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    Happy birthday, Dharmendra! Considering I am so fond of Dharmendra (and I’ve reviewed so many of his films—including his debut film, the forgettable Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere), it seems odd that I’ve never created a list of my … Continue reading

    dustedoffDharmendra (in Shikar)Tum pukaar lo, from KhamoshiYa dil ki suno duniyawaalon, from AnupamaHui shaam unka khayaal aa gaya, from Mere Humdum Mere DostMujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na thha, from AkashdeepAapke haseen rukh pe, from Bahaarein Phir Bhi AayengiEk haseen shaam ko, from Dulhan Ek Raat KiMere dushman tu meri dosti, from Aaye Din Bahaar KeMujhko is raat ki tanhaayi mein, from Dil Bhi Tera, Hum Bhi TereDekha hai teri aankhon mein, from Pyaar Hi PyaarGar tum bhula na doge, from YakeendustedoffDharmendra (in Shikar)Tum pukaar lo, from KhamoshiYa dil ki suno duniyawaalon, from AnupamaHui shaam unka khayaal aa gaya, from Mere Humdum Mere DostMujhe dard-e-dil ka pata na thha, from AkashdeepAapke haseen rukh pe, from Bahaarein Phir Bhi AayengiEk haseen shaam ko, from Dulhan Ek Raat KiMere dushman tu meri dosti, from Aaye Din Bahaar KeMujhko is raat ki tanhaayi mein, from Dil Bhi Tera, Hum Bhi TereDekha hai teri aankhon mein, from Pyaar Hi PyaarGar tum bhula na doge, from Yakeen

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    Tamura has been around for a long time (or so I was told by various people who recommended it to me), and in various locations. There is one in Green Park Extension, and one in New Friends Colony Community Centre—and … Continue reading

    Bento boxes from Tamura - pork shogayaki and chicken teriyaki.dustedoffBento boxes from Tamura - pork shogayaki and chicken teriyaki.The chicken teriyaki bento box from Tamura.The pork shogayaki bento box from Tamura.A tonkatsu bento box and an oyakodon.Bento boxes from Tamura - pork shogayaki and chicken teriyaki.dustedoffBento boxes from Tamura - pork shogayaki and chicken teriyaki.The chicken teriyaki bento box from Tamura.The pork shogayaki bento box from Tamura.A tonkatsu bento box and an oyakodon.

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    I was born in an odd generation that somehow missed the Rajesh Khanna euphoria. I missed inheriting it from my parents, who had been young and film-crazy when Ashok Kumar, Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand had been in their prime. … Continue reading

    dustedoffGautam Chintamani's 'Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna'Rajesh Khanna with Sharmila Tagore in AradhanaRajesh Khanna and Waheeda Rehman in KhamoshiRajesh Khanna in IttefaqdustedoffGautam Chintamani's 'Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna'Rajesh Khanna with Sharmila Tagore in AradhanaRajesh Khanna and Waheeda Rehman in KhamoshiRajesh Khanna in Ittefaq

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    In my not-too-recent posts about the impact of the Revolt of 1857 on Delhi’s monuments, I’d dwelt quite a bit on the mosques of the city. The many masjids, which are among Delhi’s most visible historical monuments, and which suffered … Continue reading

    Jama Masjid, its facade a fine example of the sawaal-jawaab.dustedoffThe mihrab at the Taj Mahal mosque, with the mimbar next to it.The wall mosque at the tomb of Atgah Khan.Begumpuri Masjid, with its large sehan.The hauz at Jama Masjid.Jama Masjid, its facade a fine example of the sawaal-jawaab.The iwaan at the Qila-e-Kohna mosque.... and the liwaan at the Qila-e-Kohna.The riwaaq at Begumpuri Masjid.At the Jama Masjid, a mimbar which stands outside; the main mimbar is inside, next to the mihrab.Jama Masjid, its facade a fine example of the sawaal-jawaab.dustedoffThe mihrab at the Taj Mahal mosque, with the mimbar next to it.The wall mosque at the tomb of Atgah Khan.Begumpuri Masjid, with its large sehan.The hauz at Jama Masjid.Jama Masjid, its facade a fine example of the sawaal-jawaab.The iwaan at the Qila-e-Kohna mosque.... and the liwaan at the Qila-e-Kohna.The riwaaq at Begumpuri Masjid.At the Jama Masjid, a mimbar which stands outside; the main mimbar is inside, next to the mihrab.

