Gita Is Right, Death Is Inevitable, But…………….

Few seconds back I got a call from my in-laws from Dabra, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. My wife’s bhabhi died few minutes back. She was not too old but was too ill. So the inevitable happened.

I am so saddened and distressed at the turn of events. As I revisit the cycle of life, I find that we, as a human being, pass through various phases. We start as a toddler. We have no feelings or emotions at that stage of our life. While we grow older, we are engulfed by other kind of feelings. Ego, anger, complexes and indifference to others, become our primary emotions. We are so enamoured by our own self at that time that nothing else matters. In our own mind we become the epicentre of the universe.

Marriage is the other institution, which brings new set of people to our lives. We learn to adjust to those people and start a big extended family. We think that now life is settled. Now we will live on for ever. But suddenly death starts striking with regular ferocity. Our thinking gets shattered and we look at the turn of events with helpless anxiety and defenceless valour.

As I have written in several blogs of mine, I lost my grandfather, maa, and father very early in life. I lost even a young son, when I was in my 40s. I was grief stricken and saddened at every death in the family but I never looked at death the way I look at it now. Two years back, when my mother died, I felt that I have suddenly grown old. The feeling of becoming elder shook me completely. Before my mother’s death, my brother’s father-in-law and my mother-in-law also died. With their death I started thinking about the life and after the demise of my mother, I came to the present conclusion. Now every death is the end of a saga, end of a relationship, end of an order. Every death is the beginning of a certain end. Every death in the family or the extended family heralds your own impending end. You have a family, few relatives and think of starting a settled life, but alas, at the same moment life starts phasing out. With the passing away of every elder, one becomes vulnerable, one is left with the unprotected flanks, ready for the fatal, ferocious strike of death.

When I think of my in-laws, I am reminded of my wife. One day, 35 years ago, ( July 1975 ) , I went to marry her and after marriage, she left the house where she was born and brought up and came to my house. It was union of two families and two clans. In that family her grand parents died first. And then 10 years back her mother also died. And now news came about the death of her brother’s wife. With each death of an elder, my 35 year old bond with my in-laws will weaken and finally will be snapped one day . Even for my wife it won’t remain the same. I particularly remember the day when 8 years after the death of her mother, she went to visit her father’s place in 2008. She sat outside the house for more than two hours. It would have never happened, had her mother been alive. It was so saddening to see her sitting out of her own house like a guest. The house where she spent her childhood and adolescent years, became alien to her just after the death of her mother. With each death this scenario will become the norm and not the exception. My mother-in-law’s death was a precursor of the events to come and this death of my brother-in-law’s wife signals that change of the old order is imminent. ( In the picture, she is at left . )

I am a follower of Bhagwan Krishna and a firm believer in the teachings of The Bhagwat Gita. It proclaims that those who are born shall die one day and those who are dead shall take birth again. So you shouldn’t be sad for the inevitable. I firmly believe in the saying of the God but I am sad that we won’t get the same set of people or combination in our new life. I will take rebirth but never ever my life will be same. Same place of my birth, ( Deoria in Uttar Pradesh ), same parents, same brothers, sisters and their spouses and same set of relatives are not going to meet me again. True I will take birth again after my death, but am I going to get same people around me, with me ? Will my house in Deoria be my house again in my new life ?

No, it will not happen. So let me cherish the few remaining people, some past moments and parts of my life and time.

It is now 4 hours since she died. When I started this blog it was few seconds. Life flies, times pass us on and people simply leave us and go to their respective new journeys. Alas ! Nothing is permanent.


