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Showing posts from February, 2009

Simple joys of reading Second Hand Books

Penguin Books
New Writing in India
Edited by Adil Jussawalla

For Blessy -
Our country grows
newer every day,
and we along with
it -
     your loving sister
          mala.
New Delhi '75.

- Evocative line scribbled on the first page of an anthology of Indian writing  published in year 1974.





Bollywood poster art inspired beautiful cover (right) of this book by a UK based artist named Mark Edwards. Some more of his wonderful work here


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Related post:
a poem from this book: Traitor by Vinda Karandikar
a poem Second Hand Bookshop by John Arlott

'tukde tukde din beeta' by Meena Kumari

tukde tukde din beetaa, dha'ji dha'ji raat mili
jiska jitna daman tha, utni hi saugaat milijab chaha dil ko samjhena, hansne ki aawaaz mili
jaise koi kahta ho, lo phir tumko maat mili
dil saa jab saathi  paayaa, bechaini bhi saath mili


In fragments the day was consumed|
And in broken bits was the night|
Whatever the size of one’s requirements|
Just that much charity was received;|
When I tried to understand my heart|
I also heard the mocking sound of laughter|
As if somebody was saying|
Look, you are defeated again;|
If I found a companion of my liking|
I found restlessness with it too.
~Translation by Vinod Mehta, from his year 1972 book titled Meena Kumari.
( Urdu lines: scan of a page of the book, but urdu in english script may be a bit off  )

These lines perhaps sum up her life.

You can listen to Meena Kumari sing these lines in a little video collage I put together here:


video link
Song is from the wonderful album 'I Write, I Recite' - a collaboration between Khay…

HMV FM ad of Woman's Hour, Calcutta

Calcutta's Women Have Something That other Women Don't

Charm, Yes.
The Zest for Life, Yes.
And HMV-FM to keep her company on weekday afternoons.
Capture the women power of 4.22 Lakh Household.*
Read Them Through Woman's Hour
RPG Enterprise
HMV FM Calcutta
Monday to Friday 2 PM To 3 PM on Radio 107 MHz

*Source: Marg Survey October 1996Found it in A&M, Advertising and Marketing Magazine, 16-31 May 1997. This is from a time when Kolkata was still Calcutta (changed in 2000 but in effect since 2001) and Indian was experimenting with FM. According to the book, The Radio Jockey Hand Book :
The first private FM station was launched in Chennai in 1977. FM operators were allowed to take up time slots. Prasar Bharati stopped private players from airing in 1998 and Times FM and Radio Mid-Day had to shut shop. On the 6th of July 1999, the Union Government announced that it would allow private players to operate FM radio stations across the country. This gave private FM a second chanc…

Aayega Aanewaala remixed by Paul Riordan

In 2006, Paul Riordan, a musician from UK with over 35 years of experience in the music industry, got the permission to use samples from the SaReGaMa catalogue of early Bollywood soundtracks. A year later the outcome, something truly unique, was an album named Hour Glass.

From Hour Glass album here is a truly wonderful track titled 'He who holds the Mirror', it's a remix and a mesmerizing video collage by Paul Riordan of the famous Lata Mangeshkar song Aayenga Aanewala from Kamal Amrohi's year 1949 great film Mahal.


video link
You can sample some more of his music at Paul Riordan's myspace profile

To download another track from Hourglass: do dil tootey fromHeer Ranjha (1970), and to read more about his work check out his website bigmindmusic.com

Talibanization of India, Nonsense!

They are calling us Hindu Taliban, they are using terms like Talibanization of India. What a stupid idea and a preposterous notion. They belittle us, these pseudos. We are the Heroes, how can they compare us to our enemies. Remember we - in our all flavors - still believe in the old maxim: 'Sakinaka Say Nagasaki tak Sara Area Apna Hai' and wasn't our Ghandhariji from that area. What do you mean So?