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  • 12/24/14--17:45: 3 Godfathers (1948)
  • There are two traditions I’ve maintained on this blog ever since I began blogging. One is to celebrate my birthday with a pertinent post (coming up in two weeks’ time). The other is to, for Christmas, review a Christmas-themed film … Continue reading

    dustedoffThree godfathersThree rustlers turn up at WelcomeMr and Mrs Sweet have a chat with the visitorsThe Kid, Bob and Pedro talk to the SweetsMr Sweet reveals himself as a lawmanOn the run, after the robberySweet enlists some men in his posseSweet and his men arrive at Mojave TanksBob, Pete and the Kid at Mojave TanksThe outlaws set off for Terrapin TanksA sandstormAt Terrapin TanksPedro agrees - reluctantly - to helpHarvesting moisture from barrel cactusA dying mother extracts a promiseRobert William Pedro HightowerFollowing the star...A frame from 3 GodfathersdustedoffThree godfathersThree rustlers turn up at WelcomeMr and Mrs Sweet have a chat with the visitorsThe Kid, Bob and Pedro talk to the SweetsMr Sweet reveals himself as a lawmanOn the run, after the robberySweet enlists some men in his posseSweet and his men arrive at Mojave TanksBob, Pete and the Kid at Mojave TanksThe outlaws set off for Terrapin TanksA sandstormAt Terrapin TanksPedro agrees - reluctantly - to helpHarvesting moisture from barrel cactusA dying mother extracts a promiseRobert William Pedro HightowerFollowing the star...A frame from 3 Godfathers

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  • 01/02/15--08:27: Gustakhi Maaf (1969)
  • Happy New Year! The other day, someone mentioned that after Omkara, Maqbool and Haider—based respectively on Othello, MacBeth and Hamlet—Vishal Bhardwaj was going to be making a trio of films based on Shakespeare’s comedies. The thought came into my head: … Continue reading

    dustedoffTanuja as Asha and Seema/Asha in Gustakhi Maaf In the midst of a stormLittle Seema is found by SethjiSeema-turned-Asha waits for Shankar...... and Shankar supervises the putting up of a paintingJai, helping Shankar with the paintingAsha slaps Chhajju...... and follows it up with a slap to ShankarJai counsels ShankarAsha buys a necklaceThe jeweller and his munim take to their heelsAsha meets the jeweller outside the police stationLovers reunited: Seema-turned-Asha and ShankarAsha pelts missiles at the studioAsha comes to have a chat with JaiMirchi tries to help Asha in her wooingAsha with JaiSanjeev Kumar and Tanuja in Gustakhi MaafdustedoffTanuja as Asha and Seema/Asha in Gustakhi Maaf In the midst of a stormLittle Seema is found by SethjiSeema-turned-Asha waits for Shankar...... and Shankar supervises the putting up of a paintingJai, helping Shankar with the paintingAsha slaps Chhajju...... and follows it up with a slap to ShankarJai counsels ShankarAsha buys a necklaceThe jeweller and his munim take to their heelsAsha meets the jeweller outside the police stationLovers reunited: Seema-turned-Asha and ShankarAsha pelts missiles at the studioAsha comes to have a chat with JaiMirchi tries to help Asha in her wooingAsha with JaiSanjeev Kumar and Tanuja in Gustakhi Maaf

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    A good way to begin a new year? Launch a series of articles on some of my favourite medieval mosques in Delhi! As is probably obvious from my article on mosque architecture, I find old mosques fascinating (well, old any … Continue reading

    The Qila-e-Kohna mosque, Purana Qila.dustedoffInside the Qila-e-Kohna mosque.The Qila-e-Kohna mosque, Purana Qila.The iwaan - the main arch - at Qila-e-Kohna.A Quranic inscription at the Qila-e-Kohna.The mihrab at Qila-e-Kohna.Looking up at the ceiling, and the tilework.The Qila-e-Kohna mosque, Purana Qila.dustedoffInside the Qila-e-Kohna mosque.The Qila-e-Kohna mosque, Purana Qila.The iwaan - the main arch - at Qila-e-Kohna.A Quranic inscription at the Qila-e-Kohna.The mihrab at Qila-e-Kohna.Looking up at the ceiling, and the tilework.