Hazrat Ali , Iraq & Dawoodi Bohras Of Mumbai

There was an innocuous news item in the Mumbai edition of Times Of India on March 21, 2010. It was about Dawoodi Bohras of Mumbai, who restored the Great Mosque at Kufa in Iraq. There is nothing strange or new about restoring a mosque and that to by the followers of a sect of Islam. But here are two pertinent points to ponder, two important questions to answer. Question no. 1, Why were Dawoodi Bohras of Mumbai needed in Iraq ? Iraq is a muslim country. And question no.2, why a mosque in Kufa was in urgent need of repair and restoration? Again Iraq is a muslim country and Kufa has significant religious importance to the Shiites. But the second question itself has the inbuilt and inherent answer. Since Kufa mosque is venerable to the Shiites, it was not properly maintained by Sunni Iraq in general and by a parochial dictator like Saddam Hussain in particular. Though this mosque is a silent witness to many historical moments of Islam. In the holy precincts of this very mosque, Hazrat Ali used to offer namaz and prayers and in the precincts of this very mosque, he was murdered in 661 by Ibn Muljim at the behest of the ruler of the day, while he was in sajda. He was buried in Najaf and his holy tomb is also situated near Kufa. Karbala, where Hazrat Ali’s second son and Prophet’s grandson Imam Hussain was brutally killed in 680 by the army of Amir Yazeed, is also situated close by. Kufa, Najaf and Karbala, all the pious and holy places of Shiites are situated in Sunni dominated Iraq. And Saddam Hussain, being a despot and tyrannical as ruler and Sunni as believer, hated and despised Shiites. So he paid no attention to the up keep and maintenance of these holy Shiites shrines and this historical, pious and important shrine was in a rundown condition.

Now the question arises about Shiite and Sunni divide. The origin of this great divide is very tragic and sad. Hazrat Ali was Prophet’s son-in-law and according to Shiites, should have been a true successor of The Prophet. He is the most venerable to Shiites, next only to The Prophet. They assumed that he would succeed The Prophet. But Hazrat Ali was sidelined and ignored at the time of succession and The Prophet was succeeded by Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Usman in that order. After murder of the third Caliph Hazrat Usman, finally and ultimately Hazrat Ali was chosen The Caliph. Though he was fourth in the hierarchy and not the first, still his followers were happy. But as The Caliph, Hazrat Ali was never allowed to rule with peace. He was accused of Hazrat Usman’s murder and in the name of avenging the murder, Amir Mawia, who was at that time, Amir-E-Sham ( Governor of Syria) refused to accept Hazrat Ali’s supremacy and revolted against his Khilafat. He rebelled against Hazrat Ali and proclaimed war. By deceit and with the help of his politically clever associates, he was able to turn tables at the battle of Siffin and was able to hoodwink Arab world and was successful in removing Hazrat Ali, the greatest name in the Islamic history after The Prophet, from the Post of Caliph. Hazrat Ali accepted this humiliation silently, tolerated this deceit gracefully and started leading a pious and holy life as per the teachings of the Prophet. But his enemies were still frightened of him. His very existence was considered dangerous for the Amir and the conspiracy was hatched to eliminate him physically. One day when Hazrat Ali went for the namaz at the mosque, he saw an unknown man sitting and dozing off on the stairs of the grand mosque of Kufa. He woke him up and told him that its time for namaz and if he doesn’t move fast, he won’t be able to offer his namaz. That man, Ibn Muljim, looked at Hazrat Ali and smiled as if Malkul Maut ( Prophet Of Death ) is himself smiling and looking at Hazrat Ali. When Hazrat Ali bowed for sajda, Ibn Muljim, took out his dagger and attacked Hazrat Ali ferociously and repeatedly. Hazrat Ali aka Sher-e-Khuda fell on the ground and after few days struggle, succumbed to death. Grand mosque at Kufa is the same place where this incident happened in 661. Kufa is situated on the banks of the Euphrates river and is close to Baghdad. It is sad that a place of this importance was subjected to neglect and disrespect.

The Dawoodi Bohras have achieved the impossible. Undaunted by the circumstances, they started rebuilding the Great Mosque in 1998. Saddam was still alive and was ruling Iraq with iron fist. Condition was not conducive and congenial. US invasion made matters worst and sectarian strife, which followed US invasion, made it almost impossible. But Bohras worked silently, diligently and completed the project in 2009.

This is a great achievement. This work is worthy of inspiration. Unfortunately electronic media ignored it completely. This kind of news brings brotherhood, fosters amity and has soothing effect on the frayed nerves of our society. Alas ! Tragic events of Gujarat are always shown and played repeatedly, while this kind of news is overlooked. Communal riots of Gujarat is an aberration and restoring the Great Mosque of Kufa is our national and natural ethos. It should be encouraged and not ignored.


