Vidur’s Telly Tales – 12 : ” Ramleela – Ajay Devgn Ke Saath ”


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 30 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

” Ramleela – Ajay Devgn Ke Saath “  was the brand new show on Life OK , which just got finished . It was very unique concept . It encapsulated the whole story of Bhagwan Ram in just 5 episodes . Ajay Devgn is the narrator of the show .

In the first episode , he tells us about Bhagwan Ram and the Ramleela starts with Maharshi Vishwamitra‘s Ashram . From there , story meanders through several anecdotes of Bhagwan Ram’s life and first episode ends when Bhagwan Ram is banished from his capital Ayodhya to forest for 14 years .

After this rest of the story got finished in remaining 4 episodes . This show attracted me because Rajnish Duggal was playing Ram . I was intrigued . I have seen several actors essaying role of Bhagwan Ram . From Prem Adib in ” Ram Rajya “ to Arun Govil in TV serial Ramayan , I have seen them all . Rajnish Duggal is the new Ram on-screen . So I was curious .

He was very impressive and impressed me as the mythical Ram . He looked regal and powerful . He enacted the role with the required finesse and panache .

He is my old student and his respect and regard for me is unbelievable . I always follow his career and he seeks my advice if the need arises . From Vikram Bhatt‘s ” 1920 “ to Wizcraft’s ” Ramleela – Ajay Devgn Ke Saath “ , it’s a long and very fruitful journey for him . I am happy for his success .

My son Raunak Chaturvedi also did two small roles in the serial . In the first episode he appeared as announcer of Mithila , the kingdom of Maharaja Janak . After this he appeared in the Sanjeevani Booti episode as one of the mountains . With these small roles , he took baby step in the world of cinema .

Raunak Chaturvedi

Raunak Chaturvedi

An innocuous serial became important for me because of Rajnish Duggal and my son . It was a well – made serial and special effects were mind-blowing . Wizcraft should be congratulated for this unique show .

I , along with my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , congratulate Rajnish Duggal and Wizcraft for this magnificent concept and imaginative show on television . I am also happy for my son that he got this role without my help . It is his own success . A beautiful journey of his life has started with this baby step .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

50 Years of Hotel Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 28 , 2012           00.16 A.M.

Iconic Sun – n – Sand , Mumbai completes 50 years of its existence and is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year .

The first Sun-n-Sand was built at Mumbai in 1962 by Mr. Gul Advani and his friend Mr. John Voyantzis, giving Mumbai its first 5 star hotel and India, its first beachfront 5 star hotel. There is now a Sun-n-Sand at Pune, Shirdi and Nagpur as well. The Sun-n-Sand Group of Hotels also runs a fine-dining restaurant, Jewel of India, and the Jade Garden banquet halls at Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai.

English: Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels - Mumbai

Sun-n-Sand Group of hotels – Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jade Garden

I have vivid memories of Sun – n – Sand hotel . I first came to know about it during my Allahabad days . I had detailed knowledge of the hotel through the film magazines . All the big film land parties , film muhurats and jubilee functions were invariably held and celebrated here during those days . Since it was in Juhu , it was very convenient for the film land bigwigs .

I also got to know through magazines that legendary Dev Anand had booked a permanent suite on the first floor of this hotel and he kept it for 15 long years . That particular suite became almost his second home .

My curiosity for this hotel grew with the passage of time . When I landed in Mumbai in 1989 [ it was known as Bombay then ] , I went to see Sun – n – Sand . In the beginning of my struggling days it was my cherished dream to attend at least one party in the hotel . Luckily I got the opportunity soon . I don’t remember the occasion but I do remember the moment when I entered into the hotel for the first time .

I have attended several functions and parties since then . My last party was for the muhurat of ” Bheema “ , a film which I wrote few years back .

I have gone there several times since my first visit . But every time I am as excited as I was for the first time . Apart from Taj Mahal , Sun – n – Sand was the only hotel of Mumbai which caught my attention during my formative years . So the attraction remains undiminished even after so many decades .

I , on behalf of myself and my acting school , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , congratulate everyone associated with the hotel and wish them many more such jubilees .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Vidur’s Telly Tales – 11 : Finding Gauri Bhosle


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 24 , 2012           00.05 A.M.

One day I woke up in the morning and saw an ad in the news papers about some Gauri Bhosle , who was missing from her London home . I was intrigued because the face seemed familiar . Within few seconds I recognized the face . The girl Gauri Bhosle was none other than my student Mrunal Thakur .

With Mrunal Thakur / Gauri Bhosle

With Mrunal Thakur / Gauri Bhosle

It then occurred to me that this is not an ad for a missing person but an ad for the coming serial ” Khamoshiyan “ . Mrunal Thakur is playing main female protagonist named Gauri Bhosle in ” Khamoshiyan “ , which is currently being aired on Star Plus .

