When was the last time you saw a face in a letter?
Change is the only constant.
Even our formula-loving film industry has to concede to its demands.
So many elements that were once vital to Bollywood's scenery are now amusing (or offensive) reminders of a bygone era.
Sukanya Verma updates her list of stuff we no longer see in Hindi movies.
Body heat to the rescue
Snow and rain is an old source of 'kahani mein twist' for Bollywood potboilers.
The heroine would invariably get too wet or too cold and shed her clothes. The hero would gallantly offer to strip under the pretext of body heat.
They'd cosy up under a prickly tweed blanket. Clearly they know something that we don't.
And so, it's cut to 'Main tumhare bache ki maa banne wali hoon.'
The face in the letter
Back when there was no FaceTime and texting with emojis, it was all about chitthi mein chehra.
Just in case it wasn't clear enough who the writer of the letter is or an actor felt insecure about not being in the scene, his or her superimposed face would appear in the centre of the paper and would read it out aloud for our benefit.
Gita ki kasam
Reverently folded in a red cloth, the holy Bhagavad Gita and a signature phrase accompanying it -- 'Main Gita pe haath rakhkar kasam khata hoon. Jo kuch kahoonga sach kahoonga, sach ke siva kuch nahi kahoonga' -- prompted many a weighty dilemmas and dhokas resulting in overdramatic courtroom quarrels.
'Shooting dekhne aaya' crowds
Remember how every time the hero and heroine broke into a song on the street, a huge crowd of passersby would flock in circles to catch a glimpse?
There's something so unrehearsed and unsung about their star-struck expressions and how it provided stars with their larger-than-life strength.
Kabeelas and Banjaras
There was a time when gypsies and tribes populated the frames with their colourful attire, breezy songs and acrobatic dancing.
Where the handsome hero would either befriend or antagonise the chief and unfailingly fall in love with his sister or daughter.
And whether he was welcome or not, she would perform a mandatory item number for his pleasure.
Rich girl-poor boy or vice versa romances are more or less extinct.
This imagery wouldn't be complete unless the wealthy one's mummy or daddy offered a hefty cheque (sometimes even a blank one) or a suitcase full of monies to their kid's lowly love interest in order to get rid of them.
Of course, good ol' zameer and khuddari ensured the ploy backfires.
Philosophy spewing baba
At a dramatic juncture in the movie, film-makers would often throw in a fakir or baba to offer profound gyaan on life and love.
How to impress the guy's family in 30 seconds? Show them your devotional side, of course.
Thankfully the new, improved Bollywood leading lady no longer panders to its out-dated ideas of Bharatiya Nari any more.
Filming an entire song with the hero riding a horse is harder than it looks.
One has to maintain a sense of rhythm and not slip into monotony at any point.
It was sure fun while it lasted.
Third party kisses
Locking lips are no longer a biggie.
In coyer times, an image of two flowers smashing into one another suggested the deed.
In a slightly more advanced scenario, a glass barrier would strategically show up between eager lips of lovebirds to give an illusion of almost realised passion.
Triangle crowns adorned by gaon ki goris
Not sure what they are called, but I sure wonder what happened to the party hat-like thingies perched on top of village belles of yore?