Ode – 2 : To Aparna Sen

“ The Japanese Wife ” got released this Friday. I watched the film and was awe-struck. Ms. Sen has mastered the art of telling poignant stories with finesse and a distinctive touch of her own. Unfortunately I am yet to meet her personally but I became her ardent fan, ever since I saw her first film “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” in 1981. The last shot of the film moved me to tears. The hurt face and teary eyes of an aged Anglo-Indian teacher walking all alone in the lane on a Christmas night, with a cake in her hand and a feeling in her heart that she was simply used by her students, still haunts me. I was traumatized then. This role played by Jennifer Kapoor is so well etched in my memory that I am unable to forget it even today, a full two decades later. I am a teacher myself and I know that there are some students who don’t reciprocate your love and feelings. They just use you to further their goals and aims and pretend to be nice to you but when their work is over they simply fly away like birds, without caring for the branches of the tree where they made their nests and where they spent some memorable moments of their lives. They have so many other skies to fly into, so many other heights to scale. Who cares for a decaying, dying, old, leafless tree, which gave them shelter, when they needed it most. Birds fly away without even looking back. Same thing happens to a teacher also. I have personally experienced it some times. A female student of mine, whose film got released this Friday, didn’t bother to reply back, when I sent her a congratulatory message on twitter. Another student of mine, whose second directorial venture was released last week, ignored my congratulatory tweet. At the trial show of Sadiyaana female student of mine saw through me. Is it demeaning to say “ hi ” to your teacher/trainer ? Does it take too much time to tweet and say thank you ? Is it too tedious a thing ? A teacher doesn’t need or demand anything but it makes them happy when they see their students working successfully in various fields. I empathized with the teacher of “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ”. She was used because she had a place and her students were in need of it for their sexual escapades. They used her nicely and dumped her without qualms. I will never ever forget that film. “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” is part of my life. If a film maker can touch your life with a film, I think she/he had succeeded in her/his endeavour. I was crestfallen when that year’s National Award went to Rekha for “ Umrao Jaan ” instead of Jennifer Kapoor.

“ 15 Park Avenue ” is the next film which I watched after “ 36 Chowringhee Lane ” . Once again I was mesmerised. Film had breathtaking camera work and some marvellous acting by Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azami, Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma. Konkona gave marvellous performance as a schizophrenic girl. Again the end of this film moved me to tears. I remember that next day I had to spend hours explaining the real meaning of the end of the film to my students. They were thoroughly confused and I had to explain it to them.

And now “ The Japanese Wife ”. It is very moving and touches you deeply, if you have a heart. Some critics wrote that it is slow and boring. They further wrote that in days of internet and facebook, who will write letters. I would have appreciated their point of view, had the film and its characters were based in New York or L.A. This is a story of a teacher who works and lives in Sundarbans. In the primitive and pristine village of Sundarbans, where modern civilisation is yet to descend, do you expect a school teacher to be net-savvy ? Do you really think that he can tweet his feelings to her beloved in Japan and can communicate with her through a webcam ? Even now when I go to my native place in Uttar Pradesh, life stops after 8.00 P.M. There is no electricity, no internet. If this can happen in U.P., what can you say about Sundarbans ? I would like to submit very humbly that facebook or twitter is not the only thing in life. Letters had its own charm and nostalgic value. I still remember how eagerly I used to wait for a letter from my home, when I was in a hostel or came to Mumbai to be a part of the film industry. May be in this age of internet boom, one is hooked to networking sites like facebook or twitter, but letters have a charm of their own. May be for some techno music is flavour of the season, but Raveendra Sangeet has its own charm, soothing effect and longevity. May be for some lovers of fast and riveting cinema, “ The Japanese Wife ” is slow and boring but for me it is sweet and soothing like Raveendra Sangeet, sonorous like a Sonata and as melodious as Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar singing in tandem.

Thanks a lot Aparna ji for making such poignant films. Your creative genius is an inspiration for me. I am not alone in my praise of your film. I am quoting a tweet :

RT @taran_adarsh: Just back from ‘The Japanese Wife’. Emotional & moving experience. Brilliant performances by @RahulBose1, Raima, Moushumi & Chigusa Takaku.


Red Storm Over India : Where Does The Buck Stop ?

Last week 76 security men were massacred by the Maoists in the jungles of Chhattisgarh. I am anguished and saddened. But I am more saddened when some of the intellectuals still try to justify it and defend the Maoists. Some are subtle and hidden supporters while some like Arundhati Roy are more brazen and remorseless in nature. In fact they are not genuine intellectuals, they are crypto-Maoists themselves. I fail to understand the motive of the Maoists and the logic of their supporters. What Maoists want to achieve by this wanton killing ? And why on earth killings in Gujarat are bad and killings in Chhattisgarh are not ? Why on earth Narendra Modi should be punished, though no one saw him killing Muslims and these Maoists should be pardoned though they often engage in indiscriminate and brutal killings ? Are the supporters and sympathisers of Maoists listening ? Do they have any credible and justifiable answers ? I don’t expect any answers from these crypto-Maoists. My thoughts are echoed in the following tweet :

DeShobhaa: Am seriously worried abt Arundhati Roy. No sane thinking Indian can support\justify Naxal terror attacks.Treason!