The serial is being produced by Sai Deodhar and her husband Shakti Anand . Incidentally Sai Deodhar is herself my old student . Sai is herself a fabulous actor but this time she decided to remain behind the camera .

With Sai Deodhar

With Sai Deodhar

Before the commencement of shooting , Mrunal Thakur was sent to me for training by Sai Deodhar . I must say that Mrunal is very hard-working , dedicated and sincere student . She used to attend morning and evening both the batches because there was not much time available and she had to prepare her complex character within the short time .

Before the start of the shooting of  ” Khamoshiyan ” , I had to go to Manali to train Kalki Koechlin for Dharma Production’s up – coming venture ” Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani ” . One day I got a call from Mrunal Thakur . She called me to inform that she is starting a new journey of her life and she needs my blessings . I was overwhelmed . There was no need of this gesture . A tutor always blesses his students . It was so sweet of her to call me and seek my blessings . In today’s time when few aggrieved students refuse to acknowledge me , when they openly make a statement that I know nothing , that I am not a good trainer , this gesture of Mrunal Thakur stands tall and is very humbling . It shows that she got good upbringing from her parents . She is not like some of the wannabe zombies who are disrespectful to me and thus show their poor ,  shameful and abominable upbringing .

I am happy for Mrunal Thakur and wish her all the success in life . I , along with the staff and students of my acting institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , congratulate her and bless her .

May God give her all the success she deserves in life !!

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

A Tearful Tribute to Bala Saheb Thackeray


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 22 , 2012           11.20 P.M.

I was trying to write this obituary since Saturday . But I couldn’t . There were many things , many thoughts running in my mind simultaneously . And in such circumstances flood-gates of memory gets opened and submerges our psyche .

On Saturday November 17 , 2012 , I was sitting in the office of my Acting Institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , when I heard about the demise of Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray . I closed my Acting Class immediately and returned home . Then I started watching TV . Every channel was full of the sad news . While watching the channels , I was thrown into the year 1967 , the year I passed high school examinations , left my native place Deoria and went to Allahabad for higher studies .

In Allahabad I heard about Shiv Sena , the 1-year-old new emerging force in Maharashtra .

Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The year was 1967 and Shiv Sena was just 1-year-old organization . I took admission in the Government Inter College , Allahabad and like all the youngsters of my age , I was trying to gather more knowledge , was trying to know more things about the world . I , along with my friends , used to read news papers and discuss events and personalities . Because of Shiv Sena’s pro – Marathi policies and staunch parochial attitude , the organization Shiv Sena and its leader Bal Thackeray [ as Bala Saheb was known then ] , was centre of debate and topic of many heated discussions .

I finished my studies , returned to my native place again and started my life afresh . Destiny sometimes plan things differently and plays unique games . So in 1989 I landed up in Bombay . The city , yet to be rechristened Mumbai , became my permanent abode . In 1989 Shiv Sena got registered as a political party . So my life in Mumbai and life of Shiv Sena as a political party began simultaneously in 1989 .

As I started living in Mumbai , I took note of Shiv Sena , started reading about it and started appreciating Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray and his ideology . I was not mature in 1967 , so I was critical of Bala Saheb’s policies and as a north – Indian felt bad when he uttered something against the north Indians . But as my life began in Mumbai , I started feeling that if someone feels that Marathi language , Marathi culture should be paramount in Maharashtra , there is no harm . If a leader says that Marathi should get preference in Maharashtra and it should be the state language , it is absolutely fine . Marathi language should get preference as the state language . If some organization advocates , propounds and is vocal about jobs for the son – of – the – soil , I feel that it is not unjustified at all and is definitely not anti – national .

So re – evaluation of Bala Saheb as a person and as a leader of Shiv Sena began in my mind . I must admit that slowly all the misgivings of previous years evaporated from my mind . 1990 onwards I could appreciate him in a much better way . I came to know about his early days as a cartoonist in ” The Free Press Journal ” . I saw some of the cartoons , which were published in ” Marmik ” , a magazine which he started after leaving ” The Free Press Journal “. He was second to none as a cartoonist , not even to the legendary R. K. Laxman . His cartoon character Kaka Ji , though not as famous as the Common Man of R. K. Laxman , was a poignant work of art . He even designed the famous logo of Raj Kapoor‘s R. K. Films .

As an orator , he had few equals . His connect with the masses was absolute . When I heard him for the first time , I was mesmerized , though my knowledge of Marathi was limited in those days .

