An Open Letter To FTII Alumna / Alumnus


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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.

 

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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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P. B. Sreenivas : The Golden Voice Is No More


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 18, 2013           00.50 A.M.

Legendary playback singer P. B. Sreenivas a.k.a. PBS died on April 14, 2013 in Chennai at the age of 82 .

P. B. Sreenivas

P. B. Sreenivas

He made his début in 1952 in Gemini’s Hindi film “ Mr Sampat ”, where his song “Aji hum Bharat ki naari”, a duet with Geeta Dutt, became popular. I still remember ” Mr. Sampat “ because of the sterling performance of Late Moti Lal , who played the lead in the film . He played a con man and played it with such aplomb , that his sherwani clad persona with swagger in his walk is still etched in my memory and his histrionics is still fresh . Though I had forgotten the above mentioned song .

Mr. Sampat

PBS sang his most popular duet in Hindi “ Chanda Se Hoga Wo Pyaara , Phoolon Se Hoga Wo Nyara ; Naachega Aangan Men Chham Chham , Nanha Sa Munna Hamara ” with Lata Mangeshkar in the film Main Bhi Ladki Hoon in 1964 . Music director of this song was Chitragupta and lyrics were written by Rajendra Krishan . It is sad that till recently I was under impression that the male voice in this song is of Hemant Kumar . It is only after the death of PBS that I got to know through the newspaper articles that the male singer in this song is P. B. Sreenivas and not Hemant Kumar .

Main Bhi Ladki Hoon

This film was made by A.V.M. studio Chennai and it had Meena Kumari and Dharmendra in stellar role . Balraj Sahni , Om Prakash , Manorama and Bhagwan Dada also starred in the film . Meena Kumari’s enchanting persona and this melodious song is still remembered by the connoisseurs of Hindi cinema . ” Main Bhi Ladki Hoon “ is unforgettable even today .

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar as a yo...

Lata Mangeshkar as a young woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dharmendra

Dharmendra (Photo credit: Kaddele)

Though PBS had hit numbers in all the languages that he sang, it was in the Kannada Film Industry that he sang the highest number of songs and delivered the highest number of hits. P. B. Sreenivas ruled the Kannada Industry for over three decades and was the voice for Super Star Dr. Rajkumar . His first song for Rajkumar was in 1956 film ” Ohileshwara “ . He , later on , sang almost 300 hit songs for the Kannada Super Star .

In the Tamil industry, his maximum number of songs are for Gemini Ganesan. The most memorable hit of this duo was ‘Nilave ennidam nerungathe’.

 

Gemini Ganesan in the 1947 Tamil film Miss Malini

Gemini Ganesan in the 1947 Tamil film Miss Malini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Gemini Ganesan & PBS

Gemini Ganesan & PBS

He had sung for other actors as well but incidentally, he had sung very few songs for M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan .

English: Legend of Kannada cinema industry, Dr...

Legend of Kannada cinema industry, Dr. Rajkumar. This was clicked in his residence on Oct 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Dr. Rajkumar

With Dr. Rajkumar

Almost all his Kannada songs became famous and though he sang in many languages , he is considered a Kannadiga playback singer .

Most famous acting school of Mumbai , or most famous acting institute of India , or most famous acting academy of bollywood will not recognise him . They are oblivious of his contribution . God bless them !

P. B. Sreenivas

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

May eternal peace be bestowed on him !

VIDUR

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Pandit Ravi Shankar : As Film Music Director


English: Master of Sitar, Ravi Shankar. Deutsc...

Master of Sitar, Ravi Shankar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 13 , 2012           11.59 P.M.

Pandit Ravi Shankar , a Sitar maestro par excellence , an unofficial ambassador of Indian classical music , the first India Rock Star in true sense of the term , died yesterday on December 11 , 2012 in San Diego , California , U. S. A.

Apart from classical music , he had given music for some feature films also .

Hindi Films of Pandit Ravi Shankar As Music Director

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1 – Neecha Nagar [ 1946 ]

This Chetan Anand directed film was his debut film as well as debut film of Pandit Ravi Shankar also . It starred Kamini Kaushal , Uma Anand and Zohra Sehgal . It was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas .

2 – Dharti Ke Lal [ 1946 ]

This Khwaja Ahmad Abbas directed film was his debut film and the second film of Pandit Ravi Shankar . It starred Balraj Sahni , Tripti Mitra , K. N. Singh , Zohra Sehgal , David and Sombhu Mitra . It was written by Kishan Chander .

