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Articles on this Page
- 09/12/16--20:26: _Ten tips to write b...
- 09/17/16--08:43: _Nanak Naam Jahaaz H...
- 09/22/16--22:37: _Ten of my favourite...
- 09/29/16--06:46: _Book Review: Raju B...
- 10/05/16--08:55: _How to write, Part ...
- 10/11/16--23:42: _Hum Sab Chor Hain (...
- 10/19/16--00:45: _Adam and Evelyne (1...
- 10/26/16--07:57: _Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan (...
- 10/31/16--08:09: _Here Comes Mr Jorda...
- 11/04/16--21:07: _Ten of my favourite...
- 11/08/16--19:14: _New Book! Introduci...
- 11/13/16--06:16: _Restaurant Review: ...
- 11/18/16--02:00: _Gone with the Wind ...
- 11/23/16--01:27: _Oonche Log (1965)
- 11/29/16--02:35: _Balgan Mahura (1964)
- 12/04/16--18:30: _Trios, Quartets, an...
- 12/11/16--07:21: _How to write, Part ...
- 12/18/16--09:32: _Kab? Kyon? Aur Kaha...
- 12/21/16--07:59: _Birds, baoris and more
- 12/24/16--21:24: _A Christmas Carol (...
- 09/12/16--20:26: Ten tips to write better
- 09/17/16--08:43: Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai (1969)
- 09/22/16--22:37: Ten of my favourite Aankhen songs
- 09/29/16--06:46: Book Review: Raju Bharatan’s Asha Bhosle: A Musical Biography
- 10/05/16--08:55: How to write, Part 2: Non-fiction
- 10/11/16--23:42: Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956)
- 10/19/16--00:45: Adam and Evelyne (1949)
- 10/26/16--07:57: Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan (1968)
- 10/31/16--08:09: Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941)
- 11/04/16--21:07: Ten of my favourite ‘nazar’ songs
- 11/08/16--19:14: New Book! Introducing Put Asunder: A Period Romance
- 11/13/16--06:16: Restaurant Review: Artusi
- 11/18/16--02:00: Gone with the Wind (1939)
- 11/23/16--01:27: Oonche Log (1965)
- 11/29/16--02:35: Balgan Mahura (1964)
- 12/04/16--18:30: Trios, Quartets, and More: Ten of my favourite songs
- 12/11/16--07:21: How to write, Part 3: Fiction
- 12/18/16--09:32: Kab? Kyon? Aur Kahaan? (1970)
- 12/21/16--07:59: Birds, baoris and more
- 12/24/16--21:24: A Christmas Carol (1938)
By which I mean writing that doesn’t make an editor wince. Let me provide the context to this. Every now and then, I am approached by a wannabe writer who wants me to have a look at their manuscript and … Continue reading
Good writingdustedoffGood writing BooksEditingFocusedWork on
Early in 2013, to mark hundred years of Indian cinema, I dedicated an entire month to regional Indian cinema. I reviewed several films of different languages, and realized, in the process, just how difficult it is to get hold of … Continue reading
dustedoffPrithivraj Kapoor as Gurmukh Singh in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiGurmukh Singh and Prem SinghGurmeet is namedPrem and Ratan get marriedRatan begins to reveal her true coloursSukha tries to poison Ratan's mindPrem refuses to agree to Ratan's demandsSukha takes time off from preening to give his adviceGurmukh Singh pleads with RatanThe inspector scolds SukhaRatan and Sukha rejoice over the money Channi's mother refuses to break off the matchChanni and Gurmeet fall in loveRatan gets furiousGurmeet's vision is gonePrem offers to accompany GurmeetNanak Naam Jahaaz HaiNishi Kohli as Ratan Kaur in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiVimmi as Channi in Nanak Naam Jahaaz HaiThe Dalai Lama and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (?) appear in Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai
Not nayan, not naina, not chakshu or any other Hindustani/Hindi/Sanskrit word for eyes, but aankhen. This post, though the immediate spur for it was Anu’s delightful list of zulfein songs, has been in the pipeline for the past several years, … Continue reading
dustedoffBeautiful eyes - Shakila in 'Mast aankhen hain ke paimaane do' from Nakli NawabAankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gayaAankhon-aankhon mein hum-tumAankhon mein kya jiTeri aankhon ke sva duniya meinJeevan se bhari teri aankhenHumne dekhi hai un aankhon ki mehekti khushbooLikha hai teri aankhon meinAankh khulte hi tumDo pal jo teri aankhon se peene ko mileAansoo samajhke kyon mujhe
