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Showing posts from October, 2009

Waheeda Rehman, face

from a dead Geocities site

from a previous post about Bees Saal Baad (1962)

Sanjuro, Blood Bath

Getting stabbed by Sanjuro Tsubaki (Toshiro Mifune) in iconic scene from Akira Kurosawa's 1962 film 'Sanjuro'.
Previously: Toshiro Mifune, Rashomon, Animals

cover, Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)

'Romance of Kashmir' painted on the cover of a vinyl for Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)

Salvaged from a now dead Geocities site.

Indira Jaap in Mazdoor Zindabaad (1976)

After the death of their poor mazdoor parents, young Bhola and Munni find themselves homeless, hungry and on the street. But then a kindly roadside gola (ice-candy) seller Kamla (Parveen Babi ) takes them in.

A staple bollywood affair.

But then, Mazdoor Zindabaad is a film from year 1976, the middle year of Emergency, and there is not one moment  in this magnus opus of sycophancy that lets the audience forget the great leader, her twenty points and her's son's five points. It was written directed and produced made by some guy named Naresh Kumar.He went on to make a film called Sone Ka Dil Lohe Ke Haath (1978) or 'Golden Heart-Iron Hand', a Chinese Kungfu film sounding title that some people would still use to describe Indira Gandhi.

(Humble offering) 'Mazdoor Zindabaad' doesn't try to describe the great leader, it just sings praises of her great plans. And how?

Kamla takes the bother-sister duo under her (and symbolically under Indira's) wings. She te…

Why I loved Geocities

You might have heard about Yahoo shutting down Geocities. Yahoo acquired it in January 1999 and after 15 (10 of them under Yahoo) years of hosting  all kind of pages (a lot of them having funky .gif images hammering in 'Under construction' messages and in between they offered most arcane information about most obscure topics ) they finally shut down the service on 26th October 2009.
 Around 7+ million public web pages and 8+ million images (according to Google), gone leaving internet with lot of dead links and broken images (thanks to hotlinking) and 404s.

On 26th I spent some time randomly browsing through (and saving) some Geocities sites, stumbled across this 'sean connery on moon' image and remembered what a delight these pages used to be. In pre-blog days (and in some cases even in clatter of blogs) it obviously had some of the most labored upon user generated online content, labour not just of working with HTML and creating all those gif files.

Projects tha…

Chinese are commie, Chinese are coming, Chinese come in.

Once in a while I get an opportunity to rub the fact into the face of my Indian friends that I am a Kashmiri. The conversation usually ends with, 'Yeah Yeah so why didn't you seek asylum in Amreka while you had the chance?'

Only a week ago we read about: "Chinese Embassy in Delhi is issuing separate visas to Indian passport holders from Indian-administered Kashmir. Instead of stamping the passport with a visa, as is the norm with Indian citizens, Kashmiri students and businessmen traveling to China have had their visas stamped on a separate paper stapled to the passport. [News Link, Asia Times]

That make me wanna go, 'Only with a passport! Only with a passport!' like Chaplin's 'communist' boy.

Rubs the fact into the face. Today was one such day. The front page of morning paper carried the news that 'Made in China' globes sold in India depict Jammu&…

Face The Indian Heroines

Created this collage of Heroines mostly using various Vintage Indian film posters (most of them hand painted) found in the incredible Picasa gallery of Praful.

Here's the link for this image in size 5120px × 3956px, 3504KB.
Download now

Bullet Gandhi Guru Farrell Hanuman

"Can a Bullet skip on water like a rock can"

Yes. But only under a certain condition: You have to be walking on water at a pace of 3 miles per hour.

"Curse of maa kali on gandhi family"

Assuming this one is about the Gandhi family. The curse is:You will rule India. 

"guru dutt+colin farrell+hanuman"

Had it been '-' we would have got a tail at the end. But not sure about summation.

