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  • 07/11/15--00:50: More Than a Miracle (1967)
  • The first Omar Sharif film I remember watching was Mackenna’s Gold. As the bandit John Colorado, Sharif made a very young me (I was a child) feel that, my goodness, how could someone be so cruel and nasty and not … Continue reading

    dustedoffOmar Sharif as Prince Rodrigo in More Than a MiracleRodrigo's mother scolds himRodrigo rides awayRodrigo arrives at a monastery above which a monk fliesBrother Joseph gives Rodrigo some flour - and instructionsIsabella piles vegetables onto Rodrigo's horseIsabella watches as Roddrigo rides awayRodrigo turns up, requesting dumplingsIsabella raises the (false) alarmAn old witch comes to Isabella's helpThe witches' partyRodrigo finds himself paralyzedRodrigo and IsabellaThree thousand fluff chick scurry aboutOmar SharifdustedoffOmar Sharif as Prince Rodrigo in More Than a MiracleRodrigo's mother scolds himRodrigo rides awayRodrigo arrives at a monastery above which a monk fliesBrother Joseph gives Rodrigo some flour - and instructionsIsabella piles vegetables onto Rodrigo's horseIsabella watches as Roddrigo rides awayRodrigo turns up, requesting dumplingsIsabella raises the (false) alarmAn old witch comes to Isabella's helpThe witches' partyRodrigo finds himself paralyzedRodrigo and IsabellaThree thousand fluff chick scurry aboutOmar Sharif

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    At home, if we want to order in, we usually have a set number of places we order from. This weekend, at home after a very tiring week, I was too exhausted to cook, and I’d recently heard someone raving … Continue reading

    Hand pies: chicken in oyster sauce, and pulled pork in BBQ sauce - served with two sauces.dustedoffHand pies from Hand Pies.Hand pies: chicken in oyster sauce, and pulled pork in BBQ sauce - served with two sauces.The apple hand pie, with a side of rather thin custard.The 5 Star dark chocolate hand pie.Hand pies: chicken in oyster sauce, and pulled pork in BBQ sauce - served with two sauces.dustedoffHand pies from Hand Pies.Hand pies: chicken in oyster sauce, and pulled pork in BBQ sauce - served with two sauces.The apple hand pie, with a side of rather thin custard.The 5 Star dark chocolate hand pie.

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  • 07/19/15--02:18: Mahabharat (1965)
  • I hadn’t heard of this version of the Mahabharat till a few days back (not, of course, that the existence of this film is surprising; given Hindi cinema’s love for mythology, there was bound to be at least one version … Continue reading

    dustedoffThe wrestling match at Dhritrashtra's courtBheeshm Pitamah and KuntiGandhari sitting next to DronacharyaThe five PandavasDuryodhan bestows the kingship of Anga on KarnaDuryodhan with Shakuni MamaThe Pandavas, their mother and Draupadi, with Krishna and VishwakarmaThe fateful game of diceDraupadi's cheer-haranDraupadi and Bheem in disguise... and Arjun as BrihanallaBheeshm on his bed of arrowsOn the battlefieldKunti goes to Karna with a requestKrishna shows offThe Pandavas go off into exileDara Singh as BheemDraupadi tries to fight off the unwelcome attentions of KeechakAnoop Kumar in a cameodustedoffThe wrestling match at Dhritrashtra's courtBheeshm Pitamah and KuntiGandhari sitting next to DronacharyaThe five PandavasDuryodhan bestows the kingship of Anga on KarnaDuryodhan with Shakuni MamaThe Pandavas, their mother and Draupadi, with Krishna and VishwakarmaThe fateful game of diceDraupadi's cheer-haranDraupadi and Bheem in disguise... and Arjun as BrihanallaBheeshm on his bed of arrowsOn the battlefieldKunti goes to Karna with a requestKrishna shows offThe Pandavas go off into exileDara Singh as BheemDraupadi tries to fight off the unwelcome attentions of KeechakAnoop Kumar in a cameo

