Sunset Boulevard ( 5 ) : Alvida Kamalistan


Few days back I read a terrible news. It was about the closure of Kamalistan Studio of Mumbai.  One by one all the film studios of Mumbai are downing shutters. Swanky malls ,  shopping complexes and residential buildings are taking their place in this tinsel town. Great and historical Bombay Talkies at Malad ceases to exist. Its ruins are still there and they silently tell the glorious past history of the once so famous and premier studio of India. My heart wept when once I read in news papers that big fire gutted the extensive part of the remains of Bombay Talkies. I also saw photo of the dilapidated bungalow, which once was the residence of immortal Devika Rani and her husband and owner of Bombay Talkies, Himanshu Rai. Legendary Ranjit Movietone , though the building still exists at Dadar, is also defunct. Shree  Sound and Roop Tara Studios, both at Dadar,  gave way to commercial complexes. Seth Studio of Andheri – East closed few years back. Its neighbour, Guru Dutt Studio also closed some years back. Situated near by, Natraj Studio, also transformed into commercial complex. Asha Studio of Chembur, situated near R. K. Studio, which belonged to Bhagwan Dada Palav once, was gutted in fire and was later sold. And now news comes about the Kamalistan Studio of legendary film-maker Kamal Amrohi. His descendants sold it to some builders of Pune.

Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In mid 50s, Kamal Amrohi bought 223 acres of land situated on Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road for 2.50 lakh. It was not utilized for many years. After stupendous success of ” Pakeezah ” in 1972, Kamal Amrohi started construction work on this land for his ambitious forthcoming project ” Razia Sultan ” in 1983. Sets erected for the film ” Razia Sultan “, are now part of the Kamalistan Studio. Elaborate sets erected for ” Razia Sultan ” were later used for sevsral successful films like : Dharam Veer ( 1977 ), Suhag ( 1979 ), Naseeb ( 1981 ), Coolie ( 1983 ), Raaj Tilak ( 1984 ),  Mard ( 1985 ), Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! ( 1994 ), Hum Saath Saath Hain ( 1999 ), Jab We Met ( 2007 ) and all the three Golmaal series films.

Over the years, barring 16 acres, rest of the land was either sold or taken over by the government for public utilization. But remaining 16 acres were there and it was not a loss making proposition either. Kamalista Studio was the biggest film studio of Mumbai after Film City. But all these things are now the things of the past. Soon it will be razed to make way for swanky residential complex.

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have personal fondness for Kamalistan Studio and some sweet memories are also there to linger on in the dark corridors of my existence. Almost two decades ago when I was struggling to find a foothold in the industry, I shot here for a serial ” Ujale Ki Ore “,directed by legendary Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The cast of the serial was headed by legendary and immortal Ashok Kumar. I could watch Ashok Kumar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee working here. Today I consider myself fortunate because they don’t make people like Ashok Kumar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee any more. One more serial , written by me ,was shot here, but it did not see the light of the day. I went through elaborate make-up test for a film here, though the role was scuttled subsequently. Later on for 5 long years I lived near Kamalistan Studio and used to pass through the road many times. I personally know Tajdaar Amrohi, the son of Kamal Amrohi, who visited me at my institute few years back. He is such a nice human being. But alas ! Everything is always changing in this ephemeral world.

With Mr. Shandaar Amrohi - Elder Son Of Late Shri Kamal Amrohi

With Mr. Shandar Amrohi – Elder Son Of Late Shri Kamal Amrohi

Kamalistan Studio wont be there any more. And it will happen sooner than later. Definitely I will pass through Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road several times in future, and every time I will remember legendary Ashok Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and some sweet memories of my nascent , insignificant and non-existent acting career.

Alvida Kamalistan !

Thou shall be part of my life as long as I will live. R. I. P.

[ Mumbai August 04 , 2012 = I wrote this blog in 2010 . I made a factual mistake , though inadvertently . I have mentioned that Mr. Tajdar Amrohi visited my institute . Gentleman in the photo posted above is Late Shandar Amrohi and not Mr. Tajdar Amrohi . I came to know about this through Bilal Amrohi , who is Mr. Tajdar Amrohi’s younger son and is currently getting trained by me . I regret my unintentional error and offer my apologies . ]

Vidur

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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