Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Good thing no one reads!

I have been wondering about it for quite sometime now. I write something at my Kashmir blog and it gets re-tweeted. No matter what I  write. I might be writing about my dead cat. It gets re-tweeted. Good thing no one reads! Here's what is going on: Fetch the feed of a 'suitable' blog and feed to FriendFeed and then connect it to twitter. Viva la Revolucion!

Dry Cola

Someone should have told Md. Aziz along ago, 'Yes you are the new Md Rafi. Now stop singing.'
And yes never mess with a Md. Aziz fan. A couple of years back, me and my friends hired an Indica to get out from Goa to Mumbai. The cabbie turned out to be from Muzaffarnagar, and his system came loaded with only one CD and that was of Md. Aziz. He did turn his system off but devil got into me and said - We digg Md. Aziz. From Goa to Mumbai, we choked on 150 Hits of Md. Aziz.

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment.
[Update 1: Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry]
[Update 2: Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.]
[Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makers of  “The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]

 Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Suresh Kalmadi's Paap Ki Kamaai

In the 80s we had Kalahandi, now we are rich enough to afford Kalmadi.

Original was a poster of Mithunda's Paap Ki Kamaee (1990)

Parveen Babi on Time Magazine Cover, 1976. Quest is over!

All sort of books on Indian Cinema, news pieces about Parveen Babi sad death, glossy film magazines, blog posts about her, all are replete with references to Parveen Babi making it to the cover of Time Magazine, a first for any Indian actress. Few were sure about the date of the issue, fewer could claim to have actually seem the cover. Many were on the trail of the elusive cover.

I first tried to find it around two years ago, since then I would look for it whenever I was reminded of that 'will someone find it' cover.

Last night, while watching her in Kala Sona (1975) I decided to give the old quest one more try.

And today when I finally found it, I was ecstatically delighted. Actually bouncing on my chair.

Matter of date.

The year was 1976, it was an almost established fact even though a lot of folks even got the year wrong. But the Time magazine archive available at their site, the easiest and the first logical place to look, offered no such cover. She must have been on the cover of the Asian cover, that was the easiest conclusion and the chances of finding an old Asian edition preserved is quite slim.  Still, going through Time magazine archives of the 70s looking for Indian Cinema stories relieved that the U.S edition of Time for its June 28 1976 issue carried a feature on Asian cinema titled Asia's Bouncing World of Movies. Among others liked Shahi Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Shabana Azmi, it also mentioned a young rising starlet of Hindi Cinema named Parveen Babi. [Link: the Article ]. This had to be the issue. Yet, cover for that issue had a biker and a blonde, the cover story was Travel '76 Re-discovering America. Remember it was the cover of the U.S. edition.

I had already come this far two years ago. Just when I was about to give up, I came upon a new clue, based on which it seemed that the same story in some Editions was titled Asia's Frenetic Film Scene and the issue was dated July 19, 1976.*

This threw up all new possibilities - new keywords and a new date .

But the cover still remained elusive. Searching for an Asian edition of Time magazine with that date offered nothing. often I hit upon result pages with just one or two results, and even those just junk.

The problem needed some frenetic re-thinking.

The dates.

Why would an Asian story be covered first in U.S. edition and then a month later in the Asian edition. U.S edition came out in June and Asian edition came out in July. Given the logic of magazine business, it made little sense.

A Hypothesis.

Maybe, the Asian Cinema story, the one titled Asia's Frenetic Film Scene, was first published as a cover story in the Asian edition of Time with Parveen Babi on the cover. My guess is it was any month before June and then the story was re-published with a rather funny title change to Asia's Bouncing World of Movies in the U.S edition for June. Maybe the story was carried by some other issue of Time magazine and maybe that issue was later published July again with the original title. And if it was then there was an outer chance that its cover had Parveen Babi or maybe I would find an image inside. But I had little hope by this time. The chances were just too slim. The hypothesis, just as hypothesis.

The first search with all the new concoctions - the name of the actual article, exact date, (keyword) edition,  (a desperately concatenated keyword) Parveen Babi, one pickled feet of mice, feather of an old owl, some warm bat blood, a three legged of toad and one nagmani, all thrown in - offered me the fabled image. And to my surprise it offered me the cover and it was the cover of the Europe edition of the Time magazine dated July 19, 1976. The cover story was Asia's Frenetic Film Scene.

Found the issue at the French site and it was on sale for 15€.

Parveen Babi did indeed make it to the cover of Time Magazine  (at least in the Europen edition for sure) and in style. She looked like a true Bollywood heroine. And she was just 21 at the time. Looking at the image, now, you could add to the story of the famous cover that she seemed to be sporting a nose-ring in that cover. The quest was over.

Parveen Babi on the cover of Time Magazine. July 19, 1976.