These Jhollawallas turned Suitwallas really have microphones for brain and cameras for mouth. Do they have any idea what we are trying to achieve and against what odds. Taliban had their work cut out for them, they are students and they only interpret, here we are masters, we create stuff out of thin air, at times we have to define good Indian culture, workout issues of public morality and lot more, and we do it by mostly relying on our good instincts and the prevalent political climate in the country. We are great people of a great civilization. Those crazy talibs could actual…

Gentleman magazine and its Universe

Gentleman magazine:



Publishers: Express Publications (Madurai) ltd. They also published Andhra Prabha Illustrated Weekly, Malayalam Vaarika and Cinema Express.

Some of the regular columnists and names from the magazine:

Adil Jussawalla,  Farrukh Dhondy, Sudeep Sen (Literary)
Pradeep Sebastian (Literary and films), you bought a fat book by James Wood just because he recommended it, writes a popular co coulum for The Hindu
Jaideep Varma [blog] and Leslie Matthew (Music)
Rohit Gupta (for the stories 'Salmon day' and 'The pinhole camera'' in the 'Waking up in the year 2020' special)
Sarnath Banerjee (Graphic comic series Road to Harappa)

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Image on right: Cover of August 1998 issue dedicated to The magic of movies.  It has a great write up by T G Vaidyanathan titled 'The Romance of Movies: From Kiss Kiss to Bang Bang'.

Matchbox Art from India and more

familiar household names

Matt Lee collected matchboxes during his time in Bangalore. You can check out his matchbox collection here
In all there are 159 matchboxes. [Found via: BoingBoing]

In Yelahanka, Bangalore, Matt also took photographs of wall posted Kannada Film Posters.

He calls it, and quite aptly, Macho men and flirtatious women. You can check his collection of Kannada Film Posters here

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Here are my two cents:

One very popular Indian matchbox name missing in that collection: Homelites. Extra Long. Extra Strong. Karborised. Manufactured by Western India Match Company (WIMCO) - perhaps the oldest name in the industry. WIMCO was founded in 1923 by Swedish Match (founded 1917).



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A public service ad from 1980s
Does you child play with matches? Stop it. Some of the worst fire accidents have been caused by innocent children playing with matches.

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The end of diya silai.
Matchbox revolution started in India in early 1980s and a Bollywood film from 1980 bears testimony to this …

Sau Rupai by Zeest

The Great Indian Subcontinent dreams of Ek gaadi and Ek Bungla, Ek biwi aur Do bachche; par Sau Rupai may kya milay.

Pakistan based band Zeest (a shame if I have to tell you about their song BC sutta) recently came out with a new song titled “100 Rupai”. According to the official Zeest blog: "The song is a story of a financially frustrated Indo-Pak’s youth life. A Treat for the Current Global Recession”

They are giving away the song for free download at zeestmania.com

Sailor kissing girl in Times Square, After Smoke mint Ad

After Smoke. before Anything.
Pop one of these mints into your mouth. welcome back to mint-condition breath.
Candico's After Smoke 
The breath freshner

found the ad in A&M, Advertising and Marketing Magazine, 15 October 1999

The actual iconic photograph, popularly known as 'V–J day in Times Square' and described as 'Sailor kissing girl in Times Square' at the end of World War II, was captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945 at Times Square. This famous picture of a sailor kissing a young nurse at the Times Square - an impromptu celebration following the announcement of  Japanese surrender and the end of World War 2, was first published in LIFE magazine.

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found the ad in A&M, Advertising and Marketing Magazine, 15 October 1999

Sock Puppet Slumdog Millionaire

SockTubePresents a funny parody of Slumdog Millionaire:


video link
Sock characters in the film have weird accents, the film has gruesome torture scenes and a happy song-dance sequence at the end. And that sock Anil Kapoor is too perfect.

Do check out the youtube channel of SockTubePresents for hilarious parodies based on other Oscar nominated films.

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previous post on slumdog millionaire