bnandwww said: Wow had no idea that Norman Rockwell did a portrait of an Indian person. Thanks!

You are welcome! I was a little surprised myself…I love the hair in the portrait, its thickness and waviness and the casual plait.

Abanindranath Tagore, Jamuna & Untitled, 1926. [X]

If the second painting appears to be influenced by Renaissance art, there is a reason. [X] [X]

The 1960s in India.

In no specific order:

The decade started with Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister and ended with Indira Gandhi as the PM.  From 1964-1966, we had Lal Bahadur Shastri (pictured here in 1964) as the Prime Minister.

In 1961 Goa was annexed becoming India’s 21st state. Portuguese enclaves like Daman & Diu also became a part of India as Union Territories.

The country was at war twice in the decade: The Sino-Indian war of 1962  and the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.

Shastri was responsible for the Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan slogan of the 1960s.  Shastri’s visit to Amul was the first step in Operation Flood aka White Revolution that began in the 1960s and was intended to make India milk-sufficient. Per this link the Amul Girl was born in 1966.

Around 1961-1963 also saw the introduction of high yielding rice and wheat in India (see Green Revolution).  Part of agricultural policy post this decade was also a result of the Bihar famine of 1966-67.

The banks were nationalised in 1969.

The Naxalbari uprising took place in 1967.

The Dhori colliery disaster took place in 1965. It is listed amongst the world’s worst mine accidents.

Hindi was declared the official language of the nation in 1965 for all government transactions. Following anti-Hindi riots, English was adopted as an associate language in the same year.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad qas founded in 1964, the Shiv Sena in 1967.

The National Institute of Design was set up in 1961 subsequent to The India Report (by Charles and Ray Eames) in 1958.

The State of Art in 1960s India.

Reita Faria becomes the first Indian woman to win an international beauty pageant.

The fashions you have already seen.  The big stars of the decade - Sadhana, Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, Saira Banu et al - sported tightly draped saris, tightly draped churidar-kameez, big hair, pale lips and dramatic eye make-up. The Sadhana fringe was a bonafide craze. Sharmila Tagore rocked a bikini. And there was Helen, the cabaret queen of the country.
Ray, Ghatak and Mrinal Sen worked through the 60s but by the end of the decade you see the beginnings of the parallel cinema movement of the 70s and 80s in films like Gejje Pooje, Sara Akash etc with Bhuvan Shome being a commercial success. [X

Ads from the 60s in India and Pakistan - X, X, X

Rock in the 60s. The Sri Lankans visit. And the Beatles in India.

A general sum up of the decade through foreign eyes.

1960s. Sari History.


eros-dikaios said: I believe Asha Parekh also wears a cape in ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ (1959). It’s visible in the Shammi Kapoor song ‘Bolo Bolo Kuch To Bolo’.

Ah yes! Its longer like a coat and embroidered on the inside! A little different from this embroidered version which I think is also shorter, probably waist/hip level? Wonder if the embroidery is Kashmiri crewel, it also seems to be there on late 1950s coats.

Even the sari is a lot like the ones Asha Parekh wears in 60s movies.

dorisaggarwal said: I quite like this trend. Nanda wears a beautiful cape to the theatre in Dhool Ka Phool (1959).

Thanks a lot Doris. So it predates the 60s. That cape is lovely and how pretty does Nanda look!

madraseye said: Kadhalikka Neramillai! That classic, must-watch-once-every-year-on-TV Tamil comedy staple!

I had seen it ages back. And was a bit surprised now to see how stylish Rajasree & Ravichandran looked!

The Sari: 1961-1970

To wrap up the decade, the 1960s as recreated on film. Priyanka Chopra is sort of spot on with the filmy fashions in Teri Meri Kahaani though that noodle strap blouse…(how to get the look), Tannishtha Chatterjee recreates 1960s Calcutta chic in Shadows of Time (X) and Vidya Balan’s blouse in Parineeta may owe more to current trends than the 1960s.

And on wordpress a breakdown on fashions in a random sampling of 60s movies: the movie set in the 1950s that sometimes feels like the 1960s (Charulata); a movie that showcases 1960s fashions and also has a continuation of the 1950s (Kadhalikka Neramillai) and a movie that is heart and soul 1960s (Love in Tokyo). Strictly for the retro o0bsessives. And I mean obsessives.

The Sari: 1961-1970.

Or more precisely the embroidered cape which had a run of popularity in the 1960s.

The actresses: Saira Banu, Lata Bose (X), Waheeda Rehman.

Pakeezah is thus an iconic film.  It is the epitome of Muslim romanticism. It has delicacy and glamour. It has the Urdu language as one of its decorations, with songs which are poems, and dances which are a tribute to the art form itself.  Its story belongs to a certain time, a certain culture and has a definite style; a style which owes everything to Lucknow; not the real, historical city but the city of Muslim imagination.  It is a tribute to a culture which once reigned over north India with its rules of etiquette, its elaborate metaphors for transactions between the sexes, its opulence and its luxuriousness.  Pakeezah, Meghnad Desai.

The Muslim Social-1961-1970

There is a lot that is modern in the 1960s in India. Even the films look outwards and are set in Tokyo, Paris, London and the like. There are exceptions however - e.g. the Muslim socials of the 1960s. Almost all of them were based on a mythologised culture of andaaz and nazakat and feature a good deal of poetry - often composed and spoken by female characters - and Urdu dialogue.  The costumes of these films influenced fashions, none more so than Mere Mehboob (still in pic 3). Especially the periodic revival of shararas and ghararas. And sitara work dupattas at the very least:)

There were outliers e.g. Dharmputra (pic 2), which dealt with partition but on the whole the films are light romances evoking a pre-partition culture. The other film which is an outlier is Pakeezah (pic 6).  While arguably the pinnacle of the form, it is more of a 50s film that was taken up in the 1960s and finally screened in 1972. Its fame rests on many things, including its music.  That music, while rooted in the culture the Muslim social tried to recreate, was so old-fashioned in the 1960s that its composer, Ghulam Mohammed, died in extreme poverty and obscurity in 1968 unable to find work*. Pakeezah itself had a tepid opening, its success and iconic status a result of Meena Kumari's death.

There were brief revivals in the 1980s (Umrao Jaan, Nikaah) but the 1960s was probably the last decade of the romantic films of the genre.

Other examples of the 1960s: Chaudvin ka Chand (pic 1), Mere Huzoor (pic 4), Gazal (pic 5), Benazir, Dil hi to hai, Palki.

Articles on Muslim socials: [X, X]

*His last film prior to Pakeezah Shama, was a 1961 film starring Suraiya.

Anonymous said: Hey u know ur post on umrao jaan Ada extract in English. Do u know where I can get the novel? Online ?

Hmm I am not sure. The one I used was a Khushwant Singh translation, if you click on the cover you can read a bit but I don’t think the entire novel is available.

I think this is a literal translation.

The 1960s child (Tamil magazine illustration, 1967).

A few cheeky boys-probably the Swami and Friends of the 1960s:)

The 1960s child (Tamil magazine illustration, 1967).

Girls’ frocks are really short in this decade.

lespourshariati said: so it is not at the same time as persian new year? Is that a zoarastrian distinction?

Hmm now I am a bit confused! And further confused by the wiki entry. I think Navroz is celebrated in March by Zoroastrians but the day after Pateti in August i.e. Parsi New Year is also referred to as Navroz.

I guess per the old calendar the spring new year is Navroz. But there is an additional one in August.

And it’s Krishna Janmashtami today.

Artwork of Yashoda and Krishna by BC Law, 1914. Original here.

Similar looking sari/upper drape here.