Alas ………. Eros Cinema is also gone !!


Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           December 29, 2018           04.45 P.M. 

 

I’m so sad , crestfallen and heartbroken today.

Last month on November 28, 2018, I wrote about closure of Rhythm House and Cafe Samovar . I felt deep sense of loss at that time.

Now comes news of closure of Eros Cinema hall. When I saw the photograph of the gate of this majestic building being locked, my heart melted.

Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate being locked

I had so many warm memories of this particular cinema hall. In 1972, I went there to watch a Hollywood film ” KLUTE ‘ [ 1971 ] starring Jane Fonda , Donald Sutherland and Roy Scheider. Sylvester Stallone was also in the film but as an extra. Jane Fonda won an Academy Award for Best Actress. ” KLUTE ” was huge hit .

When I reached there to watch the movie, ticket windows were closed. I stood on the staircase and was very disappointed. There was a man in sky blue top and denim pants and he gently said, ” do you want to watch the film? ” I simply nodded. He gave me one ticket saying that he bought it for his friend but it seems he won’t be able to make it. So you take this ticket and enjoy the film. When I offered to pay the price, he politely refused. Few days later, I watched the same man in a Satyadev Dubey directed play ” AADHE ADHURE ” at Patkar Hall.

Three years later, while in my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh , I went to watch a Hindi movie ” SALAAKHEN ” [ 1975 ]. This Shashi Kapoor and Sulakshana Pandit starrer movie had a villain. I suddenly recognized the man. He was the same person who offered me a ticket of ” KLUTE ” and whom I watched in ” AADHE ADHURE “. Then I got to know his name. His name was Amrish Puri. Those days he was known as the younger brother of Madan Puri. Few years later he became a huge , gigantic star and later on a legend.

Many years later, when I became an acting trainer, I trained his grand-son Vardhan Puri , who is making his debut in a Hindi film called ” PAAGAL “.

Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate

Later on I watched many Hollywood and Bollywood films at Eros. If I am remembering correctly, Amir Khan and Urmila Matondkar starrer film ” RANGEELA ” [ 1995 ] , was the last film , which I watched there. There after multiplex boom hit Mumbai and many swanky plexes sprung up in suburbs. So Sunday routine of watching film at South Mumbai single screen theatres lost its charm . And I got busy in my acting training activities and watching films at Eros and other single screen theatres was discontinued.

But when I heard the news of its closure and saw the gate being locked, I was devastated.

 

One more iconic place of my struggling days is going to be finished for ever.

There won’t be another Eros. There won’t be same movie watching experience again.

But journey of life moves ahead.

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VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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Curtain Call for Pandit Satyadev Dubey


Pandit Satyadev Dubey

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER  28, 2011           02.30 A.M.

I never ever thought that in the last quarter of 2011 I would be writing so many tributes to the departed stalwarts of the field of art  , music and literature . I have already written obituary on Bhupen Hazarika , Shammi Kapoor , Dev Anand , Mario Miranda and Christopher Hitchens . Obituary of Jagjit Singh and Steve Jobs are half – written and yet to be posted . And now comes the news of the sad demise of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Pandit Satyadev Dubey

On December 25 , 2011 , when the world was celebrating birth of Jesus Christ , an eminent theater personality Pandit Satyadev Dubey bid adieu . Curtain finally came down and stage went empty . A stalwart , who bestrode the theatre world of Mumbai for 5 decades , Pandit Satyadev Dubey  finally left the stage at the age of 75 . He was sitting in Prithvi Cafe on September 19 , 2011 , when he slipped into coma and was rushed to the hospital . He never came back .

Born in Bilaspur , Chhattisgarh in 1936 , Dubey ji , as he was fondly called , came to Mumbai to become a cricketer . While studying in St. Xavier’s College Mumbai , he came into contact with Vijay Anand , who introduced him to Ebrahim Alkazi . Thus began Dubey ji’s life – long association with theatre . He also learnt from Marathi theatre guru Parshwanath Aaltekar , who taught him articulation and proper pronunciation . Dubey ji used to lisp in his younger days . Theatre Guru Aaltekar taught him how to overcome this short coming .

