100 Years of Lalita Pawar – Hindi Cinema’s Unforgettable Doyenne


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 15, 2016           08.00 P.M.

 

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 - 24 February 1998 ]

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998 ]

On April 18, 2016, Lalita Pawar would have been 100 years old, had she been alive. There were not much coverage in the media. I read just one article in DNA. That’s it.

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Present day media Mughals don’t know her importance. In a career spanning 68 years, she did 700 plus films. She was the only one in Indian film industry, who could play a scheming mother-in-law and a golden-hearted matriarch with equal finesse. She was always portrayed prominently in the posters of her films, though she was not playing the lead. Apart from Lalita Pawar, Ashok Kumar was the only other character artiste, who used to appear prominently in the poster of his films.

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

 

Poster of Anari

With Raj Kapoor & Nutan in Anari

Apart from her, there were only 3 other Hindi film actors, who worked more than 6 decades. They, apart from Lalita Pawar, are Dev Anand, Pran and evergreen Ashok Kumar. Only these 4 Hindi Film Artists worked till the last breath of their lives.

Lalita Pawar with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

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LALITA PAWAR : 68 Working Years – 700 Films

” Raja Harishchandra “ [ 1928 ] to ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ]

DEV ANAND : 65 Working Years – 113 Films

Hum Ek Hain “ [ 1946 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ]

PRAN : 63 Working Years – 350 Films

” Yamla Jat “ [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh “ [ 2003 ]

ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Working Years – 301 films .

” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ]

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Among all the 4 history making stars, Lalita Pawar was the senior most. Pran was junior to her by 12 years. And the indomitable Dev Anand was her junior by 18 years. Even grand old man of Hindi cinema, the evergreen Ashok Kumar, was her junior by 8 years. Coincidently their last films came in the same year, 1997. Lalita Pawar’s ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ] & Ashok Kumar’s ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] were their last film. Two immortal legends ended their glorious film journey in the same year.

My first association with her started somewhere in mid 60s. I don’t remember the film correctly, but either it was ” Sampoorna Ramayan ” or ” Jis Desh Me Ganga Bahti Hai “. Later on I saw several films of her and became an ardent admirer.

I am giving list of some of her unforgettable films, which I have seen and fail to forget even today.

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Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , Dahej  [ 1950 ] , Daag  [ 1952 ] , Parchhain  [ 1952 ] , Shri 420 [ 1955 ] , Mr & Mrs 55  [ 1955 ] , Nau Do Gyarah  [ 1957 ] , Anari  [ 1959 ] , Sujata  [ 1959 ] , Hum Dono  [ 1961 ] , Sampoorna Ramayana  [ 1961 ] , Professor  [ 1962 ] , Sehra  [ 1963 ] , Grahasti  [ 1963 ] , Ghar Basake Dekho  [ 1963 ] , Khandan  [ 1966 ] , Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti  [ 1967 ] , Aabroo  [ 1968 ] , Anand  [ 1970 ] , Pushpanjali  [ 1970 ] , Gopi  [ 1970 ] ,  Doosri Sita  [ 1974 ] , Tapasya  [ 1976 ] , Aaina  [ 1977 ] , Yaarana  [ 1080 ] , Kali Ghata  [ 1980 ] , Phir Wohi Raat  [ 1980 ] , Sau Din Saas Ke  [ 1980 ] , Naseeb  [ 1981 ] , Bhai  [ 1997 ] .

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It is pertinent to note that apart from Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , where she played heroine, she played character roles in all above mentioned films. But no film connoisseur can ever forget her. Who can forget GANGAMAI of  Shri 420 [ 1955 ] or Mrs. D’Sa of  Anari  [ 1959 ] , both with Raj Kapoor?

Amba Laxman Rao Shagun from Yeola, Nashik made her debut in 1929 with ” Raja Harishchandra “. At the age of 16, she co-produced and acted in a silent film ” Kailash ” [ 1932 ]. She played a triple role in that film. A triple role in a silent film !! It was 44 years before DILIP KUMAR’s ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] & 51 years before AMITABH BACHCHAN’s ” Mahaan ” [ 1983 ]. Both these legends played triple role much later in their respective careers and when they were very mature. DILIP KUMAR made debut in 1944 and played triple role in 1976. That is 32 years after his debut. AMITABH BACHCHAN made debut in 1969 and played triple role in 1983. That is 19 years after his debut. But LALITA PAWAR played triple role in the beginning of her career. 3 years after her debut and that too in a silent film.

Poster of Silent Film "The Lord of the Jungle"

Poster of Silent Film “The Lord of the Jungle”

Poster of "Himmat-e-Marda" [ 1935 ]

Poster of “Himmat-e-Marda” [ 1935 ]

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

1942 was an epoch-making year in Lalita Pawar’s career. As a part of the scene in a film ” Jung-E-Azadi ” , Bhagwan Dada of ” Albela ” fame was to slap her. Being a new-comer, he accidentally slapped her hard. It resulted in facial paralysis and a vein of her left eye got burst. This incident left her with a defective left eye. But the treatment took 3 years. She lost many lead roles and after her treatment was over, she switched to character roles. The defective left eye, which ended her acting career in lead roles, helped her play cruel, wicked and cussed characters with aplomb.

