Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dus Gunaah

Dus Gunaah: The Indian Crime and Pop Culture Quiz


This is a quiz on Indian criminals, murderers, serial killers, bandits and scandals with certain pop cultural associations. There are 10 questions. Follow the usual rules.

Post your answers as comments. They will be visible only after approval.


1. Sitter to start with: His urban robberies were stuff of legends. Once he borrowed the plot from a James Hadley Chase novel which he had read in prison. He decided to loot money from the government milk scheme in a bid to gain recognition from the leaders of the underworld. His gang stole a car and conducted the robbery. The stolen vehicle abandoned exactly as described in the Chase novel. The day he was bumped off by the police, he was planning to visit his girlfriend who was a widow with two children. He is now forgotten but nevertheless he inspired a film with a larger than life (Anti)hero. ID the guy and the film. 2 Points.

2. They were four badass friends. They studied together, hanged around together and yes, killed together. They were known to have committed at least 10 murders in a period of 14 months in the late 70’s. They terrorized the entire city with their brutality. They used the same technique for each and every killing and they did it with an intention to rob the valuables. Two of the most famous assaults of them were on two families X and Y and that is why these incidents were known as XY murders. In both cases they eliminated the whole families by strangulating them with ropes. Also in both cases the last person was stripped naked and asked to show the valuables in the household before being killed. They were finally caught and hanged after a long legal process that lasted almost six years. It is believed to have inspired a film which itself ran into serious problems. ID the XY and the film. 2 Points.

3. He killed many. In fact he did not exactly remember how many he’d killed. His targets were mostly the people from lower strata of the society. He was mentally unstable, he lived in the jungle near the city and roamed around at night to kill. Not much is known about his early life. He was not hanged due to his mental condition. A budding filmmaker made a documentary on him which impressed a producer and thus got his big break. He went on to make more critically acclaimed films. ID the serial killer and the director. 2 Points.

4. He was a fearsome Chambal dacoit. He vowed to cut off noses of people and sacrifice them to Maa Kali. He in fact cut off the noses of many people. But it is said that the day he died in an encounter, his own nose was chopped off by a bullet. His name is the same as a fabled silver screen bandit although the depiction in the film was mostly fictional. ID. 2 Points.

5. Connect: 2 Points.

6. He is Jain but is a devotee of Maa Kali. More confusing is his clientele that is believed to be ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Adnan Khasoggi at one point of time. His good times were over by 1996 but at his peak, he walked the corridors of power and hobnobbed with the most powerful people of the country. ID. 1 Point.

7. Connect: (Events from early part of the last decade) 2 Points.

8. Easy one: ID the guy with Dilip Kumar 1 Point.

9. She was an attractive girl who sang and danced at village gatherings. She was abducted by a gang of Dacoits. She fell in love with the gang leader and stayed with the gang. She learned how to hold the gun and how to kill. But her lover was bumped off as a result of an internal conspiracy. The victor could now have her. But she was not one to relent. She hatched a counter plot and eliminated the villain and got another guy to jointly lead the gang. During an encounter with police she lost one hand but that did not stop her. A B-Grade film was made in 1970s based on her life. 2 Points.

10. This final question is does not have a pop culture connect. Just couldn’t resist it!
He was born in a Brahmin family and was known by his somewhat effeminate nickname. Legend has it that he was even good with astrology. He advised his gang leader against going towards a certain direction. But he did and paid the price in an encounter. He became the leader himself after this incident. He was brutal and he his hands trembled if he din’t get to kill for a long period of time. While his guru was called “Raja” by people, he was called “Maharaj” during his heydays. Nevertheless he could not see his own future and was killed in an encounter in 1959. Seen here is a temple dedicated to him in his native palace. ID. 2 Points.



So, here are the answers of the quiz.

1. Manya Surve, Agneepath
2. Joshi Abhayankar Murders, somewhat inspired Paanch which ran into censorship troubles
3. Raman Raghav, Sriram Raghavan
4. Gabbar Singh
5. The Tandoor Murder case or Naina Sahni case… the idea was inspired by Surendra Mohan Pathak’s Novel Mawali… Culprit Sushil Sharma was a member of Youth Congress
6. Chandraswami, who else?
7. The home Trade Scam… they launched a huge advertising campaign… three different ads with these three stars but without any apprent product or service…
8. Haji Mastan
9. Putli Bai, she was abducted by Sultan Singh who was killed by Babu Lohari. She got Babu Lohari killed and started to live with Pahada who was killed in an encounter. Then she moved on with Kalla (Kalyan Singh). After her death Kalla continued and was later killed in another encounter. (Some info I remember from the book Abhishapta Chambal by Tarun Kumar Bhaduri, a book that gave me nightmares when I was in 6th std). Jaymala played the role in the film.
10. Roop Narain Sharma (Roopa Maharaj)… disciple of Raja Maan Singh

Had a good response with 15 unique entries this time.

Navadeep Baruah 4
Nayanjyoti Medhi 11
Sandipan Goswami 4
Amrit Pritom Chetiya 15
Rithwik K 9
Kapinjal Sharma 7
Arunav Chowdhury 1
Supratim Sengupta 3
Chiranjit Gam 3
Harsha VS 13
Kapinjal Chowdhury 10
Daktar Vinay 16
MIT Chowdhury 6
Arindam Phukan 14
Arpit Mehta 9

Daktar Vinay gets to have Koffe with Kala Shetty
Amrit Pritom Chetiya is the lucky one who gets Margarita with Monica Bedi
Arindam Phukan can sip Black Russian with Babloo Srivastav…

Hope these meetings turn out to be a good learning experience for you.

Thanks for playing.