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    I know I’m a bit late to the party here; Anu had already written about Bhattacharjee and Vittal’s latest book over at her blog, and Harini reviewed it recently on her blog—but better late than never, I guess. Bhattacharjee and Vittal’s … Continue reading

    dustedoffGaataRaheMeraDil? in Ae mere pyaare watan, from Kabuliwala... and a boatman's daughter befriends himChalteChaltedustedoffGaataRaheMeraDil? in Ae mere pyaare watan, from Kabuliwala... and a boatman's daughter befriends himChalteChalte

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    Till a few years ago, my husband and I were wary of trying sushi in Delhi. Would the fish be fresh enough to be eaten raw, was my husband’s concern. Would raw fish taste all right? Wouldn’t it be too … Continue reading

    An array of sushi.dustedoffAn array of sushi. Sushi from Sushi Haus.The ebi maki from Sushi Haus.Chicken katsu roll and California roll, from Sushi Haus.Spicy salmon roll and Red Dragon Roll from Sushi Haus.An assortment of sushi, some vegetarian and some not.An array of sushi.dustedoffAn array of sushi. Sushi from Sushi Haus.The ebi maki from Sushi Haus.Chicken katsu roll and California roll, from Sushi Haus.Spicy salmon roll and Red Dragon Roll from Sushi Haus.An assortment of sushi, some vegetarian and some not.

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    The other day, I was thinking about some of those songs that end up featuring on every other list I make. Songs that are perennial favourites of mine, because they are those rare combinations of brilliant music and equally brilliant … Continue reading

    dustedoffGive us a hug, now...Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh, from Woh Kaun Thi?Mujhko apne gale lagaa lo, from HumraahiAa mere gale lag jaa, from BaaziAa lag jaa gale dilruba, from Dus LakhAa gale lag jaa, from April FoolMujhe gale se lagaa lo, from Aaj Aur KalYeh tanhaayi haai re haai, from Tere Ghar ke SaamneAe chaand ki zebaai, from Chhoti si MulaqatDoor ke o chanda, from Ek Dil Sau AfsaanedustedoffGive us a hug, now...Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh, from Woh Kaun Thi?Mujhko apne gale lagaa lo, from HumraahiAa mere gale lag jaa, from BaaziAa lag jaa gale dilruba, from Dus LakhAa gale lag jaa, from April FoolMujhe gale se lagaa lo, from Aaj Aur KalYeh tanhaayi haai re haai, from Tere Ghar ke SaamneAe chaand ki zebaai, from Chhoti si MulaqatDoor ke o chanda, from Ek Dil Sau Afsaane

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  • 08/07/15--08:11: Mahal (1969)
  • I had no particular film review or song list in mind for this week, but when Anu declared August Dev Anand month over at her blog, and Harini reviewed Duniya, I saw a bandwagon that I liked—and decided to jump … Continue reading

    dustedoffAsha Parekh and Dev Anand in MahalA mahal is at stakeRajesh goes gambling for a friendAt home with Chanda and MaRupa is told about a prospective groomRupa pretends to be her own dadiRajesh 'introduces' Ramesh to ChandaMoti has a propositionIn the train to DarjeelingRupa's father meets Rajesh by accidentThe MahalRaja Dinanath... and his nurse, a familiar faceAnother startling propositionRajesh fobs the nurse offSome sensational news - and puzzlingdustedoffAsha Parekh and Dev Anand in MahalA mahal is at stakeRajesh goes gambling for a friendAt home with Chanda and MaRupa is told about a prospective groomRupa pretends to be her own dadiRajesh 'introduces' Ramesh to ChandaMoti has a propositionIn the train to DarjeelingRupa's father meets Rajesh by accidentThe MahalRaja Dinanath... and his nurse, a familiar faceAnother startling propositionRajesh fobs the nurse offSome sensational news - and puzzling

