Vidur’s Film Diary – July 2015


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 23, 2015           11.25 P.M.

[ MILESTONE : Vidur’s Film Diary completed 6th year of its existence in May 2015. June 2015 marks the beginning of its journey in the 7th year. ]

[  DECLARATION :  In my film diary, since May 2014, I have started mentioning names of only those students, who respect me as their teacher and accept and regard my contribution in their journey of life. All the other students, who had releases this month but are not mentioned here, are the ones, who refuse to acknowledge me in any way . I can sense their abhorrence to my personality . I am not a sweet-talker. So I know that somewhere they were rubbed the wrong way . I also feel their attachment to some acting trainers , who claim to be the re-incarnation of Constantine Stanislavsky and are sweeter than any sweet delicacy on this earth . Such students are free from any obligation from my side. GOD BLESS THEM ! My journey continues without such students . It marches ahead without their support . It flourishes despite their criticism and false propaganda .]

[  PROCLAIMATION :  In my diary I have been posting above mentioned   DECLARATION  since May 2014. It is now 1 year and 2 months. I suddenly noticed that the ungrateful and disrespectful students are now without work and had no releases recently. They don’t seem to be having any future. So from this month onwards I will stop posting the said   DECLARATION . ]

In 2013 – 14 my success rate was 40% . In 2014 – 15 it is 55% . For the full understanding of my body of work in 2013 – 2014 & 2014 – 2015, please watch the 05 videos posted below :

1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ
2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI
3 – ” O Teri ” & ” Main Tera Hero ” : 
4 – ” Khatron Ke Khiladi – 5 ” : 
5 – ARMAAN JAIN : 

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Obituary :

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 Sheila Ramani :

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Sheila Ramani (March 2, 1932 – July 15, 2015), also known as Sheila Kewalramani, was introduced into Bollywood by the film-maker Chetan Anand. She is known for her role in the movie Taxi Driver. She was born in Sindh and was one of the few actresses from Sindh to join the Indian film industry.

Sheila Ramani played the lead role in Funtoosh (1956) , another Navketan film opposite Dev Anand. But she remained embossed in memory for Taxi Driver (1954). According to Times of India, ” With her languid sway in a dark sari and shiny blouse in the song ” Dil jale to jale ” and her easy abandon in an off-shoulder dress to the dance track ” Dil se milake dil ” – she oozed spunk and sexuality, cool and control. Ramani was a precursor to the urban modern heroine we see today. She set the stage for them.”

 

 

Filmography

 

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – July 03

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1 – Second Hand Husband   …………………………………. Tina Ahuja

…………………………………………………………………………….. Geeta Basra

2 – Guddu Rangeela …………………………………………….. Amit Sadh

3 – Madmast Barkha …………………………………………… X

4 – Bezubaan Ishq ……………………………………………….. X

 

Second Week – July 10

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1 – I Love NY ………………………………………………………. Krishan Kumar

2 – Bahubali …………………………………………………………. Anushka Shetty

3 – 2 Chehare …………………………………………………….. Krushna Abhishek

…………………………………………………………………………… Monalisa

4 – Thoda Lutf Thoda Ishq ………………………………………………………. X

5 – S.P. Khan Ek Nayi Kranti ……………………………………………………. X

 

Third Week – July 17
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1 -Bajrangi Bhaijaan …………………………………….. Kareena Kapoor Khan

2 – Bin Roye …………………………………………………. X

 

Fourth Week  – July 24
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1 – Aisa Yeh Jahaan ……………………………………………………………….. X

2 – Masaan …………………………………………………………………………….. X

 

Fifth Week  – July 31
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1 – Drishyam …………………………………………………………… Ashok Beniwal

………………………………………………………………………………… Amita Pathak

 

In total …………… 14 …………….. films got released in July . Out of these ………….. 14 ………… released films …….. 07 ……… films have …………… 10 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 10 ……… persons , ………. 08 ……… are actors . And the remaining …………. 02 ………… Krishan Kumar and Amita Pathak are the co-producers of  ” I Love NY ” and ” Drishyam ” respectively.