3 – Anuradha [ 1960 ]

This film was produced and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee . This film had lyrics by Shailendra and several gems sung by Lata Mangeshkar . It starred Balraj Sahni and Leela Naidu .

4 – Godan [ 1963 ]

This Trilok Jetley directed film was based on Munshi Premchand’s immortal novel of the same name . It had some immortal melodies . It starred Raj Kumar , Kamini Kaushal , Mehmood and Shashikala .

5 – Meera [ 1979 ]

This Gulzar directed film had several Meera Bhajans tuned by Pandit ji . It starred Hema Malini and Vinod Khanna .

Bengali Films of Pandit Ravi Shankar As Music Director

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1 – Pather Panchali [ 1955 ]

This Satyajit Ray directed film was his debut film . It is the first part of Apu Trilogy .

2 – Aparajito [ 1956 ]

This Satyajit Ray directed film was the second part of Apu Trilogy .

3 – Kabuliwala [ 1957 ]

This is the Bengali film based on Rabindra Nath Tagore’s story .

4 – Paras Pather [ 1958 ]

A social satire directed by Satyajit Ray .

5 – Apur Sansar [ 1959 ]

Third and final part of Apu Trilogy .

6 – Genesis [ 1986 ]

This Mrinal Sen directed film starred Shabana Azmi , Naseeruddin Shah & Om Puri was the last film of Pandit Ravi Shankar as music director .

English Films of Pandit Ravi Shankar As Music Director

===============================================

1 – Gandhi [ 1982 ]

This Richard Attenborough film had Ben Kingsley in the title role as Gandhi .

I made this list for the connoisseurs of film music and for the benefit of the acting students of my acting class Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

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Farewell Hangal Sahab : Itna Sannata Kyon Hai Bhai ?


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 28, 2012           01.00 A.M.

Death of  Shri A. K. Hangal on August 26, 2012 at the age of 97 was almost expected . He was aged , frail and was suffering from multiple diseases . On August 13 , 2012 he fell in the bathroom of his flat and fractured his right femur bone . On August 16 he was admitted in Asha Parekh Hospital , Santacruz and after 10 days finally succumbed to his injury and other age related complications .

I wrote a blog about him when Hangal Sahab was alive . He hit the headlines for his poor health and penury . Industry people rushed to his succour . But his communist comrades , who are now shedding copious tears after his demise , kept distance and maintained stoic silence .

My Other Blog About Hangal Sahab : A. K. Hangal & His Communist Comrades wp.me/ptyXI-Rn via @VidurChaturvedi

Avtaar Veenit Kishan Hangal a.k.a. A. K. Hangal was an iconic father figure of Hindi cinema . He was first noticed in films like ; Shagird ” [ 1966 ] and ” Teesari Kasam ” [ 1966 ] . I first saw him in ” Shagird “ , a Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu starrer .

Shagird

Cover of Shagird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Born in Sialkot , Pakistan , Hangal Sahab spent his childhood in Peshawar . He moved to Karachi before partition of India and was a tailor by profession . He joined theatre very early in his life . In 1949 he moved to India after spending 3 years in jail in Pakistan . In Mumbai he , along with Balraj Sahni and Kaifi Azmi , joined IPTA [ Indian People’s Theatre Association ] and then in 1966 joined Hindi films at the age of 50 .

As stated earlier he started his film journey with ” Shagird ” [ 1966 ] and ” Teesari Kasam ” [ 1966 ] . Later on he worked in films like ;Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] , ” Guddi ” [ 1971 ] , ” Bawarchi ” [ 1972 ] , ” Abhimaan ” [ 1973 ] , ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , ” Balika Badhu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Aina ” [ 1977 ] , ” Satyam Shivam Sundaram ” [ 1978 ] , ” Basera ‘ [ 1981 ] , ” Kalyug ” [ 1981 ] , ” Kudrat ” [ 1981 ] , ” Naram Garam ” [ 1981 ] , ” Shaukeen ” [ 1982 ] , ” Avtaar ” [ 1983 ] , ” Sharaabi ” [ 1984 ] , ” Arjun ” [ 1985 ] , ” Bewafai ” [ 1985 ] , ” Meri Jung ” [ 1985 ] , ” Ram Teri Ganga Maili ” [ 1985 ] , ” Khoon Bhari Maang ” [ 1988 ] , ” Khalnayak ” [ 1993 ] and  ” Lagaan ” [ 2001 ] .