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  • 08/10/15--07:24: Restaurant Review: La Bodega
  • What’s better than a lunch date with someone who shares several of the same interests as you? Someone whom you can chat with about everything from the latest good book you’ve read, to the next film post you’re going to … Continue reading

    Inside La Bodega.dustedoffAt La Bodega: our table. Inside La Bodega.Chilled avocado and yoghurt soup with fresh cilantro and mint.Pork belly with marinated pineapple, on flour tortillas.La Bodega's chocoflan: steamed custard atop chocolate cake, with caramel sauce and fruit.Inside La Bodega.dustedoffAt La Bodega: our table. Inside La Bodega.Chilled avocado and yoghurt soup with fresh cilantro and mint.Pork belly with marinated pineapple, on flour tortillas.La Bodega's chocoflan: steamed custard atop chocolate cake, with caramel sauce and fruit.

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  • 08/14/15--08:08: Muhomatsu no Issho (1958)
  • Or, The Rickshaw Man. I hadn’t heard of this film till a couple of months back. Around that time, looking at Toshirô Mifune’s filmography on IMDB, I came across The Rickshaw Man, and was intrigued enough to decide I must … Continue reading

    dustedoffToshiro Mifune in and as The Rickshaw ManA policeman comes visitingMatsu cries over a fight lostAt the box office...Matsu causes mayhem A mediator arrives...Matsu regrets his thoughtlessnessMrs Yoshioko asks Matsu for helpCaptain Yoshioko at homeThe captain develops a feverAfter the funeral, Mrs Yoshioko approaches MatsuMatsu falls in love, all quiet, all unseenThe dawning of a sad realizationA proud foster father... and an embarrassed manThe rickshawdustedoffToshiro Mifune in and as The Rickshaw ManA policeman comes visitingMatsu cries over a fight lostAt the box office...Matsu causes mayhem A mediator arrives...Matsu regrets his thoughtlessnessMrs Yoshioko asks Matsu for helpCaptain Yoshioko at homeThe captain develops a feverAfter the funeral, Mrs Yoshioko approaches MatsuMatsu falls in love, all quiet, all unseenThe dawning of a sad realizationA proud foster father... and an embarrassed manThe rickshaw

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    This post has been floating about in my head for a long time—at least, ever since I did a post on car songs (in which I’d mentioned pretty clearly that I meant only cars, not jeeps). When some readers began … Continue reading

    dustedoffJeep SongsPukaarta chala hoon main, from Mere SanamMere sapnon ki raani kab aayegi tu, from AradhanaKaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya, from Jhuk Gaya AasmaanSoch rahi ki kahoon, from Ek Phool Chaar KaanteSun lo sunaata hoon tumko kahaani, from AndaazMasti mein chhedke, from HaqeeqatMain raahi anjaan raahon ka, from AnjaanaMeri jaan meri jaan kehna maano, from Do ChorTumhaare pyaar mein, from ShikaarPyaar ka fasaana banaa le dil deewaana, from Teesra KaundustedoffJeep SongsPukaarta chala hoon main, from Mere SanamMere sapnon ki raani kab aayegi tu, from AradhanaKaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya, from Jhuk Gaya AasmaanSoch rahi ki kahoon, from Ek Phool Chaar KaanteSun lo sunaata hoon tumko kahaani, from AndaazMasti mein chhedke, from HaqeeqatMain raahi anjaan raahon ka, from AnjaanaMeri jaan meri jaan kehna maano, from Do ChorTumhaare pyaar mein, from ShikaarPyaar ka fasaana banaa le dil deewaana, from Teesra Kaun