At the risk of being labelled an iconoclast and being trolled by diehard Lata fans, I have mentioned several times on this blog how much I like Asha Bhonsle. It’s not that I don’t like Lata: I do, very much, … Continue reading
dustedoffRaju Bharatan's 'Asha Bhosle: A Musical Biography'Lata Mangeshkar and Asha BhosleAsha Bhosle with OP NayyarAe kaash kisi deewaane koTera dil kahaan hai, from Chandni Chowk
A couple of weeks back, I wrote a post on how to write better: some basic tips on grammar, on punctuation, on dos and don’ts that help create a more polished manuscript. It drew a lot of attention, and several … Continue reading
I have to admit that I watched this film against all advice. Anu had watched it a couple of years back (and had written up a review of it); but I—remembering a long-ago viewing of Hum Sab Chor Hain, which … Continue reading
dustedoffRam Avtar, Shammi Kapoor, Nalini Jaywant, Rajendranath in Hum Sab Chor HainSukhram and Budhram steal a chickenA detective comes visitingBimla recounts her tale of the fake sadhusNath stands up for BimlaAt the theatreThe detective meets BimlaKamla hears from the detectiveDeepak bullies KamlaDeepak passes off an unaware Bimla as KamlaThe guests at The Great Hotel are convinced of Bimla/Kamla's lunacyAt the lunatic asylumSeth Dheerajmal Shantidas with a photo of his lost familyAmeeta as Madam Fifi, in Hum Sab Chor HainThe two crooks: IS Johar and Majnun in Hum Sab Chor Hain
This film has been on my to-watch list for years, one major reason being that it stars one of my favourite actors, the very attractive Stewart Granger. It also stars, opposite Granger, the beautiful Jean Simmons, whom he was to … Continue reading
dustedoffStewart Granger and Jean Simmons in Adam and EvelyneEvelyne chats with a classmateEvelyne's photo of her 'father'Adam and MoiraThe gambling hallChris comes to meet AdamAdam comforts EvelyneEvelyne Bill is introduced to EvelyneEvelyne chats with AdamThe neighbours are curiousMoira reveals the truthAdam comforts EvelyneEvelyne, all grown upAdam realizes his feelings towards Evelyne have changedJean Simmons and Stewart Granger in Adam and Evelyne
Rajendra Kumar is one of those actors whom I’ve repeatedly mentioned as ‘not being one of my favourites’. Saira Banu, beyond her first few films (notably, Junglee and Shaadi), I find too shrill for my liking. Despite the fact that … Continue reading
dustedoffPriya begs Sanjay to jump offIn heavenSanjay wakes up - to Hanuman SinghSanjay manages to fob off two creditorsA mad chase in the jeep with the girlsSanjay sells a cupboard to MadamePriya and Hanuman, and the cupboardSanjay and Priya confess their love for each otherShankarlal pleads his innocenceSanjay heads home, singingA mysterious figure comes callingSwamiji takes chargeSanjay gets angrySolutions are soughtPriya manages to get an appointment with TKPrem grabs Priya and phones the copsTK appears, hale and heartyRita, TK's secretaryTK's old grandmother
Considering I’d reviewed Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan last week, and that was based on Here Comes Mr Jordan, it seemed appropriate to follow up that review with this one. I hadn’t heard of Here Comes Mr Jordan before, though I have … Continue reading
dustedoffPendleton and Max, after the sparringJoe Pendleton finds himself in heavenMr Jordan hears of the problemA further problemMr Jordan suggests a solutionMr Jordan tells Joe what's happening to FarnsworthMrs Farnsworth and her lover pour themselves a drink after the deed is doneBetty Logan asks to meet Bruce FarnsworthBetty talks to Mrs FarnsworthMr Jordan clarifies mattersA shock for two murderersBetty and Joe/Bruce FarnsworthJoe finds himself not enjoying being Bruce Farnsworth
