Vidur’s Film Diary – September 2009


2

OBITUARY :
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Thank God , this is the first month since I started writing my Film Diaries , that I have been spared from the trouble of writing an obituary. It is always painful to know that a person whom you know is no longer with you. A person, who was part of your life, doesn’t exist anymore. This month there was no loss , no sad demise .

NEW RELEASES & ME :
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I have started keeping a good track record of all the released films per month and the names of my students, who are working in them, for this section of my Film Diary. In the month of September 16 films were released.

First Week – September 04

Aagey Se Right…………..Shenaz Treasuryvala
Bachelor Party…………..Jimmy Sheirgill
…………………………………Arbaaz Khan
Chintu Ji……………………Priyanshu Chatterji
…………………………………Kulraj Randhawa
Fox……………………………Arjun Rampal
…………………………………Udita Goswami
…………………………………Rohit Kumar
Mohandas………..x
Three……………….x

Second Week – September 11

Aamras………………………………Sonali Sachdev
Baabarr………………………………Urvashi Sharma
I Can’t Think Straight… ………..Lisa Ray
Ruslaan……………………………….Raajveer
…………………………………………..Meghaa Chatterjee
…………………………………………..Sachin Chhabra
Vaada Raha……….x

Third Week – September 18

Dil Bole Hadippa…………………..Aashish Singh
Wanted………………………………..Mahak Chahal
……………………………………………Sarfaraz Khan
……………………………………………Harry Josh
……………………………………………Aseem Merchant
……………………………………………Arjun Kapoor
Blue Oranges…………….x

Fourth Week – September 25

Fast Forward……………………….Bhavna Pani
What’s Your Raashee?………….Priyanka Chopra
…………………………………………..Harman Baweja

There were 16 releases in September. Only 4 films don’t have any students of mine. They are “ Mohandas”, “ Three”, “ Vaada Raha ” and “ Blue oranges”. And remaining 12 films have 23 students of mine working in them. Out of these 23 students, 20 are actors. 1, Rohit Kumar is producer of “ Fox ” and the other 2, Aashish Singh and Arjun Kapoor are executive producers of “ Dil Bole Hadippa ” and “ Wanted ” respectively. A very satisfactory month indeed!

National Awards & Me :
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55th National Film Awards for 2007 has been announced. Out of many films, 5 films which got awards in various categories, have my students. They are :

1 – Dharm………………………….Hrishitaa Bhatt
2 – Gandhi My Father…………Akshaye Khanna
3 – Jab We Met…………………..Kareena Kapoor
4 – Om Shanti Om………………Arjun Rampal
5 – The Last Lear……………….Arjun Rampal

News This Month :
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1 – Chaitanya Akkineni, a student of mine and son of Telugu superstar Nagarjuna’s, debut film “ Josh ” was released this month.

2 – “ Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” completed 725 weeks in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir.

3 – Amitabh Bachchan is coming to television after a gap of 4 years. He will host Big Boss – 3.

4 – Renuka Shahane’s first directorial venture “ Rita ” , a Marathi feature film, was released on September 05. It has Jacky Shroff in an important role.

5 – Sharmia Tagore starrer first Marathi film “ Samantar ” got released on September 04.

6 – Mr. Prasoon Joshi has joined Reliance Big Films as a director.

7 – Mr. Karan Johar is about to launch his clothing lines.

8 – Mr. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film “ Black ” is being released in Korea with 160 prints by Yash Raj Films.

9 – Two Gandhis have so far won National awards for best supporting actor. Mr. Dilip Prabhavalkar for “ Lage Raho Munnabhai ” in 2006 and Mr. Darshan Jariwala for “ Gandhi My Father ” in 2007.

10 – Paresh Mokashi’s Marathi feature film “ Harishchandrachi Factory ” has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Foreign Film Category.

11 – Mira Nair is taking her 2000 film “ Monsoon Wedding ” to Broadway. It will be a musical and Vishal Bhardwaj has been chosen for scoring the music for the Broadway version.

Happenings & Events :
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1 – Lata Mangeshkar celebrated her 80th birthday on September 28.

2- Yash Chopra celebrated his 77th birthday on September 28.

It is time to sign off. I shall meet you next month.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Twenty Years of Leaving Deoria, Twenty Years of Being An Acting Trainer &amp A Film Called “I Hate Luv Storys “


Today is Vijaya Dashmi, a day very significant in Hindu calendar and tradition. A day which is prominently etched in the psyche of every Hindu. A day which is associated with Bhagwan Ram and Devi Durga. But for me  it has an added significance and importance. 20 years ago on the same day in 1989, I left Deoria, U.P. and came to Mumbai. It was a painful and difficult decision. It was like leaving a part of your life permanently. It was like leaving all your near and dear ones for ever. It was a journey towards an unknown and uncertain future. But at the same time It was a fling towards a seemingly bright career.

