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An exhibition celebrates the yesteryear vamps and seductresses of Hindi cinema BEAUTIFUL

MARY ANN Evans is an unfamiliar name for most Bollywood buffs, more so because she is better known as Fearless Nadia, Indian cinema's first and foremost stunt actress. There are many more forgotten names like the seductresses

more forgotten names like Evans', women who have served as an excellent foil to coy and pretty heroine playing the part of vamps action heroines, but are rarely remembered by regular cine goers.

The debate around representation of women on celluloid is old, adding a fresh impetus to it is Khoj Studio's latest exhibition of memorabilia, titled ' The Other Woman', remembering the vamps, dancers and seductresses of Hindi cinema from the 1930s to the 1990s.

The graphic film posters, lobby cards and song booklets on display all from the collection of Priya Paul, chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, informs the show's curator Sitara Chowfla.

" We have culled these from her vast collection of pop arts and artifacts in an effort to shed light on the treatment of women in Bollywood," she adds.

A well- known collector of popular old advertisements, calendars, cinema posters, lobby cards and booklets, Paul says, " I have been collecting oleographs from calendar art and advertising materials for some years, when a dealer came to me with hundreds of lobby cards and posters of old Bollywood films.

Many of them had actresses I could recognise, while others were unfamiliar faces. These were fragile paper objects, which would get destroyed without proper storage and I started collecting as many such artifacts as I could." Although not a Bollywood enthusiast, she is drawn to these by their graphic quality. " Most of these images juxtapose tradition with modernity and are amusing or curious in some way or the other," she adds.

Through posters and stills from films such as Himmatwala, Masterji, Hunterwal and Toofani Tirandaz , Khoj Studio's latest exhibition attempts to piece together a history of these little- known only from Bollywood, from While homage cinema, glamorous colourful dance The show attempts to piece together a history of these little known actresses, who came from different backgrounds

little- known actresses, who were not only cast in characters different from the prima donnas of Bollywood, but often in reality came from very different backgrounds.

While many exhibitions have paid homage to the glory of Hindi cinema, its handsome heroes and glamorous heroines, tuneful music, colourful costumes and jazzy dance numbers, it is these original sirens of the silver screen who get overlooked. With their body- hugging pant suits and bright gowns, short blonde hair and gutsy demeanour, they were not scared to crack their whip the loudest and defy the conventions of Bollywood.

They were truly bold and beautiful.

' The Other Woman' is on till December 8 at Khoj Studios, S 17, Khirkee Extension; 11 a. m. to 7 p. m.

I've been collecting oleographs from calendar art and advertising materials for some years.

Most of these images juxtapose tradition with modernity and are amusing or curious in some way or the other -- PRIYA PAUL Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels ' BEAUTIFUL

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 28, 2014
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