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  • 08/29/15--06:08: Baat ek Raat ki (1962)
  • Anu had started this month with a Dev Anand film—and I, following suit, decided I would review a relatively little-known Dev Anand film too, to begin August. But, while Anu’s kept up the Dev Anand theme all through August, I’ve … Continue reading

    dustedoffWaheeda Rehman and Dev Anand in Baat ek Raat kiA blind beggar and a mysterious stranger, on a stormy nightRajesh saves a woman accused of murderNeelam's mother accosts RajeshRajesh confront NeelamBeni Prasad introduces himselfRajesh hears of Beni Prasad's deathRajesh sneaks in......and CID keeps an eye on RamuDr Roy tells Rajesh what to doRajesh puts his plan into actionFalling in loveNeelam becomes NeelaNeela with RanjanA betrayed Neela is stirred up into furyRanjan - dead!Waheeda Rehman in Baat ek Raat kiDev Anand in Baat ek Raat kidustedoffWaheeda Rehman and Dev Anand in Baat ek Raat kiA blind beggar and a mysterious stranger, on a stormy nightRajesh saves a woman accused of murderNeelam's mother accosts RajeshRajesh confront NeelamBeni Prasad introduces himselfRajesh hears of Beni Prasad's deathRajesh sneaks in......and CID keeps an eye on RamuDr Roy tells Rajesh what to doRajesh puts his plan into actionFalling in loveNeelam becomes NeelaNeela with RanjanA betrayed Neela is stirred up into furyRanjan - dead!Waheeda Rehman in Baat ek Raat kiDev Anand in Baat ek Raat ki

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  • 09/04/15--22:51: Karnan (1964)
  • One post often leads to another on this blog. When I posted my list of jewellery songs, blog reader Afsal posted a song from the 1965 Mahabharat—so I went and watched Mahabharat, and reviewed it. And, when I mentioned in … Continue reading

    dustedoffSivaji Ganesan, in and as KarnanKunti reveals her secretA charioteer rescues a babyA sadhu names the babyLittle KarnanKarnan learns the bitter truthKarnan faces up against ArjunanDuryodhan bestows the kingdom of Anga on KarnanKarnan meets Duryodhan and BhanumatiKarnan in his courtKarnan, worshopping SuryaKarnan rips out his earrings and breastplate to give to IndraKarnan poses as a BrahminParashuram curses KarnanAn unknown beauty Duryodhan and Bhanumati take it upon themselves to get Karnan marriedSubhangi assures Karnan of her loveKrishna reveals himself at Karnan's deathKarnan faces KrishnadustedoffSivaji Ganesan, in and as KarnanKunti reveals her secretA charioteer rescues a babyA sadhu names the babyLittle KarnanKarnan learns the bitter truthKarnan faces up against ArjunanDuryodhan bestows the kingdom of Anga on KarnanKarnan meets Duryodhan and BhanumatiKarnan in his courtKarnan, worshopping SuryaKarnan rips out his earrings and breastplate to give to IndraKarnan poses as a BrahminParashuram curses KarnanAn unknown beauty Duryodhan and Bhanumati take it upon themselves to get Karnan marriedSubhangi assures Karnan of her loveKrishna reveals himself at Karnan's deathKarnan faces Krishna

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    I love it when readers comment on my blog posts. I love it when they add songs to lists, introduce me to new songs, remind me of songs I’d forgotten about. I love it even more when they write in … Continue reading

    dustedoffWaqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, from Kaagaz ke PhoolDekhi zamaane ki yaari, from Kaagaz ke PhoolChal ri sajni, from Bombai ka BabuChhodo kal ki baatein, from Hum HindustaniPreetam aan milo, from Mr & Mrs 55Jhoom-jhoom dhalti raat, from KohraaMan jab bhi akeli hoti hoon, from DharmputraChhupa lo yoon dil mein, from MamtaChalo dildaar chalo, from PakeezahMere mann ke diye, from ParakhGumnaam hai koi, from GumnaamdustedoffWaqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam, from Kaagaz ke PhoolDekhi zamaane ki yaari, from Kaagaz ke PhoolChal ri sajni, from Bombai ka BabuChhodo kal ki baatein, from Hum HindustaniPreetam aan milo, from Mr & Mrs 55Jhoom-jhoom dhalti raat, from KohraaMan jab bhi akeli hoti hoon, from DharmputraChhupa lo yoon dil mein, from MamtaChalo dildaar chalo, from PakeezahMere mann ke diye, from ParakhGumnaam hai koi, from Gumnaam