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    Known in English as The Hidden Fortress, though the literal translation is The Three Villains of the Hidden Fortress. One of Akira Kurosawa’s finest samurai films. I’ve made it a blog tradition that, every year on my birthday, I review … Continue reading

    dustedoffSusumu Fujita as General Hyoe Tadokoro in The Hidden Fortress.Two peasants come back from the war...... and part ways.Matashichi gets to know of a rewardMatashichi and Tahei find some gold.A forbidding man puts in an appearance.Unexpected - and daunting - company.Tahei draws a map to explain the plan.The peasants tell the man their plan.The two peasants get down to digging.A strange girl by the spring.Makabe goes for a meeting.Princess Yuki with her advisors and helpers.A plan is approved.The general and the princess set off - with the peasantsThe travellersdustedoffSusumu Fujita as General Hyoe Tadokoro in The Hidden Fortress.Two peasants come back from the war...... and part ways.Matashichi gets to know of a rewardMatashichi and Tahei find some gold.A forbidding man puts in an appearance.Unexpected - and daunting - company.Tahei draws a map to explain the plan.The peasants tell the man their plan.The two peasants get down to digging.A strange girl by the spring.Makabe goes for a meeting.Princess Yuki with her advisors and helpers.A plan is approved.The general and the princess set off - with the peasantsThe travellers

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    …specifically, songs which he composed, not just songs he sang (since C Ramachandra also lent his voice to some of his best songs). Chitalkar Ramachandra was born 97 years ago—on January 12, 1918, in the town of Puntamba in Maharashtra. … Continue reading

    dustedoffChitalkar Ramachandra, b January 12Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag, from AnarkaliTaaron ki zubaan par hai, from Nausherwan-e-AadilGore-gore o baanke chhore, from SamadhiKitna haseen hai mausam, from AzaadShola jo bhadke, from AlbelaDil lagaakar hum yeh samjhe, from Zindagi aur MautEena meena deeka, from AashaMain jaagoon saari rain, from BahuraniAa dil se dil mila le, from NavrangGagan jhanjhana raha, from NastikdustedoffChitalkar Ramachandra, b January 12Jaag dard-e-ishq jaag, from AnarkaliTaaron ki zubaan par hai, from Nausherwan-e-AadilGore-gore o baanke chhore, from SamadhiKitna haseen hai mausam, from AzaadShola jo bhadke, from AlbelaDil lagaakar hum yeh samjhe, from Zindagi aur MautEena meena deeka, from AashaMain jaagoon saari rain, from BahuraniAa dil se dil mila le, from NavrangGagan jhanjhana raha, from Nastik

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    While I am passionately fond of food, and can cook a decent enough meal (or so possibly biased people have told me), I do tend to get cold feet at the thought of cooking for any number of people. Six … Continue reading

    An array of goodies: chicken biryani, onion raita, mutton korma, baingan mirch ka salan, salad.dustedoffAn array of goodies: chicken biryani, onion raita, mutton korma, baingan mirch ka salan, salad.Kathal biryani, salad, onion raita, and baingan mirch ka salan.Chicken biryani and mutton korma, by Sangeeta Anand.An array of goodies: chicken biryani, onion raita, mutton korma, baingan mirch ka salan, salad.dustedoffAn array of goodies: chicken biryani, onion raita, mutton korma, baingan mirch ka salan, salad.Kathal biryani, salad, onion raita, and baingan mirch ka salan.Chicken biryani and mutton korma, by Sangeeta Anand.

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  • 01/20/15--21:43: Armaan (1966)
  • Comments on blog posts here tend to go off on tangents. I don’t have a problem with that (in fact, I often contribute)—and, best of all, sometimes these completely tangential comments give me ideas for other posts. The other day, … Continue reading

    dustedoffZeba and Waheed Murad in ArmaanNajma is harangued by her auntSeema with Sohail, in a flashbackSeema ropes Najma into being a de facto mumKhan Sahib speaks to NasirNasir and Shahid arrive at Begum Sahiba'sNasir has a chat with NajmaNasir makes a phone call, pretending to be his own father'Khan Sahib' has a chat with NajmaNasir's identity is revealedNasir tells all to his fatherAn ominous arrivalNajma is left holding the babyWaheed Murad as Nasir in ArmaandustedoffZeba and Waheed Murad in ArmaanNajma is harangued by her auntSeema with Sohail, in a flashbackSeema ropes Najma into being a de facto mumKhan Sahib speaks to NasirNasir and Shahid arrive at Begum Sahiba'sNasir has a chat with NajmaNasir makes a phone call, pretending to be his own father'Khan Sahib' has a chat with NajmaNasir's identity is revealedNasir tells all to his fatherAn ominous arrivalNajma is left holding the babyWaheed Murad as Nasir in Armaan

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    There’s this delightful, irreverent new literary journal called AntiSerious. Which, as its name suggests, is all about not being serious. Not being serious about politics, society and its morals, the economy, literature, or whatever. When AntiSerious were starting up, they … Continue reading

