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Tired of mass produced wall-art? Bollywood posters are the new way to decorate your home environment!

Over the years I have collected a large amount of Hindi film posters which are, unfortunately, stored away in containers, rarely to be enjoyed…until now! A few years ago I decided to spruce up my apartment  and dug out some of the 20 x 30 sized posters (the easiest size to find frames for), hung ’em up,  and here you can see the result.

 

 

No matter your room’s color scheme or style, you can find Bollywood posters to match…or you can do as I did, and  just mix it up. For my living room I chose three unrelated, but marvelous, posters to sit above my sofa.

 

 

As you can see, I am particularly attracted to film posters from the 1950s/60s. From left to right they are: Basant Pictures’ mythological Chandrasena (1959), Filmistan’s romantic thriller Nagin (1954), and Fine Art Pictures’ 1966 fantasy/adventure Jadoo.

 

 

On this wall are some fun lobby cards from one of my favorite films, Wadia Brothers’  Zimbo Comes to Town (1960), which of course costars this blog’s namesake, Pedro The Ape Bomb.

 

 

Both lobby cards have a nice art deco design and mid century modern look to them, which I really like.

 

 

Both cards also feature nice shots of the cast: Azad, Chitra, Shammi Aunty, Bhagwan, and of course, Pedro The Ape Bomb.

 

 

Moving into the dining room I have a gorgeous poster from the 1954 swashbuckler Saltanat which stars Manhar Desai and Shyama.

 

 

Here is a closer look.

 

 

In the hallway you’ll find my holy grail of Bollywood posters, director Akkoo’s Gorilla (1953). 

The very first Bollywood memorabilia I ever bought (this must have been around ten years ago) were lobby cards from Gorilla, and the film has fascinated me ever since. Last year, two different posters from the film showed up on Ebay and I grabbed ’em both! This is the 20 x 30 poster. The other poster is a 30 x 40 and has completely different, yet just as awesome, graphics.

 

 

Now, to check out my office (which, by the way, never really looks this neat…I had to tidy up before taking this snap, and as you can see I just pushed the debris over to the side. Unfortunately, that was not far enough away so that it wouldn’t end up in the shot! Argh)

 

 

It is no coincidence that a majority of the posters displayed, as well as about half of what makes up my collection, are from the films of Homi Wadia. I love Wadia Brothers/Basant films, and their posters were always great. Here are three fine examples: Zimbo Comes to Town (1960) starring Azad and Chitra (and Pedro the Ape Bomb), Zimbo Finds a Son (1966) starring Azad, Tabassum, and Master Sachin (and Pedro the Ape Bomb)….

 

 

….and Atom Bomb (1947) starring John Cawas and Sona Chatterjee.

 

Now to the other side of my office, which doubles as a guest room.

 

 

The poster on the right is from Basant Pictures’ 1949 mythological Veer Ghatotkachh.  It is one of my favorite posters.

 

 

The graphics on mythological posters of the 50s and 60s are always so nice. I might one day swap out all of the film posters in my apartment and replace them with ones from mythologicals.

 

 

On the corner wall is my “Bollywood Beefcake” display featuring a lobby card from Dara Singh: Iron Man (1964) (showing Dara Singh and Nishi),  an 11 x 18 poster from Zimbo (1958), and a calendar page featuring a 1990s shirtless Sunil Shetty (back when he still had a hairy chest).

So there you have it, a completely Bollywood-ized apartment! You can often find Bollywood posters inexpensively on Ebay, so give it a try. New ones or old ones, they make fine decor for any home!

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Not only am I very fortunate to work in an office where my co-workers are some of the best people around, but they kindly tolerate my peculiar tastes in films, music, and, well, most everything. I am also very fortunate to have a great work space. My cubicle is unusually roomy and is placed up against two full walls which gives me ample opportunity to celebrate my Bollywood love (and it hasn’t escaped my notice that my work space is as far away from the other employees as possible. Whether this has anything to do with my constant playing of filmi music and Arabic pop songs at my desk, I can’t say.)

So, let me give you a little tour of the area I work in, shall I?

Welcome!

To the right of where I sit hangs a Bollywood calendar so that I can keep track of the days.

Each year I search out a calendar devoted to Hindi films. My 2012 calendar is made up of colorful portrait photos of yesteryear actresses like Nirupa Roy and Shyama, although several of the actresses in this calendar are, unfortunately, not identified. This calendar was a nice change from my previous calendars filled with images of Bollywood posters. Too bad this style of calendar is not available for next year.

To the left of my desk is a prized, original 20 x 30 poster from the 1946 Fearless Nadia/John Cawas stunt film FLYING PRINCE. I actually have two copies of this poster. This one was somewhat damaged so I decided I might as well stick it in a frame and put it on display for all to see.

I have an overflowing collection of old Hindi film posters sitting at home, boxed up, but these three were among my favorites and so I had to put them on display. They make me smile and I sure enjoy looking at them as I work away at my desk doing the things that devoted government workers do (no cracks, now!).

As my work area can be viewed by the public, on the rare occasions that anyone trots up to our second floor office, I tried hard to find posters that was suitable for work…”No sexiness, no overt violence”, said my boss…of course those are the two things film posters are usually full of… but, this cute 20 x 30 poster from the Shammi Kapoor film DIL TERA DEEWANA (1962) fit the bill perfectly. With Mala Sinha’s face prominently displayed and Shammi holding a big red “dil,” it is absolutely “office friendly.” Plus, you have the added fun of Mehmood and Shubha Khote, the film’s comedy relief pair,  also pictured on it.

This 20 x 30 SHEESH MAHAL (1950) is a melodramatic winner. I love the face “cut-outs” of the film’s stars Sohrab Modi  and Nigar Sultana, and then  there is Pran featured in the bottom corner with his famous smirk.

Lastly is the piece de resistance, a 30 x 40 of one of my all time favorite films, Homi Wadia’s colorful action film REPORTER RAJU!

This was one of the first Bollywood posters I ever purchased back in the early 2000s. I had found an American company on the internet selling vintage Hindi film posters for what seemed, at the time, to be a fairly reasonable price (now I realize they were quite overpriced!). They had this poster listed as being in mint condition, so I snapped it up.

Evidently “mint” means different things to different people. To most of the collecting world a mint condition poster would be one that was never used and had no damage what-so-ever. Now, I am not that particular about condition, just as long as my posters can display well. But, this REPORTER RAJU poster was full of rips, tears, holes, and was torn in two, with the top third of the poster barely attached to the middle third. Whatever. I did contact the company and asked them why they advertised it as mint. The person replying  insisted that “mint” was the correct description for this poster, despite the great amount of damage. Hmmm. Lesson learned.

I wish I could remember the name of the company so that you could all beware of them. Since then I have found it best to deal with sellers in India. The prices are usually very reasonable and I have never had any problem with conditions being that awful. Of course, the Indian sellers also don’t claim to be selling “mint” posters…although I have lucked out and found that some are indeed “near mint.”

A year later I was able to obtain a very good condition copy of this same poster, as well as the 20 x  30 version, which is slightly different. All three at a much more lower price and from a dealer in India. Still, I had this mess of a poster on my hands that I couldn’t bear to throw out, so I taped it together as best I could and stuck it in this frame. You can hardly tell it is in several pieces. At least from several paces back.

Well, thanks for joining me on this little tour. Perhaps it will give you some ideas for your own cubicle or office! Don’t forget to also place a few issues of Filmfare or Stardust magazine in the waiting area and try to talk your boss into switching the elevator muzak to Kishore Kumar / Lata Mangeshkar duets. It will surely add to the ambiance of any office.

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