Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls

  This  wonderful (though too short) half-hour 1973 documentary written by James Ivory is included by Merchant Ivory Productions along with the DVD of Bombay Talkie. It opens with a mention of item girl, and dancer par excellence, Helen‘s 500-film milestone.    Over the next 30 minutes we hear  narrator Anthony Korner solemnly intone about […]

Seen along Oak Tree Road

Edison/Iselin, New Jersey.    Proof of Indian citizenship or appropriate visa necessary upon arrival (almost).   Had a very fun day yesterday playing at being housewives with my BFF, the coolest Parsi I know in Inwood, heck, in all of NYC, meandering in and out of shops  ($15 for a Shobhaa De novel!   Chee!), […]

Bombay holiday: Ganesh Chaturthi

  Rio has midnight of December 31  and people throwing flowers into the sea as an offering to Iemanja, Bombay has Ganesh Chaturthi to honor the son of Shiva and Parvati. Thousands of miles from the festivities, here’s a sampling of some Ganeshas closer to home. The many moods of Ganapati: Snippet from a wedding […]

Bombay Talkie

  What a difference it is to watch this 1970 Merchant Ivory production after Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.   There are the vaguest of similarities: they both deal with marital infidelity, and  both  cities their stories are based in look lovely (Bombay in this case, New York in Kabhi Alvida).   But there the likeness […]