Rahim Chacha of Sholay

Rahim Chacha of Sholay

In Shaukeen with Ashok Kumar & Utpal Dutt

In Shaukeen with Ashok Kumar & Utpal Dutt

Lagaan - His Last Film

Lagaan – His Last Film

So from 1966 to his last film in 2001 , it was a 35 year-long and very successful film journey . He acted in almost 200 films .

During his last years , on February 08 , 2011 , he graced the ramp on a wheelchair for fashion designer Riyaz Ganji for his summer line .

Show Stopper for Riyaz Ganji

Show Stopper for Riyaz Ganji

His last appearance was a TV serial ” Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon ” [ 2012 ] . He gave his voice for Maharaja Ugrasen in animation film ” Krishna Aur Kans ” [ 2012 ] . So in a way his career span is 46 years .

The government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 2006 .

He lived an eventful life and must have left this world with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment .

Al-vidaah Rahim Chacha ! Your voice will always reverberate in my ears , ” Itna sannata kyon hai bhai ? ”

 

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Achala Sachdev : The ” Zohara Jabeen ” of ” Waqt ” Fades Away


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           May 07 , 2012           00.55         A.M.

I was busy writing my pending travel diaries of Madhya Pradesh visit , when the news came of the death of Achala Sachdev . She died in Pune on April 30 , 2012 at the age of 91 .

She was not the leading actor but was a very popular character artiste and did many significant and important films in her illustrious career spanning 64 years [ ” Fashionable Wife ” 1938 toNa Tum Jaano Na Hum ” 2002 ] . In total she did 130 films . I came to know her through Yash Chopra directed film ” Waqt ‘ [ 1965 ] .

I still remember the first encounter with her on-screen . The year was 1967 . The cinema hall was Amarjyoti Talkies , Deoria . A film called ” Waqt “ was being screened there . Every one in the town was going gaga over it . So I decided to watch it . One fine evening I went  , bought ticket and entered the auditorium . Film started and the first scene was greeted with claps , loud uproar and whistles . Soon Balraj Sahni appeared on-screen and started crooning  in the voice of Manna Dey ‘ Aye meri zohra jabeen ; tujhe maloom nahin ; Tu abhi tak hai haseen aur main jawan , tujh pe qurban meri jaan , meri jaan ………………. ” . Throughout the song sequence , close – up of a lady , who was smiling coyly , continuously appeared on-screen in intercut . My film pundit friends informed me that name of the lady is Achala Sachdev .

Waqt (1965 film)

Waqt (1965 film)

Opening Scene of " Waqt "

Opening Scene of ” Waqt “

Some Scenes of  " Waqt  "

” Waqt ” – Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen Song Sequence

Last week , when I read about her sad demise , a floodgate of memories got opened and I was transported to my home town Deoria in Uttar Pradesh . Evening of that day in 1967 appeared on my mental firmament . Even after 45 years , the first encounter of Achala Sachdev is not obfuscated even a bit . It is so uncanny that music director Ravi , who created ” Aye meri zihra jabeen …….. for her , also died last month .

After ” Waqt “ , I started following her career and watched some of the important films . Out of all the 130 films , her most memorable films are :” Foot Path ” [ 1953 ] , ” Pardesi ” [ 1957 ] , ” Miss Mary ” [ 1957 ] , ” Adalat ” [ 1958 ] , ” Char Dil Char Rahen ” [ 1959 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] , ” Manzil ” [ 1960 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Meri Surat Teri Aankhen ” [ 1963 ] , ” Dil Ek Mandir ” [ 1963 ] , ” Shagun ” [ 1964 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , ” Raj Kumar ” [ 1964 ] , ” Haqueeqat ” [ 1964 ] , ” Chitralekha ” [ 1964 ] , ” Arzoo ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Mere Sanam ” [ 1965 ] , ” Janwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Himalaya Ki God Mein ” [ 1965 ] , ” Bahu Beti ” [ 1965 ] , ” Akashdeep ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shagird ” [ 1967 ] , ” Hamraaz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mere Hamdam Mere Dost ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kanyadaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadmi Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ 1970 ] , ” Mera Naam Jokar ” [ 1970 ] , ”  Heer Ranjha ” [ 1970 ] , ” Hare Rama Hare Krishna ” [ 1971 ] , ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Julie ” [ 1975 ] , ” Laila Majnu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] , ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ]  and ” Na Tum Jaano Na Hum ” [ 2002 ] .