Perfumed Garden: The Erotic Film Quiz

After a long period of procrastination, finally I have come up with the erotic and exploitation cinema quiz.
There are 10 questions with varied marks according to the number of variables and level of difficulty.


Submit the answers as comments. They will be visible after approval only.
Deadline 10pm Sunday.


The original manuscript of the Kamasutra autographed by Sage Vatsayana.

A return trip to Salo.

A lifesize replica of Rasputin’s you know what.


1. A timeless classic reimagined and retold by a maestro whose oeuvre was as controversial as his violent death… ID the film (Yes the arrowhead has also been censored for some reasons) 2 points

2. This classical masterpeice X is based on a concept A, that can be considered an andocentric and premarital version of B, a sexual subculture that gained prominence in a decade that is also serendipitously given an epithet that uses the same word B. However, the act of B has always existed in different forms and the two gentelemen C and D were the first recorded ones to have done the same.
X was one of the three collaborations between composer Y and poet Z.
ID A,B,C,X,Y,Z… 6 points

More importantly, why did I ask this question in this context?… 2 points

3. A fairy tale by Bhasa, a collection of stories told through a parrot, an epic poem about a marauding emperor lasting after someone else’s wife… How do you connect them to a person whose pathbreaking 70s film received a popculture reminder through a garish remake 6 years ago? 2 points

4. Easy pickings: X was discovered while working as a receptionist in a film production company. She went on to become the face of a genre Y that gained popularity in the 70s. While the genre waned in the subsequent decades, in the 90s a tribute was paid to the genre by a master known for paying tributes through a film Z which again starred X in the lead role. 3 points

5. Another sitter: X or “eroduction” is a cinematic genre. Due to the nature of local censorship laws, the display of genitals, and even pubic hair, were long-held taboos in the genre. This restriction forced them to develop sometimes elaborate means of avoiding showing the “working parts”. In order to work around this censorship, they positioned props like lamps, candles, bottles, etc. at strategic locations to block the banned body parts. When this was not done, the most common alternative techniques are digital scrambling, covering the prohibited area with a black box or a fuzzy white spot, known as “fogging”. Identify this genre. 2 points

6. Who playing whom? 2 Points

7. She met a guy for a short fling but soon got obsessed. They met again and the relationship moved towards the inevitable necrophiliac finale. This story was told in a 1975 film which mainly catered to the home audience. But a more explicit 1976 film was released by an acclaimed director which overshadowed the previous one. Identify the lady, and the films. 3 points.

8. Identify this highly acclaimed film. This highly erotic but eventually tragic film named after a food item is considered to be the most successful film ever in its homeland and according to box office records, 27% of the entire population of that nation saw the film when it was released. 2 points

9. She grew up under a sternly religious and abusive mother and much of her work is believed to be an act of rebellion against her early oppression. She got sucked into the world of pornography by the time she was 17 and discovered her “forte” by she was 25. One of her most popular work is named after a very wel known piece of literarature. While she gained underground superstardom in the 70s very soon but it also started declining after a while and which led to her own downfall and sad end. ID. (Incidentally, her name is also the name of the topmost film awards in a country) 2 points

10. Identify this lady. There is an Oscar nominated Italian film that apparently has a character based on her. But that is not the reason she’s here ;). 2 points

Happy Quizzing


Thanks a lot for you participation. I am delighted at seeing some new participants in this one. & I know some more people genuinely tried. Nevertheless, here are the answers.

1. Il Fiore Delle Mille e Una Notte by Pier Pasolini based on Arabian Nights. Pasolini was lated run over by a car multiple times and the reasons for teh same are still unsure.

2. A-Fiancee Swap, B-Swinging (& serendipitous that decade is also called Swinging 60s), C-John Dee, D-Edward Kelly… Dee & Kelly had a swinging agreement… Y-Mozart, Z- Lorenzo da Ponte… X- Cosi Fan Tutte

Cosi Fan Tutte is of course the 1992 Tinto Brass film & that is why it is here…

Sorry for obscure framing… couldn’t resist it!

3. Mani Kaul’s film The Cloud Door draws from the classics like the Sanskrit play Avimaraka, written by Bh?sa around 5th-7th century, the Sufi epic love poem Padmavat by Mohammed Jayasi in the 13th century and the erotic Indian tales Suksapiti… Aarti Agarwal’s bold topless act in this film was arguably instrumental for the decline of her mainstream career! Kaul’s film Duvidha was remade as Paheli in 2005….

4. X – Pam Grier , Y – Blaxploitation , Z – Jackie Brown by Tarantino

5. Pink Films… Japanese genre of softcore films with agonizing censorship…

6. Paloma Picasso playing Elizabeth Bathory in Immoral Tales.

7. Sada Abe, the epitome of morbid obsession with sex… the lady who committed necrophilia and chopped off the schlong of her beloved… the films are A woman called Sada Abe (1975) and In the realm of senses (1976)

8. Turkish Delight/ Turk’s Fruit.. the 1973 Dutch film by Paul Verhoeven who later made films like Starship Troopers and more recently Black Book…

9.Bodil Joensen, The queen of bestiality… National film awards of Denmark is called Bodil Awards although it is named after two other actresses…

10. Ilse Koch… inspiration behind the character Ilsa in those sexploitation films… as well as Winslet’s character in The Reader…

& Now the scores… (Yes it’s a tie!!!)

Brishbhanu Baruah 18
El Biswajit 18
Nayanjyoti Medhi 17
Manoranjan Malakar 15
Sukanya Lenhardt 13
Arindam Phukan 13
Suman Doogar 12
Mit Chowdhury 12
Mehdi Jahan 10
Biswajit Sarma 5
Jahanpanah 5
Aamil Syed Nayeem 3

The promised prizes will be delivered within 7 days via Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Thanks for Playing…