Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Zarina Wahab Bun

Zarina Wahab in 1975 with the bun. And to think that people believe Princess Leia was the first one to get Cinnamon Bun hair. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope released two years later in 1977.
Later, Rakhee in 1978 movie Muqaddar Ka Sikander

Sovexportfilms, 1975

Found these posters of two Russian films in an old film magazine.

Hot Snow

also known as 'The Sannikov Land'

Nalini Jaywant (1926-2010)

One of the finest from the 40s-50s.

Trivia: According to this quiz book,was for some time secretly married to a comedian named Radhakishan.


Nalini Jaywant reaches the water level of morality in "Naaz", a social story of S.K. Films. - FilmIndia magazine September 1951. The film was released in 1954

Earlier for year 1950 film 'Sangram' she put on a swimsuit for the song 'Ulfat ke jadoo ka dil mein asar hai' with Ashok Kumar. (Video link).

Indian Brathas of Santa Claus

It still takes around 20 queries and 40 clickthroughs for Youtube to come up with this. It is bad.

When Machine was coming: Computer Ads from India

[Some more stuff collected from The Indian Express Archive which now is almost complete till 1990s]

"If the mind came from a body whose language the Great Race could not physically reproduce, clever machines would be made, on which the alien speech could be played as on a musical instrument."

-The Shadow Out of Time by H.P. Lovecraft (1936)

IBM Ad from India. January 1970.
Before they were 'kicked out' of India in 1977

Ad for TCS. 1970. Sarkari Kaam.

TDC-12. 1970. Sarkari Computer.


ISIJU-1 built in 1966.


Clipper Nantucket 1988. 'Fastest application development tool'

Mag. 1988


HCL Ad. 1988. Not sure if its before their Noida Conquest.

68020 CPU at 18 MHz
2 X RS 232C Ports for console
Intelligent 16 X RS 232C Port Controller with its 68010 processor
1 X 720 KB Floppy Drive
1 X 80 MB Winchester Drive
1 X 60 MB Cartridge Back-up
1 x VT 100 compatible Terminal
Unix V release 2 operating system
'C' Compiler
Fortran Compiler

Series 32 Basic configuration only for 2,99,000/-

Minicomputer Ad 1988

Two NIIT Ads from 1988. They actually still have photographs of Rajiv Gandhi in some of their centres.

1988. IBM XT/AT Compatible Keyboards

Something really interesting. ORG Systems Word Processor for Indian languages 1988. India's first.

For a 'swadesi' insurance company, this certainly makes sense

One giant UPS. 1988.

The Butterfly versatility is such that an individual user can begin processing on MS-DOS switch over to SINTRAN midway and revert to MS-DOS, to continue from where he left off!

Butterfly Norsk Data Ad 1988

Transtel Cologne Logo

From West Germany.

Humlog a, first Indian Soap

Basesar Ram had two passions: wine and Mir. Starting July 7, 1984 and ending on December 17, 1985 the trial and tribulation of this alcoholic man's family, its ups and downs, twists and turns, a formula, telecast twice a week, hooked the masses of this nation. Each episode ended with vetran actor Ashok Kumar adding a word of grandfatherly advice, a jargon, a 'message'. Basesar Ram could keep Mir but wine had to go. The serial was conceived and run like a state project meant to engineer a better society, a simpler happier Middle class.

The great experiment had its origins in the Left back-lanes of South America where a poor migrant girl in Peru could sews her way to riches. That was the basic premise of Perunivan telenovela, 'Simplemente Maria'. Produced in 1969 by Miguel Sabido for Mexico's  Televisa it had proved to be a working and highly successful formula, creating a television revolution in Latin America. Singer, the sewing machine company had put money in the venture and with the success of this series had had a handsome return in number of sales. The experiment ought to be run at a wider scale.

In 1983, delegates from India, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and Brazil visited Mexico City on a special invite of David Poindexter, the President of the centre for Population Communinications International, New York, to meet Miguel Sabido. S.S Gill, then secretary in the ministry of Information and Broadcasting and later the first Chief Executive Officer of the Prasar Bharati, headed the Indian delegation. Gill came back and after initial failure to interest anyone from mainstream commercial media in his project, got a a team together. He got Shobha Doctor, someone from ad background, as Producer, P. Kumar Vasudev as Director, Satish Garg as the Executive producer and Manohar Shyam Joshi, who went on to write many more classics for Doordarshan, as Script Writer. The serial was 'brought to you by' Maggi, a new special food launched in 1983. And together they created Hum Log, India's first soap opera believed to have reached 80 Million people at its peak.