I still remember that Vijaya Dashmi day in 1989. It was early in the morning. I left my home and family and came to DEORIA SADAR station to board a train to Lucknow. A group of my close friends came to bid me farewell. After some time train arrived and I boarded it. Train started chugging out of station and slowly all the familiar faces , the very familiar railway station of DEORIA SADAR and the city of my birth, started fading away from my sight . Slowly everything was left behind and I moved ahead. It was a traumatic experience and it still lingers in my psyche.

I reached Mumbai two days later. I will write about my struggle in the new city in some other blog. Today on the 20th anniversary of my arrival in Mumbai, I would like to state that I started my life as an acting trainer in a very humble way and today as I look back, I feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Apart from Hindi film industry, stars trained by me are working in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali film industry also. In fact, now my students are working in every field of film making. I will give you just one example today :

Mr. Karan Johar has announced a film, “ I Hate Luv Storys”. It has 4 major stars : Imran Khan , Sonam Kapoor , Sammir Dattani and Aamir Ali. They all are my students. Film’s director Punit Malhota, nephew of Mr. Manish Malhotra and a first timer, is also my student. Film’s music director Shekhar, of Vishal-Shekhar fame, is my student too. The film has just been announced, shooting is yet to commence and it has got 6 students of mine and that too in various departments. The feeling is overwhelming and humbling.

On my Facebook, I have up loaded my various photos and divided my life in three phases. But I must admit that my 4th phase starts today. They are  :

Phase – 1 :  The Formative Years: 1952-1974 (DEORIA & ALLAHABAD)

Phase – 2 :  The Quest of A new Path: 1974-1989 (DEORIA)

Phase – 3 :  The New Path, Voyage starts: 1989-2009 (MUMBAI)

Phase – 4 :  The Unknown Future: 2009 – …………..

The First phase of 22 years started with my birth and it ended with the death of my father in 1974.

The Second phase of 15 years started after my father’s death, when I returned to Deoria from Allahabad and it ended when I left Deoria for Mumbai in 1989.

The Third phase of 20 years started with my arrival in Mumbai and perhaps, it is ending today with the culmination of my journey as an acting trainer.

The Fourth phase lies in the womb of future. It is still unknown and uncertain. I do not know, what is in store for me now onwards but I must say that the third phase is ending on a very satisfying note. I know nothing about my future. It could be summed up as

Phase – 4…………….. ……………. 2010 to ……… ( Unknown )

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

The Deccan Odyssey Part 3 : Kannada Star Kharrtik & 100 Days Of “ YUVA ”


2My association with South Indian film industry is very strong. I had already written two parts of my Deccan Odyssey about that association and relationship. Little did I know that very soon I would be writing the third part also.

3In the previous part of my Deccan Odyssey, I had mentioned about my student Kharrtik ( Prajjwal Shetty ) and his Kannada film “ YUVA ”. The film opened to a good response and there were house full boards at every cinema halls. . He got rave reviews for his acting skills. I watched the promos and was zapped. I was always sure about his acting skills but he was equally brilliant in dance and action scenes also. No wonder the film is a hit and completed 100 days recently.

In the industry, people throw party after the success of a film. I was expecting a party but instead I got a call from Kharrtik’s father Mr. Vijay Shetty informing me that on the occasion of this great success, they are organizing a function to honour all the teachers of Kharrtik, who trained him in various spheres of film making. This concept of GURU VANDANA is new and it is very thoughtful of them. This is the first of it’s kind function in the industry. No one remembers their teachers after attaining success. It is a rare gesture and I would like to submit that I have trained so many young stars and I have very cordial relationship with them. But no one ever thought of doing this.I must say that I felt humbled and felt really honoured. My blessings to Kharrtik.2

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Dada Saheb Phalke , India’s First Feature Film & The Oscars


2This week I read the news that India’s official entry  to the Oscars in the Foreign Film Category for 2009 is a Marathi film called , “ HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY ” . After “ SHWAS ” in 2004, this is the second Marathi feature film which is going to The Oscars. This is a great moment of honour for Marathi film industry in general and for Marathi film makers in particular. This is because , Indian film industry was started by a Marathi manoos and that too in Maharashtra.

