Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Indira Gandhi Stoning, 1967

Indira Gandhi returns from electioneering in Orissa in 1967. A stone thrown at her split her lip and broke her nose. Found this PTI photograph in the book ' Indira Gandhi' (1980) by Dom Moraes.
Would have made a nice byline last year to the newstory in which a stone tried to find its mark in Rahul Gandhi while he was traveling in a train.

Sardar Ji Chabhiwalay

goliyo ka bhi asar nahi, Kayam Churan Ad

The ad was sort of a cult back in the early 90s and had many takers, after all it dealt with some of the fundamental problems of man in a very imaginative way. It gave a new meaning to the thought - Man fighting his inner demons. Some believe it was ghost directed by David Lynch. Some even believe that the Baba ji in the Ad is David Lynch. I don't believe that. Not possible. There are no women in the ad.

Anyway, I recently got to see the relieving old ad, aptly enough, on a Hindi News channel. A quick  search offered this -

video link
( Uploaded to Youtube by tnadev1330)

And enjoy some horny eye-candy

Marvel of Sat Isabgol

UV Ray Lamp beauty Ad, 1947

Thanks to Memsaab Greta who generously shared her collection of Filmindia magazines ranging from year 1939 to 1953 (actually she got them from her friend Shalini, so a big thanks to her too), I will be uploading ads back from those years.

At first I thought of uploading ads in a chronological order but then this beauty of an ad (beauty ad?) was just too good to care about any sort of order.

"Health giving & Vitaminising
More Wonderful than Alladin's lamp is the
Ultraviolet Ray Lamp."
For Rs. 370 (that must have been a fortune back then) available at Connaught place, New Delhi. From Filmindia, June 1947 

'The Oriental Watchman and Herald of Health: A Magazine for Health Home and Happiness' September 1952.
Came across it in Adventist Archives.


Laughing Queen Victoria

Used this image for a blog post about how my ancestors probably worshiped the Queen. Found this rare image of Queen Victoria laughing in The People's Almanac presents The Book of Lists (Bantam Edition, 1978) by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace.

Bollywood Converses with Gods or that one essential Showdown with God

From Nastik (1983), the Boy - Raju Shrestha, who grew up to be Amitabh Bachchan in almost every second film . The Mother - Nirupa Roy in a rare 'Showdown with God' scene from Badle Ki Aag (1982). The scene may well be cut from CDs and DVDs, couldn't find it in the versions available online, but found it thanks to Zee Cinema's obsession with showing some real Bollywood first thing in the morning. The Man - Amitabh Bachchan in the famous 'Aaj khush toh bahut hoge tum' scene from Deewar (1975).

Stealing Cable, the archaic ways

There are very few things which I can claim to have mastered through experience and rightful application of intellect. Ability to fly Kites tops the list but stealing cable is a specialty.

Back in the late 1980s someone with a VCR and a color TV got tired of charging people for watching films in his establishment. The business model was too ineffective. There had to be a better way. The way was cable. A single cable fixed to the VCR was laid out, branched, which basically meant cut up at places and joined back by faithful plastic tapes, cables tied to electric poles and to telephone pole, where available, stretched across the rooftops, over atop the window panes, and into the television sets of the subscribers. The backbone of cable business had been laid. It's humble origin. The model was flexible. For a monthly fee, watch what you want. In fact it was so flexible that Sharma Ji could pass a few bucks and the VHS of his wedding to the cablewalla and for Prime Time Show your could enjoy Manohar Lal Sharma weds Pinky Verma. Over the next couple of weeks, after a few re-runs everyone in the network could tell Sharma ji's Mamaji from Sharma Ji's Phupha Ji. Slowly the subscribers also got the hang of the business. Pappu would pass a few bucks and a VHS to the cablewalla and late at night you could get exposed to the 31 Nights of Pamela (for reference and context you would have to watch one of the last episodes of Rajni in which she saves young kids from Cable Exposure ). Over all, Cable was just too good. It got more organized. Bollywoodwalla's sensed the death bell ringing. They started sending out subtle yet strong messages, the most loved angry old man sang, 'TV video bandh karo!'. It was no use.

As piracy fueled cable revolution picked up steam, so did a new technological field. If people in India were not (and are not) afraid of stealing electricity form high power cables, they were certainly not going to be afraid of throwing hooks on the simple cable wire. But unlike stealing from electricity wire, cable theft required certain level of expertise in certain fields.Of course there were some crude methods, but some people had developed the techniques to the level of art.  Now that the Era of cable is over (at least in most parts of the country) I can safely share these techniques.The techniques are listed in the order of beauty. And the last technique one was discovered by me late one night in the early 1990s.

