Shanta Hublikar


In the sequence above, we notice that, even in parody, Kesar and Moti manage to find a private mode for communicating desire for each other. Though the lyrics might deride silly love songs from Chandidas and Achhut Kanya, Moti’s wit and Kesar’s erotic playfulness in the course of this performance realize the subjective possibilities of the romantic duet. We must recall that prior to this scene, Moti has been afraid to venture into public space with Kesar – a fact that pains her greatly. But here for a moment, in full public view, these social interactions are suspended. The policeman and the prostitute sing together, exchange joyful looks, and perform little intimate gestures to give us a glimpse of a couple-form whose time has yet to come. [X]

Shanta Hublikar was an actress of the 1930s and 40s, one of a clutch of “educated girls” in the movies, who is best known for her performance in Manoos/Aadmi (1939).

The song referred to is Premi Premnagar Mein Jaayen (Lovers go to the city of Love) which parodies songs from Chandidas and Achhut Kanya. The sequence opens with a film picturisation of an anglicised couple singing before Kesar and Moti take over. Such song sequences were a staple in films from Bombay Talkies and New Theatres which to Shantaram were unrealistic and anglicised.

Apart from the song above, Kashala udyachi baat (Why Talk of Yesterday) from the movie brings together several regional Indian types, clearly differentiating each in the sequence.

Though differentiating itself from the other studios in being authentically Indian, Manoos/Aadmi provides a glamourised version, there are a few pretty saris in the film that suggest the imported saris of the period as well as fashionable blouse styles and finger waved hair.

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in 1930s, Costumes in Cinema, Early 20th Century, fashion, film costumes, Indian Cinema, Indian Dress, Indian fashion, Indian Women, Marathi cinema, retro cinema, retro fashion, Sari, Sari Blouse, Vintage Blouse, vintage sari and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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