 

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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Telugu : Anushka Shetty is playing lead in  ” Bahubali “.

 

My ……….. 01 ………. student in ……….. 01 ……….. regional film .

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Sonu Sood is judging a show  ” Comedy Superstars “ on Sab TV .

2 – Ganesh Hegde is judginging a show  ” Jhalak Dikhla Ja “ on Colors TV .

3 – Shamita Shetty is participating in  ” Jhalak Dikhla Ja “ on Colors TV .

4 – Amar Upadhyay is doing a role in  ” Saath Nibhaana Saathiya “ on Sab TV .

 

My ……….………. 04 …………….….. students in ………………… 03 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Smita Bansal  is playing a role in  ” Hum Do Hamare Wo “.

 

My …………. 01 ………….. student in ………… 01 …………. play .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Kareena Kapoor Khan is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Tetley Tea ” .

2 – Anushka Sharma is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Code by Lifestyle ” .

3 – Priyanka Chopra is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Blenders Pride ” .

4 – Varun Dhawan is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Skybags ” .

5 – Jacqueline Fernandez is the  Brand Ambassador of  ”  Glares by Titan ” .

6 – Prithvi Pai is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Joyalukkas Jewellers ” .

 

 My ………….. 06 …………… students in …………… 06 …………… commercial campaigns .

 

My 10 students appeared in 07 films , 04 students in 03 TV show , 01 student in 01 regional film , 01 student in 01 play and 06 students appeared in 06 Ads also . Thus total number of students working in the month of July 2015 comes to 22. 22 is a good number considering the fact that I have eliminated names of so many students .

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate my above mentioned 22 students .

May God bless them and they shine in their chosen field .

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Nagaland Peace Accord & Narendra Modi


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In a remarkable move the officials of government of India signed a peace agreement with a  major Naga tribal group, waging a guerrilla war with the central government for over past six decades. The agreement besides restoring peace in the region also attempts to build institutions bestowing greater autonomy to Naga tribes. The peace pact reached between the government of India and the largest militant faction of the North East, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), NSCN (IM) can significantly bring down the insurgent insurrection. While the finer details of the accord and the mechanisms of its execution are still under wraps the move is welcomed by all political parties. Modi recalling it as a major triumph under the flag of Act East Policy reiterated that restoring peace, economic and social progression of North East has been his utmost priority.

To appreciate the crux of the issue, it is worth recapitulating the genesis and epic-proportions of the Naga insurgency tale. The undivided Goalpara district or the Assam province which was under the control of the Ahom rulers of Burma became part of the Bengal Subah of the Mughal Empire after conflicts. Subsequently in 1765 it fell into the hands of East India Company along with Bengal and became part of the special administrative region of North-Eastern parts of Rangpur. After a series of Anglo- Burmese wars and enforcement of Doctrine of Lapse the entire region of Assam was annexed to British India by 1833 (1). British later on captured several Naga territories and consolidated them under the Naga Hills district in Assam. Actually each Naga village was sovereign and ruled by tribal heads and Naga tribes had no common identity. British guilefully permitted the penetration of Christian Missionaries into the region and inadvertently religion fostered unity between Naga tribes.

Nagas were recruited by British during World War I as labour corps and sent to France. But they were alienated from rest of the British Indian troops and this alienation promoted unity between them. Upon returning to their homeland Nagas with few British officials formed the Naga Club in 1918.  Under the government act of 1919 British declared Naga Hill district as backward tract and treated it as separate entity. In 1928 Naga club submitted a memorandum to Simon Commission requesting that Nagas be allowed to have right to self-determination after their departure from India. In 1930’s the Naga tribes under the leader of Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu rebelled against British. As per Government Act of India 1935, the Naga Hill district was declared as an Excluded area administered by Governor of Assam.