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    A few weeks back, I’d decided to begin a series of articles on some of the more interesting medieval mosques of Delhi. I began with an introduction to mosque architecture, then wrote a piece on one of the most striking … Continue reading

    A view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.dustedoffA view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.The main gateway into the Begumpuri Masjid.A view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.A riwaaq at Begumpuri Masjid.Inside the zenana masjid - a glimpse of a stone filigree screen, or jaali.At Begumpuri Masjid, looking towards the zenana masjid.A view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.dustedoffA view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.The main gateway into the Begumpuri Masjid.A view of the sehan at Begumpuri Masjid.A riwaaq at Begumpuri Masjid.Inside the zenana masjid - a glimpse of a stone filigree screen, or jaali.At Begumpuri Masjid, looking towards the zenana masjid.

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  • 02/02/15--20:44: Parivaar (1956)
  •   Serendipity isn’t something I encounter too frequently while watching Hindi cinema. More often than not, it’s the other way round: I watch a film because I liked the cast, or because the story sounds appealing, or (and this happens … Continue reading

    dustedoffThe parivaar, all togetherBade bhaiya and a quiet game of chessBadi bhabhi with two devranisMajhle bhaiya and his wifeGanesh, the engineerDinesh, the doctor - and his wifeThe youngest brother, Suresh, with his wifeThe servantsGanesh and his wife arrive with their childrenGanesh stuffs himselfMadho comes rushing to inform the two eldest ladiesThe brothers meet at the breakfast tableThe womenfolk have a meetingBadi bhabhi takes a reluctant part in the plotThe family, in ParivaardustedoffThe parivaar, all togetherBade bhaiya and a quiet game of chessBadi bhabhi with two devranisMajhle bhaiya and his wifeGanesh, the engineerDinesh, the doctor - and his wifeThe youngest brother, Suresh, with his wifeThe servantsGanesh and his wife arrive with their childrenGanesh stuffs himselfMadho comes rushing to inform the two eldest ladiesThe brothers meet at the breakfast tableThe womenfolk have a meetingBadi bhabhi takes a reluctant part in the plotThe family, in Parivaar

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  • 02/12/15--08:10: Sunday in New York (1963)
  • This is a somewhat belated tribute, to yet another star of the silver screen. Aussie actor Rod Taylor (January 11, 1930 – January 7, 2015) arrived in Hollywood in the 1950s, and though he never achieved the fame of fellow … Continue reading

    dustedoffRod Taylor as Mike Mitchell in Sunday in New YorkRod Taylor, 1930-2015Adam phones Mona from the airportEileen lands up at Adam'sSome questioningMother's blue robe, acting chaperoneAdam and Mona try to find an empty padEileen gets entangled with MikeMike cuts off his pocketAt the cafe Mike comes to the rescueCaught in the rainAn wakward moment - and Eileen is disillusionedEileen makes her moveAdam is told of Mona's surprise for himEileen and Mike have a talkRuss arrivesRod Taylor with Jane Fonda in Sunday in New YorkdustedoffRod Taylor as Mike Mitchell in Sunday in New YorkRod Taylor, 1930-2015Adam phones Mona from the airportEileen lands up at Adam'sSome questioningMother's blue robe, acting chaperoneAdam and Mona try to find an empty padEileen gets entangled with MikeMike cuts off his pocketAt the cafe Mike comes to the rescueCaught in the rainAn wakward moment - and Eileen is disillusionedEileen makes her moveAdam is told of Mona's surprise for himEileen and Mike have a talkRuss arrivesRod Taylor with Jane Fonda in Sunday in New York

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    The other day, thinking over the themes for song lists that I’ve posted over the years I’ve been writing this blog, two came forcibly to mind: rain songs (a list, in fact, which has proved very popular—I was even interviewed … Continue reading

    dustedoffCloud songs from Hindi cinemaKaare badraa tu na jaa na jaa, from ShikastKaare-kaare baadraa jaa re jaa re from BhabhiMegha re bol ghanan-ghanan, from Dil Deke DekhoJhukti ghata, gaati hawa from Dhool ka PhoolPyaar bhari yeh ghataayein, from Qaidi No. 911Megha chhaaye aadhi raat, from SharmeeleeAllah megh de, from GuideUmad-ghumadkar aayi re ghata, from Do Aankhen Baarah HaathGhir-ghirke aasmaan par chhaane lagi ghataayein, from Baanwre NainJhir-jhir, jhir-jhir badarwa barse, from ParivaardustedoffCloud songs from Hindi cinemaKaare badraa tu na jaa na jaa, from ShikastKaare-kaare baadraa jaa re jaa re from BhabhiMegha re bol ghanan-ghanan, from Dil Deke DekhoJhukti ghata, gaati hawa from Dhool ka PhoolPyaar bhari yeh ghataayein, from Qaidi No. 911Megha chhaaye aadhi raat, from SharmeeleeAllah megh de, from GuideUmad-ghumadkar aayi re ghata, from Do Aankhen Baarah HaathGhir-ghirke aasmaan par chhaane lagi ghataayein, from Baanwre NainJhir-jhir, jhir-jhir badarwa barse, from Parivaar