Poster of Nazrana

Poster of Nazrana

Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Arzoo

Poster of Arzoo

Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Kora kagaz

Poster of Kora kagaz

Geeta Mera Naam

Poster of Geeta Mera Naam

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Poster of Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Out of her 64 – year – long career ; 3 particular years ; 1964 [ 5 films ] ; 1965 [ 7 films ] and 1971 [ 6 films ] could be considered her most successful years in films . After ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] she disappeared from the films for 6 years . She again returned with Yash Chopra’s ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] . And after 6 years gap , she again gave a super hit ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ] .

Born in Peshawar in 1920 , she started her career as child artiste . She did her first film ” Fashionable Wife ” [ 1938 ] at the age of 18 years . She rose to prominence at the age of 45 years with ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , a film produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra . She worked with Ashok Kumar , Dilip Kumar , Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand . Then she worked with Shammi Kapoor , Rajendra Kumar , Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra . Generations changed but she continues to play stellar roles . She , during her later years , worked with Amitabh Bachchan , Rishi Kapoor , Shah Rukh Khan and Hritik Roshan also . She was there in ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ debut of Hema Malini ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ debut of Dev Anand as director ] , ” Mera Naam Joker ” [ debut of Rishi Kapoor ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ debut of Rakesh Roshan as actor ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ debut of Randhir Kapoor as actor and directed ] , ” Daag ” [ debut of Yash Raj Films ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ debut of Sadhna as director ] and above all ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ debut of Aditya Chopra as director ] .

She worked , before partition , for All India Radio , Lahore and after partition for All India Radio , New Delhi .

During her later years she married Clifford Douglas Peters and settled in Pune . From there she occasionally came to Mumbai for Yash Chopra’s films .

i3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

In 2011 she fell in her kitchen and since then was admitted in a Pune hospital . Her end came on April 30 , 2012 .

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

I was saddened to see her these two photos . A young Achala Sachdev of ” Waqt “ and a bed – ridden Achala Sachdev befor her death . Her only son from her first marriage is settled in U. S. A. and had no time for her . I am no one to comment on his relationship with his mother but it is heart – wrenching to know that Achala Sachdev died a lonely death . From September 2011 to April 2012 , she was bed – ridden with fractured leg , total paralysis and loss of vision and her only son was leading a comfortable life in U. S. A. with his nuclear family . I have no authority to say anything to him but I know that I would not have abandoned my mother like this .

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

I can only offer my prayers for Achala Sachdev ji . May God give her peace and tranquility .

Farewell ” ZOHRA JABEEN ” !!  You are gone but ” star – like glitter of your forehead ” shall always remain with us .

As long as we have prints of  ” Waqt “ , you will live in our heart .

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You Too Left Us Bhupen Da ……. !!!


bhupen

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          NOVEMBER  09, 2011           03 .45 P.M.

Today in the morning Bhupen Da’s mortal remains were consigned to flames . I was watching live telecast of Bhupen Hazarika’s cremation from Guwahati , I was choked with emotions . When his footprints were taken and were shown to grieving millions , I too , sitting in the hall of my apartment , paid my obeisance . Bard of North – East is gone . Ballade singer of mighty Brahmaputra is silenced forever . The greatest icon of Assam is no longer with us .

Guwahati was supposed to bid farewell to Bhupen Hazarika on Tuesday . But his funeral was differed by one more day , so that unending stream of people  could pay respect to the departed icon . More than 1 million turned to the Judges Field , where his body was kept in glass casket , to pay respect . There were three km. long serpentine queues of grieving people , willing to stand for hours , for the last darshan of the most famous Indian of Assam . Shops and other business establishments were closed as mark of respect for Bhupen Da . Since buses and other modes of transport were not plying on roads of Guwahati  ,  people walked several km. to reach Judges Field for the last glimpse of Bhupen Da .

All the roads of Guwahati were full of grieving people since Monday morning. His hearse took seven hours to cover 30 km . distance before it could reach his ancestral home from Guwahati airport .

