May God’s Curse Be On You Rathore !

After posting my blog about Manu Sharma and the murder of Jessica Lall last month, I was hoping that I won’t be writing anything like this ever, definitely not in near future. But as 2009 hurtles towards the end, the judgement in Ruchika Girhotra’s 19 year old case rocked the nation. I watched the news on TV. It was sickening to see a smug and smiling S.P.S. Rathore, who molested Ruchika in 1990, emerging from the CBI courtroom after being sentenced by the court for 6 months. He was granted bail immediately. Why was he smiling? Was he celebrating his light punishment or was he showing the world that look, no one can do anything to a powerful man. In a way his smile conveyed his true feelings that after fighting for so long and after facing all kind of humiliation, Girhotras got nothing. So wasn’t all brouhaha futile? His swagger and smile conveyed his lack of respect for the rule of law also. It conveyed and confirmed his scant regard for propriety in public life. This shameless creature forgot that once upon a time, he was holding a post that is perceived as a protector of law and order. His immediate release on bail is like rubbing salt to wounds. More curious and painful is the smile of his wife, who is a practicing lawyer. She has a daughter too. What message are they conveying to their daughter?

Let us have a look at the case history. Ruchika Girhotra was a budding tennis player and wanted to make it big in life. S.P.S. Rathore was already big in life and at that point of time he was a police officer, who later on rose to become Director General of Police in Haryana. In 1990 he was president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Haryana. He called Ruchika in his office and allegedly molested her. Luckily her friend, another budding tennis player Aradhana, walked in just in time and thus Ruchika was saved. She and her family ran from pillar to post for justice but in vain. They met the then chief minister Hukum Singh of Janata Dal, who sought report from the then DGP Haryana R. R. Singh. Subsequently DGP recommended that FIR should be lodged against Rathore. The then home secretary J. K. Duggal also gave his consent but curiously Hukum Singh turned it down and ordered departmental inquiry instead. Nothing happened and barring Aradhana and her family no one stood for Girhotras in those dark days.

After securing his position and post, Rathore started intimidating the family. His tale of vendetta is long and frightening. Policemen in civvies were deployed around her house. Goons were put into service and they followed Ruchika everywhere and harassed her. They abused the family and pelted stones at their residence. Not only this, she was even thrown out of her Sacred Heart school allegedly at the behest of Rathore. Though the school now claims that she was expelled because of non-payment of fee. To pressurize her further to withdraw the case, her brother Ashu was implicated in seven cases of car theft and robbery. He was handcuffed and was kept in police custody for two months. He was subjected to third degree torture and that too in the presence of Rathore. Instead of water he was given urine to drink. He was paraded half naked in the vicinity of his house. This all happened for three continuous years. Unable to bear humiliation, hurt, and a feeling of guilt that she is responsible for the suffering and misfortune of her family, Ruchika ended her life by consuming poison. When her father tried to take her to a nearby hospital, policemen posted outside the house threatened him and told him to take her to the PGI Chandigarh. Ruchika was admitted and next day she died. After her death, Panchkula police did not hand over her body to her father Mr. Girhotra, though he was begging and even touched their feet. He was crying and was sitting outside the mortuary throughout the day but in vain. Ruchika’s postmortem report was also doctored and tampered with. Police produced a lady named Veena, who signed the papers and gave statements that no one is responsible for Ruchika’s death. She signed the papers claiming that she is Ruchika’s mother. Later on it came to light that Veena was just a governess and Ruchika’s biological mother died in 1986, seven years before Ruchika was molested. After signing the papers and giving her statement to police, Veena left the country and is now settled abroad. Isn’t it sounding fishy?

