Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

The First Family, 1979

Indira Gandhi with Soniya, Maneka, Rajeev, Sanjay, Rahul and Priyanka.
The famous shoot by Jitendra Arya. 1979. Came across it in December 1979 issue of Debonair.
Zeenat Aman and Shobha De. 1975. Came across it in docu-film 'Key-Fill-Cut' (2010) on the work of Jitendra Arya
[watch it here]

The Sanjay Obituary by Ashis Nandy, 1982

"Of course. We in this society produced Sanjay, nurtured him, and then, when the society's tolerance limits were crossed, destroyed him. We destroyed him the way we have traditionally destroyed our enemies - by overtly giving in and doing nothing. Sanjay's rootlessness, his simple-minded solutions to the nation's problems, his ruthless interventions when these solutions were resisted, his faith in pure politics, his ideology of a hard state, all these were derived from the political culture of India's Westernized middle classes and the middle class intelligentsia. And when things went wrong they turned against Sanjay the way we always turn most bitterly against a part of ourselves which we want to disown."

The Sanjay Obituary by Ashis Nandy, 1982. Nandy had an imaginary dialogue with Indira Gandhi in June 1982 issue of Debonair.  Download the complete article [here].


My favorite Chiru song

Chiranjeevi break dancing in Kashmir. 'Sweety' song from Pasivadi Pranam (1987). 

24 Brahmin Hand Signs

Came across these in Kashmiri Almanac, Vijeshwar Panchang.

A Plate from Mrs. S. C. Belnos's 'Sundhya' (1851). (via:, more, still more hand signs)


Free Advice to Indira

You can say lot of things about him, but only thing you could surely say about him is that he had a wicked sense of humor

December 1971 issue of Baburao Patel's Mother India.

Morning Show

Compiled from a couple of selected Indian Express issues from 70s/80s. 

Indian Independence in World News, 1947

"To him in August, 1947, the important question are whether there will be enough food to last through the winter, and when cloth will be obtainable, and kerosene and tea cheaper."

Youngstown Vindicator - Aug 18, 1947. A daily newspaper serving Youngstown, Ohio.
Just above the article you will find the photograph of Musket, a year-old Moose who loveed to eat Marple leaves. Just below the article is the news about French declaring Pondicherry, Karikal, Chandernagor, Mahe and Yanaon 'Free Cities'.

"Membership in all international organisations like the United nations went to Hindustan by previous agreement; Pakistan will not seek membership for itself."

St. Petersburg Times - Aug 15, 1947. St. Petersburg, Florida. Next to the shot news piece there is a photograph of 'Strange bedfellows', a duckling that sometimes went for a ride on a Dog's back.

"It creates the two new independent "temporary" dominions of Hindu India and Moslem Pakistan and for the first time since the 17th century gives the sprawling sub-continent's 400,000,000 people control over their political destinies and economic resources. [...] Britons still hope that both new countries will choose to enjoy their independence inside, rather than outside, the commonwealth.

However, the general expectation in London is that India will declare herself a sovereign republic and quit the commonwealth, while Pakistan will remain a dominion. [...] India in the past has been Britain's principal supplier for jute, jute manufactures, cotton, tea, seeds, various metals, ores and chemicals, spices and certain food items. In addition, more recently Britain has been buying uranium from Trancore state. "

Reading Eagle - Aug 14, 1947. Reading, Pennsylvania.

"Two independent dominions have appeared upon the map of Asia within the last fortnight - anew India of the Hindus and Pakistan, the India of the Moslems. The Indians have complete liberty from the British. India has become an Indian problem. It would be unfair to ask them what they are going to do with it. Time, and logic, hold the answers. [...]

But what of the Indians? I believe their greatest enemies will be the Indians themselves; namely the rich industrialists - those Bombay mill owners, for example, who would work indentured children 57 hours a week - and such mal-administrators as the provincial governments of the Panjab, Sind and Bengal, all Indians, who allowed Indian speculators to hold large supplies of wheat and rice off the market and thus contribute to the 1943 Bengal famine, in which more than a million and a half Indians died. [...]

The other conviction was that the major mistake of the British in India was that they were too gentlemanly in their administration, too impeccably honest, too aloof and that in their administration from above, without ever permitting themselves to mix with and feel the intimate problems of Indian life, they had always been aliens in India.
I once heard it argued quite seriously between a high ranking officer in the British army in India and one of the top officials in the Indian civil service, that if the British had carried on in the tradition of old John Company - the East Indies Co. of the early nineteenth century - if they had married Indians, settled down to live in India after their retirement, that the British would have had not merely a stronger foothold in India, but would have settled many of India's most difficult problems from within."

The Milwaukee Journal - Aug 24, 1947.

" The big argument in recent years has been over the question of Hindu domination of India. In 1905 the Moslem League was formed to combat this Hindu domination. It was 1940 before the Moslem League came out in favor of a Moslem separate state in free India to be known as Pakistan. As was the case in Ireland, the split in India is along religious lines rather than racial lines. However, recognition of the religious differences between the peoples of India probably seemed the only means of assuring the possibility of political freedom working successfully."

The Owosso Argus-Press - Aug 11, 1947. Owosso, Michigan

"The thirtieth and last viceroy of India rode through Delhi streets so packed with cheering Indians that police charged the thongs time and again to force a passage for the ceremonial coach and its team of eight white horses."

Painesville Telegraph - Aug 15, 1947. Painesville, Ohio.

