50 Years of A Friendship


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24, 2016           11.00 P.M.

With My Friend Mohd. Masood Saheb at His Lucknow Residence

With My Friend Mohd. Masood Saheb at His Lucknow Residence

 

After a month-long wet and rainy monsoon season in Mumbai, sky is clear today. Warmth of July sun, after a month-long continuous rain, is pleasant.

As I sit in my study watching sunrays slowly and victoriously taking over the Mumbai skyline from hovering clouds, my mind takes me back to my Allahabad days. 50 years back it was same bright, sunny July in 1967. The place was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.

In that year after passing High School, I left my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh and reached Allahabad to take admission in the Government Inter College. I got admission in the college and was lucky to find a place in the hostel too, which was in the same campus.

Shy and reticent as I was in those days, it took some time before I got acquainted with my class-mates. PRAMOD VAJPAYEE, MOHD. MASOOD & SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT were few names, which are still there with me. Of the three, SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT died before he could complete intermediate. PRAMOD VAJPAYEE, MOHD. MASOOD and myself passed intermediate and went to Allahabad University. We took English Literature as our subject so our friendship continued.

After completing graduation in 1972, I came to Mumbai [ then Bombay ] . After spending one year in Mumbai, I returned to Allahabad and completed post graduation in English Literature. Before I could embark on my new journey, my father died. I returned to Deoria.

When I returned from Allahabad after my father’s demise, I thought that now I have lost forever all the friends and acquaintances from Allahabad. SHEEL BHADRA DIKSHIT gone to his eternal journey, PRAMOD VAJPAYEE untraceable and now MASSOD Saheb will also be lost on the long, tortuous, unknown and speedy highways of life.

One day door-bell of my Deoria residence rang. I came out and to my utter surprise, I saw Masood Saheb standing there. He was getting married and his would be wife’s family lived in Deoria.

Destiny! ………………….. O Destiny!! …………………. Unknown are thy ways!!!

I attended his marriage and since he used to come to Deoria quite often, our friendship continued. Whenever I used to visit Lucknow, I always used to go to his Aminabad office and used to have chat with him over a cup of tea.

In October 1989, I left Deoria again and came to Mumbai. Masood Saheb visited Mumbai once and we met.

I go to my native place Deoria once or twice in a year. These days I take Mumbai – Lucknow flight and then take a taxi to Deoria. My younger brother and sister are based in Lucknow so I stay there for few days. Since Masood Saheb is now retired and settled in Lucknow, it has become a habit to visit him too.

This year in May, when I paid a visit to his house, he reminded me that we first met in July 1967 and that July 2016 is the 50th year of our friendship.

When I revisit our 50 long year association, I find very few similarities between us. I was a right-winger Hindu nationalist and Masood Saheb was a left-winger Muslim nationalist. We both are same even now. So where is the meeting point?

As I try to find out, our meeting points are HUMAN VALUES, RATIONAL NATIONALISM, LOVE for URDU LANGUAGE & LITERATURE and RESPECT for EACH OTHER’S CORE VALUES.

I remember, I used to write him letters in Urdu on RSS letterhead. And he used to send Urdu newspaper AZAYEM from Lucknow to Mumbai for me.

And so, our friendship endured all the bygone 50 years. As I said earlier I met him this year in May 2016 in Lucknow. He was frail as usual but his indomitable spirit is still there. And his love for books , literature and Urdu language still continues. And yes, he is still a LEFT-WINGER MUSLIM NATIONALIST.

May God permit him to be so!!!

May God give him a long, happy and active life!!!

Amen!!!!

 

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Sadhana ji ……………. नैना बरसे रिमझिम-रिमझिम …………. !!


Sadhana - During Her Hey Days

Sadhana ji – During Her Hey Days

 

An Old & Feeble Sadhana - A Year Before Her Death

An Old & Feeble Sadhana ji – A Year Before Her Death

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 31, 2015           10.15 P.M.

 

On December 25th, 2015, when the world was celebrating Christmas, I read a news and suddenly all around me my world crumbled. I read that SADHANA ji bid adieu to this ephemeral world. My memories took me away from the metropolitan Mumbai of 2015 and ushered me into the dark, humid hall of Amarjyoti Talkies, Deoria. The year was 1965 and the film I went to watch was ” Waqt “, Yash Chopra directed 1st multi-starrer of India. Passing through the pan-strewn gate and boundary walls of Amarjyoti Talkies, I fought a valiant battle to get the ticket and entered the hall.