To general public Communists, Naxalites and Maoists are same. But they are not. Let me explain this position first. Communism was a utopian idea based on the books and treatises of Karl Helnrich Marx ( 1818 – 1883 ). His two books; The Communist Manifesto ” and “ Das Kapitalpaved the way for this idea and as per the tenets of this utopian philosophy, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin led a revolution and formed the first Communist government of the world in the erstwhile USSR. He ushered in a revolution in 1917, which is now known as Bolshevik Revolution. After defeating the fascist forces of Tsar Nicholas the 2nd, a tyrannical and oppressive ruler of Russia, he formed USSR in December 28, 1922. This all-encompassing totalitarian regime, which believed in “ Dictatorship of Proletarians” , continued in USSR until it was overthrown in another silent revolution on December 08, 1991. At present Communist USSR doesn’t exist and it is honourably consigned in the trash bin of history.

After settling down in the corridors of power, the rulers of this Communist regime tried to export their philosophy to all the nooks & corners of the world and sometimes they were successful in over throwing the governments of the day and establishing various subservient Communists regimes in all the continents of the world. China was one of these countries. Mao zedong overthrew the Nationalist Kuomintang government of Chiang Kai Shek in China and established his own communist government. In the initial years he was willing to toe the line of USSR but later on started following his own agenda. He started exporting his own brand of radical Communism to the different parts of the world. This brand of Communism is called Maoism. Followers of this brand of Communism accuse the USSR as a revisionists power and denounced her in strongest terms. They claim that they are the true champions of Proletarians and that USSR now represents the Bourgeois.

Before her vivisection, when USSR splintered into 15 independent and sovereign nations in 1991, she was the only fountainhead of Communist philosophy. She helped in establishing Communist Party Of India in 1920. Later on when China emerged as an alternate source and the second fountainhead, some radical elements of CPI broke away from the party and established Communist Party Of India – ( Marxist ), known as CPM, in 1964.

Both these parties take part in elections and are part of multi-party democratic system of India. Forward Block and Revolutionary Socialist Party are two other parties of this family. They formed an unholy alliance and it is almost 30 years, since they are ruining West Bengal. Tripura and Kerala are other states where they have sizable presence.

Watershed moments of this movement came In 1967, when unarmed protesting farmers of Naxalbari, a small village in northern Bengal, were fired at and the government tried to suppress this peasant movement and took side of the landlords. Aghast by the incident, some ultra radicals of CPM broke away from the party and formed a more radical party named Communist Party Of India – ( Marxist-Leninist ), known as CPI-ML in 1969. Charu Mazumdar, Jangal Santhal and Kanu Sanyal were the founders of CPI-ML and foremost exponents of this radical Communist philosophy called Naxalism. Initially they believed in War Of Annihilation ”. They believed in individual killings. After Charu Mazumdar’s death, Naxalite movement was weakened and after Jangal Santhal’s death, it started petering out. Lone surviving founder, Kanu Sanyal denounced violence and accepted that individual killings were counter productive and that it should end. He announced that Naxalism had a cause and a purpose and now that cause and purpose is over. As per the tradition of communism, he was given the title – revisionist and bourgeois and was denounced. { To read my views on Naxalism, please read my earlier blog – “ Kanu Sanyal : Death Of A Man , Death Of A Revolution ” posted on March 25, 2010 }

Now the new torch bearers of ultra new radical Communism emerged on the scene and called themselves Maoists. They were descendants of Naxalism or CPI ML, but instead of one party, they splintered into several area specific groups like ; CPI – ML ( Liberation ) , CPI – ML ( Janashakti ) , CPI – Maoists , Maoist Communist Centre and People’s War Group. A supreme body of the Maoists was formed for better coordination and it was called All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries ( AICCCR ). They now carry the mantle and are trying to establish Communist state by violent means. Among the three sections of Communism, the first – CPI & CPM are part of democratic process. The second, CPI- ML or Naxalites are now extinct and the third , Maoists are ruling and running the show.

