From Filmi Dunia to Stardust to Stardom….


If my best friend waited for the announcement of a new film in any of the theaters in Simla, I, too, would not be less excited. On one hand we would have the weekly entertainment programme, freely available, to all those living in the Lower Bazaar. The beating of the drum by the famous Dhol wala would announce in such attractive vocabulary the advent of big filmi stars in a film to be telecast in Simla. The colorful posters of beautiful woman, the heroine, or heri in all his manliness  would seem no less than demigods to my little mind. As my Bauji would neither himself watch films, nor would allow us to watch so this was the best we could come close to a film. 

But when my best friend would come to., School after enjoying the film, I would be all ears to listen to the story. It was such a common way of entertainment for us, the kids of Sixties and Seventies. She would create a whole new film through her vivid description of every little scene down to fine details about what was the colour of the saree and what design! We would be so interested to listen to the undercurrents of sunte romance that played between the hero and the heroine. What a way to watch love scenes, vicariously! to And my mind would recreate those images in its own way while it worked to reimagine the scene! What a mental stimulation we were giving to our mind… unparalleled, ingenuous mind game it was! 

Though, I could not appreciate it at that point in time but later on when I saw the same movies telecast by Doordarshan, I found to my excitement that I remembered all scenes, to the minutest detailing,  as if. I had already seen the movie. In my excitement, I would fortell what sequence would follow much to the amazement of my kids. Looking inquisitively my second born, a sheer detective from her very infancy, would say, ” But you said, Nana would not allow you to watch movies?” And then would continue accusingly, “Or is it that you bunked classes to watch movies, without telling a soul at home?” I would have great time convincing her that out synapses were developed in such a way during our childhood that every little detail is farm-fresh in our mind. 

Such was our simple life which was full of excitement. 

Filmi Dunia would have transcripts of one movie in its monthly edition and we would wait for someone courageous enough in the class to bring it to school, where we would read it, in a group, under the covers of our school copies. The yellowish pages, light print on cheap paper would be an undetterant to our excitement. 

And we would feel blessed  if someone would bring a copy of Stardust! The mere touch of the pages, the satin touch and bright shine  of the pages would unfold the enigma of a world of stars.  We would be swayed in the charm of glossy pages and glossier life styles of the demigods of the filmworld.

The fashion styles, the hairstyle, the column of a columnist signing off as a black cat…It was perhaps called Neeta’s Natter. What stylish English, a blend of Hindi and English, Hinglish, they had started using in early seventies, and later I wrote a research article on Hinglush in an International Journal. What a journey it has been, lively and exciting,  everything was a memory to saviour.

While I am writing this, I am almost feeling like turning over the pages of my life in backgear, the pages which have turned from the yellowish crumpled ones of the Filmi Dunia to the glossy and shining pages of Stardust!!! 

We have come a long way, indeed!!! 

2 thoughts on “From Filmi Dunia to Stardust to Stardom….

  1. Bhupender Singh Bodh

    Amazing Ma’am. Feel nostalgic to read such lovely description of those days in your words. Rivoli, Regal & Ritz…..
    Certainly, we have moved a long way & at times I feel,not for good. Those days were perhaps far better.

    Kind regards

  2. Sushmit

    Pranam aunty. Loved it.
    Startdust was definitely a luxury even later, when we were in school. I remember sacrificing a pack of uncle chips and cola for stardust during some of my early solo journeys in high school and college 🙂

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