Birth of A New Ukraine


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 24, 2014           01.30 A.M.

Two years ago, on February 01, 2012 , I wrote a blog about Ukraine , a former Soviet republic and a very little known country in India. It was titled ” Sorry Ukraine , My Apology “ and was written when a group of Ukrainian women demonstrated naked in front of Indian embassy in Ukrainian capital of Kiev . Two years later, I am again writing about Ukraine and this time matter is more serious.

Map of Ukraine-2

Map of Ukraine-3

Ukraine was a Soviet Republic before becoming a sovereign country. As every one knows on December 26, 1991 , USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved and 15 independent countries came into being.

Even after dissolution of USSR , some former Soviet republics retained and maintained close links with Russia. Some republics formed Eurasian Economic Community and retained close links with Russia in the form of economic and security cooperation.

It is alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly wants to re-establish the former USSR . He knows that his dream is almost impossible to accomplish, so he encourages friendly leaders in the former Soviet republics to become close allies. He wants them to join Eurasian Union and thus help him retain some of the old glory. In his scheme of things Viktor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine , was the most important ally.

Ukrainian people read the writing on the wall and saw the signal. For majority of Ukrainian people Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich was not more than a stooge of Vladimir Putin , who wanted Ukraine to become a satellite of Russia. People of Ukraine on the other hand wanted to move away from Russian orbit and wanted to get closer to Europe.

Sensing trouble, Viktor Yanukovich started reign of oppression. He ruled Ukraine with iron fist, jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and moved dangerously close to Russia.

Ukraine erupted in defiance. They fought a bloody battle . Kiev became a war zone. 77 people got killed. Dictator Viktor Yanukovich first tried to suppress Ukraine . But in these days of internet and other social networking sites it is not easy. Ukrainians remained defiant. They fought police and army. Ukraine wanted to get rid of the dictator.

Following pictures show their resolve.

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -5

Protests in Ukraine -5

Burning Ukraine

Burning Ukraine

Ukraine in Shambles

Ukraine in Shambles

Ultimately Ukraine’s parliament voted on February 22, 2014 in favour of removal of Viktor Yanukovich from the post. Viktor Yanukovich denounced this as coup against his regime and left his office in Kiev and disappeared . Ukraine’s parliament promised new elections and formation of a new government . Police of Ukraine and Ukrainian army declared that they are with the protestors and are not going to fight their own people.

While I am writing this blog rapid changes are being seen in Ukraine. Former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from the jail and fresh election has been ordered on May 25. Ukraine turns a new page in her history. World is watching.

The Russian stooge is gone and with his unceremonial departure dreams of Vladimir Putin evaporates in the thin air.

Long live Ukraine ! Long live people of Ukraine ! Long live struggle for freedom ! Long live struggle for democracy !

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Film Diary – January 2014


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 19, 2014   02.30 P.M.
2014 is the 25th year of my acting training career. In the Silver Jubilee year of my acting training career, I am posting …..57 th ……edition of Vidur’s Film Diary.
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Month of January 2014 saw the unabated victorious march of ” Dhoom 3 “ , the highest all-time grosser of Hindi film industry. It earned 272 crores within 04 weeks and created a new record after dashing all previous box office records and finally collected 284.27 crores.
” Krrish 3 “ , a Hritik Roshan film , stands second with the All – India net collection of INR 244.92 crore in India and INR 300.00 crore worldwide . ” Chennai Express “ stands third with INR 227.13 crores .
” Jai Ho “, a Salman Khan starrer,  was released in the 4th week of January 2014 it and finally ended the long march of ” Dhoom 3 “. It is the new member of 100 crore club. It finally earned INR 110.78 crores.
The Silver Jubilee year of my acting training career is also important and significant for one more reason.  ” Jai Ho “ becomes the first ever film to have 8 students of mine in one film . DAISY SHAH , GENELIA DSOUZA , ASMIT PATEL , PULKIT SAMRAT , TULIP JOSHI , VATSAL SHETH , & VIKAS BHALL are the actors and ALVIRA AGNIHOTRI is the Costume Designer of the film .
I am posting links of the two videos, which were made to commemorate the occasion :

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Obituary :

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Suchitra Sen : 

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Legendary reclusive actor of Bengali films, Suchitra Sen died on January 17 , 2014 at the age of 82 in Kolkata. In a career spanning 25 years , she did 60 Bengali and Hindi films. She will always be remembered by Hindi film connoisseurs for her 07 Hindi films

Posting link of the blog , which I wrote about her :

