Saturday, October 11, 2008
Why not take a course on interior decoration? *
Internet is one amazing enabler, I can tell you that. Not only is it the thing that allowed me to get into Bollywood beyond those 60 minutes of K3G that were my first encounter with Indian cinema, it has also been the reason my interest is alive and kicking, and also allowed me to decorate my room accordingly. I got some new posters last week, and redecorated my walls so I thought I'd share the results with you.
In the above picture we see the oldest Bollywood poster I have, one Devanagari one of DDLJ, celebrating Yash Raj Films' silver jubilee. I love the poster to pieces; not only is it gorgeous, I love deciphering the writing on it, and am glad to tell you the lines at the very top are lyrics from "Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna"!
Next to DDLJ is a new addition; a Sholay poster celebrating "first time in cinemascope 4 track optical sound!". I have no idea what that means but I really like the poster; it's full of fire, full of embers and full of action! You also get the title in Devanagari and the characters besides Veeru and Jai in the smaller pictures on top.
I have a weakness towards Devanagari in film posters, so next to the firey Sholay one, we have a cheesy Devanagari poster of Keemat (a Sakshay classic, read about it here). Everything about it is unholily awkward, a hasty Photoshop job in other words, but I love it to death anyway.
So where do I acquire these posters, you may ask. eBay! Yep, the den of online sellers of all shapes and sizes, you can find all kinds of Bollywood memorabilia. My choice is store this time was The Absolute Indian Store, who I can personally vouch for and their overall rating on eBay is high, too, so I'm not the only satisfied customer. On eBay in general of course it pays to be a little wary.
Since I mentioned Keemat, the prices (see what I did there?) for these posters are not sky-high and at least at the places I've shopped at, the shipping has also been very reasonable. In fact, I've counted that I've been able to buy three Indian movie posters for the price of one Hollywood poster at a local store. Of course, the Bollywood posters can have slight fold marks and worse paper quality, but considering how pretty and awesome they are, who cares?
Here's my room door with another Sholay poster on it and a Tashan poster I ordered back in April. How I came to acquire two Sholay posters is a long story so I won't bore you with it. This second one has an older feel to it; whereas the first one has an email address for the printing company, this one does not, the paper is thinner and the design is messier. But it successfully displays all the elements of Sholay's action masala; you've got your angry heroes, your beautiful dancing village belle - in fact one of the reasons I really love this poster is because there are three depictions of Basanti in it! One as the damsel in distress with Gabbar, one of her with her tonga & Dhanno, and one from Holi Ke Din, dancing. Compare this two the two depictions of Gabbar you have in the poster.. Yes, I think we all know who the real main character of Sholay is now. And of course, the poster is Devnagari, my weakness.
The Tashan poster is pretty ace, I especially like how I accidentally placed it so that the text is actually horizontal whereas the poster itself is enormously tilted. I also enjoy the fact it's next to the Sholay poster; Tashan is so influenced by films of the 70's, it just feels very appropriate.
Last but not least, on the other side of the room, next to the window and overlooking my bed, is this poster for the coloured 2004 version of Mughal-e-Azam. I've actually never seen the coloured version but the poster is really lovely, complete with elephants and the tag line: "The Biggest Indian Film Ever" - can't argue with that! Interestingly, the only makers the poster mentions is the director K. Asif and the music director Naushad.
I admit my criteria for this particular selection of film posters is eclective. While surfing eBay for posters, I overlooked many, many favourite movies because I didn't like the design of the poster. On the other hand, I picked Keemat despite the campy design. When I was done setting up the posters, I realized I had posters of three of the arguably biggest Hindi films ever made, and then two posters of cheesy Sakshay ventures that never made it big in the box office (or in most people's minds). How's that for a mixed bag? Regardless, the posters make me feel at home in my small flat.
* This, as some of you may recognize, is a spoken word line in the Hum Tum song "Ladki kyun". It just seemed all too appropriate.