An image to remember

Posted In: . By Journalism student

by Ekta Malik

The cine world has long held a glamour and attraction to itself. Drawing its followers from the plethora of audience from all classes, it remains the one dominant force of entertainment. The movies become iconic, the movie stars icons. They go on to become part of cultural folklore and memory. Anyone in India born in the sixties would have seen the films and then have made them part of their culture. The real world imitates the reel world. The general viewer wants a piece of the action that is being played on the 75 mm silver screen.

Initially movie posters were made and put up, to announce its release. This created a lot of curiosity and managed to bring the first lot of curious fans to the theatre. The poster was one of the most important things to create attraction and desire. The loud colours and the flamboyant design managed to evoke an interest.

A close up shot of Amitabh Bachchan in the film “Dewaar” wearing that blue shirt went on to be replicated by many of his fans. The image of the moth on the lips of Jodie Foster in the film poster of “Silence of the Lambs” is the way many people remember the film. The menacing picture of the shark in the poster of “Jaws”, Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman - all these posters went on to become part of public memory and recollection. Mother India - Nargis in that historic pose. Sholay. The list is endless.

Even today after availability of other forms of advertising media like television, radio and internet, the movie posters are still going strong and they are continued to be made with new and latest technologies. Apart from just serving as means of advertising, they have also now become collector’s item by avid film fans.
Ankita Chawla an avid film goer and film buff says, “I love collecting old film posters. They have such charm. When I buy a poster I feel that I am carrying some part of the film with me.” She has twenty film posters. And they have been collected from everywhere and also come at almost every price.

In all likelihood our rooms have a life like picture of our favourite movie star from our favourite movie. We own that piece of stardom. And this stardom is easily available for anyone to own. Right from the street hawkers at Janpath selling copies of these posters, each for 20 rupees to the designer boutiques of any up market mall – with them anybody can access this part of film history.

Vikas posterwallah sells posters of films, film stars in the inner circle of Connaught place, from the past seven years. “Every day I sell almost 5-6 posters. On weekends it is 10-15. The young people buy the new films, the older ones of old films. It’s good for my business. “

Film posters have changed through the years. They might not be hand painted anymore but printed on glossy papers with the latest technology. But they haven’t lost their appeal. They continue to entice the audience of the current movies, and people from all generation even when they are out of theatres.

Credit: Few photos of the posters are downloaded from copyright free sites of images.

The Invisible Population

Posted In: . By Journalism student

By Niha Masih

you can guess their pattern, their flight
their destination
far away to the south in winter,
north in spring. - Jan Haag

48 years old Kuldeep has been coming to Delhi to work for the last 18 years. Originally a resident of the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, his family owns a small patch of farm land which has become increasingly irrelevant due to frequent floods. He realized early on that he would have to come to the city for work to support his family. With absolutely no education, there was limited possibility of finding work and he took up odd jobs as a laborer.

18 years down the line, he comes to Delhi every year with his family for around 6-8 months, depending on the availability of work. He has five children, two of whom live in the village for studies while the older ones come with him to work.

Their work involves breaking boulders into stones which is used for laying railway tracks and other construction sites. They get paid according to the number of trucks the stones fill at the end of each day. They generally manage two trucks between the four of them and earn rupees 1000 daily. They save money during their work stint in Delhi and use it when they return to their village for a few months.

For the same work in Madhya Pradesh they would not get paid even half as much nor would the women folks get work there and hence the need to shift base. He says, “Dilli acha hai kyunki yahan par kaam milta hai, par gaaon jaisa nahi lagta.” (Delhi is nice as there is work here but it is not the same as my village.)

This is not just Kuldeep’s story but the story of an entire community. A small close knit community mainly from Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh - their current work place is near the Yamuna in Kalindi Kunj. Most of them lament the loss of education for their children since they are not based in one place.

18 years old Vivek proudly tells he is learning English from a nearby coaching. His father is interested about Government schools in the vicinity but adds how it is not easy for the children to go to school for reasons varying from paperwork required in schools to their usefulness at home.

Though statistics differ, roughly there are around 100 million circular migrants in India. The migration pattern for the rural poor (to urban centres) is generally circular as they do not have the social security to keep them there. Also due to families and land they tend to keep returning to their native land, especially during the agricultural season.

While for many migrating to the city means a better life, it is not exactly that for most labour migrants. The city does pay them but also takes much away. They are the bottom of the industrial class structure with very little or no scope for upward mobility. They are compelled to live in sub human conditions, with even basic amenities like drinking water not easily available. These are not migrant specific problems per se but for them is a more potent roadblock. This sector has largely remained unorganized and hence most of these issues remain unaddressed.

By Gaurav Shukla

It was Britain’s addition to the famous bazaars of Delhi during colonial era in 1933, quite different though from the narrow, congested ones of old Delhi. Connaught Place thus over the years became the main commercial hub of the city.

According to the historical texts before Connaught Place was built people from the Walled City, Nizamuddin and Mehrauli used to come here for partridge shooting, for it was a wilderness with a profusion of Babool trees. In 1857 many of the so-called mutineers hid here after escaping from Shahjehanabad via the Delhi, Ajmeri and Turkman gates, until they could escape to the Punjab, Rajputana or the United Provinces.

In these 75 odd years, the British built Connaught Place has lost its sheen and grandeur. So, the upcoming Commonwealth Games have come as a boon for this market. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) was long planning for a true makeover to bring back lost glory and lustre. As a part of its ‘Return to heritage Project’, the NDMC has prepared a plan to revamp and redevelop this proud landmark of Delhi.

“The idea is to bring the glory back to CP,” says Anand Tiwari of the NDMC. However, everyone does not seem pleased by the renovation work which was completed on the pilot basis in C-Block of CP. “Restoration is a good aim but it’s been terribly executed,” Devinder Khanna, owner of New Delhi Stationary Mart says. “There’s almost no effort in preserving heritage and traditional look of CP,” he added.

‘Return to Heritage Project’ includes provision of heritage sensitive signage, engineering improvements of roads, drainage, sewerage, water supply and sub stations and many more along with development of adequate parking lots, new look walk ways and more.

There has been huge debate over flooring of the verandas of the heritage buildings in CP. While Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) advocated that sandstone be used to re-develop the area, New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) has opposed this saying Sandstone flooring would be difficult to maintain and granite should be used instead. Granite flooring was used in the C-Block pilot project.

“The sandstone flooring in B-block has already degraded though it was changed only a few months back. Sandstone is porous and is difficult to clean. We want granite flooring as used in C-block, but it should not have any design and should be of uniform colour,” NDTA president Atul Bharghav said.

Conceived as an ambitious project the “redevelopment of Connaught Place” implies a complete renovation of all blocks, and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has said time and again that its deadline remains 2010, before the Commonwealth Games get underway.

Credits: NDMC Website for Renovated CP Image & “In the corridors of time” by R.V. SMITH for Historical References