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  • 09/19/15--22:06: The Innocents (1961)
  • My mother grew up in a family ruled by the iron hand of her grandfather, a strict disciplinarian who thought dining out, nightlife, and cinema were a waste of time. Not to mention immoral. As a result, while he was … Continue reading

    dustedoffDeborah Kerr in The InnocentsThe interviewAn odd conditionMiss Giddens is charmed by Bly...... and by FloraMrs Grose makes friends with Miss GiddensA disturbing letter arrivesMiles and Flora with Miss GiddensA stranger atop the towerMiss Giddens finds a cracked portrait of a strange manThe man in the portrait, in the fleshMrs Grose reveals some sordid secretsA mysterious woman watches from across the lakePamela Franklin as Flora, in The InnocentsMartin Stephens as Miles, in The InnocentsDeborah Kerr in The InnocentsdustedoffDeborah Kerr in The InnocentsThe interviewAn odd conditionMiss Giddens is charmed by Bly...... and by FloraMrs Grose makes friends with Miss GiddensA disturbing letter arrivesMiles and Flora with Miss GiddensA stranger atop the towerMiss Giddens finds a cracked portrait of a strange manThe man in the portrait, in the fleshMrs Grose reveals some sordid secretsA mysterious woman watches from across the lakePamela Franklin as Flora, in The InnocentsMartin Stephens as Miles, in The InnocentsDeborah Kerr in The Innocents

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    Or, since the Neemrana Group insists on calling its properties ‘non-hotels’, a non–hotel review. Over the years we’ve been married, my husband and I have developed a love for the properties of the Neemrana Group—and it all began with this … Continue reading

    Neemrana: A view of one of the swimming pools.dustedoffA little lawn and courtyard in Neemrana.A courtyard with a lotus pond, in Neemrana.A lovely old painting on wood.Inside Malabar Mahal: note the hanging lamps. Inside Malabar Mahal: the height of that bed is impressive!Neemrana: A view of one of the swimming pools.The dining room at Neemrana.Breakfast at Neemrana: just a sample.Lunch at Neemrana: some of the food.A collection of desserts.Evening coffee and snacks.Neemrana: A view of one of the swimming pools.dustedoffA little lawn and courtyard in Neemrana.A courtyard with a lotus pond, in Neemrana.A lovely old painting on wood.Inside Malabar Mahal: note the hanging lamps. Inside Malabar Mahal: the height of that bed is impressive!Neemrana: A view of one of the swimming pools.The dining room at Neemrana.Breakfast at Neemrana: just a sample.Lunch at Neemrana: some of the food.A collection of desserts.Evening coffee and snacks.

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    (Plug alert: my latest novel, what it’s about, and some background) Some of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while—or who know something of what I write about besides classic cinema—probably know by now that I am also … Continue reading

    dustedoffCrimson City, the fourth book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Englishman's Cameo, the first book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Jang Mysteries, a collection of short stories.Engraved in Stone, the third book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Englishman's Cameo, revised cover.The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Jang Mysteries, the revised cover.dustedoffCrimson City, the fourth book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Englishman's Cameo, the first book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Jang Mysteries, a collection of short stories.Engraved in Stone, the third book in the Muzaffar Jang series.The Englishman's Cameo, revised cover.The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Jang Mysteries, the revised cover.