Suchitra Sen : Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi…… http://wp.me/ptyXI-3fY

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – January 03

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1 – Sholay 3D …………………………………………………. X

2 – Mr. Joe B. Carvalho ……………………………………. Soha Ali Khan

…………………………………………………………………….. Geeta Basra

…………………………………………………………………….. Karishma Kotak

Second Week – January 10

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1 – Dedh Ishqiya ………………………………………….. X

2 – Yaariyan ……………………………………………….. Sayali Bhagat

…………………………………………………………………. Krishan Kumar

Third Week – January 17

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1 – Karle Pyaar Karle …………………………………… X

2 – Miss Lovely …………………………………………… X

3 – Paranthe Wali Gali ………………………………….. X

4 – Strings of Pasion …………………………………….. X

Fourth Week  – January 24

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1 – Jai Ho ………………………………………………….. Daisy Shah

……………………………………………………………….. Genelia Dsouza

……………………………………………………………….. Ashmit Patel

……………………………………………………………….. Pulkit Samrat

……………………………………………………………….. Tulip Joshi

……………………………………………………………….. Vatsal Sheth

……………………………………………………………….. Vikas Bhalla

……………………………………………………………….. Alvira Agnihotri

Fifth Week – January 31

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1 – One By Two …………………………………………. Preeti Desai

………………………………………………………………. Amit Kapoor

In total …………… 10 …………….. films got released in January . Out of these ………….. 10 ………… released films ……….. 04 ………… films have …………… 15 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 15 ……… persons , ………… 12 ……….. are actors . Among the rest ………. 03 ……. Amit Kapoor and Krishan Kumar are the producers of  ” One By Two ” and ” Yaariyan “ respectively . Alvira Agnihotri is the Costume Designer of  ” Jai Ho ” .

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Viraf Phiroz Patel is playing an important role in ” Ek Boond Ishq “ on Life OK TV .

2 – Manish Naggdev is playing an important character in ” Pavitra Rishta “ on ZEE TV .


My ……………. 02 ……….. students in ………… 02 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Hritik Roshan is the  Brand Ambassador of ” J. Hampstead ” .



My ………….. 01 …………… student in …………… 01 …………… commercial campaign .

As an acting trainer / acting tutor , though , it was not a very significant and satisfying month , but still I am happy .  My 15 students appeared in 04 films , 02 students in 02 TV serials and 01 student appeared in 01 Ad also . Thus total number of students working in the month of January 2014 comes to 18 .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I congratulate all my above mentioned 18 students .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

May they shine in their chosen field .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Suchitra Sen : Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi……


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 18, 2014           09.20 P.M.

Mahanayika Suchitra Sen

Mahanayika Suchitra Sen

The year was 1967 or 1968. The city was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. And the cinema hall , if my memory is not failing me , was Ajanta Talkies at Zero Road. I , along with few of my friends, went to watch a Dilip Kumar starrer black & white film ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] . I had read Sharat Chandra written immensely popular novel of the same name during my adolescent age in Deoria. I read it so many times and I was so infatuated, fascinated by the character of Devdas that even after so many decades , I vividly remember each and every thing about the novel and all the details of all the characters. In 1967 – 1968, when I went to watch the film, I could even recite the dialogues and paragraphs from the novel.

I had heard about myriads film avatars of Devdas, which were made in several Indian languages.  Naturally Dilip Kumar starrer and Bimal Roy directed ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] in Hindi was on the top of my list. It had Dilip Kumar portraying the male protagonist to the perfection. I had read various articles about his portrayal of the character. I also knew that Paro is being played by a Bengali actress called Suchitra Sen .

I entered and took my seat in the Ajanta cinema hall. Film started and Dilip Kumar’s arrival on the screen was greeted with thunderous applause. I got totally engrossed in the histrionics and persona of the thespian, the legendary tragedy king of Hindi cinema, ( the ) Dilip Kumar. I was waiting for Suchitra Sen to appear on the screen. Young Paro was played by baby Naaz. I was waiting with curiosity for Suchitra Sen to appear on the screen. She appeared on the screen …………

………….and behold !!!

I was smitten by her eyes. I was hooked to her beauty. I was enamoured by her personality. I was hypnotized by her voice. I was captivated for life by her screen persona. Apart from Waheeda Rehman, I have never admired any other actress so much.