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    Some days back, I’d written about one of Delhi’s large but little-known mosques, the massive Begumpuri Masjid, near Malviya Nagar. In a turn-around, this week’s (or fortnight’s, whatever) interesting medieval mosque is one that’s much more visible, even though most … Continue reading

    A view of the mosque's interior.dustedoffThe facade of the Bada Gumbad Mosque.Bada Gumbad, seen from a distance.Inside the Bada Gumbad Mosque.A view of the mosque's interior.Incised plaster on a niche at the mosque.More incised plaster on a niche.Incised plaster decorating the squinches in the mosque.A circular pattern of painted incised plaster on the mosque's ceiling.A view of the mosque's interior.dustedoffThe facade of the Bada Gumbad Mosque.Bada Gumbad, seen from a distance.Inside the Bada Gumbad Mosque.A view of the mosque's interior.Incised plaster on a niche at the mosque.More incised plaster on a niche.Incised plaster decorating the squinches in the mosque.A circular pattern of painted incised plaster on the mosque's ceiling.

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  • 02/26/15--03:21: Gigi (1958)
  • I have firmly believed, for the past few years, that Hollywood would have been a lot poorer had it not been for its Europeans. All the way from writers and composers to directors—and, of course, the most visible, actors. Charles … Continue reading

    dustedoffLouis Jourdan as Gaston Lachaille in GigiGigi with her grandmotherGigi deplores Aunt Alicia's efforts to groom herAt Aunt Alicia'sAunt Alicia, training Gigi on jewelleryGigi with GastonOn the skating rink: Liane with her instructordustedoffLouis Jourdan as Gaston Lachaille in GigiGigi with her grandmotherGigi deplores Aunt Alicia's efforts to groom herAt Aunt Alicia'sAunt Alicia, training Gigi on jewelleryGigi with GastonOn the skating rink: Liane with her instructor"She's not thinking of me"Gaston and Honore get rid of the skating instructorGaston partiesGigi bets on a game of cardsMamita and Honore sing of old timesMamita and Aunt Alicia have a chatLouis Jourdan and Leslie Caron in Gigi

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    Satyajit Ray is a name that appears inevitably on any list of great Indian film directors. And often enough (or at least, it should, as far as I’m concerned) on lists of great film directors, regardless of nation or language. … Continue reading

    dustedoffBhaskar Chattopadhyay's 14 Stories That Inspired Satyajit RayAparna Dasgupta in SamaptiSanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey in Shatranj ke KhiladiSoumitra Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee in KapurushA scene from JalsaghardustedoffBhaskar Chattopadhyay's 14 Stories That Inspired Satyajit RayAparna Dasgupta in SamaptiSanjeev Kumar and Saeed Jaffrey in Shatranj ke KhiladiSoumitra Chatterjee and Madhabi Mukherjee in KapurushA scene from Jalsaghar

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  • 03/09/15--22:22: Jalsaghar (1958)
  • There is a scene well into Satyajit Ray’s Jalsaghar (The Music Room) in which the protagonist, a reclusive and close-to-bankrupt zamindar named Bishwambar Roy (Chhabi Biswas) stands outside his crumbling palace and looks out towards the riverbank, where his elephant … Continue reading

    dustedoffBishwambar Roy looks out at his elephantA dilapidated palaceThe grand mirror in the jalsaghar, in better days...... and in worse.Bishwambar Roy and his wifeMahim Ganguli comes callingA performance in the jalsagharKhoka's body is broughtA view of the palace, dead and forlornThe jalsagharInside the long-locked jalsagharChhabi Biswas as Bishwambar RoyRoshan Kumari in JalsaghardustedoffBishwambar Roy looks out at his elephantA dilapidated palaceThe grand mirror in the jalsaghar, in better days...... and in worse.Bishwambar Roy and his wifeMahim Ganguli comes callingA performance in the jalsagharKhoka's body is broughtA view of the palace, dead and forlornThe jalsagharInside the long-locked jalsagharChhabi Biswas as Bishwambar RoyRoshan Kumari in Jalsaghar

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