One year after Ruchika’s death, the then Congress government of Haryana, headed by Bhajan Lal, closed the departmental inquiry against Rathore and promoted him to ADGP. Matter dragged on for years and again in 1999 Rathore was promoted to the rank of Director General of Police during the tenure of Bansi Lal of Haryana Vikas Party. He was successful in intimidating Ruchika’s family and they had to run to Himachal Pradesh to avoid his fury. Thanks to the help and support of Aradhana’s family, Rathore was finally booked in 2000. 10 years after the molestation and 7 years after Ruchika’s suicide, CBI registered FIR on direction of Supreme Court.

But Rathore, emboldened by the political patronage and his new found position, started hampering the case. He tried to bribe the CBI officer, who was investigating the case. When he refused to buckle, Rathore complained to the higher authorities of CBI and got him transferred. Meanwhile Om Prakash Chautala became the chief minister and he recommended Rathore’s name for President’s Police Medal and appointed him as the Director General of Police. Rathore retired in 2002 and only then, in 2003 charges against Rathore were framed in the court.

I gave a long history of the case so that the readers can understand the trials and tribulations of Girhotra family and sympathize with them fully. It is necessary to raise your voice for Ruchika. It is important to stand up for Ruchika, who was only 14 when she was molested. It is our duty to put pressure on the government. Yesterday it was Ruchika, tomorrow it could be any one, even our daughters. It is a fight against the system. It is a fight for a qualitative change in our society. And remember, culprits are mighty and many. Police officers – who aided and abetted the crime; politicians – who shielded and patronized Rathore; Ruchika’s alma mater and teachers – who instead of protecting her, sided with her all powerful, mighty opponent; all are equally responsible and guilty. Today blame game has started. Everyone is trying hard to prove that they are not the party in this crime, that they are innocent.

I am not sad. I am angry. And my anger is directed towards me. How such things happen for 19 years and no outcry was visible or heard? Whom else can you blame but for yourself? Police can stoop to any level. I have absolutely no faith in them. But what about Ruchika’s school? How can an alma mater abandon its student? And what about the politicians? They are supposed to be our representatives. Yet in this case they sided with the molester cop. No party is innocent. Hukum Singh belonged to Janata Dal, Bhajan Lal belonged to Congress, Bansi Lal belonged to Haryana Vikas Party and Om Prakash Chautala belonged to Indian National Lok Dal. All are partners in the crime. Even courts faulted. This case is crystal clear. Why can’t these learned judges see what an ordinary citizen is easily understanding? Can you justify mere six months imprisonment and 1000.00 fine for this molester cop? Judge says that considering Rathore’s age leniency should be shown. The sympathy and pathos he felt for molester Rathore, why can’t he feel the same for 14 year old Ruchika? Is there again something fishy? After the judgement was pronounced and he was granted bail, Ruchika’s father got an anonymous call. Caller said sarcastically, “ Ab kya kar liya?” Now I can understand the true meaning of smile and smirk on the abominable faces of Rathore and his wife.

My gratitude goes to media and vigilant public. The way they took this issue and built pressure on the ruling oligarchy, is exemplary. After procrastination of 19 years and callously sleeping over the case, the ruling oligarchy is showing some resolve to review the case and to pursue it to its logical conclusion. Fresh FIRs are being filed and process of stripping Rathore of his medals has been started. Fresh inquiries are being launched against Rathore and his accomplices and the Sacred Heart School also. Rathore’s arrest is imminent and he may lose his retirement benefits also. Because of these new developments, the infamous smile of Rathore is gone. A grim looking Rathore rushed to court for anticipatory bail, but failed to get it.

On this new year eve when I am writing this blog, I am taking few new year resolutions :

1- That I shall always stand firmly for such victims without fear.

2- That I shall always be with my students in their trials and tribulations. I shall never, ever behave like the principal of Sacred Heart School of Chandigarh.

May God give me courage to accomplish my resolution and may God’s curse be on you Rathore.

Amen !!


