Posts Tagged ‘Hindi’


They don’t make them like they used to…this Valentine’s Day, we’re taking you back in time with some recommendations for romantic classics in Indian cinema.  Here are our picks:


Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963:  Dev Anand & Nutan Behl).  Dev Anand’s classic film about a young architect who falls in love with the daughter of his father’s business rival.  Lighthearted, fun and with some memorable tunes.

Padosan (1968:  Sunil Dutt & Saira Banu).  A spirited comedy about falling in love with the girl next door.


Malliswari (1951:  N.T. Rama Rao & Bhanumathi).  A story set in the days of the Vijayanagara Empire involving a woman whose fate had it written that she live in the royal palace but is in love with a sculptor.  Don’t worry, it’s a happy ending.

Missamma (1955:  N.T. Rama Rao & Savitri).  How can 2 teachers not fall in love when they have to feign marriage to be hired?  Especially when it’s NTR and Savitri.


Harano Sur (1957:  Uttam Kumar & Suchitra Sen).  Alok, an amnesiac after a train accident, falls in love with Roma, his doctor, only to forget her when he regains his memory.  Can Roma woo him back?  Kumar and Sen are one of the most magnetic duets in Bengali cinema.

Baksa Badal (1970:  Soumitra Chatterjee & Aparna Sen).  A lighthearted romantic-comedy about two people who have their luggage exchanged during a train journey.  A very cute story.  Screenplay by Satyajit Ray.


Thillana Mohanambal (1968:  Shivaji Ganesan & Padmini).  A classical bharathanatyam dancer and a nadaswaram player fall in love.  How artistic is that?

And no list of romantic movies would be complete without one starring Audrey Hepburn.  Love in the Afternoon, starring Audrey and Gary Cooper is as good it can get.


Want a glimpse of our new products?  Take a look at our Coming Soon page for a peek!  We’ll be formally introducing the new line up during our New Products Week in September, where you’ll be taken behind the scenes to meet the artists and the history behind each project.

Our new line up includes 18 books (3 books offered in Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu (and 2 in Kannada), as well 4 precious handmade memory/keepsake books), a fabulous high-style Alphabet Poster, new apron designs and adult-sized aprons, as well as a collection of eco-friendly personalized stationery and prints featuring bold, colourful and (of course) South-Asian-inspired graphics.

So you see, we’ve been quite busy this summer!  Gnaana is growing…thanks to you, our readers and customers…so keep the fire going by spreading the word!


Sure there’s Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy.  But what of Indian fiction written in native languages?  We in the West are pummeled with the importance of reading translations of War and Peace and Madame Bovary, but what of the Tolstoys and Flauberts of India?

I admit I don’t know have a huge knowledgebase of classical Indian fiction writers (meaning, those who write in their native languages).  I picked up few novels while living in Bangalore:  some by Sarat Chandra Chatterji (Devdas (of course), and Parineeta (much better than the movie – and I liked the movie) and Nishkriti (a little disturbing)) and also Tagore (Chokher Bali – absolutely brilliant).

There is certainly something to be said about native Indian fiction.  And I found a goldmine of a website:  DK Agencies – a Delhi-based book supplier which ships worldwide.  They have translated works from writers all over India – both classical and contemporary.  Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada…and the list goes on.  I can’t wait to get my hands on Premchand’s Short Stories.  Or maybe The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction – a little more contemporary(Outlook India calls this “the best produced paperback in the history of Indian publishing.”).  And many others that would be great additions to the library

Beach reading, no?


We’re seeing seashells everywhere lately, given that we spend most weekends at the California beaches.  The ritual for my son is that if we don’t find an A-grade seashell of acceptable quality by the shore, we must stop by one of those gift shacks and buy one.  But it can’t just be any seashell – it has to be a shankha (abbreviated from the formal Telugu word shankhamu).  A shankha (or shankh in Hind) is the word for “conch shell” – a ritual object that has special significance in Hinduism:  it is a sacred emblem of Lord Vishnu and when blown, is said to emanate the primordial sound “om.” Interestingly, the word is derived from 2 Sanskrit words – shum (auspicious or good) and kham (water).  How poetic.

My son has a very apparent special relationship with his shankha du jour – he eats with it, bathes with it and sleeps with it.  And according to him the Telugu letter sha “looks like a shankha.And so it does, my dear.  How I love seeing new things through your eyes.

Pictured at the top of the post is the Conch Shell House from Isla Mujeres, Mexico (available for private rental).

Below, Lord Vishnu with Shankha and the Hindi letter “sha.”  Image by Exotic India Art, available for purchase.

Edible sugar seashells by Olde Naples Chocolate:

Shankha colouring pages (click on image to print):

And if you’re curious as to how to blow on a shankha, here’s a video demo by a little boy:


Hilarious videos from the Indian version of Sesame Street.  The first features Cookie Monster and Zoe – showing the concepts of “inside” and “outside.”  Cookie Monster’s voice is dead-on (though they really should rename him “Biscuit Monster”).

The second video stars Grover, with cameos at the end by Ernie (pronounced  “Aarnie” when paying homage to the Indian accent ), Bert & Praire Dawn, teaching the difference between “softly” and “loudly.”  Grover even breaks out in song – rasping Machli Jal Ki Rani Hai to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

Play them for your kids, please…



source:  unknown haveli

So I’ve been pouring through design magazines and websites for inspiration as we build our new home.  We’re contemplating putting in a jhoola (swing), and I found so many lovely images that I’m now wanting to put one in every room of the house!  Seeing these jhoolas takes me back to the summers I spent in India –  I’d nap or read on them or just play games with my cousins.

source:  Naureen Bokhari

A jhoola is a common element in many traditional Indian homes.  I particularly love the symbolism behind them:  it’s as though the chains of the jhoola are links with the heavens above.  (Now I’ll confess the Telugu word for swing is ooyala but since we don’t have very many common household words that start with the letter “jha,” we’ve adopted the Hindi word.  Plus, jhoola is just a beautiful word!)

Pictured above is a custom-designed jhoola by Jay Jeffers (my absolute favourite).  Below are 2 playroom-ready jhoolas: by Modern Convenience and the infamous Eero Aarnio hanging Bubble Chair .

And jhoolas can be modern too!  Check out the Wabi Lawn Swing by Italian-designer Francesco Rota.  (Source of image on the right is unknown).