*Found the crucial snippet in Google books snippet preview from the book Media Asia , Volumes 1-3 from Asian Mass Communication Research and Information Centre (strangely dated 1974).

Update: The last time this image appeared in Indian Media.

Came across it in 15th Anniversary issue of India Today published in 1990.

Pushp Purushottam Ram

I, a Paper Ravan

At Indirapuram, Ghaziabad
October, 2012

I, a Paper Ravan

The glimmering of the stars
The hustle and bustle of the streets
And the colourful company of the friends –
These bandits make away with my fortune
In the twinkling of an eye.

With a view to protecting myself
I take refuge, broken and defeated,
In the primal cave of my mind.
When I find the shadow of a giant,
repeating 'Adam-bo, adam-bo'.
I settle down,
in the primal cave of my heart,
with bated breath
like a pigeon
in front of a cat.

In the world of the primal cave
dreams keep me company
and Ego talks about me and
they respond to my intentions.
Let this mystery be cleared
and my query answered.

In a train disaster
the travellers were cut into pieces.
why shouldn't I search for myself
in the list printed in bold letters?
or in a fair that of Chhapaar
Why should I show my skill,
perform cycling feats before a crowd,
revolving like a wheel?
Or in the Kumbhmela
I slip down from the steps of
I die by drowning
I drown myself after death.

My death will be a matter for investigations
why should I slip down
the steps of Har-ki-Pauri?
'It's a death-wish.'
This reply of your
O my friend!
hurts my ego.
I demand an answer to y query
Or, after the lila,
spanning nine navaratras,
on the tenth day,
in front of a large crowd,
dress me in a black attire and
bury me in the earth up to the ankles-
so that I,
the paper ravava,
Attain immortality for ever.
I may, after all, give away in alms, my ego,
Kept chained for centuries.

Answer my question
or bury me on the stage
up to my ankles.

Main Kagaz da Ravan by Pubjabi poet Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, 1965

Translated by N.S. Tasneem

adam-bo: odour of human flesh
chhapaar: name of a fair
Kumbha Mela: fair held once every 12 years on the Ganga
Har-ki-Pauri: the sacred steps of the ghat at Haridwar, a hindu place of pilgrimage
lila: sport, wonderful  play
navratras the first nine days of the month of Asvina (October) held sacred to Durga
Came across it in Modern Indian literature, an anthology, Volume 2 by K. M. George (1994)

Rekha in Tribal Tidings

Previously posted long ago here
But now I finally know the name of the photographer who took these incredible photographs of Rekha. The original photographs (these were photoshopped by me,) were shot by J. P Singhal.
Which makes perfect sense, J. P Singhal is known for his tribal themed Calender Art, a rage in the 70s . And a lesser known fact is that he was the one responsible for Zeenat Aman's village belle look in Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Of course, Raj Kapoor added his own wetmark to that look. One look at that first photograph and it all makes sense.

Easily distracted by bright lights.

And if the lights are on one big ferris wheel, and there is sundar kand floating is the air, the distraction is even better.

The start of the festive season.

This blog is faster than Time.

Or maybe the Time is slowing down.

To this blog, on 3rd Oct 2010, I posted photographs of Sharmila Tagore from 16th Aug 1966 issue of Filmfare that had her on the cover, famously in a bikini.

On 9/10/10, TOI, part owners of that magazine, came out with this:

For  Ist Anniversary of Times of India - Crest Edition.

Here's the cover of TOI crest anniversary edition.
Via: this blog

O say Okhali, Au say Aurat

I favorite two bit for Hindi alphabets.

O Pehlwan

Somewhere in Noida, U.P.

The origins of the image lie in a poster of WWE wrestling superstar Batista. Something about the captured the imagination of the guys who run Pehlwani shops and local GYM here. The hoarding of a bandaged pehlwan  is now the norm for advertising and designing hoardings for Pehlwani body fix shops and local GYMs. 

Pill for Blind Love Risk

Pyar andha hota hai.
Bith Control means to insure Blind Love Risk.
Which assures the public that it insures this blind risk in such an easy and quite harmless way.
- Ad for contraceptive pills published in FilmIndia Magazine, August, 1943
Interesting thing is that the ad was also published in Urdu. In the issues from that and later decades, I couldn't find any other Urdu ads. Curious.

Sharmila Tagore Bikini Shoot for Filmfare,1966

And with that she became the first Indian actress to get into a bikini for a magazine cover. Created quite a hullabaloo when the magazine hit the stand, the matter was even questioned in the question hour of the parliament.

The story goes that when Sharmila Tagore walked into the studio of photographer Dhiraj Chawda, he asked her what was she going to wear for the shoot and Sharmila Tagore just took out the suit from her purse.

August 19, 1966 issue of Filmfare

In all the other images she seems to be giving all these yogic postures - twisting , bending, savasana, standing on toe nails, but in this one she gives a look which must have been quite popular at the time -the Lolita look.
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