"It is learned today that during the drive back to government house during the ceremonies establishing India as an independent dominion yesterday, Viscount Mountbatten picked up and put in a state coach two women who fainted in the crush. Nehru picked up a fallen child and placed him on a horse drawing Viscount Mountbatten's coach."

Toledo Blade - Aug 16, 1947. Toledo, Ohio.

"It is no less fortunate that the armed forces of the two countries are for the time being, under the command of British officers who are unswayed by local prejudices.
The rioting is a warning that India and Pakistan could fare worse - and that they would do well to place continued reliance on independent advice."

The Windsor Daily Star - Aug 27, 1947. Ontario, Canada.

"Now that India is independent, the future of the diamond-studded imperial crown, left made especially for the durbar of King George V in India, is a problem for constitutional experts.
India wants it back, along with other gifts presented to Britain."

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - Aug 14, 1947. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

  • The New India - India became two independent dominions in ceremonies at Karachi (1), capital of Pakistan and at New Delhi (2), seat of Hindu government. Rioting continued at Lahore (3) while at Calcutta (4) Mohandas Gandhi was greeted by rock-throwing demonstration. An Indian government spokesman said that most of the princely states have joined with Hindi India with only a few states (white areas) undecided. Kashmir, Hyderabad and Northwest Frontier states are largest of undecided states. Others are Indore (A), Bhopal (B), Khairpur (C), and Bhawalpur (D). The British information service reports that Kalat state in Baluchistan (black area) has voted to remain independent.

St. Petersburg Times - Aug 17, 1947. Just below this piece can be found article 'Arabic Nations Ask Freedom'.

  • 'India Today' by Dr.Satya Ranjan Barooah in collaboration with his wife, Parmila Pandit Barooah. Dr. Barooah an official of the government of India was visiting universities in Canada and United States.

"Five national laboratories have been established to conduct research on Indian industrial possibilities. About $900,000,000 has been granted to construct three dams to supply power and irrigation. Every year since 1945 nearly 1000 students have been sent to the U.S.A., Canada and England for higher technical education."

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix - Aug 15, 1947.

"Most of India's 350,000,000 people dropped the Moslem-Hindu religious war in favor of fireworks, elephant parades and stirring flag-raising rituals to inaugurate the independence that India received last midnight.

At Karachi, capital of the new Moslem state of Pakistan, 71 year-old Mohammed Ali Jinnah stode across pricelss Persian carpets to a high-backed mahogany chair, and there was sworn in as governnor-general by the scarlet-robed chief justice.

Verses from the Koran were repeated, and Pakistan's green star and crescent was hoisted. Said Jinnah: "We have no ambition except to live honorably, and let others live honorably."

In a companion ceremony at New Delhi, Mountbatten delivered the seal of office to Indian officials, and then was sworn in as governor-general."

The Leader-Post - Aug 15, 1947. Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

  • 'England Ends Rule of India' by P.D. Sharma, the United Press Staff Correspondent whose report of 15th August seems to have been most widely re-printed and circulated, in pieces. 'India marks freedom' and 'Empire's History Ends at New Delhi' are a variant of his report. 
"The new flag, all blue with the word India and a crown emblazoned in gold, replaced the Union Jack over government house while from the secretariat buildings across the road flew the new tricolor of India. [...]
"The two dominions are shouldering a very heavy burden." Gandhi said "Therefore, I invite everyone to observe the day by undertaking a 24-hour fast. Evey one should pray during the day for the well-being of the whole of India.""

Warsaw Daily Times - Aug 15, 1947

"Reports from Lahore said 50 more persons were killed there and 12 injured Thursday, making the causalities so far this week total 185 dead and 175 injured."

Eugene Register-Guard - Aug 15, 1947


Shammi Kapoor: The 'Yahoo!' man, 1931 - 2011

Shammi Kapoor, Saira Bano and  imagined Kashmir in 1961 film 'Junglee', a film that was supposed to be originally titled 'Mr. Hitler'. (a bit of  trivia from Shammi Kapoor Unpugged, one of the finest web original series produced in India)


Shammi, Rajshee, Faiz and Kashmir in Janawar(1965). This is the second and 'romantic' rendition of the Faiz Ahmed Faiz creation in the film. Quite typical of a Shammi Kapoor film, the first rendition occurs in a crude comic set-up. He was a rebel, but the kind of rebel that by the end of film gets reformed.



Mussoorie, Queen of the Frills

Spent an hour observing the aerial love games ofof Dragonflies. That's definitely something I always wanted to see. Rest of the weekend was spent doing something that I excel at, doing nothing.

Someone again asked the one question that I always dread. A very basic question. I now hate my long answers, long rehearsed through practice. But this time, the question came with an added layer of frivolousness. At night, walking down the narrow lanes carved in the hills, a wayfarer, an impetuous visitor typical to the northern hill stations of India any time of the year, shot the question towards me from across the road, 'Where are you from, Baby!'

How you wish your life was more like a Ritwik Ghatak film and how it keeps turning into a 'K.C. Bokadia Presents'.

Pinball machine.
Thanks to all the school in Mussoorie, game archades are still in business.

Grip Test. I am a clerk.
Shani gaya tel lenay shaniwar ko. The guy really loves oil.
Ear Gun
Air Gun
Report the map.
Skating Rink. Claimed to be India's biggest. On being asked about films that were shot here, the manager happily added that besides films, this place has also hosted many wrestling matches of Dara Singh.

At the Mussoorie Lake.

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