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Showing posts from November, 2008

Mumbai, 26th November, 2008

Internet Scammers now send SMS too!

I have developed a familiarity with the spam mails directed to me. Every morning I know what to expect in my spam folder. The subject lines always look familiar. No surprises there!
I thought getting an average of only 40 spam mails a day (with one odd one a week sneaking into Inbox) was not bad at all. Years ago, I learnt not to reply back to these mails with “Hey! Stop spamming me!” kind of mails. The best thing to do is not to respond back. I thought I took utmost care in keeping my email id safe and Inbox clean. After a bad experience initially, now I even choose online services (even for my blog) more judiciously.

I am even more careful about not giving out my mobile number, thanks to telecaller! I do not give out my mobile phone number anywhere, definitely not at some website. I do not even leave my number in the feedback ledgers of shopping stores. I know even those numbers are later sold out, just email ids are sold out by most online ‘job consultancy’ firms. It is a fact. I…

Lux Soap ad featuring Prema Narayan

continued from vintage Lux ad featuring Leela Chitnis

Not only top actresses featured in LuX soap advertisements but even actresses like Prema Narayan, who, although beautiful, had a relatively brief bollywood career that mostly included dance items and tiny 'blink and you miss' - 'you don't wanna blink it's Prema' kind of roles  .

Lux Soap ad from 1970s featuring Prema Narayan




The many loves of Prema Narayan!

Favorite film: Amanush
Holiday fun: painting landscapes in
                     water colours
Greatest desire: an absolutley free day
Her beauty soap: LUX - naturally!
"LUX keeps my complexion soft and pretty"
says Prema Narayan."I trust LUX because it's
really pure and mild."
Pure,mild LUX-beauty soap of the film stars

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Acknowledgment: Found the ads at Karen' album on advertisements.

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more...
You can watch Prema Narayan go toe to toe with Kajal Kiran in a fist fight from 1983 filck Karate.
It's hilarious!

vintage Lux Soap Ad featuring Leela Chitnis

continued from Lux ad featuring Zeenat Aman

Your skin will be
fresh and smooth
Leela Chitnis promises
you a lovlier skin!
Lux Toilet Soap

Lux soap ad from 1941 featuring Leela Chitnis (right: in V.Shantaram's 1937 film Vahan)

Leela Chitnis, a big time film actress in 1939, was born in a Marathi-speaking household in Karwar, Karnataka and was one of Indian cinema's first educated ladies. In 1941, Leela Chitnis (b. 1912) became the first ever Indian actress to promote Lux soap.

Lux was first launched in India in 1929 and since then almost all the top Indian actresses of their era have represented the Lux brand.

Not only top actresses but even actresses like Prema Narayan did Lux ad... (Condt..)

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and info. (and pic) about Leela Chitnis here 

Zeenat Aman in vintage Lux ads

I was browsing around and came across a blog called  Everything Bollywood by Karen. The blog gives access to some wonderful Picasa albums having old magazine scans, covers, film poster, even lobby cards and stuff. One can spend hours at the place. It is quite a collection!
In one of the albums themed around old celebrity advertisements, along with some previously unseen material, I found some of the stuff originally uploaded by me (like Zeenat Aman in Taj Mahal Tea ad and more), some by Soumyadip and some by  Meghna G ( for some reason her exhaustive flickr albums on Indian print ads are not available anymore).

The following ads of Zeenat Aman are from the album on advertisments.

Lux ad featuring Zeenat Aman from 1970s


Zeenat Aman has it.
The complexion you wish
you were born with.
"Being a star is tough on a girl's complexion.
That's why I use fragrant Lux Supreme.
Its rich, creamy lather with the gentle touch of
beauty cream gives me a smooth young
complexion. Keeps me soft …

Wine, Mullah and Poet

Zauq! Jo medresse ke bigre hue hain mulla
Un ko maikhaane mein le aao sanwar jaayenge
(Zauq! Bring the mulla misled by a medressa
To the tavern, it will correct his ways.)

-    Zauq


Lutf-e-mai tujh se kya kahoon, zahid
Hai kambakht tu ne pee hi nahin.
(How do I describe, o priest, wine’s joy to you?
A drop has never passed your misbegotten lips.)


Zahid sharaab peene de masjid mein baith kar
Ya wo  jagah bata de jahan par Khuda na ho.

(Priest, let me sit and drink inside the mosque
Or tell me that place where God can’t be found.)

- Hazrat Daagh Dehlivi


Har chabd ho mushahada-e-haq ki guftagu
Banti nahin hai badah-o-saaghan kahe baghair.
(Let us discourse, each moment, of truth divine
How do we talk without the strength of wine?)


Kahan maikhana ka darwaza Ghalib aur kahan waaez
Par itna jaante hain, kal wo jaata tha ke ham nikle.
(Where is the tavern door, Ghalib, and where he priest!
But this I know: yesterday he entered as I was leaving.)