Baital Pachisi: Twenty-five Tales of a Baital

The Baital-Pachisi, or Twenty-five Tales of a Baital is the history of a huge Bat, Vampire, or Evil Spirit which inhabited and animated dead bodies. It is an old, and thoroughly Hindu, Legend composed in Sanskrit, and is the germ which culminated in the Arabian Nights, and which inspired the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius, Boccacio's "Decamerone," the "Pentamerone," and all that class of facetious fictitious literature.

The story turns chiefly on a great king named Vikram, the King Arthur of the East, who in pursuance of his promise to a Jogi or Magician, brings to him the Baital (Vampire), who is hanging on a tree. The difficulties King Vikram and his son have in bringing the Vampire into the presence of the Jogi are truly laughable; and on this thread is strung a series of Hindu fairy stories, which contain much interesting information on Indian customs and manners. It also alludes to that state, which induces Hindu devotees to allow themselves to be buri…

How to be a Super Hero

alternatively titled: 'What to do if nothing else works?'

Ride a horse -single handed, ride a bike on a high wire - let your hair blow into the wind, play with knives ( and springs!), do trapeze, break that wall with your head, and when you have completely lost it, be a 'chiddi maar' - killer of birds. So now you are a Super Hero.ClapCalpClap.

Image: A page from Pratishodh ki Jwala (fire of revenge, Raj Comics), the first of Super Commando dhruva. dhruva started in Circus just like 'Robin - The Boy Wonder'. Parents get killed and so on. After many successful adventures he ended up playing 'Robin' to Nagraj.

Superman of Malegaon!


Hindu Muslim Sikh E'sai Sab ke Dil Ka pyara

Superman! Malegaon ka Superman

video link  (Update: Upholder had to remove the video because of:
a copyright claim by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). But I found a trailer and a clip (and then the film). Read on)


Directed by Faiza Ahmed Khan
A documentary partly produced by KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) .

The documentary is about the making of a movie called "Malegaon ka Superman' directed by Shaikh Nasir.

It tells the fascinating story of a ragtag crew of people from Malegaon (in Nashik district of Indian state of Maharashtra) who set out to make a 'Superman meets Bollywood' kind of flick in their own town on a shoestring budget.

The above clip is their final product. The rest of the documentary covering the making has also been uploaded but sadly it has a Japanese voice over.

The director of the film, Faiza Ahmed Khan, has done an bril…

Iron Arm


Iconic scene from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey‎ (1968)

Adolf Hitler climbs stairs during a Nazi rally in Buckeberg, Germany, in 1934.

Apollo Circus Shahrukh Khan Walla

Posters of Apollo Circus. Recalling Shahrukh Khan of TV series "Circus" (1989).

Spotted at a place called Raj Nagar in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Previously: Indian Circus Ad dated 1929

'India' in Smithsonian Vintage Air posters

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has recently posted online more than half of the museum's 1,300 posters related to flight - ballooning, aerospace, space travel, airline ads and posters.. The collection is titled 'Fly Now!'.

Here are India related items that I found in the incredible collection:

Fly From England to India in 6 days via Egypt Iraq

Imperial Airways
Artist: Theyre Lee-Elliott
Date: 1933
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Stylized map of India with Imperial Airways "Speedbird" logo imposed over map; overlay of the "Speedbird" acts as logo for airline and suggests route map at same time; red, blue, black ink on paper.

Prosperous Diwali

A vintage Diwali poster leached from ebay.


When people use Google search for spell check right before sending those mass greetings through sms, emails, 'scraps' and 'messages'.

Did you mean: prosperous

Google Search Stats for 16th October, just a day before Diwali. Leached from Google trends for India .
Certainly India knows no prosperity.