It is unfortunate that I could not meet him in person . I am writing a book on acting and it was my secret wish that Bala Saheb should launch the book . Alas , along with so many wishes , my this wish will also remain unfulfilled .

While sitting at home and watching his funeral procession on Sunday , I remembered some other funeral processions of eminent Indians . I have seen Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession in photos . He attracted mammoth crowd even after his death . I do remember Jawahar Lal Nehru’s and Indira Gandhi’s last journey . Again the crowd was unprecedented . Last year I visited Anna Durai’s memorial in Puducherri and was stunned to see photos of his last journey . Apart from these above mentioned last journeys of  great Indian leaders , I have never seen such huge crowd for anybody’s last journey . Jawahar Lal Nehru , Indira Gandhi and Anna Durai held high positions in government . Mahatma Gandhi is the sole example of not holding any post and still commanding such respect after his death . Bala Saheb stands second only to Mahatma Gandhi .

I am sad that I could not meet him earlier and now after his demise it is not possible anymore .

English: Photo of Uddhav Thackeray, taken at B...

Photo of Uddhav Thackeray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my behalf and on the behalf of my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I offer condolences to Shri Uddhav Thackeray and the whole Thackeray family .

Nation lost a great leader and I lost an opportunity .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Vidur’s Telly Tales – 10 : 20 Years of ZEE TV


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 16 , 2012           00.35 A.M.

I came to Mumbai in 1989 . It was October 1989 precisely . That era belonged to Doordarshan a.k.a. DD . Fresh from the success of serials like ;  ” Ramayan ” and ” Mahabharat “ , DD almost became omni – present . It’s all – pervading reach in India was unparalleled . For audience , it dished out various other popular programmes but there was clamour for more . Zee TV was the first to fill the void .

 

Zee TV's very first logo used from 1 October 1...

Zee TV’s very first logo used from 1 October 1992 until 16 June 2000. Wikipedia)

 

 

Zee TV's second logo used in India from 17 Jun...

Zee TV’s second logo used in India from 17 June 2000 until 26 March 2005. Wikipedia)

 

 

Zee TV's third logo used from 27 March 2005 un...

Zee TV’s third logo used from 27 March 2005 until 18 June 2011. Wikipedia)

 

 

Zee TV's fourth logo unveiled on 19 June 2011....

Zee TV’s fourth logo unveiled on 19 June 2011. Wikipedia)

 

It was India’s first satellite channel . It was launched in October 1992 with 3 hours of prime time programming . It started with some immensely popular non – fiction shows .

SAANP SEEDI [ 1992 ] : This show was hosted by Mohan Kapoor . It was based on the famous game for kids .

ANTAKSHIRI [ 1993 ] : This show was hosted by Anu Kapoor along with Renuka Shahane and some others .

KHANA KHAZANA [ 1993 ] : Its 15 years run is unparalleled .

AAP KI ADALAT [ 1993 ] : This Rajat Sharma anchored show was a trend setter . It was a must – watch on Sundays .

SA RE GA MA PA [ 1995 ] : It is one of the Zee TV’s longest running show . Its several seasons spread over almost 18 years .

DANCE INDIA DANCE [ 2009 ] : In the last 3 years it became one of the biggest and most succesful non – fiction show .

INDIA’S MOST WANTED : It is the new non – fiction show of Zee TV .

Apart from above mentioned non – fiction shows , Zee TV became a trend – setter with some of its fiction shows also .

TARA [ 1993 ] : This woman oriented show was first of its kind and it ran for almost 5 years . This Raman Kumar and Vinita Nanda show is considered a trend – setter even today . It was very bold for its time .

BANEGI APNI BAAT [ 1993 ] : It ran for 4 years and is the longest running weekly show on satellite channel .

PARAMPARA [ 1993 ] : Mohan Bhandari played main lead in this family drama .

ZEE HORROR SHOW [ 1993 ] : first of its kind , the show was hugely popular .

CAMPUS [ 1994 ] : This weekly college based serial revolved around the teacher and students .

HUM PAANCH [ 1995 ] : This Ekta Kapoor show will always be remembered because it is longest running weekly comedy show and Vidya Balan played one of the sisters .

SAILAAB [ 1995 ] : It was a shocker of its time because of its story of extra – marital affair .

AMANAT [ 1997 ] : It was the first family drama which was hit and set trend for the future family dramas .

Apart from above mentioned hugely successful shows , Zee TV’s recent shows are also very popular . They are ; SAATH PHERE , JHANSI KI RANI , AGLE JANAM MOHE BITIYA HI KIJO and PAVITRA RISHTA .

Initially Zee was number one but lost its numero Uno position to Star Plus when the latter came with ” Kaun Banega Crorepati “ .  Zee TV’s current position oscillates between no. 2 and no. 3 . But there no denying the fact that Zee was a trend – setter and should be congratulated for that .