Bhupen Da died on November 05 , 2011 , at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital , Mumbai due to Pneumonia and multiple organ failure. He was 85 years old at the time of his death . His mortal remains were flown to Guwahati on Monday and cremation took place today . Government of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have declared State mourning and closure of offices for the day . Assam government decided to cremate him with full state honours .

Born on September 08 , 1926 in Sadiya , Assam ,  Bhupen Da sang his first song , ”  BISHVO BIJOY NOJAWAN …………..  ” in Jyoti Prasad Agarwala’s film ” Indramalati ” , at the age of 12 in 1939 . He also acted in the film and thus made his debut as a child actor at the age of 12 years .

After completing his intermediate from Cotton College , Assam in 1942 , he went to Benaras Hindu University for Graduation and Post – Graduation . In 1949 , he moved to New York for his PhD and got his degree in 1952 .

While in New York , Bhupen Da became close friends with Afro – American singer and civil rights activist Paul Robesan . Bhupen Da was greatly influenced by Black Pride movement of Robeson and Robeson’s song ” Ole Man River ” made lasting impression on him . And years later Bhupen Da created his own ode to river Ganga ; ” BISTIRNO PARORE ”  in Assamese and ” O GANGA BEHTI HO KYON ”  in Hindi .

In 1956 Bhupen Da moved to Mumbai to work in IPTA [ Indian Peoples’ Theatre Association ] and worked with Balraj Sahni and other Communist comrades.

He produced , directed , gave music and sung for numerous Assamese films like ;Era Bator Sur ” [ 1956 ] , ” Mahut Bandhu Re ” [ 1958 ] , ” Shakuntala ” [ 1960 ] , ” Pratishwani ” [ 1964 ] , ” Ka Swariti ” [ 1964 ] , ” Loti Ghoti ” [ 1967 ] , and ” Chick Mick Bijuli ” [ 1971 ] . For ” Shakuntala ” , ” Pratidhwani ” and ” Lotighoti ” , he won National Award also for music .

He directed a colour Documentary, ” For Whom The Sun Shines ” [ 1974 ] on Tribal Folk Music and Dance of Arunachal Pradesh . He also produced , directed and composed music for ” Mera Dharam Meri Maa ” [ 1977 ] , first Hindi colour feature film of Arunachal Pradesh .

He produced and composed music for critically acclaimed Hindi feature film ;  ” Ek Pal ” [ 1986 ] ,  Later on he composed music for films like ; ” Rudali ” [ 1993 ] , ” Darmiyan ” [ 1997 ] , ” Saaz ” [ 1998 ] , ” Gaja Gamini ” [ 2000 ]  , ” Daman ” [ 2001 ] and ” Kyon ” [ 2003 ] .

During his earlier years , he edited two magazines in Assamese ; ” Amar Pratinidhi ” and  ”  Pratidhwani  ”  .

He was member of Legislative Council of Assam [ MLC ] from 1967 to 1972 and President of Sangeet Natak Academy from 1999 to 2004. He even contested Lok Sabha election on BJP ticket in 2004 .

He got Padma Shree in 1977 , Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1993 , Padma Bhushan in 2003 and Asom Ratna in 2009 .He was awarded Muktijoddha Padak , Highest Civilian Award of Bangladesh , posthumously in 2011 .

His last song was for the film ” Gandhi To Hitler ” [ 2011 ]  , where he sang ” Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye …… ” .

I am extremely fortunate that I met him once . In early 90s , I went to meet Ms. Kalpana Lajmi for some work in her under – production film . There I saw a man , who was looking very similar to Bhupen Da . I said , ” Sir , aap Bhupen Da jaise dikhte hain . ” To my utter shock and amazement that man smiled and said , ” Beta , Main Bhupen Da hi hoon . ” He kept on smiling and looked at me very tenderly . I was petrified . I stood up immediately and prostrated in front of him and touched his feet . I apologized profusely . He simply said , ” koi baat nahin . ”  Any other person in his place would have felt offended . But Bhupen Da was kindness personified . I consider myself fortunate that I got his blessings .

He wrote and sang more than 1000 songs . Of all his songs , I like ” SAMAY O DHEERE CHALO … DOOB GAYI RAH KEE NAO …. DOOR HAI PEE KA GAON ” ,  ” DIL HUM HUM KARE ……… ” , ” DOLA RE DOLA ……. ” , ” MANUSH MANUSHER JANYE ….. ” , ” AAMI EK JAJABOR …… ”  and his immortal ode to river Ganga ” O GANGA BEHTI HO KYON ……… ” and its Bengali and Assamese versions ” BISTEERNO DUPARE ……. ” .