In 1913 India undertook a long and arduous journey in the field of motion pictures. The pioneer of this new medium was a man of very humble origin called DADA SAHEB PHALKE. He worked hard, struggled a lot, mortgaged all his belongings and his wife’s ornaments and then made a film called “ RAJA HARISHCHANDRA ”. The film was released in a Talkies at Girgam, Mumbai in 1913. Whole nation was mesmerized and the world took notice of India’s prowess in this field. People went berserk. They wept, laughed, cried and danced in the cinema halls. Length of this film was 4 reels. Out of 4 reels, only 1st and 4th reels are now available. we lost 2 reels due to callousness and negligence. These 1st and 4th reels are still there in the possession of National Film Archives of India in Pune. I am fortunate and lucky that I have seen these two reels in the auditorium of Famous Studio, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai. I don’t remember the year clearly. May be it was in 1991 or 1992. I was speechless after watching the film. I felt very ecstatic that I could watch India’s first feature film. I still cherish the memory of that evening.

And now in 2009, we have a full length feature film on the lives , times and struggle of the great pioneer, DADA SAHEB PHALKE. “ HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY ” is a film about the man and about his toils and turmoil.

I wish the writer and director, a first timer, Mr. Paresh Mokashi all the success and luck.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Pitripaksha & Parents / Children Relationship : Then & Now


2As per HINDU tradition, every year in the month of AASHWIN, we remember our forefathers and offer water for their contentment and as a token of our gratitude. As I sat in the morning for my daily prayers during this PITRIPAKSHA ( Fortnight of Forefathers ) I go through the following shlokas and recite them. I have gone through these shlokas hundreds of times and know the meanings also but today these shlokas give totally new meanings and a different connotations to me. These shlokas are :

Aabrahmastambaparyantam,
Devarshi pitri manavaah
Tripyantu pitarah sarve, matrimaataamahodayah.

Ateetkulkotinam, Saptadweepnivasinam,
Aabrahmabhuvananlokan
Didamastu tilodakam.

Ye bandhava, abandhava va ye,
Ye anyajanmanibandhava
Te serve tripti mayantu,
Maya datten vaarina.

[ From the mighty Bhagawan Brahma to the tiny insects, from the immortal Gods to the mortal human beings; from my paternal to my maternal forefathers, everyone should get this water and be contented.

All my forefathers, who were born in the family, millions of years ago, and who are living anywhere in seven continents across seven seas and those who still live anywhere in the universe; they all should get this water mixed with TIL and be contented.

Those who are not our brothers, those who are born as our brothers and those who were my brothers in my past and previous lives; they all should get this water given by me and be contented. ]

I used to get goose bumps, whenever I read these shlokas. I always wondered, how could a civilization, which is as old as humanity itself, be so humane and universal in approach. What were the thoughts of the great Rishis, when they wrote above mentioned shlokas? What was there in their minds, when they conceived these rituals? They were praying for friends and foes alike. A civilization which is considerate to even enemies, will surely have greatest of regards for their parents. Stories of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM are there in the minds of every Hindu.

But few stories, which appeared in the news papers recently, are very disturbing. These stories tell us about the thinking and behaviour of youngsters. These stories tell us about the psyche of the new generation. These stories portray the fast changing colors of Brave??  and New??  India.

Two months back, there was a story of two young boys of Patna, Bihar, in the Times Of India. These jobless youngsters were trying for job and were getting restless because they were unable to get it. Finally they decided to kill their fathers, so that they can get the jobs of their fathers on the basis of compassion. They even paid advance money to the local mafia to accomplish their goals. Can you imagine this is happening in India, land of SHRAVAN KUMAR. As per mythology and folklore SHRAVAN KUMAR carried their blind parents on his shoulders and helped them to visit all the pilgrimage centers of India, though they were unable to see anything. Now compare this story of yore with the present day story of Patna, Bihar.

This is not all. There are disturbing stories from every part of the country. I will narrate some of them here. In Kolkata, Mr. Samar Moulik and his wife Mrs. Bharati Moulik want to end their lives. Mr. Moulik retired from BHEL and instead of monthly pension, opted for one-time lump-sum payments. He invested half the amount in mutual funds. Later on he got to know that he was cheated. Unable to pay the rent, he moved to his ancestral home in Baguihati. After 15 days they were driven out of the house by their elder son Soumen, who stays there. Mr. Moulik’s second son, Shankar, a microbiologist, lives in South Africa. He is simply not interested and is unwilling to look after his parents. Their daughter, who is married and settled in Lucknow, U. P. is also not willing to accept them. I must submit here that she is not morally or legally bound to do this. The couple are now living with Mr. Moulik’s ex-colleague, and they have sent a letter to the officer in charge of Baguihati Police Station, seeking permission to end their lives.