 

Several of my students had featured in various shows of Zee . I congratulate Zee TV on behalf of all the students and staff of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Kekoo Gandhy : A connoisseur Par Excellence


 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 11 , 2012           11.20 P.M.

Kekoo Gandhy, co-founder of Mumbai’s Gallery Chemould , one of the oldest commercial art galleries of India , passed away in Mumbai on November 10 , 2012 . He was 92 at the time of his death .

He , along with his wife Khorshed , opened his Gallery Chemould in 1963 at the first floor of Jehangir Art Gallery . Last month on October 17 , 2012 , Jehangir Art Gallery completed 60 years of its existence . It is ironical that Kekoo Gandhy died within a month of this historic event .

jahangir art gallery

Jahangir Art Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have written a blog about the 60th year of Jehangir Art Gallery . I am posting the link :

60 Years of Jahangir Art Gallery http://wp.me/ptyXI-2nj

Kekoo Gandhy is considered one of the most significant figures in shaping India’s modern art . He established Chemould Frames, his frame manufacturing business through which he started his association with Mumbai’s first group of post-modern painters like ; Maqbool Fida  Husain , Syed Haider Raza , Tyeb Mehta and Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar , a.k.a. K. K. Hebbar .

When there were practically no venues in Mumbai for showing modern art , Gandhy would use his showroom window as an informal exhibiting space for budding artists and also seek prospective clients for them.

“Despite being such a huge figure on the art circuit, he was never intimidating to young artists . He was known to be friendly and approachable though he belonged to a different generation ,” said painter Atul Dodiya , who has held several shows at Gandhy’s gallery.

In 2007, Gallery Chemould moved out of Jehangir Art Gallery to a larger, state-of-the-art space . It is now headed by his daughter Shirin Gandhy .

I am not a connoisseur of modern art . It is not because of lack of appreciation but because of my penury . I don’t have money to buy paintings or a huge space to display them properly . But whenever I visit South Mumbai , I do visit Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda . I love to be there .

I don’t know Kekoo Gandhy in personal capacity . I knew him through the columns of news papers . I do know that he is considered a father – figure in the field of modern art . His demise is really an irreparable loss .

I express my condolences . On behalf of me and my Acting Institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I pray for the departed soul .

May his soul rest in peace !

[ Since I had no contacts with Kekoo Gandhy , I have quoted relevant facts of his life from news papers like , Times Of India and Indian Express . I am indebted . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

New Female Playback Singers of Hindi Films


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 10 , 2012           00.35 A.M.

When ” Alam Ara ” , the first Indian talkie , hit the screen in 1931 , an era started , which could easily be called the era of singing stars . All the actors sang their own songs on the screen . Well known female stars of that era were no exception . From Devika Rani to Leela Chitnis and from Kanan Devi to lesser known starlets, every heroine worth the name sang their own songs .

English: Alam Ara poster, 1931.

Alam Ara poster, 1931. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in a Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kanan Devi

Kanan Devi (Photo credit: tonymitra)

Then came the era of Noor Jahan and Suraiya . Both were immensely popular stars and huge singers of their generation . Their songs and their films are still popular . Their retirement from the films finally brought an end to the glorious era of singing stars . Salma Agha , another singing star , came in ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ]  but it was an exception . Singing stars era had ended much earlier .

After the end of singing stars era , playback singing in films became popular . Rajkumari Dubey could be called the first female playback singer . She started her singing career in 1940 . Her songs with Mukesh in ” Bawre Nain “[ 1950 ]  are still famous and they are memorable . Modern day movie goer are familiar with her song from ” Pakeeza “[ 1972 ]  . It is ….. najaria ki mari mari more saiyan …….

Another playback singer from that era was Shamshad Begum . She rose to prominence with ” Khazanchi ” [ 1941 ] and ” Khandaan ” [ 1942 ] . Her career suffered major set back with the advent and subsequent supremacy of Lata Mangeshkar andAsha Bhosle . Amirbai Karnataki was another famous playback singer from that era .

Then began an era which is known as Lata Mangeshkar Era . She , along with her younger sibling Asha Bhosle , dominated the playback scene of Hindi films like a colossus for almost 5 decades .

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During their era many singers came and went into oblivion . Geeta Dutt , Suman Kalyanpur , Kamal Barot ,  Sudha Malhotra , Mubarak Begum and Sharda came and eclipsed quickly without leaving a mark .

In 70s , while Lata Mangeshkar was still reigning supreme , again a new crop of female playback singers emerged . Alka Yagnik , Sadhana Sargam , Kavita Krishnamurty andAnuradha Paudwal came , gave some memorable hits and faded into oblivion . Lata Mangeshkar still ruled and gave memorable hits like ; Yash Chopra directed  ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] .