Sunset Boulevard ( 1 ) : Farewell ” Hamara Bajaj “

Last week I read a news item in the newspapers. Bajaj Auto will stop manufacturing scooters in March 2010. They are going to shut the plant and stop production of their scooter’s super hit brand Bajaj Super completely. This innocuous news item opened a floodgate of remembrances and memories of my early life. I was uplifted and transported to the India of 1970s and 80s, when I used to be young, when I used to dream big and used to wish for an affluent future and life. In those days Bajaj scooter used to be a proud possession of every middle-class indian. It used to be dream of commoners and wish and aspiration of connoisseurs. I vividly remember that in those days, waiting period for Bajaj Super was almost 10 years. Bajaj Chetak had a waiting period of almost two decades. After waiting for a decade or two, people used to flaunt their possession proudly, when the scooter was delivered to them. Envious neighbours and happy relatives used to come to congratulate the elated and lucky owner. And the owner used to feel as if he has accomplished his lifelong dream or goal. In those days of license and permit raj, Bajaj Auto was the biggest manufacturer of scooters in the world. “ Hamara Bajaj ” used to be the slogan of not only Bajaj Auto but of the whole of middle-class India and that too so aptly.

Advent of Maruti 800 started a slow change and within few years the scenario got changed completely and that too beyond recognition. Because of the economic liberalization unleashed by the government of P. V. Narasimha Rao, and because of the end of license, permit raj, Indian middle class started having huge disposable income. Their aspirations soared and with the help of this new found money, they started dreaming big. They started dreaming of a better future and affluent life. So for them, the fling from two wheelers to four wheelers was next and inevitable move. Apart from that, younger generation’s craze for bikes and advent of many international brands and their easy availability in India, dent a bloody blow to Bajaj Scooters. Its sale dipped and in spite of the best efforts of the mandarins of Bajaj Auto, it could never be the same again. They were unable to revive and resurrect it. In 1999-2000, compared to 8,09,251 scooters only 4,31,370 bikes were sold . But the scenario got changed completely in 2009-2010. Only 3,356 scooter were sold compared to 10,85,785 bikes. Sale figure justifies company’s decision of lock-up and permanent closure of the plant and discontinuing of Bajaj Super scooter.

But feelings don’t understand logic. Feelings defy arguments or statistics. Feelings have their own world, their own logic. For me, once Bajaj Super was my prized possession. My two younger brothers also had their own Bajaj Super scooters. My father used to love foreign cars and he had Chevrolet and Plymouth during his prime days. So throughout my childhood, me and my siblings, were accustomed to chauffeur-driven cars. During those days I had a Herculis bicycle also. I bought it with my scholarship money of Rs.100.00. Since its price was Rs.125.00, my father chipped in remaining Rs.25.00. After my father’s untimely demise, we had fallen to bad days and we could not afford a car. So, to look after my sprawling estate, I bought a bike. It was Yezdi Motorcycle. My second vehicle was Hero Majestic Moped. But I always longed for Bajaj scooter and though my two vehicles, Yezdi bike and Hero Majestic moped, were new, I sold them and my younger brother bought a second-hand Bajaj Super scooter for me in 1985 and thus I became a proud owner of it. I used to drive it in Deoria and when I moved to Mumbai in 1989, I brought that scooter here and used it extensively for 14 long years. UHW 5970 is the registration no. of my scooter and in my struggling days, it became an inseparable part of my personality and life in Mumbai. It carried me and my wife to many filmy parties in various prestigious 5 star hotels of Mumbai. We used to arrive near the designated 5 Star hotel on the scooter and I used to park it in a nearby lane. Though I wanted to drive it to the parking lot of the hotel but my wife used to get embarrassed because of the fleet of swanky cars of stars and other dignitaries being driven inside. At that point of time, I was a nonentity and I was living a pitiable and spartan life in Mumbai with limited means. I had no proper clothes and was unable to provide even two meals to my family. It was a colourless life but my students were kind and gracious enough to invite me and my family to their colourful and high profile parties and functions. Barring my Bajaj Super scooter, I had no material possession worth the name. Though I was proud of my scooter, I didn’t want my hosts to feel embarrassed to see me on a two-wheeler. So I used to park it in a nearby lane.

