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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

 

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

 

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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 are, unfortunately, not identified. This calendar was a change from my previous calendars which were filled with images of Bollywood film posters.

 

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

 

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I have a large collection of old Hindi film posters sitting at home, so it was nice to have this big wall to display some of my favorites.

 

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My work area can be viewed by the public (on the rare occasion that anyone trots up to our second floor office), so I tried hard to find posters that would be suitable for the workplace…”No sex, no 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 DIL TERA DEEWANA (1962) fit the bill perfectly. With Mala Sinha’s face prominently displayed and Shammi Kapoor 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.

 

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

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

 

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This was one of the first Bollywood posters I ever purchased, way 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, of course, I realize that it was quite overpriced! They had this poster listed as being in mint condition, so I snapped it up. It was not mint, however…it was ripped and split in half and practically crumbling. You live and learn.

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 has a slightly different design, from a dealer in India. Still, I had this mess of a poster on my hands which 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.

 

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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 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.

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Well, it finally happened, I have started a blog. Why? Well, for starters my friend, and fellow Bollywood fan/blogger, Greta (of Memsaab fame) has been egging me on for quite some time to start a blog. Secondly, every once in a while I will watch a Bollywood movie, or a Hollywood movie, or I will interview someone for CLASSIC IMAGES magazine or come across some awesome pop culture item at an estate sale and just feel like sharing. The majority of my friends, family, and co-workers would go glassy-eyed should I even begin to discuss such things, so I figure if I post about it here on Pedro (the Ape Bomb) blog I will not only get it out of my system without harming my next of kin, but perhaps reach a few others out there that might enjoy hearing about the latest Dara Singh stunt film VCD or the retro coffee table I found during last weekend’s thrift shopping.

I hope to blog on a semi-regular basis so stop by often and see what is going on, and please do join in on the conversation so that I don’t think I am just talking to myself!

Regards to all,

Michael Barnum

 

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