Now a new crop of playback singers are hovering on the horizon . Shreya Ghoshal has become numero Uno like Lata Mangeshkar and Sunidhi Chauhan has almost taken Asha Bhosle’s place . But there are other female playback singers  also . They are fast emerging on the scene .

ADITI SINGH SHARMA : With chart – busters like ; ” Aali Re …. ” & ” Dilli , Dilli …… ” in ” No One Killed Jessica “ and ” Chhoomantar ….. ” in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan , she became a singer to watch in future .

ALYSSA MENDONSA : Daughter of Loy Mendonsa of Shankar – Ahsan – Loy fame , she sang ” Uff Teri Ada ……. ” in ” Karthik Calling Karthik “ and immensely popular ” Khwabon Ke Parindey ….. ” in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara .

ANUSHKA MANCHANDA : She sang re-mix version of ” Dum Maro Dum …… ” with a rare conviction and forced everyone to take notice of her talent .

HARSHDEEP KAUR : With ” Katiya Karoon ….. ” of  ” Rockstar “ and ” Jugni ………….. ” of ” Cocktail “ , she hit big and is surely on her way to the top .

MAHALAXMI IYER : She hit the bull’s-eye with ” Ae Ajnabee ……….. ” in ” Dil Se ” , ” Sadka Kiya ………… ” in ” I Hate Luv Storys “ and hugely popular Punjabi numbers like ; ” Laung Da Lashkara ……. ” & ” Rola Pe Gaya …….. ” in ” Patiala House ” .

NEHA BHASIN : ” Kuchh Khas Hai …….. ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Dhunki Dhunki ……. ” in ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan “ brought her on the top .

SHIPLA RAO : In a hit number like : ” Khuda Jane …………… ” of ” Bachna Ae Haseenon “ , she found her moorings .

SHRUTI PATHAK : With ” Marjaawan …………… ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Payaliya ………… ” in ” Dev D “ , she arrived and made her presence felt .

SHWETA PANDIT : She made her debut in Yash Raj Films ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . From ” Mohabbatein “ to ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan ” [ 2011 ]  , she had sung several hits in Hindi . She regularly performs with A. R. Rehman‘s stage shows also . She is extremely popular singer in Telugu films also .

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

In a way she is my student . Though she never took admission in my Acting Institute and didn’t come to my regular batch . But still she come to my institute whenever she is free and participates in the improvisation classes of my institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

I am happy for her and wish her greater success . I am sure in years to come she will be top playback singer of India .

I am happy that I have at least one student in playback singing field also .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Tibet Burns & World Sleeps


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 08 , 2012           11.40 P.M.

I wrote about Tibet and the struggle of Tibetan people during Losar and then on August 15 , 2012 . I never thought that Tibet will keep on burning like this and Tibetan people will be left at the mercy of Government of China , leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the ruthless Red Army . Tibet went from one self – immolation to another without a word of sympathy from the world community . Our own political leaders , pseudo – secular intellectuals and leftist – liberal opinion – makers are feigning ignorance or following an ostrich policy .

English: A simple map of the three traditional...

A simple map of the three traditional provinces of Tibet overlaid on a map of modern provincial boundaries of the People’s Republic of China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Areas in which concentrations of ethnic Tibeta...

Areas in which concentrations of ethnic Tibetans live within China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An SVG map of China with the Tibet autonomous ...

SVG map of China with the Tibet autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am posting a letter , which I got today via e-mail . It tells the tragic tales of Tibet and unabated self – immolation .

8 November 2012

Dear Friends,

I am sorry to write again so soon but it is impossible not to share with you the deeply distressing news that in the last 24 hours at least five, probably six, Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet. Confirmed reports say that on 7 November a 23-year old nomad mother Tamdin Tso (right) set light to herself and died in Rebkong, Amdo, whilst in Ngaba three teenage monks did the same; 15-year old Dorjee died and the fate of two 16-year olds, Samdup and Dorjee Kyabone remains uncertain. There are further reports that a Tibetan man staged a self-immolation protest in Driru, Central Tibet, yesterday but no details are available. And just this morning there was another such protest and death, again in Rebkong, by a young man named Kalsang Jinpa.

It’s clear that this overwhelming surge in self-immolation protests is directly linked to the opening of China’s Communist Party Congress today, at the end of which Xi Jinping and his fellow Politburo Standing Committee members will be named. Hard on the heels of the US Presidential election, this is a very different political process. As Willy Lam, noted academic and China commentator wrote in Foreign Policy, “Sorry, folks: The votes are in, and the ballots have already been counted.”