You have to listen to his Immortal ode to Ganga to know the impact it created throughout Assam and entire North East region . I am giving below the lyrics :

विस्तार है अपार, प्रजा दोनो पार, करे हाहाकार, निःशब्द सदा, ओ गंगा तुम, ओ गंगा तुम          ओ गंगा… बहती हो क्यूँ ..

  • नैतिकता नष्ट हुई, मानवता भ्रष्ट हुई, निर्लज्ज भाव से बहती हो क्यूँ. . . .

    इतिहास की पुकार, करे हुंकार, ओ गंगा की धार, निर्बल जन को सबल संग्रामी, समग्रगामी. . बनाती नही हो क्यूँ. . . .

    विस्तार है अपार, प्रजा दोनो पार, करे हाहाकार, निःशब्द सदा, ओ गंगा तुम, ओ गंगा तुम. .. ओ गंगा… बहती हो क्यूँ . ..

  • अनपढ़ जन अक्षरहीन अनगिन जन खाद्यविहीन निद्रवीन देख मौन हो क्यूँ ?

    व्यक्ति रहित व्यक्ति केन्द्रित सकल समाज व्यक्तित्व रहित निष्प्राण समाज को छोडती न क्यूँ ?

    रुतस्विनी क्यूँ न रही ? तुम निश्चय चितन नहीं प्राणों में प्रेरणा प्रेरती न क्यूँ ?

    उन्मद अवनी कुरुक्षेत्र बनी गंगे जननी नव भारत में भीष्म रूपी सूत समरजयी जनती नहीं

  • Bhupen Hazarika
  • Much is said about his leftist leanings . If a person is writing odes to Mother Ganga and bemoaning about fate of current India and clamours for the rebirth of a warrior like Bhishma Pitamah , can he be called a leftist ? Bhupen Da was a true nationalist and Communists simply tried to appropriate his legacy but failed . During Chinese attack on India in 1962 , he sang KATO JAWANOR MRITYU HOL …… ( so many soldiers have died ) and bemoaned about shatrur poshuttwo ( barbarity of enemy ) . Can he be called a communist ? No way !
  • Even ULFA [ United Liberation Front of Asom ] tried to appropriate him . Bhupen Da sang during Quit India movement ” AGNIJUGOR FIRINGOTI MOI……… ” ( I am a spark in the age of fire … ) . and later on SURYODAY JODI LAKKHYA  AMAR , SURYASTOR PINEY DHABOMAN KIYO ……… ( if sunrise is what we seek , then why are we reacting towards sunset ) . Can he be called ULFA sympathiser because rising sun is ULFA symbol ? Then , rising sun is the symbol of Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam also . Does it mean that Bhupen Da was a DMK sympathiser or card – holder ? Utter nonsense .

  • In June my wife was admitted in ICU of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Bhupen Da was in the adjacent room. That was the last I saw him .

Farewell Bhupen Da ! Your mortal remains are gone but through your songs and music , you shall always be with us . There shall never be another Bhpen Hazarika ever .

Vidur’s Film Diary – April 2011


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA                   MAY 01 , 2011                       00.45 A.M.

This particular edition is the 24th edition of  ”  Vidur’s Film Diaries “ . Two long years , two momentous years and these uninterrupted  notes of the diary about my students and their work in Indian films , TV serials and Theatre productions. A very satisfying  journey indeed. Through the work of my students , I also gauge my own standing in this ever slippery world of entertainment.

April’s first two releases opened as expected. Third release ” Thank You “ also couldn’t cheer the mood. Fate of the other releases were no better.

