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Showing posts from September, 2010

Giant color poster of the scene from Mughal-E-Azam

Something about the scene takes you back to the time when moonlit nights were mosquito free and the only hum in the air was that of a distant genset. Ah! the good old Mughal days.

How the image was created?

I had a big two-page B&W scan of the scene published in an old film magazine and a small color version of the scene published in an online version of  a newspaper. I found the colors to be a bit too bright and shiny. A bit of photoshop and a bit of Picasa did the trick.

Holy Snake Spot

Gopal Kaul Presents

Cross posted to my Kashmir Blog.
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Late 1960s, Gopal Kaul was one of the earliest and famous faces of Doordarshan. According to one of the most intriguing and famous stories from the early days of Doordarshan, Gopal Kaul, in a somewhat comic way, was the reason why Salma Sultan became a newsreader. The story goes that Gopal Kaul, who was already a known face on Doordarshan, didn't want to be a newsreader, he wanted to be a producer and was always was often at loggerheads with the DD people. One day to put an end to his newsreading tussle, in a unique way of protest, Gopal Kaul reported to job with his head completely shaved off. An emergency replacement was found nearby in Salma Sultan.

In my post about 'Famous old faces of Doordarshan' Gopal Kaul was one big and obvious missing name as I couldn't find a single image of him online. But then recently, Gopal Kaul's son Ashutosh Kaul wrote to me and generously offered to share his personal collection with this blo…

Afghan Snow Cream, 1941

'Kyonki main Kali Hu!'

Smita Patil in Badle Ki Aag (1982)


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If you look at the newspapers, you see advertisements for some cream called Afghan Snow or Fair and Lovely. And all these while women in Bollywood films! Ninety percent of the women in India are black. But, according to Bollywood, if yoou're not white, you're not beautiful. The risisng international popularity of Bollywood films worries me. Most of them reinforce some terrible, some very disempowering values.

poor people, the Dalits and the Adivasis, are mostly black. There's an apartheid system at work here, for anyone who cares to notice. - The checkbook and the cruise missile: conversations with Arundhati Roy By David Barsamian, Arundhati Roy.

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First produced in 1919, Afghan Snow was one of the biggest cream brand in India right till the late 70s. I don't recall seeing any ad for the cream recently in Newspapers but I do remember seeing ads for it (or some similar snow) on PTV about a decade bac…

Uski Roti

From a poster of Mani Kaul's Uski Roti (1969) found in a scene from Kundan Shah's Jaane Bhi do Yaaro (1983).

Arundhati draws the beast. The beast. The beast.

The Shape of the Beast: Conversations with Arundhati Roy( New Delhi: Penguin, Viking, 2008) 


Songs have refrains.

34's Friday Market

Noida Sector 34.
September 2010






Chakku Chhuriyan Tej Kara Lo

Chakkuwalla or the Bicycle Knife and Scissors Sharpener at 34's Friday Market.




Sound Machine Ads 1939-1947

Sometime back got an email from someone with Devi Pictures (do check out the site and look for something called 'Sandra from Bandra') researching for a documentary film on intellectual property rights. They were looking for print advertisements for old gramophones/radio/VCR /cassette players/spool players. And thanks to Memsaab, who generously shared her collection of vintage FilmIndia magazines with me, I have just the stuff. I would have posted it all earlier, but I thought no one would be interested.