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s make no mistake, the only people to blame for this self-immolation crisis are China’s leaders, who have been responsible for imposing decades of failed policies in Tibet, and creating a situation where ever-increasing numbers of Tibetans feel they have no other recourse than to take such drastic action in protest. China’s leadership could stop this crisis if it was to genuinely address Tibetan grievances; and our governments could be doing much, much more to focus the attention of China’s government on the severity of the situation in Tibet.

I was sitting in the office of my Acting Institute , when I got the mail . I was saddened . I was numb . I felt helpless . I feel that I am impotent and can do nothing in this regard .

But yes , I can condemn this apathy of the world . I can denounce the silence of the world community . I am appalled at the behaviour of the eminent world leaders .

I , along with the students and staff of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , unequivocally condemn the People’s Republic of China and her brutal leaders .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Mr. Karnad’s Speech at Lit-Fest , Mumbai


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 07 , 2012           11.45 P.M.

This is the text of GIRISH KARNAD‘s speech at the Mumbai Literature Festival, as compiled by Outlookindia.com from various sources.

 

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On Friday afternoon at the Tata Literature Live! festival in Mumbai, playwright Girish Karnad surprised audiences with an unexpected and spirited critique of Nobel laureate Vidia Naipaul. Naipaul was awarded the Landmark and Literature Alive’s Lifetime Achievement Award on October 31. Karnad was originally supposed to talk about “his life in theatre” in his session, but instead launched into a scathing critique of Naipaul and the conferring of the award to him

This is what he said at the festival, as reported by Sify:

At the Mumbai Literature Festival this year, Landmark and Literature Alive have jointly given the  Lifetime’s Achievement Award to Sir Vidia Naipaul.

The award ceremony held on the 31st of October at the National Centre of the Performing Arts coyly failed to mention that Naipaul was not an Indian and has never claimed to be one. But at no point was the question raised.

The words Shashi Deshpande, the novelist, had used to describe the Neemrana Festival conducted by the ICCR in 2002 perfectly fitted the present event: “it was a celebration of a Nobel Laureate…whom  India, hopefully, even sycophantically, considered an Indian.”

Apart from his novels, only two of which take place in India and are abysmal,  Naipaul has written three books on India and the books are brilliantly written—he is certainly among the great  English writers of our generation.

They have been hailed as a continued exploration of India’s journey into modernity, but what strikes one from the very first book—A Wounded Civilization—is their rabid antipathy to the Indian Muslim.

The ‘wound’ in the title is the one inflicted on India by Babar’s invasion. Since then, Naipaul has never missed a chance to weigh in against the ‘invaders’, accusing them of having savaged India for five centuries, of having brought, among other dreadful things, poverty into it and destroyed the glorious ancient Hindu culture .

A point that strikes one immediately about these books is that there is not a single word in any of them on Indian music.

Given that music defines our daily existence… you find it in the streets, in the restaurants and so on… you would expect an exploration of India to comment on that. Now Mr Naipaul has written three books on India, three very big books… and not one of them contains any reference to music. He has gone through the whole of India without responding to Indian music.

Now I think this only means he is tone-deaf. That’s my reading of the situation but then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be tone-deaf. It is a constitutional right we all have. But what happens is that if you don’t understand music, if you don’t respond to music, you can’t respond to Indian history because the real development of Indian culture has been through music. This explains his insensitivity  to the intricate  interweaving of  Hindu and Muslim creativities, through the Bhakti and Sufi movements, that gave us this extraordinary  heritage, alive in the heart of every Indian  home.

What Naipaul’s virulence against Indian Islam conceals is that he has borrowed his model of the history of Indian culture from the British musicologists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, like William Jones. These scholars were acquainted with many other ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian, the Greek and the Roman. But they were mystified by the fact that while the musical traditions of these civilizations were entirely lost, the Indian musical tradition was alive and thriving.

They decided that this once pure-and-glorious music must have been, at some point during the course of its long history, corrupted and mauled—and they found the villain in the invading Muslim. So, according to them, once upon a time  there was a pristine Indian musical culture, which the  Muslims had disfigured. They therefore ignored the music that was being performed around them and went in search of the true Hindu music.

The foreigners come, they look at Indian culture, they see pristine Hindu culture, they see that it’s corrupted and it’s corrupted by Muslims. So you see, anyone who has read Naipaul’s book will immediately recognise this matrix, which actually he claims that he arrived at through himself but it is already there in any Indological study long before.

In his analysis of Indian culture Naipaul simply borrows this line of argument and reemploys it—as his original perception. And not for the first time.