Twitter handles of trade analysts Mr. Taran Adarsh and Mr. Komal Nahta express the mood , trends and box office results of the month gone by ;

Komal Nahta
KomalNahta Komal Nahta
Game is a weak film with dull chances. Review: http://bit.ly/eL741Y
taran adarsh
taran_adarsh taran adarsh
B.O. update: ‘F.A.L.T.U.’ starts with a bang, ‘Game’ with a whimper http://bit.ly/aQZHc9
Komal Nahta
KomalNahta Komal Nahta
FALTU wins the Friday Game: http://bit.ly/gm1UiT
taran adarsh
taran_adarshtaran adarsh9 am to 11.15 am morning show trends: ‘Game’ opening 3% to 5% to maximum 10%. ‘Faltu‘ opening 50% to 70% to 80%

Komal Nahta
KomalNahta Komal Nahta
Box Office: FALTU scores over Game over the weekend. Faltu Rs. 10.5 crore , Game Rs. 2.8 crore. Full report: http://bit.ly/gmh7jL
taran adarsh
taran_adarsh taran adarsh
Overseas B.O.: ‘Thank You’ is amongst Akshay’s lowest openers http://bit.ly/8YMX4o
Komal Nahta
KomalNahta Komal Nahta
‘Thank You’ makes Rs. 19.2 crore (in all India net collection) over the first weekend. http://bit.ly/fJVCcA
ETC
Box office collection : FALTU Rs 17 Cr , Game Rs 5 Cr
taran adarsh
taran_adarsh taran adarsh
Overseas B.O.: ‘Thank You’ is amongst Akshay’s lowest openers http://bit.ly/8YMX4o
Komal Nahta
KomalNahtaKomal Nahta
3 Thay Bhai is a weak fare which will go down in box-office history as a non-starter. Review: http://bit.ly/ibAuIZ
taran adarsh
taran_adarshtaran adarsh

B.O. update: ‘Teen Thay Bhai’ starts on disastrous note [4% to 7% range] http://bit.ly/aQZHc9
taran adarsh
taran_adarshtaran adarsh

‘3 Thay Bhai’ spoils the party, ‘Thank You’ distributors will lose money, ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ wide release in India, Oseas http://bit.ly/cctlka
Komal Nahta
KomalNahtaKomal Nahta

3 Thay Bhai weekend box-office collections: Rs. 2 crore: http://bit.ly/hO86Z4
taran adarsh
taran_adarshtaran adarsh

B.O. update: ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ opens to dull houses http://bit.ly/aQZHc9
taran adarsh
taran_adarshtaran adarsh

‘Zokkomon’ is an unmitigated disaster in U.S. Punjabi film ‘Dharti’ emerges super-success in U.S.A. & Australia, but not as strong in U.K.


Obituary :

=============

Sachin Bhowmick : Most prolific and one of the most successful and versatile writer of Hindi films , Sachin Bhowmick breathed his last in Mumbai on April 12, 2011 at the age of 80.

He started with Nargis and Balraj Sahni starrer ” Lajwanti ” [ 1958 ]. After this he churned out numerous hits like ; ” Anuradha ” [ 1961 ] , ” Ziddi ” [ 1964 ] , ” Ayee Milan Ki Bela ” [ 1964 ] , ” Majboor ” [ 1964 ] , ” Jaanwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Love In Tokyo ” [ 1966 ] , ” Aaye Din Bahar Ke ” [ 1966 ] , ” An Evening In Paris ” [ 1967 ]  , ” Brahmchari ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke ” [ 1969 ] , ” Aradhana ” [ 1969 ] , ” Aan Milo Sajna ” [ 1970 ] , ” Carvan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Dost ” [ 1974 ] , ” Khel Khel Men ” [ 1975 ] , ” Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin ” [ 1977 ] , ” Golmaal ” [ 1979 ] , ” Karz ” [ 1980 ] , ” Do Aur Do Paanch ” [ 1980 ] , ” Bemisal ” [ 1982 ] , ” Nastik ” [ 1983 ] , ” Sahab ” [ 1985 ] , ” Karma ” [ 1986 ] , ” Khalnaayak ” [ 1993 ] , ” Main Khiladi Tu Anari ” [ 1994 ] , ” Yeh Dillagi ” [ 1994 ] , ” Karan Arjun ” [ 1995 ] , ” Koyla ” [ 1997 ] , ” Dushman ” [ 1998 ] , ” Soldier ” [ 1998 ] , ” Aa Ab Laut Chalen ” [ 1999 ] , ” Taal ” [ 1999 ] , ” Koi….. Mil Gaya ” [ 2003 ] , ” Kisna ” [ 2006 ] , ” Krrish ” [  2006 ] and ” Yuvvraj ” [ 2008 ].

He also directed, apart from scripting , Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore starrer ” Raja Rani ” [ 1973 ]. In total he wrote story and screenplay of more than 100  films.

