The Bollywood periodic table

Elements of Bollywood - 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 [Read more]

The Sholay scene that didn’t follow the script

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

The only Sholay scene that didn’t follow the script is the one in which Veeru asks Jai to talk to Mausi about Veeru and Basanti’s marriage. This was because Dharmendra improvised and no one dared stop him. Rest of Sholay toed Salim-Javed’s script.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: The actual newspaper headlines in September 1960 were quite different

Milkha misses bronze medal by split second

Indians would have surely been disappointed by Milkha Singh’s legendary defeat in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Rome Olympics, but did the disappointment turn into actual anger as depicted at the start of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Milkha Singh biopic – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag? I had my doubts. One, the tone of the headlines [Read more]

100 Years of Indian Cinema: India Post’s 50 commemorative stamps

100 years of Indian cinema - India Post's 50 commemorative stamps

[This post is part of the 100 Years of Indian Cinema celebrations on Cutting the Chai] In May this year when Indian cinema turned 100, the Department of Posts announced the release of Rs 5 commemorative stamps on 50 icons of Indian cinema. The stamps went sale from June. Though the list of the 50 [Read more]

Illustrated Weekly cover: Varadarajan ‘Nayagan’ Mudaliar, the ‘most feared man in Bombay’

Varadarajan Mudaliar, the man who inspired Nayagan and Dayavan, on the cover of Illustrated Weekly of India

The Bombay underworld, is full of stories fit to be made into movies and they have been – lots of them. One of these films unfailingly finds a place in the list of the best movies ever made in India – Maniratnam’s 1987 film Nayagan based on the life of Varda Bhai (Varadarajan Mudaliar) who [Read more]

Chamko – Fixes all spots

A topical in context of the ongoing IPL spot fixing brouhaha. This is from one of the most fondly remembered scenes from Sai Paranjpye’s very loveable 1981 comedy Chashme Buddoor. Watch in the video embedded below.

100 years of Indian cinema: The big Bollywood poster collage

100 years of Indian cinema: The big Bollywood poster collage

Phata poster, nikle saikro hero (heroine aur villain bhi) If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed the grey background image on my profile page and the Technicolor version is the cover image of Cutting the Chai’s Facebook page. This collage is made up of 782 Bollywood posters, most of them hand-painted (the [Read more]

Bombay Talkies: Only Anurag Kashyap’s Murabba gets the taste right

Bombay Talkies: Only Anurag Kashyap's Murabba gets the taste right

Wasn’t Bombay Talkies supposed to be a celebration of the 100 years of Indian cinema? Then what was Karan Johar’s Ajeeb Dastaan Hain Yeh doing in there? A mere insertion of a hit number from the yesteryears and a character with a roomful of vintage film music, doesn’t make it a tribute to cinema. Irrespective [Read more]

Meet the original Revolver Rani from 1971 – Vijayalalitha

Meet the original Revolver Rani from 1971 - Vijayalalitha

Kangana Ranaut is playing the title role of Revolver Rani in Sai Kabir’s forthcoming film co-produced by Tigmanshu Dhulia and Rahul Mittra. The film also stars Vir Das. But the original Revolver Rani is from over four decades ago. Vijayalalitha with both guns blazing was quite a ‘female James Bond’ in a number of Telugu [Read more]