Naipaul accuses R.K. Narayan of being indifferent to the destruction and death symbolized by the ruins of Vijayanagar, which to him was a bastion of Hindu culture destroyed by the marauding Muslims. But again he gets this interpretation of the history of Vijayanagar  readymade from a book by Robert Sewell called  A Forgotten Empire, published in 1900.

Naipaul, as always in awe  of his colonial sources, simply accepts this picture as the unadorned truth and recycles it wholesale as his own. That historians and archaeologists working on the site during the last century have proved the situation to be much more complex and have shown that religion had little role to play in the conflict is irrelevant to him.

Now again, what he says is predictable, which is that the Muslims destroyed Indian architecture, that everything went to pot. They were the raiders, they were the destroyers, and you have to look at any building to see what happened during the Muslim regime. And here is what he said about the Taj when people argued with him: “The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that I found it painful to be there for very long. This is an extravagance that speaks about the blood of the people

None of us, if we were at the Taj, would think of the extravagance that speaks about the blood of the people! That’s why you get a Nobel Prize, you know.

He brushes off historian Romila Thapar’s argument that the Mughal era saw a rich efflorescence of the mixture of Hindu and Muslim styles, by attributing her judgment to her Marxist bias  and says, ‘The correct truth is the way the invaders look at their actions, They were conquering. They were subjugating.’

To Naipaul, the Indian Muslim remains an invader for ever, forever condemned to be condemned, because some of them had invaders as their ancestors. It is a usage would yield some strange results if applied to the USA.

As for Naipaul’s journalistic exploration of modern India,  mainly in the form of a series of interviews conducted  with Indians right across the board, one must confess they are supremely well written and that he is a master in drawing sharp and precise visuals of the people he talks to and of the places he visits.

What begins to bother one after a while however, is that he  invariably seems to meet brilliant interviewees whose answers to his questions are expressed with a wit and elegance that match his own mastery of the language. Even half-literate interviewees suffer from no diffidence in their expression.

How reliable are the conversations he records?

In a well-known essay Naipaul describes his visit to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where he stayed with his friend, Ashoke Chatterjee, the Director of the Institute.

In a recent email to me, Mr Chatterjee said, that Naipaul’s essay was “a scenario that could have been, but was not what he actually saw. Fragments of reality, selected and put together, into a collage of pure fantasy.”

Chatterjee’s friendship with Naipaul came to an abrupt end when Chatterjee told Naipaul that his book, A Wounded Civilization, should be classified as fiction.

In a recent book, Naipaul takes up for examination the autobiography of Munshi Rahman Khan, who emigrated to Suriname at the end of the nineteenth  century, and contrasts it with Gandhi’s.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, the historian, has reviewed the essay in the London Review of Books and it doesn’t take him much effort to establish that Naipaul could only have read a third-hand, truncated translation of the text: “It is as if a reader in Gorakhpur was reading Naipaul in Maithili after the text had passed through a Japanese translation.”

That doesn’t prevent Naipaul from commenting even on the style and linguistic usage of Rahman Khan.

The question surely is by giving him the Lifetime Achievement Award, what statement is being made by the award-givers?

As a journalist what he writes about India is his business. No one can question his right to be ignorant or to prevaricate.

But the Nobel Prize has given him a sudden authority and his use of it needs to be looked at.

One of the first things Naipaul did on receiving the Nobel Prize was to visit the office of the BJP in Delhi. He who had earlier declared that he was not political, “that to have a political view is to be programmed”, now declared that he was happy to be politically “appropriated”.

It was then that he made his most infamous remark: “Ayodhya”, he said, “is a sort of passion. Any passion is creative. Passion leads to creativity.”

Salman Rushdie’s response was that Naipaul was behaving like “a fellow-traveller of Fascism and [that he] disgraces the Noble Prize.”

In the wake of Ayodhya close to 1500 Muslims were slaughtered in the streets of Bombay alone. I was attending a Film Festival in New Delhi when the riots broke out  and received anguished  calls from my friends in Bombay to say Muslims were being pulled out of their homes or stopped in the streets to be killed.

I rang my Muslim editor to say he and his family could use my flat, in a predominantly Parsi building, until the situation became safe.

The great Marathi actress, Fayyaz, whom I finally located after a week in a corner in Pune where she had fled in distress from Mumbai, described how Shiv Sainiks had thrown fire bombs into Muslim slums and how, when the inmates of the houses rushed out in terror, they were shot down by the police as trouble-makers.

Seven years later, in cold blood, Naipaul was glamorising  these  events as “passion”, as “a creative act”.

It is significant that this part of Naipaul’s sociologising was not mentioned in the citation of the Award, or by Farrukh Dhondy, who while  interviewing him, mentioned the book, Among the Believers and then quickly moved to a long-winded account of how he had helped Sir Vidia adopt a cat which thirteen years later was put to sleep lying on his lap—giving  Naipaul another chance to burst into sentimental tears.