So these Maoists have massacred 76 CRPF personnel and are waging an armed struggle to establish Maoist regime in India. Currently 195 districts of 16 states are infested by Maoists. They are blazing bloody and treacherous battle to liberate the country from bourgeois political system. Now, who is to blame ? Congress ruled this country uninterrupted for several decades. And the result is for all to see :

RT @shekharkapur: India has sent paramilitary forces against it’s own people more often than any other democracy in the world.

Communist Alliance of CPM, CPI, RSP and FB is ruling West Bengal uninterrupted fo more than 3 decades. And the result is for all to see :

RT @PritishNandy: The magic of Calcutta was the magic of hope. 30 years of CPM rule has brought in despair.

Internet intellectuals are urging for bombing the Maoists. They are clamouring for army operations, demanding hard and befitting reply. But saner voices are also there :

RT @sagarikaghose: Modernise police, extensive intelligence, setting up govt offices, dense network of roads and Greyhounds: Andhra model shd be replicated.

In my opinion, the option is what Sagarika Ghose says. It has to be two-pronged strategy. State has to crush the rebellion and at the same time massive developmental work should start in the Maoist infested areas. State can not annihilate its own people but it can’t be soft towards an armed rebellion also. But if it is said that there should be development in the Maoist infested areas, it is amply clear that Congress at the Centre and CPM at the state failed miserably in their several decade long rule. So you should decide, where does the “ buck stop ” ?

RT @swapan55: Now we know that Salwa Judum was right. If only the Centre hadn’t been so partisan then, Maoists wouldn’t have been so emboldened now.


Inglorious Sinners Of Bombay Gymkhana

This is my 100th blog and never ever in my wildest imagination I would have thought that on this occasion I would be writing something like this. I am appalled and disgusted to know that a human being ( accidentally a transgender ) was thrown out of Bombay Gymkhana, an elite South Mumbai Club, which is 135 years old. Institutions and people should and must grow with age and get mature, but this club seems to be a well-preserved, fossilised relic of the past. During British rule this club allegedly had a policy of not allowing dogs and Indians inside its holy precincts. It is said that they used to proudly display this policy on a sign board fixed at the gate. British nationals have gone, but their mindset and mentality remains and their tradition goes on unabated and uninterrupted at Bombay Gymkhana.

On April 02, 2010, the CEO of Bombay Gymkhana Brig( Retd. ) R. K. Bose barged into a party hosted by Mr. Ajay Hattangadi, a member of the club and ordered that Laxmi Narayan Tripathi should be asked to leave the party and premises of the club immediately otherwise membership of Mr. Hattangadi will be cancelled. No need to say that everyone in the party walked out in protest. Only fault of this human being, who was accidentally born as a transgender, is that she belongs to sexual minority or third sex. Though this transgender celebrity has been invited by the United Nations Organisation and had represented her community at many other international forums and platforms. But Bombay Gymkhana is not impressed or concerned. They simply wanted her out. Now they are saying that club has certain policy and has rights to allow or not allow or restrict the admission of a guest.

I have certain points to make and certain questions to ask :


1 – If this is the case then why in first place they allowed her to enter. They gave permission for the party and went through the guest list also, which was submitted to them prior to the event. They should not have agreed to her presence in the first place.

2 – If a person is qualified to be present at a functions organised by United Nations Organisation, why can’t she/he attend a function at Bombay Gymkhana ?

3 – Management of the club says that guests should be dignified enough. May I ask and may I know their definition of dignity ? Are they more sacrosanct than the UNO ? Are they holier than all the international organisations, which invite Laxmi Tripathi as a guest speaker ?

4 – Can Mr. Bose clarify his and his club’s position in front of the nation ? Why can’t a transgender be a guest and enter the Bombay Gymkhana ?

5 – Is it a crime to be born as a transgender ? Can anyone choose ones sexuality ? Does it depend on our wish ?

6 – If the government of the day had changed the name of the city from Bombay to Mumbai, and it is now used internationally, why this fossilised relic is still sticking to the old name ? What is so romantic or nostalgic about Bombay ? Or they simply want to defy and disrespect every thing Indian ?