1. Tango Antenna Charlie.
The method is simple and finds its origin in the reception problems of Doordarshan. One person rotates the terrestrial antenna in all the direction while the other person sits in front of the TV skipping and tuning channels. The person of rooftop rotates the antenna until he comes across a signal area in which the signal loss from cables is maximum. On catching the signal from such an area the person in front of the TV will see grainy images and white noise of what could be called cable ka signal. Confirm by looking for any sort of nasty logos at the top right or top left of the screen. Signal your partner to stop rotating the antenna by screaming, 'AAGAYA!'. Now the long process of fine tuning the signal starts.

Pros: Cablewalla can't come over to your place and beat you up for stealing his signal from the air.

Cons: Need two persons. The further the vortex of Cables, the worse the signal.And on top of that the vortex keeps changing. Or maybe the antenna keeps changing direction.

2.Cut and Paste Job.
Simple enough. Just cut the Cable wire using a blade. Add your wire to the network. Seal it with tape and you are done. Application of this method frequently creates the vortex need for method 1. One more thing, instead of cutting at a fresh location, it's always advisable to find an already cut-up spot. In case you get caught, you can expect some leniency, like the cablewalla won't hit you in the face. Your self-esteem won't be badly damaged and you can still dream to make it to Bollywood one day.

Pros: Great reception. It's almost cable if you use the right wires. You only need to be good with blades.

Cons: Most easily detectable. Gives instant indigestion to cablewallas. And with everyone cutting in, overtime, the quality of signal degrades.

3. Needle work.
This one takes the 'cut-paste job' to the next level. Here instead of cutting the cable, you surgically insert paper pins into the cable. Insert one pin just enough to reach the inner co-axial copper core and insert the other pic to just puncture the outer copper layer You need just two pins for doing this job perfectly, but even one will suffice. Fix normal antenna wire to the other ends of the pins and feed the signal to your television

Pros: Leaves no easily detectable signs of theft. Signal as good as 'Cut-Paste Job'.

Cons: Maintenance. To avoid detection, you need to frequently insert and take out the needle. 

4 The Speaker
No matter how good the reception, the problem with last two methods is that you have to actually go out and touch the cable. You can leaves fingerprints or worse with blades and needles around you can leave your blood sample. The first method is best but the problem with that one is that the ability to capture signal is a function of distance. What we need is a signal amplifier. So break your father old radio and take out its speaker. The speaker should not be damaged in any way. Fix antenna wire to the speaker. And you have assembled yourself a mini-yet-powerful cable signal grabber. From the window, holding on to the attached wire, slow drop the speaker to the window of the 'cable' family living below your apartment. Turn on you TV and enjoy free cable.

Pros: It has everything going for it. Clarity of signal. Discreetness. Ingenuity. It's perfect.
Cons: If you get too greedy and swing the speaker too much, it is likely to end up on the dinner table of your friendly and unsuspecting neighbors. Not a catastrophe, but how often can you handle the situation by claiming it's all for a school project. And how many radios can a person destroy in one life.


Glo Friends Ad, 1980s

Hit the Indian market just about the time My Little Pony 'n Friends hit the television.

Oye! Bandar!

Splashing and flashing. With the blazing sun on his back, this fellow felt like having a little bath.

The reason why some genius came up with the idea of 'bandar proof' water tanks and one of the reasons why people put bricks on the lid of their tanks.
May 2010

Some more Aahsome news

A couple of days back got an email from someone named Arun J. Told me he runs a quarterly PDF magazine called Aahsome (do check it out, really awesome! And it's all under Creative Commons license ) and that for their latest issue themed on 'food' the magazine had sourced vintage ads from my blog. It's really nicely done.

You can download the issue Here


A Vintage Saree Story

A couple of months back I got an email from someone named Roopa Pemmaraju. She liked my Vintage collection. Told me she's a designer from Bangalore (her website) and was planning a vintage collection for her next season. Told me she could use some help with ideas and images. She was looking for 60's -70's style actress, images, styles, prints. I told her she was free to use stuff from my blog and directed she to some links.

Sometime back she sent me the wonderful images from her Calantha Wardrobe’s Vintage Sari range (FB page link)

Sample this. Her collection - modern, yet vintage.

And this:
from The Reader's Digest, March 1972 (the post)

Tum se kahoon ek baat paron se halki

Rehana Sultan in song 'Tum se kahoon ek baat paron se halki' from Rajinder Singh Bedi's Dastak (1970).
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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