Presumably Dhondy was trying to prove how ‘human’ Naipaul was.

But Landmark and Literature Alive who have announced this Award have a responsibility to explain to us where exactly they stand with regard to these remarks by Naipaul.

Naipaul is a foreigner and can make pronouncements as he wishes. But do they mean to valorise Naipaul’s stand that Indian Muslims are raiders and marauders? Are they supporting his continued insistence on  Muslim buildings in India being  monuments to rape and loot? Or are they by their silence suggesting  that these views do not matter?

The Award givers have much to answer for.

 

English: English:An image of most famous India...

An image of most famous Indian Muslims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

[ I have taken this entire piece from the blog of Mr. Shivam Vij dated November 03 , 2012 . It was posted on http://www.kafila.org . I repost the entire speech of Mr. Girish Karnad for the friends and students of my Acting Institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , who visit my blog space . I express my gratitude to the writer and kafila.org . ]

Mr. Girish Karnad : Denunciation Continues


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 06 , 2012          05.30 P.M.

English: Girish Karnad visited Cornell Univers...

Girish Karnad visited Cornell University in Ithaca New York for screening one of his old movies – Kanakapurandhara on October 29, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today while sitting in the office of  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , my Acting Institute in Mumbai , I checked my twitter handle as usual . Mr. Kiran KS , whose twitter handle I follow , has posted 12 tweets dedicated to the V. S. Naipaul and Girish Karnad controversy . I was amazed because of the information I got .

These tweets are based on the article of Mr. Pratap Simha in today’s Kannada Prabha , a leading Kannada daily . Mr. Kiran KS has translated the information in English for the sake of non – Kannadigas and tweeted them .

View summary

1) A brilliant article in Kannada Prabha by @mepratap . For the sake of non-Kannadigas, will tweet excerpts now. #Karnad and Naipaul topic.

2) #Karnad calls Naipaul a Muslim virodhi, because of A Wounded Civilization book. The book explains the 5 centuries of invader atrocities.

3) So Mr. #Karnad , what’s wrong in Naipaul telling about the “wound” on a Hindu civilization caused by invaders Ghazni, Ghori, Babur etc?

4) Mr. Girish #Karnad , if Babur cared so much about his birth country Uzbekistan, he could have “developed” that instead of India. Right?

5) In “Thoughts on Pakistan” book, Dr. Ambedkar talks about Muslim mentality,like Naipaul. Will #Karnad oppose Bharat Ratna to Ambedkar too?

6) Naipaul calls Taj Mahal a symbol of invasion. Pooh-pooh’s Romila Thapar’s Hindu Muslim “bhai-bhai” symbol talk. #Karnad , is that wrong?

7) Tell us Mr. #Karnad , fanatic Aurangzeb ordering destruction of Kashi Vishwanath temple in 1699.. was it Hindu-Muslim “bhai-bhai” event?

8) Tell us Jnanapeethi #Karnad, fanatic Aurangzeb ordering Jaziya tax on Hindus… was it Hindu-Muslim “bhai-bhai” event? Why blame Naipaul?

9) #Karnad says Naipaul failed to grasp India as books didn’t cover Indian music. So Karnad, why your books didn’t cover Indian Shilpa-Kala?

10) #Karnad, u criticize Naipaul (not born in India) of not grasping Indian samskriti. But ur book Anju Mallige is about sister-brother sex!

11) Mr. #Karnad ,you got to fame directing SL Bhyrappa’s stories. But once he exposed your Tipu “facts”, you termed SLB books as “ordinary”!

12) When VS Naipaul got nobel, #Karnad termed him the “greatest living literateur of Indian origin”. Now suddenly he’s a Muslim-virodhi??

1st edition (publ. André Deutsch)

1st edition (publ. André Deutsch) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Naipaul’s book ” India : A Wounded Civilization “ is now very much in focus . Mr. Kiran KS has given enough logic in favour of the book and Sir Vidia’s viewpoint . I don’t have any more logic . And I think I don’t have anything new to say about Mr. Girish Karnad and Sir Vidia controversy . I have already posted a blog about it :

Shame On You , Mr. Girish Karnad http://wp.me/ptyXI-2rQ

I , amazingly , got many responses for my blog . Some were in support and some were harsh . Few were very balanced . It’s wonderful to get connected to so many people having such diverse views .

[ I have re – tweeted from the twitter handle of Mr. Kiran KS . These tweets are based on the article of Mr. Pratap Simha published in a leading Kanada daily Kannada Prabha . I express my gratitude to all of them . ]

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