My blog posts come about in odd ways. Some are suggestions or recommendations from blog readers, or from friends. Some strike me as I go through life. Some are serendipitous—a video appearing on the sidebar in Youtube while I’m watching … Continue reading
dustedoffAapki nazron ne samjhaa - nazar songsZara nazron se keh do ji, from Bees Saal BaadNajar laagi raja tore bangle par, from Kaala PaaniDil ki nazar se, from AnariChaandi ka badan sone ki nazar, from Taj MahalShokh nazar ki bijliyaan dil pe mere giraaye jaaDekhke teri nazar, from Howrah BridgeMain teri nazar ka suroor hoon, from JahanaraUnse mili nazar ke mere hosh ud gaye, from Jhuk Gaya AasmaanEk nazar bas ek nazar, from MunimjiJaan-e-man ek nazar dekh le, from Mere Mehboob
When I was about twelve years old, there were two important developments in my literary life. Firstly, my sister (who is five and a half years older than me) found herself amidst a bunch of classmates whose favourite reading consisted … Continue reading
It’s been a long time since I reviewed a restaurant on this blog. That’s partly because most of the restaurants I’ve eaten at in the past few months have either been places I’ve reviewed before, or places that just didn’t … Continue reading
A fabulous cappellaccio carbonara at ArtusidustedoffThe bar counter at Artusi.A wall at Artusi: Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and more. Inside Artusi.Bread basket and an olive spread.Chicken liver pate with toast, pickled carrots, and caramelized onions.Tortellini stuffed with cured meats, served in a ragu sauce. A fabulous cappellaccio carbonara at ArtusiPanna cotta, with flaked almonds and pureed figs.The absolutely divine chocolate mousse at Artusi.
I’ve been writing this blog for the last eight years now, and in all that time, while I’ve reviewed some really obscure films, I’ve steered clear of reviewing many of the great classics—mostly because of a fear that I won’t … Continue reading
dustedoffVivien Leigh and Clark Gable in Gone With the WindOlivia de Havilland in Gone With the WindScarlett. headstrong and flirtatious and selfishThe O'Haras, mother, father and daughters - and slavesAt the barbecue, Scarlett rules the roostCharles Hamilton challenges Rhett Butler to a duelScarlett discovers the horrible truth... and has a mortifying experienceIn the midst of warScarlett in an Atlanta in shamblesCasualtiesScarlett and a still-unattainable Ashley Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'HaraOlivia de Havilland as Melanie WilkesTaraA frame from Gone with the WindGone with the Wind - Vivien LeighGone with the Wind - Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable
A scene near the beginning of Oonche Log is an interesting revelation of some of the themes that govern the film, and eventually have a bearing on its climax. Major Chandrakant (Ashok Kumar) is a blind, widowed ex-officer of the … Continue reading
dustedoffMajor Sahib receives DhunI ChandThe Major's hand touches the glass of waterJumman listens inThe Major lashes Jumman for his impertinenceMajor Sahib explains to ShriJumman gets a compensationRajjo comes home for the holidays...... and goes off on a date with BimlaShri accidentally comes to know the truthMajor Sahib and Inspector Sahib try to come to terms with the truth that faces them
Or, in English, The Red Scarf. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that war films (and by that I mean those films which stay true to the genre and aren’t crossovers or about genre-bending) fall into three main … Continue reading
dustedoffA tale about war: Balgan Mahura, 'The Red Scarf'The new pilots are given red scarvesMajor Na ticks off the rookies for being presumptuousAt the Bar LutetiaMajor Na speaks to Ji SeonLt Bae, with Major NaAt the bar: a drunk and depressed Ji SeonTwo officers meet a woman walking byDoh and Ji Seon fall in loveJI Seon is devastated by her husband's deathA frame from Balgan Mahura, which was made with the active help of the Korean AirforceAt the campRain and Co. in R2B: Soar Into the SunA frame from R2B