In 1945 C. R. Pawsney formed a Naga Hills District Tribal Race which evolved into Nagaland National Council (NNC) under the leadership of Angami Zapi Phizo. Phizo considered as Father of Nagas led an armed secessionist revolution and campaigned for a sovereign Naga nation. On August 14th 1947, a day before India’s independence Phizo declared the independence of Nagaland. Anticipating a stiff opposition from the insurgent group of Nagas prior to declaration of independence in June, 1947 the governor of Assam Sir Akbar Hyderi initiated peace talks. He signed a 9-point agreement with moderate members of NNC. The Hyderi accord agreed to grant judicial, executive and legislative powers and autonomy in land related matters. But the constituent assembly failed to ratify the accord that envisioned Naga demand for a sovereign state with India as a Guardian power for 10 years.  Instead they were granted district autonomy within Indian constitution.

In 1948 an agreement was reached between NCN and Government of India recognising Naga people right to self-determination (3). But NNC under the leadership of Phizo intensified their demand to establish a sovereign Naga state. He conducted a referendum in 1951 wherein nearly 99% voted for an independent Nagaland. Phizo has called for boycott of general elections in 1952 and launched violent secessionist movement. He also met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 and 1952 with a petition for sovereign status and separate electorate for Nagas but was refused. He was later in Burma arrested for illegal entry. Phizo then created an underground government, Naga Federal Government (NFG) and Naga Federal Army (NFA) on March 22nd 1956 (4). To quell the raising insurgency, government inducted Armed Forces and enforced Armed Forced (Special Powers) Act in 1958. Phizo escaped to East Pakistan in 1956 and lived in exile till death in London.

In the meanwhile government of India placed Naga Hills District under the tribal districts “Part A” category as per the sixth schedule of constitution, as an autonomous district governed by Governor of Assam with a limited representation in Assam state legislative assembly and Indian Parliament. This arrangement was refused by the Naga leaders. Hence along Tuensang division it was placed in “Part B” category as an area in the North East Frontier Agency under the administrative authority of Ministry of External Affairs in 1957. Following negotiations with secessionists the region was later converted into a full-fledged state of Nagaland in 1963, December 1st.

Government constituted a peace mission consisting of Jaya Prakash Narain, Assam chief minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha and Rev Michael Scott that signed an Agreement for Suspension of Operation (AGSOP) with insurgent groups in April, 1964. But relentless violations by NNC and NFG continued to rock the state in spite of the six rounds of peace negotiations. The peace mission was abandoned in 1967. In 1972 government launched a massive counter-insurgency operation and banned the NNC and NFG under the unlawful associations act. Situation was brought under control by 1975 and a section of the NNC and NFG on November 11th 1975 signed the famous Shillong Accord. Consequently the Naga rebels accepted the supremacy of Indian constitution, renounced arms and demand for secession of Nagaland from India (5).

But peace still eluded this region as nearly 150 rebels who were away in China and Burma for training during the signing of agreement refused to accept the final settlement with Indian government. Among them the trio of Isak Chisi Swu, Thuingaleng Muviah and S, Khaplang blatantly rejected the agreement and in the next five years parted from ways with NNC and created National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) in 1980. This group quickly emerged as a strong rebel contingent and NNC-NFG became less active. But by 1988 the rebellion within the group resulted in splintering of the unit into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) and the names of factions denote the rebel leaders heading them. In 1990 after death of Phizo, NNC split into NNC (A) led by Phizo’s daughter Adino and NNC (K) headed by Vice-president Khodao Yanthan. NNC (K) later merged with NSCN (IM) (6). Each of the splinter groups represents different tribes. Konyaks group is led by S. Khaplang of NSCN (K), a Hemie Naga from Myanmar. Tangkhuls led by Isak, a Sema from Nagaland and Muivah a Tangkhul from Ukhrul district of Manipur.

Irrespective of the tribes they represent, the ultimate aspiration of the Naga leaders has been to merge the contiguous areas of the Naga territories and create a greater Nagaland or Nagalim, four times the size of Nagaland. The putative Naga territory encompasses districts in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar. Hence each of these states is wily of such a demand. This desire for Nagalim is so entrenched that even the elected representatives of the Nagaland assembly still continue to pass the resolution on the need for carving out Nagalim. India signed cease-fire agreements with NSCN (IM) in 1997 and with NSCN (K) in 2001. While NSCN (IM) has climbed down on their demand for a sovereign state for Nagas, they are particular about the creation of Nagalim. During the ceasefire period violent conflicts erupted between these two rival factions of NSCN.  Government of India held as many as 80 negotiations through interlocutors and monitored by the ceasefire commission with these factions. It emerged that NSCN (IM) has been sincere in its commitment.