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    People who know this blog focuses on pre-70s cinema would possibly be surprised to find a review here of a book about RD Burman—who, to most people, is more associated with Dum maaro dum and all those very peppy Rishi … Continue reading

    dustedoffAnirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal's 'RD Burman: The Man, The Music'Helen and Shammi Kapoor in Teesri ManzilRD BurmanAmitabh Bachchan et al in Bombay to GoaAage bhi jaane na tudustedoffAnirudha Bhattacharjee and Balaji Vittal's 'RD Burman: The Man, The Music'Helen and Shammi Kapoor in Teesri ManzilRD BurmanAmitabh Bachchan et al in Bombay to GoaAage bhi jaane na tu

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    My husband and I tend to steer clear of Delhi restaurants that have huge menus, especially when those menus scream ‘multicuisine’! Most of these (note: I’m not saying all, because there are some exceptions, like the delightful Latitude 28° in … Continue reading

    Two cheese and asparagus risotto.dustedoffA view of the door to the main restaurant, seen from the outside seating area.Our table at Cafe Delhi Heights.Lemonade at Cafe Delhi Heights.Two cheese and asparagus risotto.Pan-seared red snapper with stir-fried noodles.Banoffee pie and cafe miel. Great pie, bad coffee.Two cheese and asparagus risotto.dustedoffA view of the door to the main restaurant, seen from the outside seating area.Our table at Cafe Delhi Heights.Lemonade at Cafe Delhi Heights.Two cheese and asparagus risotto.Pan-seared red snapper with stir-fried noodles.Banoffee pie and cafe miel. Great pie, bad coffee.

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    When I posted my list of ‘background songs’ (songs that form part of the film, but to which nobody lip-synchs), I made one stipulation: that they wouldn’t include ‘credits songs’, or songs that play while the credits roll. Not all … Continue reading

    dustedoffJIs mulk ki sarhad ki nigehbaan hain aankhenWahaan kaun hai tera, from GuideGarjat barsat saawan aayo re, from Barsaat ki RaatRangeen bahaaron se hai gulzaar China Town, from China TownAji aisa mauka phir kahaan milega, from An Evening in ParisYeh Lucknow ki sarzameen, from Chaudhvin ka ChaandBasti-basti parbat-parbat, from Railway PlatformDoli mein bithaaike kahaar, from Amar PremSaare jahaan se achha, from DharmputraO ji saawan mein hoon beqaraar, from KalpanaMain hoon jhum-jhum-Jhumroo, from JhumroodustedoffJIs mulk ki sarhad ki nigehbaan hain aankhenWahaan kaun hai tera, from GuideGarjat barsat saawan aayo re, from Barsaat ki RaatRangeen bahaaron se hai gulzaar China Town, from China TownAji aisa mauka phir kahaan milega, from An Evening in ParisYeh Lucknow ki sarzameen, from Chaudhvin ka ChaandBasti-basti parbat-parbat, from Railway PlatformDoli mein bithaaike kahaar, from Amar PremSaare jahaan se achha, from DharmputraO ji saawan mein hoon beqaraar, from KalpanaMain hoon jhum-jhum-Jhumroo, from Jhumroo

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  • 10/16/15--05:10: Ek Gaon ki Kahaani (1957)
  • What is it about Bengali directors—Bimal Roy, for instance, or Hrishikesh Mukherjee, or (if one steps out of the realm of just Hindi cinema, Satyajit Ray)—that they manage to bring so vividly to life the everyday happenings in the lives … Continue reading

    dustedoffTalat Mahmood and Mala Sinha in Ek Gaon ki KahaaniRatan, his mother, and MayaRatan helps out with a mired tongaGokul with a villagerThe President suggests a match for Jaya... and explains to his sister and ShivJaya meets Doctor for the first timeAt dinnerGokul tries to stop DoctorRatan and DoctorDoctor and JayaGokul, the velvet fist in the iron gloveRatan and MayadustedoffTalat Mahmood and Mala Sinha in Ek Gaon ki KahaaniRatan, his mother, and MayaRatan helps out with a mired tongaGokul with a villagerThe President suggests a match for Jaya... and explains to his sister and ShivJaya meets Doctor for the first timeAt dinnerGokul tries to stop DoctorRatan and DoctorDoctor and JayaGokul, the velvet fist in the iron gloveRatan and Maya

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