- Ghalib


Sharaab-e-kuhan phir pila saaqiya
Yahi jam…

Saddam Bomb fireworks

No WMD: Burnt cover of a firework box having Saddam Hussein iconography (notice the tigers)

I gave up the habit years ago. Habit of picking stuff off the road. But this Diwali, I couldn't help myself. The great Indian cultural cauldron throws a Saddam at you on Diwali, delightfully, you lap it up.

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India's Saddam Hussein village : "In the playground we have Saddam Hussein running after Saddam Hussein, behind Saddam Hussein who is ahead of Saddam Hussein but too far from Saddam Hussein... it can all get a little confusing"
An old BBC story (dated January 2007) about a village in Bihar where every other Sunni Muslim kid is named Saddam Hussein.

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In early August 1990, pre- Gulf War days, former Indian Prime Minister I.K.Gujral,External Affairs Minister in the then V.P. Singh Government, during his transit stay in Amman , bear hugged (some say even kissed the two cheeks of) Saddam Hussein while on a visit to Iraq.

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Iraq was the only  member of OIC (Organisatio…

Remembering Voltron

Voltron was the first Japanese anime series that I started following religiously. It's the early 90s. The series had these space vans sort of things driven by young boys who would combine their rides together, in time of need...like when fighting a mega villain that deep recess of dark space has to offer, to form the mighty (colorful) Voltron , the defender of the Universe. Voltron had many weapons to take care of its foes, but weapon of its choice, a sort of super laser sword that it could summon by striking its giant robotic hands together over head. It was the ultimate weapon that could cut through any known (unknown) metals in the universe.

Very few folks in India would remember this great series, excluding may be those who had loving uncles living in HK (Hongkong), who brought back video cassette of Dragonball Z , The Transformers and other similar stuff for their geeky nephew.

No, I never had an HKwalla uncle. What I did have, or rather what my TV had, was: a really good a…

Covering Complete Tintin Adventures

The cover pages of all The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé, real name Georges Remi. The images are in chronological order of their release. Cover Tintin and the Lake of Sharks had been left out, as it wasn't drawn by Hergé. The last image is of the back cover of a version of Tintin and Alph-Art - The twenty-fourth adventure of Tintin which was left unfinished at the time of Herge's death

The complete list:

1. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (1929–1930)
The first adventure appeared in 1929 in a children's supplement to a Belgian daily newspaper, Le Vingtième Siècle. Hergé was just twenty-three. In this adventure, Tintin and Snowy travel to communist Russia and get chased around by its infamous secret police.

2. Tintin in the Congo (1930–1931)
The infamous second by Hergé.The one not for the kids. Tintin  is in Congo and a henchman of Al Capone, who has diamond interest in Congo,  tries to kill him off.
Not only is this publication racist, an attempt at glorifying colonial…

Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam by Parveen Sultana

video link here

I was looking at images from my old post on Basohli Paintings while listening to some songs. Looking at then, I heard Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam sung by Begum Parveen Sultana form the Meena Kumari starrer classic Kamal Amrohi's Pakeezah (1972).

It felt nice, so created this little video.

The music is by Naushad, Kamal Amrohi roped him in to give background score for the film after the death of Ghulam Mohammed - the original song composer for this almost doomed film.


Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam is a popular semi-classical song from thumri genre of Indian music. A thumri is usually a love song involving Radha and Krishna. A thumri is generally performed by a female singer and a female Kathak dancer. Interestingly, both Basohli Paintings and thumri deal with Shringara rasa or the rasa of love.
Read more about thumri at an article from DeccanHerald.

Obama's Hanuman pocket Charm

Guess the charms finally worked. Time magazine informed us that American President elect Barack Obama during the election campaign carried in his pocket:
A U.S. soldier’s bracelet (currently deployed in Iraq)A gambler’s “lucky chit”A “Madonna and Child” charm “A tiny monkey god”And three or four other unidentified items, among which seems to be a slug, an angel coin, yet another Virgin Mary charm, and some other coin-y detritus.At another campaign event, he reached into his pocket and out came some more charms:  an eagle given to him by a Native American woman, a lucky poker chip given to him by another voter who met him on the campaign trail, something resembling a guitar key chain and many other such.

“A tiny monkey god” was reported in India, quite obviously, as Hanuman. 'Obviously' because these papers had already widely reported Indian well wishers Hanuman Idol gift to Obama (no, I don't think they were trying to convert him to be a Bajrang Dali).

The thing is: in Ind…

Jayanto re-tooning in Gardhab Das

Found this in my wallet while doing the annual Diwali cleaning. The cartoon was published in Hindustan Times on March 9, 2008. Jayanto Banerjee has been drawing cartoons for the last two decades. He has a corner in one of the middle pages of Hindustan Times titled Tooning In and sometimes his illustrations also appear in the paper.

I stuffed this particular page into my wallet because it reminded me of Jayanto's most famous creation - Gardhab Das from  Target Magazine.

A donkey and a politician, resemblance is obvious. At first first, I thought, 'Gardhab Das himself', but on closer examination realized that Gardhab Das had longer more donkey-like ears. Still it felt good seeing Jayanto sketch up something that looked like Gardhab.