NSCN (K) violated ceasefire agreement in March 2015, drawing support from ULFA, Bodos and Manipur militants it surfaced as United National Liberation Front of Western South East Asia. It executed an attack on Indian Army which resulted in the death of 18 jawans in Manipur on June 4th 2015. The present accord is termed historic as government clinched an agreement with the largest Naga groups which in turn can pave way for bringing other minor Naga factions on board. Prime Minister Modi is believed to have effectively utilised the good will created by Atal Bihari Vajpayee who wooed Nagas with his immaculate gestures and open confessions. He was the only Prime Minister fondly remembered by people of Nagaland for appreciating and recognising their unique history and frankly admitting the failures of Indian government that left trails of blood in the state (7).

According the interlocutor RN Ravi, the ground work for the accord has been done under the UPA government but the indecisive leadership frittered away the opportunity for a major breakthrough in 2012. Perhaps, the recent ceasefire violations by NSCN (K) propelled central leadership into swift action and spurred them to clinch an agreement with its rival faction NSCN (IM). But for the collaborative action of Ajit Doval, interlocutor RN Ravi, Nagaland governor PB Acharya and the Naga People’s front leader TR Zeliang this mission couldn’t have been achieved.

While the details of the initial framework agreement are sketchy, it is believed that since government of India will not compromise on the sovereignty and integrity of the country, redrawing of state boundaries may be ruled out. But the accord might have entailed upon greater autonomy to the Naga dominated regions in the various states. While article 371 (A)   already accords special status to Nagaland, government might consider strengthening it further (8).

The accord signed by Modi is truly iconic as it comes after a long duration of unrelenting parley of peace negotiations with promise of restoring the peace in the region marred with violence. The pact epitomizes the exemplary statesmanship of Modi and his steadfast commitment to make North East region more inclusive. The true test for the government lies in carefully dealing with different state governments of the region, in decommissioning arms of rebels and their absorption into mainstream and chalking out a robust long-term development projects for the North East.

[ For this article I am indebted to Mr. Ramaharitha Pusarla . He published the article on August 06, 2015 under the title of “Historic Naga Accord” in the website MyIndMakers. I am posting verbatim that very article and I express my deep gratitude and indebtedness to Mr. Pusarla. ]

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Salaam, Dr. Kalam !!


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CHENNAI AIRPORT – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           JULY 28, 2015           6.30 P.M.

Last night when I was sitting in my hotel room in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, I switched on TV for news. It was everywhere. People’s President Kalam is no more. He is dead. He breathed his last in Shillong, Meghalaya.

I was pained and shocked and immediately wanted to write this obituary but internet in Port Blair is still in primitive ages. I was unable to get connected. After trying for some time, I gave up. I took early morning flight from Port Blair and reached Chennai few hours back. Waiting for my connecting flight for Mumbai, I thought to write and post this obituary.

All the daily news papers are full of the news of the sad demise of Dr. Kalam. I have nothing more to say. But one thing is crystal clear. No other President of India enjoyed this popularity. He was truly people’s President. Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India was second to none. I don’t remember much about Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the 1st President. But I have seen and vividly remember all the other 9 Presidents of India, who preceded him and the other 2, who became Presidents after him. None enjoyed such popularity, such regard and genuine affection from the classes and masses alike.

His books sold like hot cakes. Students rush to listen to his lectures. He always got thunderous ovation from the young audiences. Here are some of his most memorable quotes which will continue to inspire us in the time to come.

1. Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.

2. If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.

3. I’m not a handsome guy, but I can my hand-to-some one who needs help. Beauty is in the Heart, not in the face.

4. It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.

5. For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.

6. We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.

7. Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.

8. My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.

9. Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.

10. Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.

