……. And Pran !! Never Before ; Never Again


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA            JULY 24, 2013           04.45 P.M.

On April 16, 2013 , I wrote a blog about Pran saheb . He was conferred Dada Saheb Phalke Award . And I posted my admiration for the man . I am posting the link of that blog :


Phalke Award ……………….. And Pran http://wp.me/ptyXI-2Sa

Little did I know that within 3 months , I would be sitting in my office and writing this obituary . Life is unpredictable and its hidden hands play strange and unfathomable games .

On July 12 , 2013 while I was sitting in my study in the night , I suddenly saw a post on the timeline of my facebook – ” RIP Pran Saheb ” . I was stunned . But I know that sometimes facebook postings are wrong and erroneous . So I approached my twitter-handle and it was flooded with the news of his death . Now there was no doubt . It was confirmed . It was true that Pran Saheb left us for his last journey . He was 93 at the time of his death .

I cannot put my grief in words . My association with the persona of Pran Saheb started with films like ;  ” Khandan ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shaheed ” [ 1965 ] , ” Dil Diya Dard Liya ” [ 1966 ] andRam Aur Shyam ” [ 1967 ] . I saw these films in quick succession in Deoria and Allahabad and started admiring him as an actor . ” Tere Mere Sapne ” [ 1999 ] was the last film of Pran Saheb which I watched in Mumbai . Thus it was a 34-year-long association of a fan with the legend .

Pran - Zanjeer

Pran in Zanjeer (Photo credit: Kaddele)

His stupendous innings started in 1940 . He hit the screen 4 years after Ashok Kumar and exactly 4 years before Dilip Kumar . Generations got changed . Times and fashion changed . Era of stars and super-stars came and went away . From Ashok Kumar to Dilip Kumar , from Dilip Kumar to Rajesh Khanna and from Rajesh Khanna to Amitabh Bachchan , several film stars came , ruled and then either retired or faded into oblivion or simply died . But era of Pran never ebbed , never receded , never ended . He never went away . From Ashok Kumar to Arshad Warsi , and from Suraiya to Sri Devi , he worked with every star worth his name .

In my earlier blog I have given complete list of his 350 films . Here I am giving list of important films of his career . In the list of Pran Saheb’s important films , there are 144 films . In 1940s there were 6 films . In the 50s 14 films , in the 60s 44 films , in the 70s 51 films , in the 80s 24 films , in the 90s 4 films and even in 2000s there was 1 important film . It is incredible . FromYamla Jat ” [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh ” [ 2003 ] , it was a 63-year-long journey of excellence and stardom , rather super-stardom .


  • Yamla Jat (1940)
  • Khajanchi (1941)
  • Khandaan (1942)
  • Ziddi (1948)
  • Grahasti (1948)
  • Badi Bahen (1949)







  • Kiska Dosh (2003)
I am fortunate that out of his above mentioned 144 important films , I have seen 120 films . May be I am missing one or two films . But even 120 is a decent number and it shows my admiration for Pran Saheb .
Pran Saheb is now gone . His billing in the titles of films always used to be ………………………………….and Pran . And even in his death it is there . It is uncanny . In 2011 and 2012 several stalwarts of film world left this world for their final and eternal journey . If you go through the list, it is eerie . It is uncanny . The list will be :
Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor , Navin Nishchol , Bob Christo , Goga Kapoor , Jagjit Singh , Bhupen Hazarika , Srinivas Khale , Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , Mani Kaul , Surinder Kapoor , Tony Walker , M. F. Husain , Shandar Amrohi , Sachin Bhowmick , Kalpana , Joy Mukherjee , Achla Sachdev , Dara Singh , Rajesh Khanna , A. K. Hangal , Jaspal Bhatti , Ravi , Pandit Ravi Shankar , B. R. Ishara , Yash Chopra ……………………… and PRAN



On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I offer my condolences to the family of Pran Saheb .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer prayers for the departed soul .

Rest in peace Sir !

In the world of films there will never be anyone like you . And on the silver screen , I will never see  ………………. and Pran .











Wilting Traditions – 1 : Holi & Hindi Cinema

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 26, 2011                   12. 2O A.M.

We just celebrated Holi. Indian festivals, specially North Indian festivals always played major roles in the Hindi films of yesteryears. Once upon a time Holi , Deewali , Makar Sankranti and  Raksha Bandhan used to be part of the story and were filmed lavishly and portrayed prominently in Hindi films. There used to be hit songs in films celebrating these festivals. And they are still remembered.

When I started watching films, I vividly remember Mehboob Khan‘s films , where Holi was always a part of the story and he used to picturize it lavishly. His first colour film ” Aan ” [ 1951 ] had a memorable Holi song – khelo rang hamare sang aaj din rang rangeela aaya…………..It was filmed on Dilip Kumar , Nimmi and large number of junior artistes.

Mother India

Image via Wikipedia

Mehboob Khan’s another timeless classic in colour was Mother India ” [ 1957 ] . It had immensely popular Holi number – holi aayi re kanhayee rang chhalke suna de jara bansuri………It was filmed on Nargis , Sunil Dutt , Rajendra Kumar , Kumkum and large number of junior artistes. Its canvass was vast and it carried the story forward with the help of intercuts and flash-backs . This song is my personal favourite. Mehboob Khan had earlier made ” Mother India ” in Black & white as ” Aurat ” [ 1940 ] and it too had Holi number filmed on Sardar Akhtar , Surendra and Yakub. Incidently ” Aurat “ also had an artiste named Arun [ father of present day star Govinda ]. So in total Mehboob Khan had 3 memorable Holi songs to his credit in classic films like – ” Aurat ” , ” Aan ” and ” Mother India. ”

After Mehboob Khan’s ” Aan ” [ 1951 ] , Dilip Kumar had another memorable Holi number picturized on him in S. U. Sunny’s ” Kohinoor” [ 196 0 ] . It was – man rang lo ji aaj tan rang lo , khelo umang bhar rang pyar ke le lo…………….During his later years Dilip Kumar did a film Mashaal ”  [ 1984 ] for Yash Chopra and it too had a hit and lovely Holi number – o dekho holi aayi ………….