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas with Dilip Kumar

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas with Dilip Kumar

Later on I watched Dev Anand and Suchitra Sen starrer ” Bombai Ka Baboo ” [ 1960 ] . Though an ordinary film but the climax of the film refused to fade away from my psyche for days and months. After so many decades , even today, it refuses to get obfuscated. Ah, her serene elegant persona, her haunting tear-filled eyes and the back-ground song in the voice of legendary Mukesh, ” Chal Ri Sajni Ab Kya Soche ; Kajra Na Beh Jayen Rote Rote ………. “ shook me permanently and became an eternal part of my being. Every drop of tear on her cheek is still fresh in my memory.

Vintage Suchitra Sen

Vintage Suchitra Sen

After above mentioned two films , I watched ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] .1966 – 67 is the important year of my life. I passed high school. I left Deoria and went to Allahabad for higher studies. Slowly I started coming out of my cocoon. I started watching films regularly and started appreciating them also. I started spending hours and hours with my friends discussing films. And one day , I watched ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] . I was a fan of Ashok Kumar. I was a fan of Suchitra Sen . And she was essaying a double role of mother and daughter in this film. She played it with perfection. It was one year before Dilip Kumar’s highly successful and much acclaimed double role in the film ” Ram Aur Shyam ” [ 1967 ] .

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Needless to say that much later I watched ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] also . It is her last Hindi film. She was marvellous as usual. 3 years after the much acclaimed film ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] , she retired in 1978 and slowly faded from public life.

Suchitra Sen in Andhi

Suchitra Sen in Andhi

From ” Sharey Chuattor ” [ 1953 ] to ” Pronoy Pasha ” [ 1978 ] , she worked in 60 films in a career spanning 25 years. Out of her total 60 films , her Hindi films are only 7. These films are : ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] , ” Musafir ” [ 1957 ] , ” Champakali ” [ 1957 ] , ” Bombai Ka Baboo ” [ 1960 ] , ” Sarhad ” [ 1960 ] , ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] and ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] . Of all the 7 Hindi films of her, I have watched 4 films.

Her important and memorable Bengali films are : ” Sharey Chuattor ” [ 1953 ] , ” Sabar Uparey ” [ 1955 ] , ” Mejo Bou ” [ 1955 ] , ” Shilpi ” [ 1956 ] , ” Harano Sur ” [ 1957 ] , ” Pathe Holo Deri ” [ 1957 ] , ” Deep Jwele Jaai ” [ 1959 ] , ” Smriti Tuku Thaak ” [ 1960 ] , ” Saptapadi ” [ 1961 ] , ” Saat Paake Badha ” [ 1963 ] , ” Uttar Phalguni ” [ 1963 ] , ” Grihadaha ” [ 1967 ] , ” Alo Amaar Alo ” [ 1972 ] , ” Haar Maana Haar ” [ 1972 ] , ” Devi Chaudhurani ” [ 1974 ] , ” Datta ” [ 1976 ] and ” Pronoy Pasha ” [ 1978 ].

I have seen many of these films. I will specially mention Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen starrer ” Saptapadi ” [ 1961 ] . One number of this film is considered all time great romantic song ever in Bengali films. It is ” Ei poth jodi na shesh hoi …………….. Uttam Kumar on the bike and Suchitra Sen as pillion rider singing the immortal ” ………………. Ei poth jodi na shesh hoi ………………. ” .

"Saptapadi" -Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi ......

“Saptapadi” -Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi ……

Years later when I came to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] and became acting trainer, one day I got a call from Riya Sen. She wanted to get trained by me. I was ecstatic that I would be training legendary Suchitra Sen’s grand-daughter. I immediately went to her Juhu residence. I worked with her for few months. I met her sister Raima and mother Moon Moon Sen also. But I could not get a chance to meet legendary Suchitra Sen. Though I wanted to meet her desperately. But it was not destined.

She became recluse by each passing year. She came out of her house when Uttam Kumar died on July 24, 1980. After that day no one had seen her ever. It was 34 year-long reclusive life. It was 34 year-long self – imposed exile. But instead of fading from memory, it made her personality more enigmatic. Even after 34 years the aura remained undiminished. She went away from public gaze but never faded from public memory.

Enigmatic Suchitra Sen

Enigmatic Suchitra Sen

Ethereal Suchitra Sen

Ethereal Suchitra Sen

Impish Suchitra Sen

Impish Suchitra Sen

One of her many avatars

One of her many avatars

I used to ask Riya many questions about her grandmother. I wanted to know more and more mortal details about immortal Suchitra Sen. Riya was nonchalant. Initially her nonchalance baffled me, disappointed me. It never occurred to me that for me Suchitra Sen is an idol , an icon but for Riya , she is her grandmother. So her answers never matched my enthusiasm. I think she must have felt awkward by my intrusion.