Awarded Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1997, Dr Kalam was born in October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu in a very poor family. He studied Aeronautical Engineering and graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in 1960. While working for ISRO, he was instrumental in developing India’s SLV III ( satellite launch vehicle ). Later on he developed guided missiles at DRDO. He was the man behind AGNI, PRITHVI, NAG & TRISHUL missiles. He was behind Pokhran II nuclear tests during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime.

And finally he became 11 th President of India in 2002 and served his full term till 2007. This glorious journey ended yesterday i.e. July 27, 2015. While delivering lecture in IIM, Shillong, he collapsed and died before reaching the hospital.

The above mentioned facts are known to everyone. I have not stated anything new. I just want to pay my respect to a poor boy of Rameswaram, who sold newspapers to eke out a living and became our President. I just want to salute the muslim gentleman, who was a vegetarian and played Rudra Veena. I just wish to be like him, who can quote Quran and Gita alike. I want to bow before a giant, who was popular among titans and kids alike.

Farewell Kalam sir! I salute you for igniting my mind! I bow to you for teaching me to dream and dream big. Thanks for giving us “Wings of Fire” so that we can fly and fly high!

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences to the departed soul.

I will be eternally grateful to Kalam sir for giving me wings of fire to fly. Farewell missile man! There will not be anyone like you ever. People like him are never born, never dead, they just visit the planet earth and leave after accomplishing their destined job.

 

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 17 : Andaman Calling


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CHENNAI – TAMIL NADU – INDIA           JULY 24, 2015           10.45 P.M.

It was raining heavily today in Mumbai. Rains are romantic but only when you are at home and enjoying the downpour. Torrential rain, for me, is dreadful if you are travelling. You feel dwarfed in front of the fury of mighty nature. When I started from my apartment for airport, it was drizzling. But when I reached airport, it was dark and I could see rain water lashing out on the large window panes of the domestic terminal. I dreaded but had no option. I took the flight, because I have to be in Port Blair on July 26th.

I took the flight and reached Chennai in the night. It is my 5th Chennai visit. But this time I am visiting the city only as a transit passenger. I will be taking early morning flight to Port Blair, the capital town of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Apart from 29 states, India has 7 Union Territories. Out of 7 Union Territories, I have visited Delhi multiple times, Puducherry 4 times and Chandigarh once. 2 other Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli are very close to Mumbai and I can visit them any day. But I never imagined that I could visit Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Never in my wildest dreams have I thought that I would be visiting Andaman in my life. So when my student Lakshmi Rao invited me to come to Port Blair as the Chief Guest of the 1st ever Andaman beauty pageant, I agreed immediately.

I searched Wikipedia and found some fascinating information about Andaman & Nicobar Islands. These island first came to light during Chola Empire. Then finally took shape during British rule. Britishers tried to colonise these islands but failed.

In 1858 the British again established a colony at Port Blair, which proved to be more permanent. The primary purpose was to set up a penal colony criminal convicts from the Indian subcontinent. The colony came to include the infamous Cellular Jail.

In 1872 the Andaman and Nicobar islands were united under a single chief commissioner at Port Blair. The capital of the union territory, Port Blair, is located 1,255 km from Kolkata, 1,200 km from Visakhapatnam and 1,190 km from Chennai

There are 572 islands in the territory having an area of 8,073 km. Of these, about 34 are permanently inhabited.

The Andamans are separated from the Nicobar group by a channel (the Ten Degree Channel) some 150 km wide. The highest point is located in North Andaman Island (Saddle Peak at 732 m .

The Andaman group has 325 islands which cover an area of 6,170 km while the Nicobar group has only 24 islands with an area of 1,765 km.

It is night halt at Chennai airport. I will take 5.00 AM flight and will be reaching Port Blair at 7.30 AM. A dream of my lifetime will be fulfilled.

Whenever I visit a new place , I always remember these famous lines of the great modern Hindi poet Agyeya :

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

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Omar Sharif : An Obituary


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           19 JULY 2015           11.55 P.M.

I read about Omar Sharif’s demise on 10th July 2015. It brought some distant memories to my mind. I was not his ardent fan but have very early memory of his film Mackenna’s Gold  [ 1969 ], where he played an outlaw opposite Gregory Peck .