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Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

Lalita Pawar has left us. She no longer exist. But she is still present in the form of her films where she played several unforgettable characters. I offer my tribute and regards to the unforgettable doyenne of Hindi cinema.

 

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[ List of Lalita Pawar’s released films,  dates and other information is taken from Wikipedia. I , on behalf of VIDUR Acting Institute ,  express gratitude. ]

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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 !

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Sunset Boulevard ( 5 ) : Alvida Kamalistan


Few days back I read a terrible news. It was about the closure of Kamalistan Studio of Mumbai.  One by one all the film studios of Mumbai are downing shutters. Swanky malls ,  shopping complexes and residential buildings are taking their place in this tinsel town. Great and historical Bombay Talkies at Malad ceases to exist. Its ruins are still there and they silently tell the glorious past history of the once so famous and premier studio of India. My heart wept when once I read in news papers that big fire gutted the extensive part of the remains of Bombay Talkies. I also saw photo of the dilapidated bungalow, which once was the residence of immortal Devika Rani and her husband and owner of Bombay Talkies, Himanshu Rai. Legendary Ranjit Movietone , though the building still exists at Dadar, is also defunct. Shree  Sound and Roop Tara Studios, both at Dadar,  gave way to commercial complexes. Seth Studio of Andheri – East closed few years back. Its neighbour, Guru Dutt Studio also closed some years back. Situated near by, Natraj Studio, also transformed into commercial complex. Asha Studio of Chembur, situated near R. K. Studio, which belonged to Bhagwan Dada Palav once, was gutted in fire and was later sold. And now news comes about the Kamalistan Studio of legendary film-maker Kamal Amrohi. His descendants sold it to some builders of Pune.

Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In mid 50s, Kamal Amrohi bought 223 acres of land situated on Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road for 2.50 lakh. It was not utilized for many years. After stupendous success of ” Pakeezah ” in 1972, Kamal Amrohi started construction work on this land for his ambitious forthcoming project ” Razia Sultan ” in 1983. Sets erected for the film ” Razia Sultan “, are now part of the Kamalistan Studio. Elaborate sets erected for ” Razia Sultan ” were later used for sevsral successful films like : Dharam Veer ( 1977 ), Suhag ( 1979 ), Naseeb ( 1981 ), Coolie ( 1983 ), Raaj Tilak ( 1984 ),  Mard ( 1985 ), Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! ( 1994 ), Hum Saath Saath Hain ( 1999 ), Jab We Met ( 2007 ) and all the three Golmaal series films.

Over the years, barring 16 acres, rest of the land was either sold or taken over by the government for public utilization. But remaining 16 acres were there and it was not a loss making proposition either. Kamalista Studio was the biggest film studio of Mumbai after Film City. But all these things are now the things of the past. Soon it will be razed to make way for swanky residential complex.

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have personal fondness for Kamalistan Studio and some sweet memories are also there to linger on in the dark corridors of my existence. Almost two decades ago when I was struggling to find a foothold in the industry, I shot here for a serial ” Ujale Ki Ore “,directed by legendary Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The cast of the serial was headed by legendary and immortal Ashok Kumar. I could watch Ashok Kumar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee working here. Today I consider myself fortunate because they don’t make people like Ashok Kumar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee any more. One more serial , written by me ,was shot here, but it did not see the light of the day. I went through elaborate make-up test for a film here, though the role was scuttled subsequently. Later on for 5 long years I lived near Kamalistan Studio and used to pass through the road many times. I personally know Tajdaar Amrohi, the son of Kamal Amrohi, who visited me at my institute few years back. He is such a nice human being. But alas ! Everything is always changing in this ephemeral world.

With Mr. Shandaar Amrohi - Elder Son Of Late Shri Kamal Amrohi

With Mr. Shandar Amrohi – Elder Son Of Late Shri Kamal Amrohi

Kamalistan Studio wont be there any more. And it will happen sooner than later. Definitely I will pass through Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link Road several times in future, and every time I will remember legendary Ashok Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and some sweet memories of my nascent , insignificant and non-existent acting career.

Alvida Kamalistan !

Thou shall be part of my life as long as I will live. R. I. P.

[ Mumbai August 04 , 2012 = I wrote this blog in 2010 . I made a factual mistake , though inadvertently . I have mentioned that Mr. Tajdar Amrohi visited my institute . Gentleman in the photo posted above is Late Shandar Amrohi and not Mr. Tajdar Amrohi . I came to know about this through Bilal Amrohi , who is Mr. Tajdar Amrohi’s younger son and is currently getting trained by me . I regret my unintentional error and offer my apologies . ]

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