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Happy birthday, Fearless Nadia – the original Hunterwali

January 8, is Mary Evans’ (later Mary Evans Wadia) 106th birth anniversary. She, who we better know as Fearless Nadia, was Indian cinema’s original stunt queen. From a chorus girl in Lal-e-Aman (1933) to Khiladi (1968) she kicked and punched her way through to Hindi cinema history like no other actress before or after her. [Read more]

1957 Indian ad for Tampax tampons ‘especially for married women’

1957 Indian ad for Tampax tampons 'especially for married women'

Tampons don’t sell much in India. But as this advertisement indicates, that efforts to peddle the product to Indian women (apparently unsuccessfully) goes back to more than 55 years. Note that given the fears about tampon use and virginity, this advertisement is presented as a message to women, “especially those who are married.”

206-year-old hand-drawn map of Delhi from 1807

206-year-old hand-drawn map of Delhi from 1807

This is my tenth year in the capital of India and many parts of the city has changed beyond recognition in a decade. Ever wondered what Delhi was like two centuries ago? The year is 1807. There is no India Gate or for that matter New Delhi. It has been only a few years that [Read more]

Will Kaminey Rise Above the Kabaad?

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

“I’m longing to watch a good film on the big screen. Hope Vishal Bhardwaj doesn’t disappoint,” said an exasperated Bollywood-fan friend. Let me add a little more weight of expectations on Vishal Bhardwaj’s shoulders (I’ve long given up hope on Ram Gopal Varma), “Me too”. 2009 is almost two-thirds snuffed out, and there isn’t still [Read more]