I visited Mumbai [ then known as Bombay ] in June 71. I stayed here for one year. My visit failed miserably because of my inexperience and poor planning. But I remember one film, Mackenna’s Gold , which I saw during my stay. It was running in Strand Talkies, [ now closed ] Colaba in 50th week. A Hollywood film celebrating golden Jubilee in India was incredulous. So I got curious and went to watch it. I was amazed and mesmerized. It got imprinted in my mind and remained in my memory.

After one year I returned to Allahabad to complete my post graduation in English literature. There I watched his debut film Lawrence of Arabia [ 1962 ]. The film was and will always be a memorable film for me. The part he played in Lawrence of Arabia , was originally offered to Dilip Kumar, which he refused and thus became instrumental in Omar Sharif’s Hollywood career.

So when I read about his sad demise, I thought that I must write an obituary.

 

Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Omar Sharif

10 April 1932 – 10 July 2015

Omar Sharif was born as Michel Demitri Chalhoub on 10 April 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Melkite Greek Catholic family of Lebanese descent.

In his youth, Sharif studied at Victoria College, Alexandria, where he showed a talent for languages. He later graduated from Cairo University . He then enrolled himself for acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In 1955, Sharif changed his name and converted to Islam in order to marry fellow Egyptian actress Faten Hamama.

In 1954, Sharif began his acting career in his native Egypt with a role in Shaytan Al-Sahra (“Devil of the Desert”). In the same year he appeared in Sira` Fi al-Wadi (“Struggle in the Valley”). He quickly rose to stardom, appearing in Egyptian productions, including La Anam (“Sleepless”) in 1958, Sayyidat al-Qasr (“Lady of the Palace”) in 1959 and the Anna Karenina adaptation Nahr el hub (“The River of Love”) in 1961. He also starred with his wife, Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, in several movies as romantic leads.

Sharif’s first English-language role was that of Sharif Ali in David Lean‘s historical epic Lawrence of Arabia in 1962. This performance earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, as well as a shared Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor. Sharif was fluent in French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Arabic , so he managed the accent beautifully.

Over the next few years, Sharif co-starred in other films, including Behold a Pale Horse (1964). Sharif also played a Yugoslav wartime patriot in The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), the Mongolian conqueror in Genghis Khan (1965), a German military officer in The Night of the Generals (1967), Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria in Mayerling (1968) and Che Guevara in Che! (1969).

With Geraldine Chaplin in Doctor Zhivago (1965)

With Geraldine Chaplin in Doctor Zhivago (1965)

In 1965, Sharif reunited with Lean in order to play the title role in the epic love story Doctor Zhivago (1965), an adaptation of Boris Pasternak‘s 1957 novel set during World War I and the Russian Revolution . For his performance, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, while the film received ten Academy Award nominations.

Sharif was also acclaimed for his portrayal of Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl (1968). He portrayed the husband of Fanny Brice, played by Barbra Streisand in her first film role. His decision to work alongside Streisand angered Egypt’s government because she was Jewish, and the country condemned the film. It was also “immediately banned” in numerous Arab nations. Sharif reprised the role in the film’s sequel, Funny Lady in 1975.

Among Sharif’s other films were the thriller Juggernaut (1974), which co-starred Richard Harris, and the romantic drama The Tamarind Seed (1974), co-starring Julie Andrews, and directed by Blake Edwards. Sharif also contributed comic cameo performances in Edwards’ The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) and in the 1984 spy-film spoof Top Secret!

In 2003, he received acclaim for his leading role in Monsieur Ibrahim, a French-language film adaptation of the novel Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran, as a Muslim Turkish merchant who becomes a father figure for a Jewish boy. For this performance, Sharif received the César Award for Best Actor. Sharif’s later film roles included performances in Hidalgo (2004) and Rock the Casbah (2013).

 

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[ I have taken few facts of his life from Wikipedia. I express gratitude. ]

 

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2002 Gujarat Riots : Myths & Realities


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 19, 2015           09.00 P.M.