Chaka Chond

I was a new migrant to the city when I first experienced this. The same festive time of the year, the same song but the sound came from a passing 'electronic shop'. Only other difference: that night was freshly painted wet by a light evening drizzle of rain, road found yellow, puddles were shiny red and green. The moment must have lasted less than half a minute, just till the sound faded away.

video link
Sound: Shammi Kapoor-Vyjayantimala number 'Badan pe Sitare' from Prince (1969).
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan.
Vocal: Mohd. Rafi

Aroh water

If they ever decide to run a poll for English words that be officially included into Hindi vocab, I have made my decision. When I first saw the word,  I thought it was a brand of water or something. Then much time later, I realized 'Aroh' (आरोह)  stands for RO - filtration  process known as Reverse Osmosis.

Chemical Snake Firework

I don't do firecracker thing on Diwali, and it has been like that for many years now. After you start choking on that heavy sulfurous air typical to the night of Diwali, it doesn't take much brain to figure out the stupidity of it. The whole experience is traumatic for animals, birds, infants and elderly. The streets run dirty covered with cracker paper for weeks. On top of that there is the other obvious risk. Last year, two of my cousins spent good six months recovering from painful 'Anar' burn - the thing was supposed to big woosh, but it went bang.   

This year, I made an exception for 'Samp' just for good old times sake.

'Cock Brand' made at (imaginatively named) Taj Serpent Eggs Factory, Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu.

These would be the 'eggs'

Okay so what can I burn. This piece of wood looks tempting.

And that's the snake.

Also, here's a tutorial for How to make these chemical snakes at home using Baking soda

Previously: Saddam Fireworks

Map of India in the Age of the Mahabharata

Another interesting find at World Digital Library
(click to get a bigger image)

Map of India in the Age of the Mahabharata

This undated 20th-century map, published in Pune (formerly Poona), India, shows place names in India associated with the Mahābhārāta, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India (the other being the Ramayana). The title of the map is in Marathi; the place names are in Sanskrit. Mahābhārata can be translated as "the great tale of the Bharata Dynasty.” Most likely composed between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., this enormously long epic recounts the story of the dynastic struggle and civil war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Kingdom of Kurukshetra that took place in about the ninth century B.C.

Date Created: 20th century

Publication Information: Deccan Printing Works, Poona, India

Language: Marathi, Sanskrit

Title in Original Language: Mahābhāratakālīna Bhāratavarshācā nakāśā

Physical Description of map:  45 x 38 centimeters

Institution: Library…

Native Demons Attacking European Troops, 1791

Title: Indian Demons Attacking Fort Defended by European Troops

Description: This unsigned watercolor by an unknown Indian artist depicts the events of the Third Mysore War (1790-92). The Anglo-Mysore wars were a series of conflicts in the late 18th century that were fought between the Kingdom of Mysore, located in southwestern India, and the British East India Company. After victories in the first two wars, Mysore, led by Tipu Sultan, invaded the nearby coastal state of Travancore, which was a British ally. This led to the Third Mysore War, which the British won. Although the royal family of Mysore was Hindu, Tipu Sultan was Muslim, which may explain the presence of the Arabic inscription on the bottom of the work. The watercolor is from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection at the Brown University Library, the foremost American collection devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering, and one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of militar…

Ingredients for Bollywood Horror films

Director, producers, actors, writers and editors who take Norman Bates line - 'Sometimes we all go mad' - a bit too seriously.

They give us characters who do not heed a fine advice given by Count Dracula to Jonathan Harker:  'You may go wherever you wish in the castle except where the doors are locked, where of course, you will not wish to go.' Nobody in horror films, made in any part of the world, takes Dracula's word seriously.

They would like to produce a vision of Shirley Jackson, 'No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.'

So larks and katydids of Bollywood dreamt of :

Video link

Captivating Bubble Pack

Bubble Pack + Cover of Manohar Kahaniya for September, 1973. (Found at ebay) =


Amitabh Bachchan gives some Dishum to Amjad Khan. Rekha tries to look worried.


In 1980s Amitabh Bachchan had a little comic series of his own in which he was alter-ego to masked crusader - 'Supremo'. Apparently, Gulzar was the script consultant. Read more about Supremo at aniamit.

