Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Unidentified Indian model, 1963

Unidentified Indian model on cover of Jimmy Smith's Any Number Can Win (1963).

Agraharathil Kazhuthai

Maya Devi in Franz Osten's Prem Kahani (1937)

"A bride bedecked in a sombre setting - a Franz Osten composition for Prem Kahani directed for Bombat Talkies in 1937. We observe here a striking use of light to accentuate details of the dress, contours of the face and figure and above all, the mood of the scene. Maya Devi in the center as the bride, and Saroj Borkar at left. Courtesy: Cine Society Bombay,"


Tobacco Face


Radha Seth in Videocon Ad, 1990

Last night a cousin went browsing through my trash collection of old magazines. He paused at this particular ad and told me about Radha Seth. He recalled Siddharth Basu's Quiz Time that had Radha Seth as co-host. And he recalled a particular episode of Mr. Yogi.

The Episode:

Heaven is Space. Always.

Case of subtle appropriation of space by human imagining of heaven.

A scene from a Doordarshan presentation on Urdu language and poets.


A bunch of monkeys beating down on a metal roof. Creating much sound and a big ruckus. Dara Singh flies in through the air with a corrugated steel sheet on his head. Hunuman promises protection from monkeys.

[Ad break over. Ramayan continues.]

 from 'Bollywood Posters'.

from around 2 years ago.


Here comes Rajesh Khanna

 "The masses should keep a little of love they feel for me today for my tomorrow which is when I will need it more than I do today." ~ Rajesh Khanna in 1976.

"My luck may run out and the public, which is so kind, may turn cruel but when that happens I'll go down with a smile" ~ Rajesh Khanna in 1971.


There are essentially two Anands. One, Ikiru Anand. Two, Bluebeard Anand. Between the two of them, there are lot of songs, happy double-winks and shoulder swings. A Superstar like never before.
The scope and scale of stardom:

Aav ai Aav ai Rajesh Khanna/Syeeth-Syeeth Dimpul Khanna 
Aav ai Aav ai Rajesh Khanna/Syeeth-Syeeth Tinkle Khanna 

Here comes Rajesh Khanna, Here comes Rajesh Khanna, along comes Dimple and Twinkle Khanna.

~ Chorus of a satirical Kashmiri song still popular at weddings and similar occasions.  

communal toleration, 1882

"There was nearly being a tremendous fight between the Faithful and the Heathen this Huli.
It seems that a Hindu, who should have been an Irishman, conceived a plan for insulting the Mahommedans, and paraded the streets dressed in green (the religious colour of the Mahommedans), with a Koran slung round his neck, and a woman capering by his side, while he kept on shouting that he was the Prophet and this was his wife. The Mahommedans were infuriated, and with good reason; they seized the wretch, and, behaving far better than Irishmen in such circumstances would, dragged him before the magistrate. How the matter ended I do not know, but I should be glad to hear they had ducked the prophet in the river. It was an insult that was likely enough to have cost many lives."

 ~ 'The diary of a civilian's wife in India', 1877-1882, Volume 2, (1884) by Augusta E. King. Entry for Saharanpur, U.P., dated March 6, 1882.

An act like this would in today's information and media age, the modern age, almost certainly cost lot of lives. Equally true is that nobody today would probably come up with an act like this. That is to say the provocation need not be so elaborate. Just pick a brick, prick.


Reminds me of the time in college when a friend took me to meet a famous 'Chacca' of his. Not actually related to my friend, this man was famous in Mominpura, the Chandni Chowk of Nagpur, for throwing a bottle of acid on a theater screen that had Mani Ratnam's Bombay playing. The guys wasn't home.


Also reminds me of a cousin of my mother who in his youth fiddled with some forms of ideas of communism. In his youth, in Srinagar, he was once picked up by police on charges of  Koran Desecration. He had his finger nails pulled out. The police wanted to know the exact places where he had torn and scattered the pages. He had nothing to say. The story is now remembered at family get-togethers and told over guffaws. 


An average maharaja

Shah Jahan. 

An average maharaja
A Few statistics about princes are in order. On average
each prince
has 11 titles
can wear three uniforms
has 5.8 wives (or concubines)
procreates 12.6 children
lives in five palaces
dies at the age of 54
owns 9.2 elephants
kills 22.5 tigers during lifetime
possesses 2.8 specially fitted railway carriages
owns 3.4 Rolls-Royces

Life Magazine 31 April 1947
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. If you choose to use this or any part of this post on your site please link back to this page.


100 years of Indian Cinema (36) 1857 (1) 1930s (1) 1947 (20) 1947 print Ads (2) 1950s (1) 1982 (1) 1983 (1) 30s print Ads (1) 40s print Ads (6) 60s print Ads (3) 70s print Ads (52) 80s print Ads (24) A Diary Stolen (9) Ads from 90s n Y2Ks (12) Agra (9) Aldous Huxley (5) Allama Iqbal (3) Anna Akhmatova (3) art (2) Articles (25) Bagpipes (2) Bat-Ball (6) Begam Para (1) Blogging (34) Bookmarks (56) C 4 Computer (7) cartoons (2) Censorship (17) chori (1) Classic Indian Studio (5) Collage (35) Comics (20) Dev Anand (2) Dilli (25) Doordarshan Days (29) Eye Candy (69) Frivolous lol (32) game development (1) Gandhi (13) German Advertising Art (2) gurgaon (5) Guru Dutt (7) Hindi Chini (5) History (68) Hoarding (167) Indian Cinema (125) Indian Retro Television Ads (8) Indira (9) indo-pak (5) it is the 50s (1) it is the 60s (6) it is the 70s (19) it is the 80s (18) it is the 90s (7) Jungle Book (12) Kochi (2) Madhubala (2) maps (2) mario miranda (4) Meena Kumari (8) Million Gods (33) Movies (22) Mumbai (6) mumtaz (1) Music (62) Musings (7) Mussoorie (1) Nargis (1) News That Was (8) Nostalgia (29) Outlinks (16) Pandit Nehru (15) parveen babi (4) phasion (3) Photos (98) Plain weird Query (3) Poems Verses Whatever (43) Projects (3) Quests (4) Radio Ga Ga (11) Raja Harischandra (1) rastay ka maal satay may (2) roos (1) Sari Ads (5) Selected Nonsense (53) snake fest (4) Tibet (5) tona totka (1) Trip to Kashmir (5) Tube You (63) Urdu Poets (8) Vintage Indian Print Ads (97) Walls (5) Who are these people? (14) who mashes up gods? (25) Word Talk (4) Zeenat Aman (13)