Rami Reddy : A versatile actor and successful villain of Telugu and Hindi cinema died on April 14, 2011 in Hyderabad at the age of 52  . His made his debut in 1990 in Telugu hit ” Ankusam “ . Same year he essayed a successful character in Chiranjeevi and Juhi Chawla starrer ” Pratibandh “ . Later on he worked in Hindi films like : ” Gunda ” , ” Waqt Hamara Hai ” , ” Khuddar ” , ” Jaanwar ” and ” Talash ” .

New Hindi Releases & Me :

========================

First Week – April 01

1 – Game…………………………………………………….Jimmy Sheirgill

2 – F.A.L.T.U……………………………………………….Angad Bedi

Second Week – April 08

1 – Thank You………………………………………………Sonam Kapoor

………………………………………………………………….Rimi Sen

Third Week – April 15

1 – Teen Thay Bhai…………………………………………x

Fourth Week –  April 22

1 – Dum Maaro Dum……………………………………….x

2 – Zokkomon………………………………………………..x

Fifth Week – April 29

1 – Chalo Dilli………………………………………………..Yaana Gupta

2 – I Am……………………………………………………….Sanjay Suri

3 – Naughty @ 40…………………………………………..Sayali Bhagat

4 – Shor In The City…………………………………………x

In total ……….10…………….films got released this month. Out of these ……10………. films …………07……………. students of mine have worked in ………..06………… films.

 Film News This Month :

=====================

1 – Jungfrau Railways in Switzerland recently inaugurated a train named after Mr. Yash Chopra with his signature and name on a signboard. A deluxe suite of the Victoria – Jungfrau Grand Hotel has also been named after Mr. Yash Chpora.


2 – Mr. K. Balachander
gets Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2010.

New Regional Films & Me :

======================

1 – Tamil : Sameera Reddy and Kelly Dorji are working in a film called ” Aasal ” .

2 – Telugu : Allu Arjuna is playing lead in a film called  ” Badrinaath “.

3 – Malayalam :  Genelia D’Souza is playing lead in a film called ” Urumi “.

4 – Bangla :  Riya Sen is playing lead in Bangla / Hindi bilingual ” Nauka Dubi ” / ” Kashmakash ” .

5 – Nepali :  Monica Bedi is playing lead in a film called ” Parichay “ .

6 – Punjabi : Jimmy Sheirgill is playing lead in a film called ” Dharti “.

In the above mentioned ………..06 ………regional films in ……. …06…………. various languages , there are …………07…………. students of mine working in them.

T. V. Trivia & Me :

=================

1 –  Shaleen Bhanot is appearing in a T V serial ” Bheend Banoonga Ghodi Chadhoonga  ” .

2 – Hritik Roshan is making his debut on T V in a reality show ” Just Dance ” on Star Plus T V .

3 –  Mrunal Jain is appearing in ” Looteri Dulhan ” on Imagine T V . 

4 –  Gurmeet Choudhary is appearing in ” Geet……….Hui Sabse Parayi “ on Star One T V .

5 –  Neil Bhatt is appearing in ” Gulal ” on Star Plus T V .

6 –  Yash Pandit is appearing in ” Tere Mere Sapne ” on Star Plus T V.

7 –  Aamir Ali is appearing in ” F I R “ on SAB T V .

8 – Vikas Bhalla is appearing in ” Sanjaog Se Bani Sangini “ on Zee T V .

9 – Jai Kalra and Eva Grover are appearing in ” Bade Acche Lagte Hai Ye Dharti Ye Nadiya Ye Raina Aur Tum “ on Soni T V.

10-  Smita Bansal and Mia Evonne Uyeda are appearing in ” Khatron Ke Khiladi – 4 ” on Colours T V.


In the above mentioned ………….10………..T V shows on various channels, there are…………….12…………….students of mine working in them. Out of these ……….12………..students, …………….09…………..are working in Serials and …………….03……………. are working in Reality shows.

Theatre & Me :

=============

1 –  Mahabanoo Mody – Kotwal is reviving her play ” Love Is In The Air ” . She produces the play .

2 –  Juhi Babbar is reviving her play ” Ji Jaisi Aapki Marzi ” .   She acts in the play as main lead .

3 –  Pratik Kothari stages his new play ” Mummy Tu Aavi Kevi “. He acts in this Gujarati play apart from hosting it.

In the above mentioned …………….03…………….theatre productions, there are …………….03………………students of mine working in them.

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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