My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2014           08.50 P.M.

 

My fascination with Hindi film heroines started in mid 60s. In the dark environs of Amar Jyoti Talkies, Deoria, my rendezvous with Hindi cinema took place with Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi starrer Silver Jubilee hit  ” Sasural ” [ 1961 ] . B. Saroja Devi, though not well-known to Hindi cine-goers, was almost alien to me. But after watching the film, I was unable to forget her. Her elegant persona, her well-kept figure, her chiselled face enticed me for weeks and months. She was the first icon of my childhood fancy.

Few years later in 1967, after appearing in High School exams, I watched Dilip Kumar and  Vyjayanthimala, starrer golden jubilee film ” Ganga Jumna “. B. Saroja Devi and  Vyjayanthimala, to my utter surprise, looked almost similar. I was hooked to Vyjayanthimala and my fascination for the film heroines got fortified.

After passing High School, I went to Allahabad for further studies. My true rendezvous with Hindi cinema started in all earnest in Allahabad. I started watching films regularly. I got acquainted with the heroines of early Hindi cinema. I was particularly enamoured by Devika Rani and Kanan Devi. [ Who can forget Devika Rani’s ………. MAIN BAN KI CHIDIA BAN KE BAN-BAN DOLOON RE ……….( ” Achhut Kanya ” – 1936 ) and Kanan Devi’s ………….. YE DUNIYA ,YE DUNIYA TOOFAN MAIL ……… ( Jawaab ” – 1942 ) ? Few years later I watched two earlier films of Kanan Devi; P. C. Barua starrer ” Mukti ” [ 1937 ] and K. L. Sehgal starrer ” Street Singer ” [ 1938 ]. Though they were the heroines of my father’s generation but their etherial beauty, their sweet voice enthralled me and fascinated me during my adolescent and growing up years in Allahabad.

Later on I got acquainted with the works of other highly successful actresses of the bygone era. The list included Nargis, Suraiya, Nalini Jayawant,  Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nimmi and Geeta Bali. These heroines ruled the golden era of Hindi films. But even they belonged to the earlier era.

My era included highly successful and enchanting heroines like;  Nutan, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman , Nanda and Mala Sinha .

I became a die-hard fan of Waheeda Rehman after watching her films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) . After watching Raj Kapoor‘s Awaara (1951) and of Mehboob Khan‘s Mother India (1957), Nargis, also became one of my all time favourites. Vijay Bhatt‘s Baiju Bawra (1952), made me a fan of  Meena Kumari.  K. Asif‘s Mughal-e-Azam (1960) made Madhubala my eternal favourite.

Then times changed. My journey with cinema matured. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, actresses like Sadhna, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz and Asha Parekh ruled the Hindi film world.

In the early 70s  Amitabh Bachchan, era started in the Hindi film industry. Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya BachchanRekha,  Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia. I adored these heroines but frankly, I was neither enchanted or enamoured by them. Mysterious quality of the earlier heroines was missing. Or may be I became mature and the mystique slowly evaporated.

In 1975, I completed my studies in Allahabad and returned to my native place, Deoria. A 14-year-long second phase of my life started in Deoria.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family centric romantic musicals with the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) . Incidentally this was the last film, which I watched in Deoria.

I moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] in 1989. This was the year when Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) got released and changed the film-watching experience forever.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Dil (1990), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), making stars out of a new generation and actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol . In that point of time actresses such as Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai also arrived on the scene.  Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor too appearing in popular comedy films .

Furthermore, this decade marked the entry of new performers in art house and independent films like Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar were the heroines of this generation.

So it was a long association with the silver screen heroines. From Kanan Devi to Kajol and Karisma Kapoor , I watched everyone, got fascinated by them and silently admired their etherial beauty. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that one day I would train few of the present day ruling Divas of Hindi cinema. After 25 year stay in Mumbai, when I look back, I reminisce my by-gone days with astonishment. I am bewildered with my accomplishment.

In 1994 two heroines trained by me made their debut in Hindi films. They are Sonali Bendre in ” Aag ” [ 1994 ] and Divya Dutta in ” Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna ” [ 1994 ] . It uncanny that 1994 was the year when Devika Rani died. Kanan Devi bid us adieu two years earlier in 1992.

My childhood icons left this world in 1994 and present day icons, trained by me , made their entry in 1994. It is strange. It is quirky. It is really uncanny. After debut of Sonali Bendre and Divya Dutta in 1994, flood-gate of the newcomers got opened and it has now submerged the Hindi film industry. I present a list of some of the epoch-making new era Hindi film Divas, who got trained by me :

Kareena Kapoor : ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] = DEBUT

Priyanka Chopra : ” The Hero ” [ 2002 ] = DEBUT

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] = DEBUT

Anushka Sharma : ” Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ” [ 2008 ] = DEBUT

Katrina Kaif :  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010]

ALIA BHATT : ” Student Of The Year ” [ 2012 ] = DEBUT

KALKI KOECHLIN : ” Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani ” [ 2013 ]

URVASHI RAUTELA : ” Singh Saab The Great ” [ 2013 ] = DEBUT

 

In the end I would like to submit that the above mentioned list is almost endless. I have mentioned very famous names only. As I watch Alia Bhatt making rapid strides,and other newcomers trained by me making their entry in the tinsel town, my heart beats fast with pride.