Rakesh Sharma's 'Saare Jahan Se Achcha' message from Space

From Wiki entry for Rakesh Sharma

Insignia of Indo Soviet Mission
Rakesh Sharma, then squadron leader and pilot with the Indian Air Force embarked on the historic mission in 1984 as part of a joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program and spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut 7 space station. Launched along with two other Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11 on the 2 April 1984, was 35-year-old Rakesh Sharma. During the flight, Squadron Leader Sharma conducted multi-spectral photography of northern India in anticipation of the construction of hydroelectric power stations in the Himalayas.
The trip made Rakesh Sharma the first Indian in Space but the event is also remembered for a conversation from space that he had with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She asked him, 'How does India look from Oopar?' He famous reply, borrowed from Allama Iqbal, was, ' Saare Jahan Se Achcha, (better than the whole world).…

Wing Sung, Chinese Fountain Pens

Wing Sung 612. Made in China

Gandhi ji watch a film! Ram Rajya or Mission to Moscow

I had gathered from internet: Vijay Bhatt.'s Ram Rajya (1943) was the only feature film Mahatma Gandhi ever watched. Read about it at . They even have a scan of old newspaper clipping that announced: M. Gandhiji Sees Prakash's "Ram Rajya": Historical Event of Indian Film Industry. According to the website it happened in 1945 while he was staying at Juhu, Bombay.

Then recently I came across the following passage in 'Colonial India and the making of empire cinema: image, ideology and identity' by Prem Chowdhry [Google Books]
In the late 1930s the marketability of nationalism and its viability were not merely in the films produced by Indians - most of which became popular hits - but also in the way producers, distributors and exhibitors advertised their products. Mahatma Gandhi, for example, was a favorite for advertising the films. Large size photographs of Gandhi adorned the film advertisements along the much smaller photographs of the lead hero…

50 years of Doordarshan

[ Rukawat key liye Khed hai.Updated this post with Video Documentary by Doordarshan titled “The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan”.]

Doordarshan turned 50 on 15 September 2009. It all started exactly 50 years ago, on  15 September 1959 with UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, it's one of those organizations that we read a lot about in school text books, anyway)  giving India $20,000 and 180 Philips sets - Doordarshan was supposed to be (and was) a tool for development. Also according to the legend, the broadcasting equipment was donated by Germans who had come for an industrial exhibition. AIR (All India Radio) supplied floor space and initial news content.

sport logos Doordarshan

Another relic from Doordarshan days. I remember it for the various sport logos.

I think this sports show (Khiladi) was telecast during 1987 South Asian Games held in Calcutta.

Special Rajkamal Sindoor

A packet of Rajkamal Sindoor

Emblem of V. Shantaram's studio 'Rajkamal Kalamandir' established in 1943.
It was surprising to see the 'lotus girl' iconography still doing the rounds.


I liked the colors!

Michal Jackson Ke Rock.N.Roll

A cousin told me about this 'Michal Jackson' Dhabba at Sector 62, Noida.

Apparently, its Momo Chutney is killer but only lucky ones get rock in their rolls.

Things that can stop a Bullet

A wine flask can do it, an OM pendent can do it, a Taweez can do it, an expendable extra heroine can do it, a Billa No. 786 (with lots of Barkat) can certainly do it (if you don't lose it while running from your crazy gun trotting  brother), and now we are told a 5- rupee coin can also do it, for real, with proven result.

According to the story, Krishna Shetty and his neighbour, Nicholas Gomes, on a perfectly normal Mumbai day, were sitting outside a video parlour engaged in causal conversation when three persons sped by on a motorcycle and fired four bullets at them. One of the bullet hit Gomes while two made their way to Shetty. One of them hit him in his stomach while the other was on its way to his heart. Luckily Krishna Shetty was carrying a wallet ( oddly, for some unknown reason) in his breast pocket and inside this wallet was his little shield, a 5- rupee coin. Fatal bullet was stopped in its track and Krishna Shetty lived to tell the tale.

Now, if only it was something …