The phrase was 'Hum loga has started'. That was what people would say if they picked up distant chords of domestic trouble in the neighborhood. By the end of 80s it was already over. The God shows were taking over the television and the county. Those I do remember.  But with my DOB I could't have seen the show then how do I recall watching it? I often wondered. But then I had forgotten where I had finally managed to catch it. In early 2000, Sony bought the tapes from Doordarshan and re-telecasted the 154 episode story in 52 episodes. After that the tapes were mysteriously lost. And that is how I got to see 'The Great Detoxification of Basesar Ram'  in one of the most terrifying scenes that I have ever witnessed on TV. Towards the end, Basesar Ram gets possessed by the demons that reside in the bottle. Sharaab Dayan. That would be the local parlance. He starts worrying about death. He wants to live to see his dearest daughter's marriage. Will he be able to witness it? He wants to quit and witness it. He quits. And he starts seeming lizards on the wall. He jumps from his cot all too often. Invisible creatures crawl on his skin. Basesar Ram doesn't quote Mir anymore. He screams in agony. Lizards keep staring at him. And that is when the violence of it all suddenly seems unbearably graphic and cuts through.

In my holidays I hate no one.
I do not have to fight
on any front.
I have drunk all the liquor
and put the bottle in the lavatory
on which is written:
For Defense Services Only.
This is the sum of my life.
(Like all good citizens
I pull down the curtains
the moment I hear the siren.)
- line of Hindi poet Dhoomil translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

(Title track was by Anil Biswas)

Aag, in which Raj Kapoor spontaneously combusts

What do you love about me?
Your golden hair and your blue eyes!
And on hearing these words from lovestruck Nargis, Raj Kapoor undergoes spontaneously combustion. His body starts shaking, his face is napalm of pain. No, No this can't be. He tells her:'Body is nothing, heart and soul is everything.' His best friend is in love with that nargis while Raj Kapoor is obsessed with an imagined character, his Nimmi, a women whose shades he believes are present in Nargis.  Sacrifice. This calls for sacrifice.

Had he spontaneously combusted, that would have been easier on the senses of viewer but no, a song later, he picks a lit torch and sticks it into his face.

This is Raj Kapoor's Aag. Everything you need to understand about Raj Kapoor's cinema is right here (not necessarily in this post).

Burn Nightmare of Zeenat Aman in Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)

Only minutes before Raj Kapoor's combustion, a couple of scenes earlier, in an iconic scene that doesn't add up with that combustion scene and makes one sympathise with the character of Nargis , one witnesses Raj Kapoor grab Nargis by the hair, pulling her near him. For a second the screen is filled with an energy that is seldom seen in  Indian scene. The scene should be right up there at the top in any list of 'Most sensuous scenes in Indian Cinema'. And this was in year 1948, only a year after India's independence. Film critic Iqbal Masud in his book 'Dream Merchants, Politicians & Partition: Memoirs of an Indian Muslim' recalls how the cinema of those years was immune to the events of year 1947. He mention Aag as one of the few films that subtly alluded to the happenings of Independence year. Character of Nargis in the film is that of a women rendered homeless by the partition.

Kamini Kaushal, the Nimmi who finally accepts Raj Kapoor with his burns, inner beauty and all.

The plot here is sort of inverse of the plot in Satyam Shivam Sundaram. In Aag, Raj Kapoor's character wants people to look beyond his beauty and in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Zeenat Aman's character would prefer that people look beyond her disfigurement. Of course the way she was shot in the film, the viewer doesn't care about it, and for the film's sake the hero only cares about the sound, so much so that on their Milan Raatri, he doesn't even dare to look at the face of the women he loves.  Welcome to Raj Kapoor's cinema. One man's kitsch take at 'Indian' emotions and concerns.


A film like Aag must be a treat for someone like Ashis Nandy. In his book 'The Secret Politics of our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema' he writes:

"Contemporaries like Masud, bureaucrat, intellectual and later a film critic, related personally to Raj's self-expression and translated it into their analytical idiom:'Aag reflected the two streams of Hindi and Urdu literature.
One was the strong romantic stream of suppressed sensuality and the other stream was progressive, wanting change. Aag was a response to the bleak middle-class culture.' In Raj's own words, Aag was:

...the story of youth consumed by the desire for a brighter and more intense life. And all those who has flitted like shadows through my own life, giving something and taking something were in that film..."

When Japs were Coming: WW II British Ads for India

A collection of World War II ads dated 1942 published in The Indian Express by the British Government as part of its war efforts and for taking on Congress challenge.

A really good Ad. The image is just too in-genius. Suited-Booted Smiling Japanese and a simple Indian villager. Contrasts of the image drive home the message shockingly well. July 22, 1942.
Portrait of the enemy. "The Jap. soldier moves through the jungle paths wearing singlet and shorts, rubber-soled canvas shoes, and tin hat. He carries a sub-machine gun, spare ammunition, stick grenades, water bottle and a machete (heavy bush knife) for hacking his way." January 16, 1942.
And portrait of the enemy inside.

August 2, 1942

August 1, 1942

January 16, 1942

Figting Goondas in December 1942

War needs money.

And Men.
Recruitment ad for Indian Air Force. February 17, 1942

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