And places don’t come much stranger than Chor Bazaar. A densely packed, sprawling street market in Kalbadevi, an old neighbourhood of Mumbai, India.
It’s where I found a series of vintage Bollywood film posters, a few of which are shown here. Some of the designs aren’t exactly my cup of Darjeeling. But I’m strangely attracted—the details are wonderful: the sometimes highly skilled, sometimes highly crude illustrations; the shapes of the Hindi DevaNagari script; exuberant, expressive hand-lettering; the colour combinations; even the out of register printing and the way the paper is disintegrating.
In fact I’m amazed that some of these flimsy sheets have survived nearly half a century of Indian heat and humidity. Especially the bit that involved me carting them around Mumbai in the monsoon.
Paul Belford is creative director of This Is Real Art