Few days back I read this post by Mr. Tapas Ranjan Baral. He posted it on the timeline of his facebook. Since Gujarat Riots of 2002 refuse to fade away from the minds of some secular, Left-Liberal intellectuals of our nation, I found Mr. Baral’s observation very interesting. Therefore I am reproducing his post verbatim on my blog.

I thank Mr. Tapas Ranjan Baral for his endeavour and express my profound gratitude for reproducing his writing without his prior permission.

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Mr. Salim Khan ( father of the actor Salman Khan ) had said to a senior journalist in an interview:

“Does anyone remember who the chief minister of Maharashtra was during the Mumbai riots which were no less deadly than the Gujarat riots of 2002?

Does anyone recall the name of the chief minister of UP during
Malliana and Meerut riots or name of the Bihar CM when the Bhagalpur or Jamshedpur riots under Congress regimes took place?

Do we hear names of earlier chief ministers of Gujarat under whose
charge, hundreds of riots took place in post-Independence India?

Does anyone remember who was in-charge of Delhi’s security when the 1984 massacre of Sikhs took place in the capital of India?

How come Narendra Modi has been singled out as the Devil Incarnate as if he personally carried out all the killings during the riots of 2002?”

No speck of doubt about what Salim Khan has said.

When one says Gujarat’s agriculture growth is 10-11% since last decade, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says he made the Asia’s biggest solar plant, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says Gujarat is the only state in the whole of India to
provide 24×7 and 365 days electricity to almost all of its 18,000
villages, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says the world bank’s statement of 2011 said Gujarat roads are equivalent to international standards, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says Gujarat is the first State in country to have “high
speed wireless Broadband service in it’s all 18,000 villages,” the
other says 2002 Riots!

When one says Forbes Magazine rated Ahmadabad as the fastest growing city in India and 3rd in the world, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says Gujarat Tourism is growing faster than ever before, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says according to central govt’s Labour Bureau’s report,
Gujarat has the lowest unemployment rate in country, the other says 2002 Riots!

When Narendra Modi is being chosen as the best current Indian leader in almost all surveys polls again and again, the other says 2002 Riots!

When one says 2003-2013 are the only 10 straight years in Gujarat
history which are totally riot-free, The other STILL says 2002 Riots!

But when we remind them about riots which occurred during Congress and in Communist Party rule :

1947 Bengal …5,000 to 10,000 dead …CONGRESS RULE.

1967 Ranchi …200 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE.

1969 Ahmedabad…512 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE.

1970 Bhiwandi…80 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE.

1979 Jamshedpur…125 DEAD…CPIM RULE (COMMUNIST PARTY)

1980 Moradabad…2,000 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE.

1983 Nellie Assam …5,000 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE.

1984 anti-Sikh Delhi…2,733 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE

1984 Bhiwandi…146 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE

1985 Gujarat …300 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE

1986 Ahmedabad…59 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE

1987 Meerut …81 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE

1989 Bhagalpur…1,070 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE

1990 Hyderabad …300 PLUS DEAD…CONGRESS RULE

1992 Mumbai …900 TO 2000 DEAD …CONGRESS RULE

1992 b…176 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE

1992 Surat …175 DEAD…CONGRESS RULE

they become totally deaf…because they have no answers.

Congress is a government of hypocrites. The youth of India says:

“We are NOT interested in 2002, we are interested in 2022”

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I had written one more blog on April 28, 2011, where I had collected data of all the communal riots of India after independence. I am posting the link of that blog :

This is the second one.

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FTII : Skeletans Tumble Down


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 12, 2015           11.50P.M.

Till date I have written 3 blogs about FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] Pune. I think this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute will not be my topic again, at least not in recent future. But if it is prestigious (?) and premier (?) , how can it not seek my attention?

Gajendra Singh row refuses to subside. Each day a new celebrity crows his neck out and dishes out his pious views on this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute, which has dubious distinction of spearheading more than 50 strikes till date.

