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

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An Open Letter To FTII Alumna / Alumnus


2

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 18, 2015           00.30 A.M.

Dear Alumna / Alumnus of FTII, Pune !

I have already written 2 blogs about the FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] , Pune. 1st blog was written on March 28, 2010. It was about the declining and deteriorating standards of FTII. The 2nd one was written on October 28, 2012. It was about hubris and high-handed behaviour of students of FTII. Today I am forced to write 3rd blog about FTII.

I am reading in newspapers that alumnus of this so-called premier institute are agitated against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, the newly appointed FTII Chief. Nearly 150 students boycotted classes today and continued their protest for the 5th day.

According to Harishankar Nachimuthu, the President of Student’s Union of FTII, Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment is a conspiracy to saffronise this prestigious ( ? ) institute. He states that he is not going to accept Shri Gajendra Chauhan as Chief of FTII. May I demand to know, who is seeking his acceptance or concurrence?

I came to know that several past students [ who are jobless since time immemorial ] are holding meeting in Mumbai and threatening central government that they will fight against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, “a Narendra Modi stooge” till the end. According to them he lacks stature and administrative experience. May I demand to know, who the hell are they to decide, whether Shri Chauhan has the required stature or not?

In the past Mr. Shyam Benegal, Mr. Mrinal Sen, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Mr. Girish Karnad, Mr. Vinod Khanna, Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy and Mr. Saeed Mirza have served as Chairman of the Governing Council of FTII.  They were appointed by the government of the day. Shri Gajendra Chauhan is also appointed by present central government.

I fail to understand, how can students demand to have a say in the appointment of Chief of FTII. Moreover, what stake do past students have in the affairs of their Alma Mater? Why are they agitated? Why are they threatening to “fight till the end”?

Students and alumnus of this so-called prestigious institute should realize that their job is to get trained and not to decide about the governing council chief or other administrative matters of the institute. They must realize that the golden days of Shri Roshan Taneja are over. Their activism fails to produce a single actor of the calibre of ASHOK KUMAR, MOTI LAL, DILIP KUMAR, BALRAJ SAHNI, SANJEEV KUMAR, AMITABH BACHCHAN, SHAHRUKH KHAN, AMIR KHAN, HRITIK ROSHAN or RANBIR KAPOOR. None of the above mentioned actors are the alumnus of FTII. I also fail to find among your alumna, any actress of the stature of NARGIS, MEENA KUMARI, MADHUBALA, GEETA BALI, VYJAYANTIMALA, WAHEEDA REHMAN, REKHA or KAJOL. And you people are talking about the calibre of Gajendra Chauhan.

I appeal to the alumnus of FTII to first become a world-class actor and then try to be an activist. The most important FTII alumnus and your biggest inspiration NASEERUDDIN SHAH is busy doing “world-class” ( ? ) films like “Sona Spa” and ” Jackpot” and you people are pontificating on the calibre of Shri Gajendra Chauhan and threatening Shri Narendra Modi.

And now a word for failed ex students of FTII. You have no business to meddle in the affairs of your alma mater if you are still struggling to make a mark. No one needs your activism. You roam around in the alleys of Mumbai with stinking body, wilting faces, faded attires and dead and gloomy eyes. I pity your rancid existence and failed journey of life. The government of the day doesn’t need or seek your approval. Leave your hubris. You are not doing any favour to us or humanity if you are an ex students of FTII.

Let me make it clear that your agitation is politically motivated. All the right thinking people know it. If it is not so, why people like Anand Patwardhan and other known left-liberals are joining your band wagon? Why students of JNU [ Jawahar Lal Nehru University ] , a breeding ground of leftist and pseudo seculars, are joining your protest? What stake have they in the FTII?

Instead of protesting against Gajendra Chauhan, try to check the deterioration in the quality of the institute. May I demand to know why “for a 3 year programme, there have been students floating around the campus since 2008? May be they will graduate only when their creative juices start flowing.[ verbatim quote from Hindustan Times – Dated June 17, 2015 – Page 11 / also read the editorial ” The World’s not a stage at the FTII – Page 12]

You resist every change and want to run the institute as per your whims and fancies. When UPA appointed committee suggested running the institute on public-private partnership, you people protested. When UPA tried to make the syllabus more contemporary, you started indefinite strike. UPA government headed by Congress was not saffronising the institute. So it is clear that protests and strikes are in your DNA.

Dear alumnus, if you feel or suspect that the appointment of Shri Gajendra Chauhan is a conspiracy to saffronise FTII, I suggest that you should learn to live with it as soon as possible. It will be better for your future, your health and your well-being.

We have seen enough of your hubris. We have tolerated enough of your pseudo intellectual hypocrisy. It is time to say, ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH “.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce you for your hypocrisy, needless hubris and uncalled for activism.

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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