My Bajaj Super carried me to the lavish launch parties of Hritik Roshan and Fardeen Khan‘s debut films. It carried me to various grand premiers of the films of my students. It carried me to the huge marriage party of Ashish Singh, who is now an executive producer of Yash Raj Films. It carried me to numerous parties thrown by Vikas Kalantri at the Mahalakshmi Race course ground. I used to drive it to Erose, Regal, New Empire, Metro and Sterling cinema halls for watching latest Hollywood and Bollywood flicks. For 14 long years, it served me faithfully in Mumbai. While driving it, I never met with an accident. It went only for regular denting and painting, but that is a routine story.

In July 2003, I bought Bajaj Pulsar  bike from the same Bajaj stable and sent my Bajaj Super scooter to Deoria again. Bajaj Pulsar, with registration no. MH 02 AC 5325 became my new vehicle in Mumbai and Bajaj Super still remains my vehicle in Deoria. From1985 to 2003, It served me incessantly in Deoria and Mumbai, and from 2003 to this day, it still serves me, whenever I visit my native place Deoria. It is a 24 year long association with Hamara Bajaj, and it refuses to hear or understand logic, statistic or balance-sheets. It refuses to see changing times and is unable to understand dwindling sale figures. Rahul Bajaj, the young Bajaj scion, is a man of today. But I belong to a bygone era. May be he is pragmatic and realistic, but I am an emotional fool and so I am deeply saddened and pained at the turn of the events. To me UHW 5970 Bajaj Super is not a lifeless machine, it is an integral part of my life and it will always be like that. Though now I own two cars; Maruti Zen and Maruti Swift, but still my feelings for my old scooter refuses to subside or ebb.

In March 2010, when Bajaj Super will finally walk into the Sunset Boulevard, I would be celebrating the silver jubilee year of my association with it with a saddened heart. It is so bizarre, it is so strange but it is starkly real. Very surreal. This is life. And yes, life is like this only.

Farewell Hamara Bajaj !!! Thou shall live in the hearts of millions of middle-class Indians of my age and era.


Vidur’s Open Letter – 2 : To Shazahn Padamsee

Hi Shazahn ,

Last night I saw your debut film “ Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year ”. I liked this new flick from Yash Raj Films immensely. Critics, anyway, have given it rave reviews.

I must state that its not a typical Hindi film. Hindi films have their own flavour, their own set rules and their distinctive mass appeal. Typical candy floss and escapist films have ruled Hindi film industry since ages, precisely since the days of the first talkie “ Alamara ”. A new set of avant -garde film makers tried to change the rules with their realistic and issue based Art films. They seemed to be successful for the time being, but eventually they failed miserably. Barring Mr. Shyam Benegal, all those self-proclaimed custodians and flag-bearers of Art films are now dormant and are lying low. Art film movement withered away. It was a case of early, premature and inglorious death.

With the advent of corporate world and with the help of their funds, Hindi film-making rules were once again changed dramatically. New directors started making new age films. All the set norms were broken. Young and well-educated film makers started making new kind of films. They started experimenting. My nomenclature, for these kind of new films, is Unconventional Films. So Hindi film industry now has three sets of films ; Candy Floss Films , Art Films and Unconventional Films. Your film belongs to the last category. In fact Yash Raj Films has unique distinction of producing Candy Floss and Unconventional Films with same zeal, zest and vigour. “ Kabul Express ”, “ Chak De India ” and now “ Rocket Singh-Salesman of the Year ” are Unconventional films from Yash Raj stable. There is no need to list their Candy Floss films, as they are well known.