Cover of

Cover of Mashaal

It is noteworthy that all the above mentioned numbers were composed by Naushad and were written by Shakeel Badayuni. Only ” Aurat ” and ” Mashaal “ numbers are exceptions. ” Aurat ” Holi number was composed by Anil Biswas and ” Mashaal “ was composed by Hriday Nath Mangeshkar and was written by Anand Bakshi.

After Mehboob Khan , Dilip Kumar , Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni another filmmaker who filmed magnificient Holi scenes and songs , was veteran V. Shantaram. His ” Navrang ” [ 1959 ] had a wonderful Holi number – arre ja re arre natkhat………………..

Among the yesteryear filmmakers , strangely , Raj Kapoor never filmed a single Holi song or scene in his directorial ventures. Though in real life , his larger than life Holi celebrations were talk of the film industry and are still envied and remembered by many.

Another curious case is Dev Anand’s. His suave and urbane personality was not fit for such kind of rustic and robust celebrations but he has one memorable exception. His immortal film ” Guide ” [ 1965 ] had a popular dance number – piya tose naina lage re , naina lage re…………….In this particular song there was one para dedicated to Holi. It was – aayi holi aayi , sab rang layi , bin tere holi bhi na bhaye………………….. Though Dev Anand was not shown in the song . It was magnificently picturized on Waheeda Rehman by director Vijay Anand. It was composed by Sachin Dev Burman and was written by Shailendra.

After above mentioned artistes and specially after Dilip Kumar , Amitabh Bachchan had most number of memorable Holi songs to his credit. His immortal classic ” Sisila ” [ 1981 ] had a song – rang barse bheege chunar wali rang barse ………… It is a cult song even today. One of his recent hits ” Baghbaan ” [ 2003 ] had another memorable number – holi khelen raghubeera awadh men holi khelen raghubeera……… .. According to me , Amitabh Bachchan has the dubious distinction of having one of the worst Holi number in the history of Hindi cinema to his credit. His later year hit ” Waqt – Race Against Time ” [ 2005 ] had a number composed by Anu Malik – do me a favour lets play holi……………….. Unfortunately this worst Holi song  is the last Holi number in Hindi films till date.

Yash Chopra , director of ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] , is the second filmmaker after Mehboob Khan , who has filmed large number of memorable Holi songs in his films. After ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] , he picturized a melodious Holi song on Dilip Kumar , Anil Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in ” Mashaal ” [ 1984 ]. The song was – o dekho holi aayi……………..After ” Mashaal “ he made ” Lamhe ” [ 1991 ] and once again gave us a hit song – mohe chhedo na……………His another classic ” Darr ” [ 1993 ] had another lovely song – ang se ang lagaana sajan mohe aise rang lagaana………………….It was picturized on Shah Rukh Khan , Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla. So Yash Chopra has 4 Holi songs to his credit , while Mehboob Khan has 3.

In between Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan , for a brief period of time , Rajesh Khanna was the reigning deity. His one of the early successes ” Kati Patang ” [ 1970 ] had a memorable Holi number – aaj na chhodenge bas hamjoli……………It was composed by Rahul Dev Burman and was written by Anand Bakshi. Incidently same composer – lyricist duo gave us another Holi chart-buster in ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ]. It was – holi ke din dil khil jaate hain…………..Though ” Sholay “ was made in the tradition of western cowboy films but it’s Holi song was so wonderfully woven in the story and it was filmed so beautifully that it is remembered even today .

Among today’s stars Aamir Khan had a wonderful song in ” Mangal Pandey  – The Rising [ 2005 ] . It is – dekho aayi holi………….. It is quirk of the matter that worst Holi song of Hindi films , do me a favour , lets play holi……… also came in the same year [ 2005 ] in ” Waqt – Race Against Time ” .

Mangal Pandey: The Rising

Image via Wikipedia

There are some other films also which have some good Holi songs . Rajshri Productions massive hit ” Nadiya Ke Paar ” [ 1982 ] had a catchy number – jogi ji wah jogi ji…………. but it was an exception rather than a rule. After 2005, it is sad that all the recent released films have not portrayed Holi or any other festivals prominently. There are several causes for this scenario.

A – Delhi – UP has ceased to be a prominent territory for Hindi films. Now younger filmmakers make films for metropolitan cities and for overseas markets. So this rustic , robust festival of colours is not finding favours.

B – Younger filmmakers are not familiar with the hinterlands of our country. They seldom go to villages and are unaware of the circumstances of our middle and lower middle class population.

C – Story line of recent films have become city – centric. Rampaging consumerism has changed the scenario beyond recognition and this is being reflected in the recently released films.

D – Rise of television is another root cause for this change. Since films are being made for the overseas territories and for metropolitan centers, so various channels started catering to the rural masses and started beaming village – centric serials. So filmmakers are now not bothered for the masses of hinterlands.

E – Rise of Bhojpuri films are another nail in the coffin. These films specially cater to North Indian public and most of them are still village – centric . So they picturize Holi songs on lavish scale . Recently released hit Bhojpuri film ” Diljale ” [ 2011 ] has a memorable Holi song.

There might be other reasons too, but I am sad that slowly and firmly our festival of colours is coming to a virtual neglect in Hindi films.

It is sad , very sad !








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