From anti-smoker to smoker to non-smoker: My King Size journey


@anirbanchow, a good old friend, still remembers the kick that landed on his butt as a result of his adamant refusal to kick the butt. A decade-and-a-half later I have realised that kicks cannot make someone quit smoking. Getting your heart into it can. During my school and college years I detested smoking and in [Read more]

Fancy a puff from an air-conditioned cigarette?

When I first saw this ad for Caravan Air-Conditioned Cigarettes, the first thought that came to my mind was “WTF is an air-conditioned cigarette?” Guessed it could be some menthol cigarette (if Emami’s Navratna Cool Talc can call itself the world’s smallest AC, why can’t a brand of minty cigarettes?). A closer read revealed it [Read more]

A beardless Kabir Bedi’s long affair with Wills cigarettes

Got the first glimpse of a beardless Kabir Bedi in a Marlboro Man avatar, thanks to Memsaab. And now here’s another advertisement from the same ‘Start a long affair’ Wills Filter Kings series showing Kabir Bedi (Difficult to recognise him without the beard. That distinctive nose was the clue) in a library, cigarette in hand, [Read more]

Wills Filter cigarettes ad from 1969

Yet another addition to the ever-growing Wills Filter/Wills Navy Cut advertisements on Cutting the Chai. This sample is 1969 vintage. Each Wills Filter/Wills Navy Cut ad has a couple enjoying a different activity together (no, none of them has them having sex, even though it is quite possibly the most enjoyable activity that a couple [Read more]

Wills Filter: Made for each other

This was perhaps the most noticed (and the longest running) of all the ads in Hindustan Thompson Associates’ (HTA) ‘Made for each other’ series for Wills Filter cigarettes. This ad is a scan from the April 1989 issue of The Calcutta Skyline. Made for each other Wills Filter set the filter trend in cigarettes long [Read more]

Panama Cigarette Ad from 1945

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

A few years back, I had put together, on this blog, an extensive collection of Indian Cigarette Ads from 1800s to 2000s. Here’s another addition to the collection. A pre-independence (1945 to be precise) advertisement for Panama Cigarettes: Your’s…. Forever…. For a friendly smoke it’s the tobacco that counts. Panama Cigarettes India’s own cigarettes With [Read more]

Indian Cigarette Ads from 1800s to 2000s

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

The song that is on the tip of the tongue of every Hindi-film-loving Indian smoker is getting a paint job. Dev Anand starrer Hum Dono (1961) will be soon released in colour (a la Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur). Mohammad Rafi’s colourful rendition of the song penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by Jaidev will have [Read more]