Some people are panning your film for lack of entertainment value. I fail to fathom their logic and wisdom. Entertainment value is a subjective thing. What could be entertaining for one set of people, could be repulsive for others. And what is boring for others, could be quite hilarious for different set of people. For me your film was very entertaining and engrossing. Kudos to Mr. Jaideep Sahni for excellent and hilarious dialogues and specially for this unique and new subject. As for the director is concerned, my admiration for Mr. Shimit Amin now knows no bounds. He should be feted for his courage of not following established trends and deliberating ignoring the rules and norms of traditional film-making system. His three films “ Ab Tak Chhappan ” , “ Chak De India ” and now “ Rocket Singh- Salesman of the Year ”, bear ample testimony of his courage, conviction and resolve. Mr. Aditya Chopra needs all the praise for producing these path breaking, new-age, Unconventional films, which defy all the logic and logistics of traditional Hindi film-making ways.

My first open letter was addressed to Ranbir Kapoor. In that letter I have made detailed comments on his acting capability and his mastery on characterization. In this film again he delivers a wonderfully immaculate and flawless performance. This is my second letter and here I would like to illustrate some points about your acting ability. I still remember the day, when your legendary father Mr. Alyque Padamsee called me to train you and though, he was not comfortable in Hindi, tried to talk to me in Hindi. It was a wonderful and nice gesture. I won’t be able to forget it ever. I remember my first visit to your place and meeting your illustrious mother, Mrs. Sharon Prabhakar also. She was equally magnanimous. We started class and last night when I was sitting in Fame Adlab Multiplex and was watching your first film, it looked as if everything happened only a day before. It was delight to watch you on screen.

Don’t get disheartened by some media reports that this film got a lackluster opening. Even Kajol in “ Bekhudi ” and Rani Mukherjee in “ Raja Ki Ayegi Barat ” had lackluster beginnings. Dilip Kumar in “ Jwar Bhata ” and Amitabh Bachchan in “ Saat Hindustani ” also had shaky starts. Contrary to some media reports, your film is not a flop. It is not a costly film. Its target audience is in metro cities and not in B or C centers. I had watched “ Vivah ” in the same Fame Multiplex and people were booing it. Still it was one of the biggest hits of that year. Its target audience was in B and C centers. Same way your film is not going to be a hit in B and C centers but it is going to be a profit earning proposition in the metro cities and in the multiplexes. People were laughing and clapping in the Fame Adlab last night. You made a right choice and chose this prestigious Yash Raj flick for your debut film. Your pairing against Ranbir Kapoor is like icing on a cake. Though learned critics ( ? ) are saying that it is a small role as compared to Gauhar Khan, but according to me, you made a right decision and it is a confident debut.

I would love to watch you in many films in future and wish you all the success and glory. May you be the worthy daughter of your legendary and illustrious parents.


Kong Poush of Jammu & Kashmir : Kashmiri , Dogri , Ladakhi Film Industry & Me

Jammu & Kashmir is one of the biggest provinces of India, but its film industry is one of the smallest. The province of Jammu & Kashmir has three different regions : Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir Valley. They have three different languages also : Dogri in Jammu, Ladakhi in Ladakh and Kashmiri in Kashmir Valley.

Dogri Cinema :

Jammu is the smallest region of the state, so Dogri films have smaller and minuscule presence. Cinema came to India in 1913 and the first talkie “ Alamara ” was made in 1931. But the first Dogri film “ Gallan Hoyian Beetiyan ” was made in 1966. Dogri Cinema’s advent in the state of Jammu & Kashmir was delayed by 35 years. It is very surprising because the first singing star of Hindi films, legendary Kundan Lal Sahgal, hailed from Jammu. But Jammu lacked behind in film making and even today not many films are made in Dogri.

My relationship with Dogri films are very modest. Shettal Sharma is the only student from Jammu, whom I have trained. She is trying to get a foothold in the industry.