Some of the biggest star sons / daughters are currently being trained by me and they are going to make their debut in 2015.

So the SAGA CONTINUES !! Dust settles down. Sun shines brilliantly. And the World { excluding few egoistic nay-sayers } watches with awe, admiration and amazement.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise , I wish all my above mentioned students all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

God bless them for making me proud !!

 

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25 Years Without Raj Kapoor


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 29 , 2013           08.40 P.M.

I started writing this blog last month . But I was unable to complete it because of several other pressing matters . It seems so uncanny that I am completing and posting it one day after the birthday of Raj Kapoor’s grandson Ranbir Kapoor .

Last month all the members of Raj Kapoor‘s family assembled to remember him on his 25th Death Anniversary . Even general public and his fans remembered him fondly on that occasion . It is heartening to know that even after 25 years of his demise , mortal Raj Kapoor’s  immortal memory refuses to fade away from public memory .

Raj Kapoor died on June 02 , 1988 . I still remember the day . I was sitting in my house in Deoria , Uttar Pradesh , my native place . In those days when the penetration of television was not much , one had to wait for the daily news papers in the morning . In those days I used to subscribe The Times of India , an English daily and  Janasatta , a Hindi daily . Both the papers carried front page news of his demise with banner headlines .

Remembering Raj Kapoor

Remembering Raj Kapoor (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)

Raj Kapoor needs no introduction even today . A Show-Man producer to the hilt , an avant garde director of international repute and a stylized actor of large fan following , Raj Kapoor created history in Indian cinema . He is part of the famous triumvirate of Hindi film industry . Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand being the other members of the famous triumvirate , which ruled the Hindi film world for the longest time .

Raj Kapoor birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, ...

Raj Kapoor birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, Peshawar, Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Main gate of Raj Kapoor's birth place at Dhaki...

Main gate of Raj Kapoor’s birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, Peshawar, Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He , at the age of 24 , became the youngest producer & director with his very first film ” Aag ” [ 1948 ] . Later on he produced 18 films and directed 11 under his own banner R. K. Films .

” Aag ” [ 1948 ] , ” Barsaat ” [ 1949 ] , ” Awaara ” [ 1951 ] , ” Aah ” [ 1953 ] , ” Boot Polish ” [ 1954 ] , ” Shree 420 ” [ 1955 ] , ” Jagte Raho ” [ 1956 ] , ” Ab Dilli Dur Nahin ” [ 1957 ] , ” Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai ” [ 1960 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , “Mera Naam Joker ” [ 1970 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , “Bobby ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dharam Karam ” [ 1975 ] , ” Satyam Shivam Sundaram ” [ 1978 ] , ” Biwi O Biwi ” [ 1981 ] , ” Prem Rog ” [ 1982 ] andRam Teri Ganga Maili ” [ 1985 ] .

I am fortunate that I have seen all the 18 films produced by him . Needless to say that I have also watched all the 11 films , which he directed .

When he died in 1988 , I was in Deoria . One year later , in 1989 , I came to Mumbai . In 1990 I started my career as an acting trainer . Today , as I am writing this blog , I can proudly say that in a way , I am also associated with him . I am very fortunate that I have trained 4 grandchildren of legendary and immortal Raj Kapoor .

In 1999 I started training Kareena Kapoor for Hritik Roshan’s debut film ” Kaho Na … Pyaar Hai ” [ 2000 ] . It is another story that she couldn’t do the film and eventually debuted with Abhishek Bachchan in ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] . She is daughter of Randhir Kapoor , eldest son of Raj Kapoor .

After Kareena Kapoor , I was called by Neetu Kapoor ji in 2004 to train Ranbir Kapoor , who was about to make his debut with ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] . Coincidently I am writing this blog one day after his birthday . He is son of Rishi Kapoor , 2nd son of Raj Kapoor .

In 2012 Raj Kapoor’s youngest daughter Rima Jain ji called me to train her elder son Armaan Jain .  Armaan Jain will make his debut in 2014 with a film being produced by Saif Ali Khan , another student of mine . This untitled film is being directed by Imtiaz Ali’s brother Arif Ali .

Currently , Rima ji’s younger son Aadar Jain is also getting trained by me .

Thus I can say it with great sense of satisfaction that I am fortunate enough to have trained 4 grandchildren of legendary Raj Kapoor .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I offer my homage to Raj Kapoor , the greatest showman of Hindi cinema .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer tributes to the legendary film – maker on his 25th death anniversary .

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