Alas ! as is the inevitable for every human being, Suchitra Sen left this world for her celestial journey on January 17, 2014 . She died in Kolkata aged 82.

Suchitra Sen : Last Journey

Suchitra Sen : Last Journey

Mortal Remains of Immortal Suchitra Sen

Mortal Remains of Immortal Suchitra Sen

I was saddened beyond words. I am still numb. I was unable to write about her immediately, though I wanted to write desperately. Suchitra Sen is gone and with her departure my world of adolescent years has gone forever. It has crumbled. This void is not going to be filled easily. A world without Suchitra Sen is not the world for me. But ….. nothing could be done. Life will meander to complete its course. Life will slither with saddened soul.

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my profound sorrow and grief. Life goes on and it will go on. But without Suchitra Sen, it will not be same again.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer condolences and express solidarity with Moon Moon Sen, Raima Sen and Riya Sen in this hour of grief.

As they say, they won’t make people like Suchitra Sen any more.

[ List of Suchitra Sen’s films  is taken from Wikipedia. I express gratitude. ]

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A. Nageswara Rao Garu : From Paddy Field to Super Stardom


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 02 , 2014           04.45 P.M.

Akkineni Nageswara Rao

20 September 1923 – 22 January 2014

A. Nageswara Rao , a.k.a. ANR Garu died on January 22 in Hyderabad at the age of 91 . I was saddened and distraught after hearing the news. It opened floodgates and brought many memories of ANR Garu to my mind. In 1990, when I was training his grandsons; Nag Chaitanya and Sushanth Anumolu, I came to know many intimate stories about him , became privy to many chapters of his life and thus became an ardent fan and a lifelong admirer.

Later on I also met his son Nagarjuna, the super-star of Telugu film. He presented me a DVD of ” Devadasu ” [ 1953 ] , the Telugu film version of Sharat Chandra’s immortal classic ” Devdas “.  I watched the film. The admiration for ANR Garu got fortified.
 

With ANR Garu's son Nagarjuna & His grandson Nag Chaitanya in My Institute

With ANR Garu’s son Nagarjuna & His grandson Nag Chaitanya in My Institute

ANR Garu with His Son Nagarjuna & Grandson Nag Chaitanya

ANR Garu with His Son Nagarjuna & Grandson Nag Chaitanya

I first came to know about ANR Garu during my Allahabad days. I read a comment made by none other than Dilip Kumar. I watched Bimal Roy’s ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] and was mesmerized by Dilip Kumar’s performance . Dilip Kumar played Devdas and became immortal as the tragedy king of Hindi cinema. When a journalist asked him about his brilliant portrayal of Devdas, he said, ” there is only one Devadasu, and that is Nageswara Rao.” I was mesmerized by Dilip Kumar’s performance and here he is saying that there is only one Devdas and that is A. Nageswara Rao . I was puzzled.

I started searching about ANR Garu but in those pre – google days it was not very easy. With great difficulty I gathered some knowledge. I came to know that he played Devdas in Telugu film ” Devadasu ” [ 1953 ]. It was two years before Dilip Kumar’s ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] .

ANR Garu, along with NTR Garu [ Nandamuri Tarak Rama Rao ] , dominated the Telugu cinema and Telugu film scene like a colossus. From paddy fields, he strode into the field of fine arts through theatre. He became a famous stage artiste, specialising, in playing female characters, because women at that time were prohibited from acting.

Young ANR Garu

Young ANR Garu

Middle-Aged ANR Garu

Middle-Aged ANR Garu

An Old ANR Garu

An Old ANR Garu

A. Nageswara Rao Garu was discovered, by chance, by the prominent film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, at the Vijayawada railway station. He was then cast in the film Dharmapatni. Since then, he starred in several films of various genres during his 75-year acting career.

Rao won three Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards during his acting career. He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, for his contribution to Indian cinema, and is a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.

Manam - Last Film of ANR Garu [ ANR Garu with His Son & Grandson]

Manam – Last Film of ANR Garu [ ANR Garu with His Son & Grandson]

Incidentally ” Manam “ , his last film has his grandson Nag Chaitanya playing a stellar role along with his grandfather and his father Nagarjuna .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences to all the family members and admirers of Padma Vibhushan A. Nageswara Rao.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to join in mourning.

May his soul Rest In Peace!

[ I have quoted some portions of this blog from Wikipedia. I express my debt. ]

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