Dubey ji in His Younger Days

In his 5 decades long career Pandit Satyadev Dubey produced and directed plays like ; ” Yayati ” and ” Hayavadana ” written by Girish Karnad ; ” Aadhe Adhure ” written by Mohan Rakesh ; ” Gidhade ” , ” Shantata ! Court Chalu Aahe ” and ” Baby ” written by Vijay Tendulkar ; ” Evam Indrajit ” and ” Pagla Ghoda ” written by Badal Sarkar ; ” Raktapushpa ” written by Mahesh Elkunchwar ; ” Savlya ” written by Chetan Datar and ” Antigone ” written by Jean Anouilh . He also staged and directed a play ” Andha Yug “ written by Dharamvir Bharti for radio . He wrote and directed plays like ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” , ” Inshallah ” ” Ada Chautal ” and ” Bramha Vishnu Mahesh “ . In the career span of 50 years , he wrote , produced and directed more than 100 plays in Hindi , Marathi and English .

Apart from stage , his first love , he wrote screenplay and dialogues of films like ; ” Ankur ”  [ Screenplay – Dialogue ]” Nishant ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Bhumika “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Hira Aur Patthar ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vishwasghat ” [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Junoon ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Kalyug ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Akrosh ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vijeta ” [ Story – Screenplay – Dialogue ] and ” Mandi “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] .

Poster of Ankur

Poster of Nishant

Poster of Bhumika

Poster of Kalyug

Poster of Mandi

Dubey ji made 2 short films ; ” Aparichay Ka Vindhyachal ” and ” Tongue In Cheek ” .

Apart from staging play and writing scripts for films , he donned the avatar of a trainer and groomed many actors . He believed in natural dialogue delivery and discarded highly theatrical and loud dialogue delivery , which was in vogue before his advent . Amrish Puri , Naseeruddin Shah and Amol Palekar are some of his most famous disciples . Amrish Puri was so indebted to Dubey ji that he would often say that , ” I can leave a film project for Dubey ji’s play , if I ever get a call ” .

A Young Amrish Puri in Dubey ji's Play

Young Naseeruddin Shah

Dubey ji With Ratna Pathak Shah

Naseeruddin Shah & Ratna Pathak Shah in Dubey ji's Last Play "Antigone"

Dubey ji got Madhya Pradesh government’s Shikhar Samman and Kalidas Samman . In 1971 he got prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award . In 2008 Prithvi Theatre paid tribute to him on completion of 50 years in theatre . Dubey ji received Padma Bhushan in January 2011 .

Prithvi Theatre's Tribute to Dubey ji in 2008

Receiving Padma Bhushan by President Pratibha Patil

He won 1978 National Film Award for Best Screenplay for ” Bhumika “ . In 1980 he got Filmfare Award for Best dialogue for ” Junoon ” .

Poster of Bhumika

During his later years he did many workshops for aspiring actors and people nick – named these workshops as NSD [ National school of Dubey ] .

When I first came to Mumbai in 1972 , I went to meet him at Tejpal Auditorium , Grant Road – West . He was busy staging his play ” Aadhe Adhure ” But still gave me time and told me to watch the play . He kindly gave me ticket also . Amrish Puri played main protagonist and if my memory is not failing me , Sulabha Deshpande was the female protagonist . I was stunned to watch their brilliant portrayals . Unfortunately I had to go to Allahabad to complete my post – graduation and lost the opportunity to work with him .

I came again in 1989 and went to meet him at his apartment at Phularani building in Sahitya Sahawas Colony , Bandra  – East . He told me to come to Karnataka Sangh , Matunga and watch his play ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” . Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah were playing the main protagonists . I was simply mesmerized by the sheer brilliance of Dubey ji’s writing and the acting of the main protagonists . I remember that I reached late for the play and was gently reprimanded by Dubey ji for that .

Later on I bumped into him several times at Prithvi Theatre .

He was maverick . He was eccentric . He was controversial . But he was definitely a genius and was dedicated to theatre .

He was a great acting Guru . Very strict , very disciplined and ruthless . I must admit that I imbibed some facets of Dubey ji as an acting trainer . I am strict . I am disciplined and I am ruthless . He loved natural acting and I also try to inculcate this thing in the psyche of my students .

But unlike him , I am not eccentric . I am not a maverick and I don’t use colourful language like him . But I am indebted to him and I openly express my gratitude for imbibing few facets of his personality as an acting trainer .

I won’t say Rest In Peace Dubey ji . It’s a custom to clap when the curtain comes down after a play . I would like to stand up and would love to clap at the final curtain call of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Thanks for the lovely plays Dubey ji . You will be sorely missed .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

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