I am ashamed. It is not insult of Laxmi Narayan Tripathi only, it is insult of humanity. It is insult of human dignity. I am pained that electronic media, which claims to champion humanitarian causes vociferously, is silent on this issue. May be they have Sania-Shoaib to worry about. Barring Mumbai Mirror no other news paper raised this issue prominently. Among the celebrities only Celina Jaitly raised her voice on twitter. Rest of the world is silent as if nothing had happened.

Let us make clear that Bombay Gymkhana is not the world in itself. It is not an independent and autonomous entity. It is not an island with self-proclaimed rules and regulations. It should not be allowed to act in inhuman and arbitrary manner. They should be forced to see that times have changed and if they don’t want to change with time, they have no right to exist in our midst.

I am not a member of this club. I am not a VIP either. In fact I am a small, ordinary person. But I proclaim that unless and until this fossilised relic apologises for its barbaric and inhuman behaviour, I will never ever set my foot inside its unholy precincts.

I congratulate Mumbai Mirror and Celina Jaitly for raising this issue.


Vidur’s Open Letter – 6 : To Ferena Wazeir

Hi Ferena ,

Congratulations for your debut movie “ Sadiyaan ”!

I start my letter with this note in spite of the fact that movie is not well received by the critics. In fact it is panned by them. But critics are also human beings. They have their own pre-conceived notions. They have their prides and prejudices and some times have their egos and biases too. While reviewing “ Sadiyaan ”, they simply ignored you. There is no mention of your name in most of the reviews. Mr. Komal Nahta of “ Film Information ” and Mr. Taran Adarsh of “ ” and few others did mention you. But that’s it.

It is cruel and cussed on their part and I feel sad for you. Youngsters start their journey with lots of hope and aspirations. It is definitely a tentative and feeble step towards a long and illustrious journey. And every journey, ordinary or great, starts with just one step. If a kid falls after taking the first step, it doesn’t mean end of the world. It doesn’t mean that he/she cannot walk ever or he/she should be crucified for the first fall and be denounced perpetually. A kid’s tumbling down is, in fact, the beginning of an illustrious and glorious journey.

As a trainer I have a very long association with you and I can vouch for your talent and the commitment to the films you choose. I am privy to the fact that you rejected a role in a recent hit made by one of the avant garde film makers of our industry. The film is considered a modern classic and got rave reviews. It was one of the biggest hits of 2009 and the actor, who played the character rejected by you, is a major star now. But you stood by your conviction and chose to do “ Sadiyaan ” instead. If I mention the name of that movie, people will think that you had gone crazy. But since I am privy to the information and know you personally, I know your strength as an artiste and as a human being. You stood by your conviction and never cribbed for your judgement, which now seems to be a wrong one. Don’t ever feel bad for the hostile press, which “ Sadiyaan ” got. Many legends of world cinema and numerous stalwarts of Indian cinema had shaky starts but rose to gigantic heights later on.

You are a thinking actor and I am proud to be associated with you. In fact I got benefited by the association, as you introduced me to the world of Chekhov and Uta Hagen. You introduced me to “ Sushi ” also. I do remember the evenings I spent at your place discussing world cinema over cups of coffee with hazelnuts.

I wrote about you in my earlier blog – “ Kong Poush Of Jammu & Kashmir : Kashmiri, Dogri, Laddakhi Film industry & Me ”, way back on December 12, 2009. But after posting my letter to Luv Sinha, I felt an urge to write to you too.

You are a conscientious and talented actor. “ Sadiyaan ” is just a beginning and not the end. There are so many other heights to scale. Be brave!

Best of luck for your journey ahead ! Blessings !


Vidur’s Open Letter – 5 : To Luv Sinha

Hi Luv,

Your film “ Sadiyaan ” released yesterday and as I always do, I started writing my open letter to you. Due to hectic work schedule, I was unable to complete it last night. Today when I woke up in the morning, I was shocked to see extremely hostile and disparaging reviews of your movie. I am dismayed because some of the observations of the critics about you, are unsubstantiated. I know you personally and definitely better than some of the critics.

I remember the first day when you came to meet me regarding acting classes. I assumed that like most of the star-sons, you would prefer one-to-one class with me. I was pleasantly surprised, when you told me that you would love to be in a batch and that you would love to perform in front of a group and learn from making mistakes. When a person is willing to accept his mistakes and is willing to learn from it, I am sure he wants to be a good actor.

You were in batch no. 06 of Kreating Charakters and I must state that you competed our rigorous training diligently and without any protest or displeasure. After completing the training, you signed “ Sadiyaan ” and I was very surprised, when you contacted me again before dubbing. We did protracted and rigorous voice training and when it was completed only then you started dubbing sessions.

