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Showing posts from September, 2011

Gumnaam Helen

Pillow Fighting Nehru, 1955

Throwing a pillow at some inattentive colleague during the debate, Avadi Congress, 1955.

This is my new favorite Nehru photo (a fine addition to my Nehru collection). Came across it in a picture book on Nehru from year 1964.

To Zeenat from Warren

Soumyadip's post about 1970 Air India Ad featuring Zeenat Aman made me dig up this one:

To Zeenat - one of Life's Big Surpises
- Your friend
Warren
Aug 29, 1976

Zeenat Aman came back from her 1976 US trip with an autograph from Warren Beatty.



Shekhar Kapur in Wills Ad

Guy has a cigarette hanging from a corner of his mouth, preferably left. He still talking, almost enjoying the talk as just much as the smoke. His hands are busy working on something. There's a woman in the frame too, worshiping him. Her mouth agape in pretend awe. A classic smoking situation, for films and ads. Just the thing to get you started. The scene tells you it is a classic situation for life too.

The guy enacting the situation in this ad happens to be Shekhar Kapur. It is a funny thought there is now a generation in India that grew up without seeing ads for cigarettes in magazine, and certainly without seeing celebrity endorsement of cigarettes. The impact of government policies and directives in shaping public lives in never so obvious.

[P.S. Nice watch]

Sitara Devi - the show-woman of Kathak

Entry for Sitara Devi in Filmfare July 1-15, 1988 celebrating 75 years of Indian Cinema.
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The Queen No One Cared For [bargad.org/the pinoneer] Sumati Mehrishi on Sitara Devi being conferred the Legends of India Lifetime Achievement Award 2011.

Kathak queen Sitara Devi still youthful at 91 [HT]

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Sitara Devi was the daughter of Pt. Sukhdev Sahai, the pioneer of Banaras Gharana of Kathak dance.  She was once married to film producer K.Asif. -0-


Nehru with Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor

Sometime back, an interesting query from someone:
Ritu Nanda's book about her father, 'Raj Kapoor: speaks' has (above given) photograph of Nehru with Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor. It mentions the year as 1968, which is definitely wrong since Nehru died in 1964. The image is missing in 2nd edition of the book. When was the photograph taken and who took it?

I get all kinds of queries and requests, most of them next to impossible. This one too was impossible.

Figuring out the date turned out to be easy. Google image search (that now lets you search the web for images using as reference an image that may be sitting on your system) lead to this fine gallery where the image had a name ending with 1958 (I try to follow the same convention while uploading images).

So the year was 1958. But the real difficult part was finding the name of the photographer. In a case like this finding the culprit is next to impossible. I kept the case as unsolved.

Then recently a friend sen…

Heer Ranjha, Kiss, 1929

The iconic kiss from Imperial Film of Bombay's Heer Ranjha (aka Beauty of Punjab aka Hoore Punjab, 1929). Starring Sulochana (aka Ruby Meyers) and D.Billimoria.

From March 8, 1963 issue of Filmfare celebrating 50 years of Indian Cinema. Shared generously by a friend.


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How Biswajeet brought on India's Kissing Crisis

Memsaab in a recent post about film Jaal (1967) asks: Is Biswajeet finally Cool?

I think he always tried a bit too hard to be cool. The post made me reach out for my trash can trash can and digg up this monstrosity.

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The story goes like this: During the shooting of a film called Anjana Safar (1969) a newcomer named Rekha was slyly kissed by Biswajeet. The scene was captured on camera The film ran into censor troubles, took almost ten years to complete and was finally released as Do Shikari (1979). Meanwhile, the 'kiss scene' was apparently already famous because it made it to the cover of year 1969 Asian edition of Life Magazine, probably for the story 'India's Kissing Crisis' based on hysteria brought forth by release of Khosla Committee Report that claimed "kissing or nudity can't be banned unless a court of law judges it obscene." [Outlook article from 2001].


“No court of law will hold that a kiss by itself, irrespective of the circumstances i…

Style, 1945

Tagore with Women

"I never have forgotten her, nor viewed her attraction with a detractory label. Since then my life has been a chiaroscuro of experience; at times Providence has wrought havoc on me, yet I can take pride in that I have never derogared the love of any woman...every woman's love is a favour...a flower that withers but the fragrance remains."

~ Rabindranath Tagore remembering his "England-returned-liberal" tutor Anna Pandurang Tadkhad, daughter of Dr Atmaran, founder of Prarthna Samaj, a Maharashtra based Hindu reformist organisation.

In around 1878, 17 year old Tagore was sent to Bombay by his brother Satyendra Nath Tagore ( the first Indian member of ICS) to learn English manners and life-style which were to be taught to him by Miss Anna Pandurang.

"I never could imagine why, of all the games, tug-of-war was thought of. Before I could even agree of this bout, she had slumped onto my body as a mark of defeat. But even this did not give me ecstasy nor endowed…

Bayoneting of Biharis, 1971

"Massacre for the Media: In his book 'Pictures on a Page, Sunday Times editor Harold Evans reveals that at the end of the Bangladesh war, photographers in Dacca were invited to a 'photo opportunity' in a polo field. It turned out to be the bayoneting of Biharis who were alleged to have collaborated with the Pakistani army...'"


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something special is coming your way

The famous Cherry Blossom Ad from late 70s, early 80s featuring model Nandini Sen.
Shot by Adrian Steven

starring Amitabh Bachchan and Muhammad Ali

"Muhammad Ali, celebrated heavyweight boxer, has been offered the role of an African revolitionary in the film 'Zameen', written by Harbance Kumar and to be produced by Prakash Mehra. The film's hero Amitabh Bachchan, the producer, and Amitabh'a younger brother can be seen in photograph at Muhammad Ali's home in Los Angles."
From Debonair, December 1979