Ladakhi Cinema :

Ladakh is the biggest district of not only Jammu & Kashmir but the country also. It is sparsely populated and barring Leh, it has no city worth the name. Leh has just one cinema hall. But cinema has taken strong and deep routes here. Ladakh has world’s youngest film industry. Cinema started here in 2002. It is 7 years and 26 films old film industry. “ Ladakh Vision Group ” is the most reputed and respected production house of Ladakh. Rinchen Norbu, who sells Chinese jackets in his road side stall to eke out a living, is the famous leading man. Zulfiquar Ali Shah is the most sought after villain and Stanzin Namdol is the most salable leading actress. Tsering Norzum, who works as a police constable, is the famous item girl of Ladakhi films. Budget of films are in the range of 1 to 5 lakhs.

“ Tsesems ” the first Ladakhi film made and released in 2002 has Rinchen Norbu as leading man and Zulfiquar Ali Shah as villain. It created history. “ Delwa ” made in 2005 has Stanzin Namdol as heroine. “ Las Del ” released in July 2009 is the latest and the most expensive Ladakhi film till date. It has Stanzin Namdol as heroine and its budget is 15 lakhs. Ladakh region makes 6 films per year.

In my earlier blog about South Indian Film Industry – “ The Deccan Odyssey : Tamil , Telugu, Kannada film industry & Me ”, I have mentioned that I have no association with the Malayalam film industry till now. It is very unfortunate that my association with Ladakhi film industry is non-existent too. Malayalam film industry in southern most Kerala and Ladakhi film industry in northernmost Jammu & Kashmir are still out of my reach and I regret it deeply and profusely. It reminds me that I still don’t have complete sway as a trainer. I am yet to achieve and accomplish my goal. It reminds me that I have to work much more and much harder. I can’t be complacent.

Kashmiri Cinema :

The most important region of the state, Kashmir valley, has almost a non-existent film industry. It has produced only 6 films till date. First Kashmiri film “ Naeej Raath ” was released in 1964. It was 33 years after first Hindi talkie “ Alamara ” and 2 years before the first Dogri film “ Gallan Hoyean Beetiyan ”. Ladakhi film industry started in 2002, churns out 6 films every year, while Kashmiri film industry has made only 6 film till date, though it started in 1964. After “ Naeej Rath ”, “ Habba Khatoon ” in 1967 and “ Mehanzaraat ” in 1969 are other important Kashmiri films. Costliest Kashmiri film till date “ Akh Daleel Loolech ” was made in 2006 and its budget was 8 lakhs. Now after a long hiatus an NRI of Kashmiri origin Tariq Tapa is making a new film called “ Zero Bridge ”. Kashmir valley once had 8 cinema halls. Out of these 4 have been closed and converted into army bunkers. Remaining 4 were forced to down shutters as they have no patrons at all. This is the plight of film industry in Jammu & Kashmir.

I can state with pride and satisfaction that I have trained many students of Kashmiri origin. Though they are not working in Kashmiri films; firstly – because it is non-existent and secondly – because of the prevailing circumstances of the valley, but their presence is being felt in the national arena.

Ferena Wazeir : She is making her debut in “ Sadiyaan ” with Mr. Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha. She hails from Jammu & Kashmir and she is my first student from the valley. The film directed by Mr. Raj Kanwar is being readied for an early release. Her other film “ Rang Rasiya ”, directed by Mr. Ketan Mehta is also complete.

Ishtyaq Syed : He came in TV serial “ Kyunki Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai ”, aired on DD. He is another Kashmiri speaking student of mine. His father is a politician, active in Congress.

Umar Wani : He is another Kashmiri, who is a famous TV artiste. His serial “ hamari betiyon Ka VIVAH ” on Zee TV was immensely popular.

Mudassir Nazar, Zuhaib Khan and Muheet  Syed are another bunch of talented Kashmiri youth, who have been trained by me and who are trying to find foothold in Hindi film industry. Muheet’s father is also a politician, active in National Conference.