In Mumbai, Savitri Sawant, an 85-year-old woman, has been thrown out of her house by her son and daughter-in-law. They both are police constables and both are earning but they are not willing to look after their elderly and helpless mother. The bone of contention is a flat worth Rs.18 Lakh, which is in Savitri’s name. Son wants his mother to transfer the flat in his name. When mother refused to acquiesce to his wishes, he forcibly drew her out of the house. It is another story that police is not even taking cognizance of her complaint.

In Dadar, Mumbai a 72 year old elderly lady Chandraprabha Manjarekar is so bitter with her only son that she does not want him to be informed after her death. The son wanted her to take Rs.10 Lakh and vacate the flat and go away. When she refused, he left the flat along with his wife, leaving her alone in the flat. She is now fighting for the survival without any income.

Ashwin Desai, 61, a resident of Kandivali, is a paraplegic and confined to his bed for the past 35 years. He has 92-year-old mother to take care off. He is abandoned by his near ones.

Jairaj Dattani, a 75-year-old lonely person jumped to his death and left a suicide note that he is tired of his illness and loneliness. It is pertinent that the note found in his pocket was addressed to the police inspector of the area and not his family members.

These stories are heart-wrenching. In the land of SHRAVAN KUMAR and MARYADA PURUSHOTTAM RAM, the younger generation is behaving in strange manner. Is looking after your parents so difficult? Insecure, infirm, sick and defenseless elderly parents want nothing but care and company of their kids. They just need some medicines and two frugal meals a day. Is it so difficult to provide them this? A mother happily and willingly carries her children in her womb for 9 months. And after the birth also, she takes care of every needs of them till they become self-sufficient. A father sacrifices his whole life for  his kids. And the children, when they start their own life, simply forget all these things. They start ignoring their parents. A religion, which is so compassionate towards their deceased forefathers, cannot teach callousness to its followers. Offering prayers during PITRIPAKSHA is not difficult. I am posting two recent photos of mine to illustrate my points.DSC00556DSC00573These photos were clicked today. Photo no . one is the photo of mine on the last day ( 15th ) day of PITRIPAKSHA, and the second one is clicked after the  shraddha is over. Is growing beard and shaving it off so difficult? Is giving two frugal meals to their helpless, feeble, infirm and incapacitated parents very difficult? Today people keep dogs as pets. They take care of their dogs. They buy costly and imported canine foods. They take their dogs to canine beauty parlours. They purchase costly dresses for their dogs. But when it comes to their parents, their love vanishes. They become insensitive, they don’t have money. Are parents inferior to even dogs?

I don’t want to give sermons to the world. I am not  saying  that all the youngsters are bad but it is true that relationships are changing in India. I started this blog at the beginning of PITRIPAKSHA, and I am posting it at the last day of PITRIPAKSHA. Throughout this period I was thinking about this issue. My parents are dead. I don’t claim that I was an ideal son but I can state with all humility that I was definitely not a bad son. I was an okay son.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Sunset At Dungarpur


img_8024I must admit in the beginning that I am neither a lover, nor a follower of Cricket. My association with Cricket is, what Mahatma Gandhi’s association could have been with a gym or body building. When I went to Allahabad, from Deoria in 1969 for higher studies, I used to be amused at the fascination of my friends with the Test Cricket and I used to make fun of them. In those days Mr. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the captain of Indian Cricket Team and was perhaps as popular as Dilip Kumar. All my friends were his fans and used to idolize him. I do admit that I was not even remotely enamoured by his charm. Little did I know that exactly 20 years later I would be sitting in his daughter-in-law’s house in Mumbai and would train his son Saif Ali Khan for films. And 15 years after training Saif, I would train his daughter Soha Ali Khan also.

My association with Cricket started with India’s World Cup win at the Lords in 1983. Suddenly I started admiring Sunil Gavaskar and that was all. My date with Cricket ended with Sunil Gavaskar’s retirement from the test Cricket.

