MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA MARCH 17 , 2014 11.40 P.M.
Today when the Hindus , all over the world , are celebrating Holi and rejoicing in festivity , I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and writing this blog about Lakshmi Talkies , Allahabad with tearful eyes . I am struggling for words . I am unable to form sentences . I am full of emotions . Lakshmi Talkies will not ring a familiar bell for several anonymous people or the lovers of cinema . May be some will be familiar of some Lakshmi Talkies of their own cities . But here I am talking about Lakshmi Talkies of Allahabad , Uttar Pradesh .
Few days back I saw the following post on the facebook time line of Shri Neeraj Sri :
When I read the post and saw the photograph , I became numb . I was stunned . I was shaken . I was saddened beyond words . I was emotionally disturbed . I spent a sleepless night .
Even now as I am writing the blog , my heart refuses to believe that this is a reality . I was a regular patron of Lakshmi Talkies during my Ganga Nath Jha hostel days . Lakshmi Talkies of Allahabad was a part of my life . Lakshmi Talkies holds a special place for me because Lakshmi Talkies was an integral part of my Allahabad University days . It’s magnificent structure is still fresh in my memory . So when I saw the above picture of a desolate Lakshmi Talkies with moth – eaten walls , broken window panes and barbed wire fencing , I wanted to cry . I wanted to mourn .
I , after passing High School , left my birth place Deoria in 1967 and went to Allahabad for higher studies . Deoria had two cinema halls at that time but being in a small city like Deoria , they were not grand or magnificent , like cinema halls of bigger cities . Allahabad was much bigger city compared to Deoria , so the cinema halls were also huge and opulent . I landed in Allahabad in July 1967 with glitter in my eyes , hope and dreams in my heart for my better future . I , as a 15-year-old small town boy , was fascinated by Allahabad , the city and its atmosphere . Slowly I started getting acquainted with the city of Allahabad . Being a movie buff , I started looking about cinema halls and thus came to know about Lakshmi Talkies at Katara . Lakshmi Talkies management had this strategy of re – releasing old Hindi films . So for me this was a boon because I could now watch all the old classics which I had missed in Deoria .
” Door Ki Awaaz ” [ 1964 ] , a film directed and produced by Devendra Goel was the first ever film which I watched in Lakshmi Talkies . The Joy Mukherjee , Saira Banu , Pran , Johny Walker and Om Prakash starrer film has some popular Mohammad Rafi gems like , “Ek Musafir Ko Duniya Men Kya Chahiye ……………………….” , ” Husn Se Chand Bhi Sharmaya Hai , Teri Soorat Ne Ghazab Dhaya Hai ……………..” , ” Muqaddar Aazmana Chahta Hoon , Tujhe Apna Banan Chahta Hoon ……………………………. “ , and a lovely duet of Mohammad Rafi with Asha Bhosle ” Haathon Men Haath Hothon Pe Afsane Pyar Ke ……………………” , and the last but not the least , a song sung by Mohammad Rafi , Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle ” Hum Bhi Agar Bachche Hote Nam Hamara Hota Gabloo , Babloo , Khane Ko Milte Laddoo , Aur Duniya Kehti …………….. Happy Birthday To You …………………” . All these lovely songs were tuned by music director Ravi .
The film , the songs and the whole movie going experience is still fresh in my memory even after 47 long , strife – torn and eventful years of my life .
The last film I watched in Lakshmi Talkies was in 1971 . It was a Hemant Kumar produced and Asit Sen directed ” Khamoshi ” [ 1969 ] . During the same year they also opened a skating ring in the western side of the compound . It was a new experience .
I completed graduation in 1971 and left Allahabad and came to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . One year after I left Mumbai again and came to Allahabad to complete my post graduation . So I was in Allahabad and staying in the same Ganga Nath Jha Hostel again from 1972 to 1974 before finally bidding adieu to Allahabad in 1975 . During this period I did watch couple of films in Lakshmi talkies but I don’t remember them .
But I do remember a concert of Pandit Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha Khan , which I was fortunate enough to attend . One evening my friend Pramod Vajpayee came running and informed me about the concert . It was in aid of some NGO . So the ticket rates were low . We went , bought the tickets and took our seat in the packed hall . That evening is still fresh in my memory . It was a life – time experience .
And now 40 years later in March 2014 , I read this posting about the closure of Lakshmi Talkies on the facebook time line of Shri Neeraj Sri and the world of my emotional memory crumbled at one go . A part of my life is gone forever . A silent witness of my many lonely evenings is going to be silent very soon .
On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I condole the demise of Lakshmi Talkies .
VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to express grief and pain .
Farewell Lakshmi Talkies !
Neeraj Sri has rightly said , ” अपना सिनेमा हाल था ये … ”
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
Filed under: Sunset Boulevards | Tagged: Acting Institute, Acting Trainer, Alla Rakha Khan, Allahabad, Allahabad University, Asha Bhosle, Asit Sen, Deoria, Deoria - Uttar Pradesh, Devendra Goel, Diction Trainer, Door Ki Awaaz, Ek Musafir Ko Duniya Men Kya Chahiye, Film, Haathon Men Haath Hothon Pe Afsane Pyar Ke, Hemant Kumar, Hindi Teacher, Hum Bhi Agar Bachche Hote Nam Hamara Hota Gabloo Babloo, Husn Se Chand Bhi Sharmaya Hai Teri Soorat Ne Ghazab Dhaya Hai, Johny Walker, Joy Mukherjee, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Katara, Katara Allahabad, Khamoshi, Lakshmi Talkies, Maharashtra, Manna Dey, Mohammad Rafi, Mumbai, MUMBAI - MAHARASHTRA - INDIA, Muqaddar Aazmana Chahta Hoon Tujhe Apna Banan Chahta Hoon, Om Prakash, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pramod Vajpayee, Pran, Ravi, Saira Banu, Sir Ganga Nath Jha Hostel, UP, Uttar Pradesh, Vidur, VIDUR Acting Institute, Vidur Chaturvedi, VIDUR Club, VIDUR Editing Studio, Vidur on Twitter, VIDUR Theatre, Vidur's Blog, Vidur's Students |