Akshay Kumar’s first modelling assignment

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

Before becoming an actor, Akshay Kumar did only one modelling assignment and it was for a gym called Perfect 10. And from the money that he earned from his first modelling assignment, Akshay got a photo session done to put together his portfolio to pursue his a career in acting.

Et tu, Dadamoni? How Ashok Kumar fell from grace in Suraiya’s eyes

Ashok Kumar with Suraiya

There are a lot of distractions while reading eBooks on the phone and Twitter is one. As I was swiping through the pages of Raju Bharatan’s A Journey Down Melody Lane: The Making of a Hindi Film Song on my phone, I occasionally switched to the Twitter app to follow what’s tweeting. In a strange [Read more]

Pran (1920-2013) – a hero of a villain: Unofficial Google doodle

Pran (1920-2013), a hero of a villain - Unofficial Google doodle

The obits call him Bollywood’s most feared villain. Not for me. To me Pran Saheb was the most hero-like of all the villains of Hindi cinema. By hero-like I don’t mean the most good looking, that was of course Vinod Khanna, before he inevitably turned a hero. Pran didn’t strike terror in my childhood heart [Read more]

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s 139-second long Bollywood debut in Sarfarosh (1999)

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's 139-second long Bollywood debut in Sarfarosh (1999)

Mereko kuch nahi pata, mein to kal hi mulk se aaya. Bol na be ~ Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s first lines in Hindi cinema Even a glimpse is enough to know a good actor from remaining 95 per cent and 139 seconds of Nawazuddin Siddiqui from 14 years ago was enough for me. The man has delivered [Read more]

With due apologies: Naseeruddin Shah in a swimsuit

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

Naseeruddin Shah fans, please allow me the privilege of ruining your day. Men in drag is not always a pretty sight to look at, but Bollywood insists in the name of humour. This Naseeruddin Shah image (edited for extra effect) from Anil Sharma’s Tahalka (1992) may elicit more shock than laughs. Also giving Naseer company [Read more]

Dara Singh beats Blonde Tiger: 60-year-old news clippings from the late wrestler’s heyday

In the final bout, death got more points but Dara Singh won. The loveable wrestler turned actor died today aged 83. A few days ago I was reading Vir Sanghvi’s wonderful tribute to the man in The Greatest Show on Earth: Writings on Bollywood, unfortunately can’t seem to locate the piece that originally appeared in [Read more]

Ambiking Suitings ad: Ashok Kumar’s five fabric purchase tips

Ashok Kumar in Ambika King suitings ad

Ashok Kumar might have started as a reluctant actor, but Dadamoni soon transformed into one of the biggest stars of his time and Indian cinema’s first superhit Kismet (1943) had him as the lead. Ashok Kumar’s (born Kumudlal Ganguly) film career spanned over six decades in which he acted in about 300 films and a [Read more]

Salman Khan in his 20s in a 1980s ad for Hero Honda CD100

The Salman Khan in this advertisement for Hero Honda CD100 is about 25 years younger than the superstar Salman of today and precedes his blockbuster debut in a lead role in Maine Pyar Kiya. Before entering his destined world of movies, @beingsalmankhan dabbled for a while in the world of modelling. This is one of [Read more]