Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

TIME Magazine / Princess Diana / September 1997

A magazine photo-article about M.S. Subbulakshmi / December 1996

In this season of classical Indian music and dance that is quietly throbbing across this city, I stumbled upon a back issue of a defunct "magazine" - The Hindu's "fo-li-o" - datelined December 1996.

The centre piece of this issue is a tribute to M.S. Subbulakshmi who turned 80 that month.

"M.S.", as she is usually referred to, is a legendary and timeless (Divine) voice from the South Indian Classical Music (Carnatic) tradition.

If you have not heard M.S. before, wherever you may be from, please do check it out.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Doktor Bey's Handbook of Strange Sex

This 1976 book is a brilliantly illustrated spoof of sex in the Victorian times.

Friday, December 27, 2013

BIG LITTLE BOOKS / The cross-over comic-books / 1967

My brother had only 2 of these books. I do not even remember the name of the other one.

This was an amazing stepping stone up from comics to books because of the format. The size of these books was 12.5 cm X 9.5 cm - that's less than 1/4 th of an A4 sheet. And there was one illustration with a caption for every page of text. It was simply awesome. You were reading a book but it was almost as easy on the brain as a comic. I think this book - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Calcutta Affair - played a huge role in my developing the initial patience to read books which did not have "pictures".

This one had the added advantage of the story being set in India. It was an India which barely corrresponded to the one I was living in then, but it was still "India".


Soviet Era Books - 01 / Travel To Distant Worlds / 1957

Books published in the USSR were a staple at home. This was probably because they were so economically priced and some of them were quite interesting.

The production quality was always top class and sometimes the illustrations were mind blowing.

This one is called "Travel To Distant Worlds". It is from 1957.

The Soviet Union's Luna 2 landing on the Moon was still 2 years away (September 1959) and the Apollo 11 mission was 12 years away (July 1969) when this book was published!!!!

It is NOT science-fiction. It is a kind of "extrapolated science" textbook. Enjoy!

(if you want to see more pages/illustrations from this book please leave messages on this blog post)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

an early Certificate of Craziness / around 1986

I barely remember this girl, Mona. She was pretty and she was happy. She stayed for a few days at Bruno's in Bruges when I was moonlighting there in the summer of 1986. I was a kind of permanent fixture at the place during those few days and I was on my own trip and she was there and then she left. Before leaving she gave me this. She was a traveller, too. That detail too, I remember. I wonder where she is now. Oh, I love wondering.

My School (Doveton-Corrie) "Calendar" / 1978

Here is the "calendar" for 1978 from my alma mater - Doveton-Corrie Boys' Higher Secondary School.

The short history of the school is interesting because there is still a Bishop Corrie school existing happily on Broadway. My aunt taught there (Class Teacher for Std. V or something like that). She celebrated her 85th birthday yesterday (25/12/2013) and still attends the Teachers' Day celebrations at the school every year. Mrs. Balu (Saraswathy Balasubramaniam).

Also pictured below, a PTC (Pallavan Transport Corporation / Public Bus Service) Student Identity Card from around the same time (when I was in my repeat year in +2 / STD XII). They used to issue subsidized coupons to students every month which made public transport practically free for us. If I remember right, it was something like a 120 coupons for 20 Rupees and each coupon could be used for one bus ride irrespective of the route or the distance travelled.

The minimum ticket price in those days was 20 paise - that's what a ticket from "Parry's Corner" to "Doveton Clock Tower" used to cost. The buses from Parry's to school were all the 7 series. 7C used to go to Kilpauk etc., Anna Nagar was the beginning of nowhere then!

Indian Matchboxes - 11 / COCO and AIM

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Artistic Bandicoot's 5 Minute Gift / 2005

I have already written about Natesh in detail in one my earliest posts on this blog (An Artistic Bandy).

Once, in 2005, I was hanging loose in the AFM canteen when Natesh walked in. He was in a good mood. So, I jokingly gave him a piece of paper that was lying around, borrowed a pencil from Yousuf who runs the canteen, and asked him to draw me something.

This is what he came up with.

5 minutes flat, or so. Oh, and since he makes a big deal about NOT signing his works, I insisted that he sign, with the year. Of course, he obliged. Like I said, he was in a good mood and we go back a long time in Time.

Snail Mail - 12 / From Paris to Wyoming / 1925

I wonder how Dorothy's and Gertrude's lives played out after they decided to return to Paris "for a year of study" in 1925? Did Miss Helene Draper leave Shirley, Wyoming and join them in Paris? Oh, I love wondering.

Surreal Indo-International Menu Card from Dindigul / 1980s

This imaginary fixed menu is all mine, carefully constructed from "items" available in the actual menu card! ;-) Yensoy!

And, oh yes. Note that the price of "MEALS" is 5-00 and the most expensive dishes are 20-00...:-)

Table d'Hôte (Fixed Menu)


Mazroom Soup (or) Cream Pees Soup

Main Course

Chicken Grum Chops (or) Stream Fish Crum Chops


Piece Pulavu (or) Junior Fried Rice


Alu Gopi (or) Sweet Savour Vegetable


Custured Puttings (or) Banana Sooply

Bon Apetit!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cigarette Paper Pack Art

One of the hippest pieces of packaging I've come across...a packet of cigarette paper with a whole piece of indy art on the inside. Totally cool.

Indian Matchboxes - 10 / SHIP and CONEICE

Contemporary Indian Matchboxes - 09 / TWO POOJAs