‘Amul’ @ Rio Olympics, 2016

Close to 50 years, Amul’s little moppet has been winning heart and drawing attention on every important event in India and around the world. From hoardings on the streets to print ads and now even on social media, the utterly burtterly girl is there commenting and applauding on every issue, and how could it miss the mega sporting event the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Indian Express presents eleven such ads by Amul that celebrate the true zeal and spirit of the Olympics.

Courtesy: Rio 2016 Olympics: These Amul ads are ‘utterly butterly delicious’

Amul - Aasan for Ussain

Amul - Athletes want sa(l)amman

Amul - Breakfaster

Amul - Don't be Selfi-ish

Amul - For Brains and Bronze

Amul - for chusti and kusti

Amul - God pHelps ... to Amul

Amul - mixes easily

Amul - Olympic yourself up

Amul - Rio-lly tasty

Amul - Sindhustan Hamara

And Top it up we must with Har Ghar Amul Ghar- Ice-cream

Bizarre old Indian ads

Old advertisements are a window to another world, at once familiar and strange. The copy might sound as if it has been plucked out of a contemporary sales pitch or the product could be one of those undying ones that refuse to fall out of fashion.

And then there are ads that were bizarre in their own times and have not been improved by the passing of years. Here is a selection of advertisements you would never see today from Cutting the Chai, a blog run by Delhi-based journalist Soumyadip Choudhary since 2005.


Please read more in the article  “Bizarre old Indian ads: Gandhi’s hair oil, a government invitation to hunt tigers and more” @ Scroll.in

The Messy Business of Tacos – By Jeffrey M. Pilcher

This is more of re-blogging of a very unusual, but quite engrossing article in the subject line of this post , as the tagline – Unwrapping the history of Mexico’s real national snack uncovers classism, dynamite, and shifting definitions of culture- suggests.

The article has placed the history of Mexico, with all the implications of the impact of a strong colonial process of settlement on its natural , original culture vis-a-vis Tacos as a symbol.

We, in India, have also seen [ or shall we say, experienced] two distinct phases of external colonial influences – that of Moghul Period and the British Rule – that ought to have made a definite impact ob the core of of Indian  – i.e. pre- (so-called) – colonial-rules.

I am no way competent to judge the arguments or discussions of the article under discussion here, nor am I competent to talk of such issues as influences of external colonial cultures on the fabric of Indian culture. However, similes of most representative India food items – the two pan -India  dishes – SAMOSA and IDLI, and one that dominates Gujarati culture and palate – GANTHIA – come to my mind. I am not sure how much of British rule have influenced in the spread of [fermented] bread or how much of the popularity of PIZZA can be attributed to concerted efforts by COLA / McDonald-ism of the American and /or European Economy trying to spread their wings in India. But the fact, is that PIZZA has indeed become as much as THE snack item, or perhaps even more, for the young and adult generations of India. No doubt, a true Italian may not be able to recognize the pizza that is so fervently dished out on the Indian Streets or dhabbas.

On a similar vein, you would not find any cookery show on any TV channels these days  that now does not talk of  Thai or Mexican or Lebanese food, thereby assuming that the Chinese food is already an Indian food. Ia sure each cooking expert has subtly added the culinary wisdom of Indian cooking into these ‘exotic’ food on its way to Indian pallet. Again, I am not competent to even make a observation on the topic.


Solidity of “Is But Is Not”

Shri Shrikant Gautam has presented a wonderful concept of “Is But Is Not” in the Hindi Films, in his article, the title of which is roughly translated as “Solidity of Is  But Is Not”, in his weekly column “Rang Raag” in Madhuvan supplement of Janamabhoomi Pravasi, Mumbai in its issue of 19th August,2012.

The concept that he has picked up for discussion is absolutely novel. The subject of the discussion is that character, which has significant impact on the story of the movie, but the character itself is, physically, not to be “seen” in the entire film, but is to be “felt” only –through the dialogues which refers to that character or the actions that protagonists take [or do not take, as the case may be] under the ‘unseen’ guiding influence of that character.

To explain the concept, he uses a very simple, by highly effective, hypothetical story: Shekhar boasts with his friend circle that he has played a role in the latest Hritik Roshan starrer. So, naturally, the whole team visits the cinema hall, on the first day, first show, to see that movie. They fail to locate Shekhar. Thinking that he must be under some form of disguise for that role, they repeat seeing the film in the successive shows, but with no positive result. When they ask Shekhar , Shekhar says” Did you not listen  Hrithik’s mother telling him of a letter received by his younger brother, from Kochi. I am that younger brother.”

Shri Gauatm has picked up five case studies.

In Shakti Samanta film, Amar Prem, (1972)  [Eternal Love] starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, the hero, Anandbabu is wealthy, but dejected and lonely. The reason is his wife, who is ‘shown’ to be busy in her own world, so much so that Anandbabu hardly seems to exist in her world. This is the fundamental undercurrent that fashions the whole films.

Similarly, Sunil Dutt’s mono-character film, Yaadein,  (1964)[Memories] would be rated as one of the most experimental films ever on Hindi Film arena. The film moves through the “eyes’ of the chief protagonist, through his monologues. He talks to his wife, his children, he remembers the moments he has lived with them, but these characters are to be felt only – by their dialogues, their images, two songs which run in the background. The storyline of this movie which revolved around fights between a husband-wife, her leaving the house and then her return was appreciated all over.

The [virtual] Trivedi is the root-cause for a  growing, close friendship between two chief protagonists –Anand (Rajesh Khanna) and Dr. Bhaskar (Amitabh Bachchan) in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s epochal film ‘Anand’ (1971). It was that Delhi-based Trivedi’s note which introduces Anand , and his terminal disease, to Dr. Bhaskar in Mumbai.

Govind Nihalani’s ‘Rukamavati Ki Haveli’ (1991) [Rukamavati’s Mansiom] was an all-female cast film. The story is about friction among advanced- middle-age women, the daughters and their maid on account of that ‘presence’ of the man whom one of the daughters courts love.

Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1986)  [A Stalled Judgement] is the story of 12 male Jurors, assembled to arrive at a verdict on a case against a juvenile boy, who is alleged to have committed murder of his father. The story is about prejudices of the individuals, their right or not-so-right beliefs and their emotional, many a a times quite heated, discussions to reach a unanimous decision about that in-absentia boy. Incidentally, the story is considered to be based on a English film –“Twelve Angry Men” (1957), which in turn was adapted from a 1954 play by the same name.. A Gujarati stage play ‘Maanas Naame Kaaraagar’ [A Man Named as Prison] is also a quite creative adaptation from this film.

Shri Shrikant Gauatam’s column is known to pick up quite a different points-of-view-hypothesis, and then build equally interesting case studies to validate that hypothesis. But the present article has surpassed own high standards of the column in picking up the topic of “Be [always there] by not Being’ characters and /or “ Is Not by Being [virtually]Is” cinematic personalities.