When I was in school, all school functions—even, on special occasions, school assembly—would have one particularly talented child presenting a solo (the first time I heard Ae mere pyaare watan was in school assembly, sung brilliantly by a classmate of … Continue reading
dustedoffTrios and quartets: 'Group songs' from Hindi cinemaHoke majboor mujhe usne bhulaaya hoga, from HaqeeqatSun le pyaar ki dushman duniya, from Pyaar Kiye JaaJab-jab bahaar aayi, from TaqdeerNa toh kaarvaan ki talaash hai, from Barsaat ki RaatChaandi ka badan sone ki nazar, from Taj MahalMohabbat kar lo ji bhar lo, from Aar PaarPhir tumhaari yaad aayi ae sanam, from Rustom SohrabRamaiyya vasta vaiyya, from Shree 420Bas mujhko mohabbat ho gayi hai, from Biwi aur MakaanKhile hain sakhi aaj, from Grahasti
I’ve been writing an off and on series on writing, and decided it was high time I got around to what most people (myself included) would regard as my core competence: the writing of fiction. Fiction, whatever its length—novel, novella, … Continue reading
WritingdustedoffWritingObservingResearchingDoing an outlineKeeping your eyes openBreaks in booksEditing
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably realized by now that I’m a sucker for suspense films. And that I have a soft spot for Dharmendra. And Helen. And Pran. Bring all of those together, and … Continue reading
dustedoffBabita and Dharmendra in Kab? Kyon? Aur Kahaan?Anand and Asha are forced to share a room... and fall in love, enough for Asha to show him Daddy's and Chachaji's photosDaljeet tries to get fresh with LataAnand comes to Rita's aidDaljeet and Bihari discuss past and future misdeedsAsha goes to Kashmir for a restThe boss hands over a file to Anand for investigationDaljeet tries to assault LataAsha comes to Lata's defenceA corpse with oddly bulgy eyesBabita as Asha in Kab? Kyon? Aur Kahaan?An underwater sequence from Kab?Kyon? Aur Kahaan?Helen in Kab? Kyon? Aur Kahaan?
There was a time when I used to travel a lot (by my standards, which meant taking into account things like the fact that writers like me make money enough to do about one Delhi-Agra round trip a year—if that). … Continue reading
The magnificent Chand Baori at Abhaneri, built in the 8th century.dustedoffAt The Bagh, a white orangetip butterfly.The Bagh: a courtyard. Don't miss the peafowl atop the parapet.At The Bagh, a peacock crosses a stone path, hurrying from one patch of trees to another.The magnificent Chand Baori at Abhaneri, built in the 8th century.The colonnade at Chand Baori, with an array of sculptures on display.The Harshat Mata Temple at Abhaneri,: note the stylized birds pecking at the ground in the carving!Carved figures at the Harshat Mata Temple.A nature trail in Keoladeo Ghana. This one leads to an area where sarus cranes can be often spotted.Keoladeo Ghana, painted storks: a parent watches over its young.Keoladeo Ghana: a spotted deer stag steps out for a quick nibble.Deeg Palaces: Suraj Bhawan. Originally part of the Red Fort, this was dismantled and brought away to be reassembled after Surajmal ransacked the Red Fort.Pietra dura inlay work at Suraj Bhawan, Deeg Palaces.Deeg Palaces: Nand Bhawan, the akhara. This is where the maharaja and his guests sat to watch wrestling bouts.Deeg Palaces, Nand Bhawan: A painted pillar.
It’s that time of the year again—and time for a tradition I’ve kept up on this blog ever since its inception. Time for a Christmas movie. This time, wondering which film I should review, I came across this one, and … Continue reading
dustedoffMerry Christmas!Fred gives Tiny Tim a rideFred with Bob Cratchitt... and with a grouchy ScroogeScrooge is rude to a couple of charity-seekersCratchitt loses his jobAt the Cratchitt's home, the family greets their upcoming feast with gleeThe door knocker turns into Marley's faceMarley appears to Scrooge, warning him of what is to comeThe Spirit of Christmas Past