. All along the road their limp message, effective design, snazzy coloring and generous appointment hours(actually a whole day) with the "Dr" hardly change. The frequency of their occurrence is rather high around Udhampur district as here you can't look away from them as almost every third shop has these ads painted on their walls.
What I didn't expect was to see these ads in Kashmir valley. However, I came across them even along the way to Gulmarg.

Dr. Bengali

Blossom for Gavaskar's White Shoes

For those who remember their white fleet shoes that were meant for school.

"After over a 100 tests, how could a white shoe cleaner possibly matter to me?
You'd be surprised!'

Cherry Blossom White cleaner ad featuring Sunil Gavaskar

Most folks remember Sunil Gavaskar's baseball ad from the late 80s and the early 90s for Dinesh Suiting. Sunil Gavaskar was one of the two greatest cricketing star of the time. The other star at that time was Kapil Dev and he was busy singing Palmolive da jawaab nahi. This was a time when the theories on concept of cricketers as brand ambassadors were still in infancy. Now, this concept has been done to death.

Anyway, found this old ad in 1988 Annual Issue of the (great) Target magazine.

I was surprised to find that the magazine had almost no other advertisements except this one.


You may also like to read the previous post on cherry blosson vintage ad


Check out rest of the posts from the series on vintage ads

Rain Clouds

9th June, 2008

Time: Around 7:00 AM

Shot these photographs of rain clouds just moments before the first rain drop hit the ground.

Rain clouds and city

You can enjoy these photographs of clouds in a video too

Trailer, Tahaan continued ...

(Continued from my previous post on Tahaan: a boy with a grenade)

Came across the trailer of Tahaan on youtube at IDreamProduction channel
Have a peek at what the movie promises:
Yes the voice-over is irritating. Too HBOish!

(They removed this trailer. Guess the voice over was really over the top)
Here is the new trailer:

Here is one more with a better use of the soundtrack:

Since the movie is still not out in the theaters (it will be in October), I am going to pontificate about the 2 minute trailer. And here I go:

The little boy commanding his donkey in Kashmiri to Pakh! Pakh! (Walk! Walk!) is a fine linguistic experiment.

The background score just in the mid of the trailer is authentic Kashmiri music and absolutely stunning at that. These are the fast beats of Chakkri. The music is set by Taufiq Qureshi, son of Ustad Alla rakha, younger bother of Zakir Hussain and a person of Kashmiri origin. The soundtrack sounds brilliant.

Apart from all this, the thing that really took me with surprise me was: a simple dialogue uttered by a Kashmiri

Ye Ga'da ab tumhara nahi raha
Jao yaha se
How do I know it's a Kashmiri voice? Notice the tone of the voice and the way hindi word Gadha is pronounced as Ga'da by the character. This pronunciation is characteristically Kashmiri. It may seem a trifle little matter. A trifle matter of tongue. But...

Here is a little note taken by Godfrey Thomas Vigne, an English travelers who visited Kashmir in 1835. In his book Travels in Kashmir he wrote:

The languages now spoken, which are derived from the original and pure Sanscrit, are denominated Pracrit. The Italian is a Pracrit of Latin. The Hindu, Gujerati, Tirhutya, Bengali dialects, and others, are Pracrits. The language of Kashmir is a Pracrit. The Kashmirians, says Abu Fuzl, have a language of their own. I was told on good authority, that out of one hundred Kashmiri words, twenty -five will be found to be Sanscrit, or a Pracrit, forty Persian, fifteen Hindustani, and ten will be Arabic ; some few are also Tibetian. There is an uncouth rusticity about the Kashmirian pronunciation which is almost sufficient, at least I thought so, to betray the language as a patois, even to a person who did not understand it. The Sikhs, their lords and masters, are well aware of their erroneous pronunciation, and have a standing order against the admission of any Kashmirian as a recruit, on account of their almost proverbial timidity ; and if a man present himself for enlistment, and is suspected of being a Kashmirian, he will be told to utter some word, such as Ghora (a horse), which, if he be of the valley, he will pronounce broadly Ghoura or Ghura, and be thus detected.

And now my close friends would certainly understand why sometimes I sound funny, why Gaurav becomes Ghaourav and why Sau Rupay becomes Saoo Rupaye.
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