Labeeb Andrabi : He is the latest in the long list of Kashmiri students, who is busy in the fashion industry in Mumbai. This promising hunk is going to shine in the Hindi film world very soon.

I have trained Hindi, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Sindhi, Marathi, Konkani, Gujrati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Oriya, Assamiya, Nepali and Manipuri speaking students. I have trained students from Sikkim and Meghalaya also. Its very satisfying that apart from them, I have trained Dogri and Kashmiri speaking students also. All these students are working in their respective film industries and are making me proud.

These above mentioned Kashmiri youngsters from the troubled region Of our country are silent assurance that everything is not lost in the state. Very soon everything will be normal and cinema will thrive there once again. Kashmir valley, which was once upon a time backdrop of many Hindi films, cannot remain dormant. Younger generation of the valley bring hope. They are the future of kashmiri cinema. They are blooming Kong Poush ( Saffron Flowers ) and their beauty and fragrance will sure make our industry rich and colourful.


Vidur’s Film Diary – November 2009

One more month is over. Silently and very slowly it became our past. Only few days back it was our present. Life is so strange. Its a never ending, ever moving saga. Ever since I started writing my monthly diary, I am keeping track of things and often I wonder how fast things are changing and moving. How they are metamorphosing into something else and leaving us wonder struck.

Obituary :

After a gap of two months cruel hands of destiny mercilessly plucked four beautiful flowers from the garden of film industry.

Sumati Gupte :

In the olden days, in the world of Marathi Films there were only few educated heroines. They were Durga Khote, Shanta Apte and Sumati Gupte. Sumati Gupte died on November 01, 2009. Daughter of a judge, she was born in Wai near Mahabaleshwar. She first appeared in Prabhat’s “ Sant Dnaneshwar ” as a child artiste. Legendary producer- director Bhalji Pendharkar selected her for his Marathi film “ Thoratanchi Kamala ” and after that film Sumati bai never looked back. While working in famous producer-director Vasant Jogalekar’s Marathi film “ Chimukala Sansar ” she fell in love with Jogalekar and married him. During her illustrious career she gave many hit Marathi films like “ Kshan Ala Bhagyacha ”, “ Pawanakathcha. Dhondi ” and “ Oon Paus ”. She wrote and produced few Marathi films like “ Ha Khel Savalyancha ”, “ Janaki ” and “ Shevatcha Malusara ”. Apart from Marathi films, she worked in few Hindi films also, like Kishor Sahu’s“ Hare Kanch Ki Chudian”, “ Hamara Sansar ” and Yash Chopra directed “ Waqt ”. In 1967, she introduced her daughter Meera Jogalekar in “ Ek Kali Muskayee ” along with Joy Mukherjee. Ashok Kumar played stellar role in this film and many other films made by Jogalekars. “ Ek Kali Muskayee ” had hit music by Madan Mohan and lyrics by Rajendra Krishna. Two songs are famous even today. Title song “ lo ek kali muskayee ” sung by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar’s immortal song “ na tum bewafa ho na hum bewafa hain ” shall always be there in my memory. These songs will remind me that once upon a time there was a great soul called Sumati Gupte, who is not with us any more.

Simple Kapadia :

Rajesh Khanna’s sister-in-law and Dimple Kapadia’s younger sister Simple Kapadia died on November 10, 2009. She started her acting career with Rajesh Khanna in1977 with a film called “ Anurodh ” produced and directed by Shakti Samanta. Later on she did two films of Navketan International with Dev Anand – “ Man Pasand ” and “ Lootmaar ”. She did her last film “ Pyar Ke Do Pal ” in 1986 and bid adieu to acting. After that she started designing costumes for films and bagged National Award for designing costumes for Lata Mangeshkar produced and Gulzar directed “ Rudali ” in 1994. Dimple Kapadia’s younger daughter Rinkie Khanna was my student once and I used to go to her place to train her. Rinkie used to adore her masi and used to tell me a lot about her. I am sad Simple Kapadia died so young.