Today, while watching news, I came across valuable (?) view of Raj Kumar Rao, who used to be Raj Kumar Yadav. May be according to him being Yadav is not upmarket or glamorous enough, so he got a brand new nomenclature. He opined that students of FTII deserve a Chairman, whom they should look up to.

Wow !! My memory went few years back and intruded into the holy precincts of FTII, when Mr. Rao, as a worthy alumnus of this prestigious (?) and premier (?) institute, used to roam around in the campus. In those pious and holy days Shri Paintal was Head of Department of Acting. He used to call many past alumnus / alumna as guest lecturers. Shri Paintal even called two of my students, who were novice, upstart and inexperienced. Mr. Rao or his other worthy friends never raised their voices against them. All the vocal commies and their friends from AISA were also silent. Mr. Rao also have no objection when these two upstarts mention his name in their website and claim that he has been trained by them in their Mumbai based institute. Mr. Rao and his friends can look up to novices roaming around as Acting Trainers but they can’t tolerate a Chairman , who according to them is a symbol of saffronisation. I denounce these bunch of hypocrites. If they agitate for better trainers, I can understand. But don’t want to even listen to them if they poke their nose in administrative matters.

These filmi Che Guevaras should be weeded out of this breeding ground of communism, known as FTII.

After I finished writing, I read this old news item published in India Express. It substantiates my point. So I am putting it here. Links of my 3 previous blogs are also given here.

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For 13 years, no convocation held at FTII

For over 13 years now, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has not held any convocation to give away degrees. The premier film institute of the nation held its last one December 14, 1997. An RTI query by The Indian Express reveals.Since the last convocation, 177 students have passed FTII courses and though all of them got their certificates, none received them at a podium, at a convocation. In fact, in the last 50 years, only 21 convocations have been held.

Confirming this, FTII director Iftikar Ahmed says, “The set-up at FTII is different. A mere convocation doesn’t decide the merit of students who complete courses here. The main objective is to provide the best training and we have been doing that. Convocation is a minor aspect. In fact, we issue degrees even to students who leave courses midway.”

Ahmed reminds that even before the last convocation in 1997, there was an eight-year hiatus. “The 21st convocation, which was the last, was marred by an unpleasant incident where students wore black armbands and carried placards on stage. It prompted director Mahesh Bhatt to resign as FTII president and veteran actor Dilip Kumar to lash out against ‘this blatant washing of dirty linen in public,'” said Ahmed.

He agrees though that there have been a lot of issues over the last 12 years that have pushed the convocation to the background. “The most important is expansion at FTII. Eight new courses have been introduced in the last 13 years and faculty members have come down. Back then, we had four courses and 55 teachers. Now, for all the courses, we have 20 teachers. During the transition after introduction of new courses and a change in the management, issues like convocation were pushed aside.”

Retired professor of the Film Appreciation Course, Suresh Chabbria, feels that a convocation gives an institute an academic feel and the fact that it has not been held for so long is something that needs to be looked into. “In fact, back in the 60s and 70s, they were regular. Things did change later with courses being overshot and students leaving midway,” he said.

National award winner Dilip Ghosh, former president of the GraFTII, the alumni association, says it is wrong for the institute to punish an entire batch for a few students who did not complete their courses on time. “In 1981, when I was studying direction at the institute, we had a proper convocation. It would be unfair for anyone to say convocations do not happen as courses are delayed or even for that matter students do not ask for them.”

Students of the current batches at the institute say that with issues like completion of the courses on time and shortage of equipment and infrastructure they face, convocation is an issue they have not raised. “That doesn’t mean we do not want one,” says former president of the student body and winner of the national award for direction course, Tathagatha Singha. “It’s just that with these other issues we deal with, the convocation takes a backseat.” he adds.

Actor Mohan Aghashe, who was the director of the institute when the last convocation was conducted, says the attitude of students also needs to be questioned. “When they come here after beating scores of other applicants, they should ask for convocations at the end of the course.”

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce FTII students, who are behaving like anarchists.

May God bless them with some intellect so they can read the writing on the wall. If according to them, it is saffronisation, they should learn to live with it.

[ I have quoted an old article of Indian Express. I express gratitude. ] 

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Arun Shanbhag

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