During this brief association I tried to get as much information about the sport as was possible. Immediately after the World Cup win West Indies team toured India. During those nascent days of Door Darshan all my friends were glued to their TV sets. I closely watched all matches and I was ecstatic when Sunil Gavaskar equaled Sir Don Bradman‘s centuries and later on broke that record. During those years when I was closely following Cricket and was trying to cull all the records, I came to know about a gentleman cricketer called Raj Singh Dungarpur. He was the only Indian cricketer, apart from Sunil Gavaskar, whom I liked. He is the only cricketer, whom I have seen in person. I was invited for the wedding of Neil Nitin Mukesh’s sister at Grand Maratha. Since it was the wedding of the grand-daughter of legendary singer Mukesh, many luminaries of every walk of life were present. I went with my wife and silently stood in the queue. After a while when I looked ahead, I got a shock of my life. The person standing just ahead of me was Raj Singh Dungarpur. He was standing there silently, waiting for his turn. I was ecstatic that I could not only watch him from close quarters, but I could feel him also. I can never forget that the legendary Rajbhai, as he was fondly called, was standing so close to me that night.

On September 13, 2009, after his sad demise, News Papers are reporting in length about him. They are carrying the stories of his achievements as the able team manager and administrator of Cricket. He was the man who selected 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar in 1989 and he selected Mohd. Azharuddin as the captain of India’s Cricket team. From 1996 to 1999, he was the President of BCCI also. As the suave and dapper connoisseurs of Cricket, he shall always be remembered by Cricket fraternity. But for a lay man and part time lover of Cricket like me, he epitomized and symbolized the game of Cricket, which used to be gentlemen’s game once.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

Sycophants Of Congress & Dissidents Of BJP — YSR, YSJ & JASWANT SINGH: Media’s Different Yardstick


2I did not write any blog about the ongoing internecine war in the BJP. I was saddened. What could you say when there is a discord in the family? What could you say about mudslinging by an erudite and elderly person? What could you say when a family member, who was part of the family for 30 long years, starts hurling abuses on the aging patriarch? I was very sad. Mr. Jaswant Singh, who has held every conceivable post in the BJP barring that of Party President and Prime Minister, suddenly became bellicose and started throwing venom on everyone. True that he was thrown out of the party. True that, as claimed by him, he was not given a chance to explain his conduct. True that he got lots of sympathy from the media and intellectual fraternity. Every news channel and every news paper wrote that he should have been given a chance to explain himself. I fail to understand the logic of this clamour. Mr. Jaswant Singh has written a book on Jinna. It is selling like a hot cake. Everything is there in print. And he stands by his thesis. So what else could he explain? Every thing is well documented. Even if you are talking about democratic principles, in democracy the view of majority should prevail. If the majority of BJP Parliamentary Board feels that Mr. Jaswant Singh should cease to be a member of BJP, so let it be.

Last week again BJP was fiercely castigated by the media. The immediate reason for this was the meeting of BJP leaders with the SAR SANGHCHALAK of RASHTRIYA SWAYAMSEVAK SANGH, Shri Mohan Bhagwat. Sangh is a family and if family members want to meet head of the family, is that objectionable? An article says that Shri Mohan Bhagwat is not elected. Does it matter? Is a father elected by family members? SAR SAGHCHALAK ji is not intruding in BJP’s matters. He is not dictating terms. But if I feel that I should seek his advice, as a citizen I should be allowed to do so. There should be no sword dangling on my head. I should not be penalized for doing that. But media went berserk with all kinds of speculations. Okay, let’s, for arguments sake, accept media’s views on BJP; then why are they behaving differently in the matter of the Congress?

Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy, Congress Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, died in helicopter crash last week. A very sad and untimely demise of a dynamic leader. What followed in Andhra Pradesh after his death is bizarre. His so worthy son ??, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy’s supporters started canvassing for his candidacy just a day after the burial of his father. A Chief Minister K. ROSAIAH is there in place. But the chosen ministers refused to take oath of office. They took the oath following day after much persuasion but they are not attending their respective offices. An important state like Andhra Pradesh is functioning with an interim Chief Minister. And the Chief Minister is functioning without a council of ministers. This democratic? Drama of Congress is going on during the official mourning period. Worthy ? Son of YSR is orchestrating this drama and allowing it to happen during the period of mourning. The Congress high command is watching the on going tussle helplessly. I am sorry to state that I am yet to read any disapproving comment from the media. Is Mr. Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy elected to lead the Congress Legislature Party of Andhra Pradesh? Is it proper for the ministers to take oath of office and then not to attend the office? Is it proper for a politician to aspire for a post so shamelessly? Why is media silent? If this is internal matter of Congress, then expulsion of Mr. Jaswant Singh is also the internal matter of BJP. If seeking a post so assiduously should be permitted to a young politician of Congress, then seeking advice of a patriarch should also be allowed to the politicians of BJP.

Politicians can play games. It is in fact their job. But media should desist from it. For some, behavoiur of BJP is unwarranted and uncalled for, but for me behaviour of Congress is unethical and unconstitutional.

Vidur

http://www.vidur.co.in

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