Uma Anand :

I know today’s generation is oblivious of her existence and about her contribution to Hindi films but in the 40s she was a force to reckon with. She was Dev Anand’s bhabhi and Chetan Anand’s wife and leading lady of Chetan Anand’s first directorial venture “ Neecha Nagar ”. Though she never acted after that but her debut film was very significant in many ways. It was the first Indian film to hit international scene and it bagged Grand Prix at Cannes in 1946. Long before the advent of Satyajit Ray and other Avant Garde film makers, Chetan Anand caught imagination of Western film world and made India proud with his very first film. Uma Anand’s “ Neecha Nagar ” had other distinctions too. Apart from Uma Anand, Kamini Kaushal as an actor and Ravi Shankar as a music director also made their debut with this film. Legendary Zohra sehgal too played a stellar role in the film. Apart from acting, Uma Anand participated in script writing of many memorable films of Navketan like – “ Afsar ”, “ Aandhiyan ”, “ Taxi Driver ” and “ Funtoosh ”. This extremely talented lady was estranged with Chetan Anand and was leading a lonely life in Delhi. Though I couldn’t meet her even once, I am saddened by her demise.

Abrar Alvi :

Legendary script writer friend of Guru Dutt, Abrar Alvi passed away on November 18, 2009. He was a law graduate from Nagpur University and met Guru Dutt through his cousin who was working as a production assistant with Guru Dutt Films. He wrote screenplay and dialogues for many hits of Guru Dutt like – “ Aar Paar ”, “ Mr & Mrs 55 ”, “ Pyaasa ”, “ Kaagaz Ke Phool ”and “ Chaudavin Ka Chand ”. Apart from Guru Dutt, he wrote few films for other producers also. He wrote four Vyjayantimala starrers like “ Suraj ”, “ Chhotisi Mulaaqat ”, “ Sungharsh ” and “ Saathi ”. He wrote two films directed by Guru Dutt’s brother Atma Ram like – “ Baharein Phir Bhi Ayengi ” and “ Shikar ”. Apart from these serious and epoch making films, he wrote two laugh-riots like “ Professor ” and “ Jhuk Gaya Aasman ” also. The crowning glory of his career was, directing a film called “ Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam ” in 1963. This film won President’s Silver Medal and many Filmfare Awards including Best Director’s award for Abrar Alvi. This film was India’s official entry for Oscars also in 1963. With the death of Abrar Alvi, truly a gigantic pillar of Hindi films has fallen down. This loss can never be filled.

New Releases & Me

In total 7 films got released this month.

First Week  – November 06

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani…………………Ranbir Kapoor
………………………………………………………Katrina Kaif
………………………………………………………Upen Patel

Jail…………………………………………………Neil Nitin Mukesh
……………………………………………………..Arya Babbar
……………………………………………………..Sayali Bhagat

Second Week  – November 13

Tum Mile…………………………………………Emraan Hashmi
……………………………………………………..Soha Ali Khan

Aao Wish Karein……………………………….x

Third Week  – November 20

Kurbaan………………………………………….Saif Ali Khan
…………………………………………………….Kareena Kapoor
…………………………………………………….Vivek Oberoi

Fourth Week  – November 20

De Dana Dan…………………………………..Katrina Kaif
…………………………………………………….Sameera Reddy
……………………………………………………Aditi Govitrikar

Out of 7 films only 2 films- “ Aao Wish Karein ” and “ Shaabash ” don’t have any students of mine. 5 film have 14 students of mine working in them. All these 14 students are actors.

News This Month :

1- Preity Zinta is all set to host a show named “ The Preity Zinta Show ”

2- Sukhwinder Singh is all set to make his debut as an actor in “ Khudi Ko Kar Buland Itna ” , produced and directed by Jagbir Dahiya

Happenings & Events

1- Shilpa Shetty got engaged and married to Raj Kundra this month.

That’s all for this month.



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