Moon Moon Sen Cinthol poweder ad
Advertising, Bollywood, Print Ads, Vintage Indian Ads

Moon Moon Sen in Cinthol toilet powder ad from 1986

Moon Moon Sen, to me, is more of a model than an actress. I recall seeing her more in print than on the screen. In fact, I have watched very few of her films (well, there are very few watchable Moon Moon Sen films).

According to the (sometimes no-so-reliable) Wikipedia entry on her, “she notably modelled for soap ads which were quite controversial in the 1980s.” I, however don’t recall any such controversy.

While I will look for those “controversial” soap ads in question, here’s a toilet powder advertisement from 1986 featuring Moon Moon Sen from a brand that also made soaps, Godrej’s Cinthol.

Moon Moon Sen Cinthol poweder ad

My favourite co-star?
I can do a triple shift with it and still feel fresh and beautiful…”
– Moon Moon Sen
Godrej Cinthol Luxury Toilet Powder
Now in a new pack
Cinthol fragrance for all day fragrance.

Mrinalini Sarabhai the unofficial Google doodle
Bollywood, India, Movies, People

2016 in unofficial Google doodles

There are some doodles that Google didn’t (or wouldn’t) doodle. The Chaiwallah prides himself as an unofficial Google doodler. I have written about these unofficial doodles and they have also been written about at a couple of places.

2016 had its fair share of the unofficial Google doodles and the doodles are not necessarily a reflection of the importance of occasion, but have more to do with spare time at hand and the doodleability.

While the Ajay Devgn 25 years of Phool Aur Kaante doodle was the most shared on social, do let me know which is your favourite.

Amitabh Bachchan's first ever scehe from Saat Hindustani
Bollywood, Bollywood Trivia, Bollywood Videos, Movies, Videos

Watch: Amitabh Bachchan’s first ever scene on the silver screen

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’ Saat Hindustani might not be the most watched of Indian films, but it marked the beginning of the career of Amitabh Bachchan, arguably the most watched Indian film actor. In this 1969 film Amitabh played the role of Anwar Ali, an Urdu aficionado from Ranchi, Bihar, who along with five different men from across India joined hands with Maria from Goa against the Portuguese rule in Maria’s home state.

Here’s the scene where the Superstar of the Millennium (thanks to fan-atic Indians voting for their favourite star. Bachchan said that he would’ve voted for Marlon Brando) make his first ever appearance on the silver screen. And 46 years on, he is still there.

Yeh arantu parantu ki bhasha aapne bas ki nahi,” Anwar Ali Anwar says disparagingly of Hindi. The interesting tidbit here is that the actor playing Anwar Ali happened to be the elder son of the great Hindi poet – Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

It’s Amitabh Bachchan’s 73rd birthday today.

(This has been re-purposed from a 2007 post)

Elements of Bollywood - The Bollywood periodic table
Bollywood, Movies

The Bollywood periodic table

The Bollywood periodic table

London-based designer Johnny Joannou has a thing for the periodic table. His long series of designs based on the chemisty periodic table of elements covers a wide range of sports and a little cinema including one on our dear Bollywood.

The £60 print of the “greatest Bollywood films of all-time” includes films “selected to represent the diversity of the great film industry.”

“Each cell includes information on the film title, the director and the year of release. For example, the cell for Mother India is shown as mI, Khan, 1957.”

Because each list of greatest films is different from the other, the prints can be customised to include individual preferences.

(Images reproduced with permission)

Post-Piku t-shirt
Bengalis, Bollywood, Humour, Movies

Coming soon: The post-Piku t-shirts (and panjabis) 😉

You might have read the reviews, or better still, watched the ‘motion picture’. Shoojit Sircar’s Piku brings out the poop (or rather the lack of it) obsession from the Bangali bhadrolok’s household to the silver screen, much to the amusement of us Bangalis and oBangalis (non-Bengalis) alike.

Not sure if any other community is as publicly concerned about constipation as this fish-devouring one. But then, not all Bangalis are open to the idea of using bowel-movements as a conversation starter or in need a daily dose of Gelusil and isabgol.

For this other kind (who post-Piku have a higher stereotypification risk), Cutting the Chai presents a t-shirt design – that can be customised for all non-constipated Mukherjees, Chatterjees, Sens, Duttas, Roys, Basus, Chakrabortys, Ghoshes, Bhowmiks and, of course, Choudhurys 😉

Post-Piku t-shirt

A panjabi (kurta in Bangla) variant is also on its way and will be on sale on Snapdeal (where else?) soon.

(Also read: Why I found Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafe a genuinely hatke Bollywood film)

Bollywood, Humour, Movies

Evolution of audio players through ‘PK’ posters

Yet another Cutting the Chai image that got massively shared online. While the parody poster of Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming film PK starring Aamir Khan, attempts to depict the evolution of the audio player, it in itself also went through an evolutionary process.

This is what I photoshopped almost immediately after seeing the poster.

Aamir Khan 'PK' poster - gramaphone edition

A quick shower added an idea and it turned into this:

Aamir Khan 'PK' poster - evolution of audio players

Following a clever suggestion from Kawaljit Bedi, I finally came up with this.


Meanwhile I also managed to pin down the exact National Panasonic (RQ-565D) two-in-one model covering Aamir’s you know what.

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image
Bollywood, Bollywood Trivia

Mao Tse-tung’s favourite Bollywood song

It is a little difficult to imagine Chairman Mao, humming along a Hindi film song. But it is said that the founding father of communist China Mao Tse-tung quite liked the Chinese rendition of Awara hoon, from Raj Kapoor’s Awara (1951).

Had China been the manufacturing powerhouse it is now. the lyrics of another popular song from Awara could have been a little different.

Mera joota hain Chini,
Ye patloon Chini,
Sar pe laal topi Chini,
Phit bhi dil hain Hindustani

Interval in a cinema hall screening a Bollywood film in the 1970s
Bollywood, Bollywood Trivia, Movies

Watch: Interval at a cinema hall in the 1970s screening a Hindi film

Interval in a cinema hall screening a Bollywood film in the 1970s

Now that multiplexes (and piracy) have altered our movie watching experience for good, ever wondered what it was like inside a theatre back in the heydays of the single-screen theatres? To know/relive that experience Krishna Shah’s 1979 quasi-documentary Cinema, Cinema is a recommended watch. Shah (who also directed the 1978 film Shalimar) tells the story of Hindi cinema (the term Bollywood was just introduced and was yet to gain currency) narrated by leading Hindi film stars on the silver screen before a house full of motley moviegoers.

One of the highlights of our movie watching experience, irrespective of whether it is a single-screen or a multiplex, is the interval. It’s then when we go out to fetch the popcorn and cola and also take (time and bladder permitting) a leak.

One of the best things about the old single-screen experience was that the snacks were not as exorbitantly priced as in today’s plush theatres. I miss the Rs 2 popcorn in little transparent plastic packets and Thums Up/Gold Spot in the glass bottles

Almost all films have one interval (though Sangam and Mera Naam Joker had two), and in many films it happens at a time just before something crucial is about to unfold in the plot. Something that made me skip the loo break many a times, to much discomfort for the remainder of the movie. This is something that hasn’t changed for me in all these years of theatre visits.

The following clip from the Cinema, Cinema captures the essence of the interval that was so much more vivacious three decades ago than it is today. Must watch, I say.