This kind of hard work and willingness to work hard is not common. So when a critic says that you seem to be not interested in acting , I can only laugh. Liking or not liking a film depends on one’s mood and perception. Every one is entitled to his own views and ideas. But I must say that barring Mr. Komal Nahta of “ Film Information ”  and few others like , Mr. Taran Adarsh of  ” ” , all the reviews are biased in tone and derogatory in nature. These are not film reviews. These are prejudiced, biased and malicious propaganda and personal attacks. Any way, some times these things happen. It happened to legendary Dilip Kumar also at the time of his debut film “ Jwar Bhata ”. Extremely famous and dreaded film journalist of his time Late Babu Rao Patel wrote almost equally humiliating and disparaging things about him in the January 1945 issue of his magazine,  ” FILMINDIA “. The title of his review was – ” The New anaemic Hero  “. I am quoting him :

“ Dilip Kumar, the new hero of Bombay Talkies is an anaemic addition to our film artistes. He needs lots of vitamins and a prolonged treatment of proteins before another picture could be risked with him. He looks gaunt and famished and strikes as along ill-treated convict, who has escaped from a jail. His appearance on the screen creates both laughter and disappointment. His acting efforts in this picture amounts to nil ” .


It is now history that Dilip Kumar proved him wrong with his poignant performance in his third film “ Milan ”, a Nitin Bose directed movie in 1946. He rose to dizzy heights of super stardom with his seventh film  ‘ Mela” in 1948 and fortified it with his ninth film “ Shaheed ” , a super hit of its time in 1948 again. What happened after that is now history and folklore of Hindi film industry. Babu Rao Patel had to eat crow and had eggs on his face as he helplessly watched Dilip Kumar defying his predictions with each one of his films. Who knows, this could happen to you too. And I pray to God and believe that this will happen again. And this should happen very soon.

Dilip Kumar won 8 Filmfare awards and was given prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award too. His place in the annals of Hindi films industry is prominently secured. But the same can’t be said about Babu Rao Patel. Do work hard to prove your detractors wrong.

My best wishes are with you.

Regards !


Vidur’s Film Diary – March 2010

Another month of 2010 is over. An uneventful month, lacklustre and boring month for the film industry ended yesterday. Not a single significant film got theatrical release this month, because of IPL. Poor show at box office continues. To substantiate my point of view, I am reproducing a tweet by Mr. Taran Adarsh :

RT @taran_adarsh: The first quarter of 2010 has ended and if you go thru stats, it’s been the worst year ever, with 95%+ films failing.


Thank God ! There were no deaths in the industry. Its a relieving fact that all the members of the industry, whom you know or don’t know, are there in this world.

New Releases & Me

First Week – March 05

1-Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge………………………………..Amita Pathak
2-Rokkk……………………………………………………Udita Goswami
3-Road , Movie…………………………………………….x
4-Hello Zindagi……………………………………………x
5-Thanks Maa……………………………………………..x

Second Week – March 12

1-Hide & Seek………………………………………………Amruta Patki, Mrinalini Sharma, Ayaz Khan
2-Right Yaa Wrong……………………………………….x
3-Na Ghar Ka Na Ghaat Ka……………………………..x
5-Trump Card………………………………………………x

Third Week – March 19

1-Idiot Box………………………………………………..Hrishitaa Bhatt
2-Lahore…………………………………………………..Kelly Dorji
3-Shapit……………………………………………………Rahul Dev
4-Love, Sex Aur Dhokha………………………………..x

Fourth Week – March 29

1-Well Done Abba……………………………………….Minissha Lamba, Sammir Dattani
2-Prem Kaa Game……………………………………….Arbaaz Khan, Tara Sharma
3-My Friend Ganesha 3………………………………..Eva Grover
4-Mittal v/s Mittal………………………………………x
5-Hum Tum Aur Ghost…………………………………x

In totality 19 films got released this month. Out of these 19 films, 09 films have 13 of my students working in them. Out of 13, 12 are actors and 1 is producer.

News Of The Month

1 – Anil Ambani sets up 3D conversion centre in India. It is world’s largest facility dedicated to the conversion of 2D films and videos into 3D.

This is all for this month. As I stated earlier, there were no interesting and significant events or happenings. So bye !



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