Film started and drama gripped the audience. As film progressed, SADHANA ji made entry and her entry was greeted with thunderous applause and whistles. In the film she lip-synced famous Asha Bhosle songs like ;

कौन आया कि निगाहों में चमक जाग उठी ……………………..

[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90C7QT0cbOo ]

चेहरे पे ख़ुशी छा जाती है , आँखों में सुरूर आ जाता है ………………………

[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cQ_KiQLGNk ]

and

हम जब सिमट के आपकी बाँहों में आ गए …………………..

[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndFruvW688U ]

Her fringe hairstyle, tight Choodidar & Kurta and enchanting smile threw a spell over my adolescent mind. I still vividly remember my first screen encounter with SADHANA ji .

As Christmas 2015 night progressed, I remembered her other famous songs. Even after so many years, they are still mint fresh in my memory. They are ;

ओ सजना , बरखा बहार आयी – परख

अभी न जाओ छोड़कर , कि दिल अभी भरा नहीं – हम दोनों

याद में तेरी जाग – जाग के हम , रात भर करवटें बदलते हैं – मेरे महबूब

नैना बरसे रिमझिम-रिमझिम – वो कौन थी?

आजा आई बहार दिल है बेक़रार , ओ मेरे राजकुमार, तेरे बिन रहा न जाये – राजकुमार

अजी रूठ कर अब कहाँ जाइयेगा – आरज़ू

बेदर्दी बालमा तुझको मेरा मन याद करता है – आरज़ू

तू जहाँ जहाँ चलेगा , मेरा साया साथ होगा – मेरा साया

&

कौन आया कि निगाहों में चमक जाग उठी – वक़्त

चेहरे पे ख़ुशी छा जाती है , आँखों में सुरूर आ जाता है  – वक़्त

हम जब सिमट के आपकी बाँहों में आ गए – वक़्त

Death has snatched her away from me and my memories. But her spell will live with me forever. On the last day of 2015, as the world is busy celebrating advent of 2016, I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and writing this obituary and paying homage to one of the most beautiful actor of my time.

Sadhana Shivdasani

September 2, 1941 – December 25, 2015

Born in 1941, SADHANA ji migrated to India from Karachi during the post-partition riots. Her dad was influenced by cinema. In fact he had named his daughter Sadhana after the famous actress Sadhana Bose. [ Sadhona Bose was an Indian actress and a dancer. She acted in movies like Meenakshi, where she played the lead. A contemporary of Uday Shankar, in the 1930s she staged a number of ballets in Kolkata, including Bhookh on Bengal famine which was a pioneering work in presenting contemporary themes on stage. ]

Sadhana Shivdasani, better known mononymously as Sadhana, was one of the top actresses in the 1960s and the early-1970s. In 1955 she started her career and played a chorus girl in the song “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh Mud Mud Ke” in Raj Kapoor‘s Shree 420.

When she was 15 years old, she was approached by some producers who had seen her act in a college play. They cast her in India’s first Sindhi language film titled Abaana (1958), where she played the role of Sheila Ramani‘s younger sister. Her remuneration was INR 1.00 , yes, One rupee only.

Sadhana - Before Her Famous Fringe Hair Style

Sadhana ji – Before Her Famous Fringe Hairstyle

A photograph of her publicizing the film appeared in a movie magazine Screen. It was then that Sashadhar Mukherjee, one of Hindi cinema’s producer, noticed her. She joined Mukherjee’s acting school along with her debutant co-star and S. Mukherjee’s son Joy Mukherjee . R. K. Nayyar, who had previously worked as assistant director on few films, directed this film. He also created her trademark look, called Sadhana cut, inspired from British actress Audrey Hepburn. The Filmalaya Production banner thus introduced Joy, Sadhana and her iconic hairstyle in their 1960 romantic film Love in Simla. The film was a hit at the box office and was listed in the top 10 films of 1960. Sadhana played the role of a simple, bespectacled girl who is transformed by her grandmother into a beautiful woman and encouraged to pursue the hero. In the film, Sadhana wins a beauty contest and is awarded a three-year film contract with Filmalaya, which was the case in real life too.

Sadhana - With Her Famous Fringe

Sadhana ji – With Her Famous Fringe

 

Sadhana - With Her Famous Fringe

Sadhana ji – With Her Famous Fringe

She, in a career spanning 39 years, appeared in 33 famous and hit films. These filma are ; Shree 420 [ 1955 ] , Abana [ 1958 ] , Love in Simla [ 1960 ] , Parakh [ 1960 ] , Hum Dono [ 1961 ] , Prem Patra [ 1962 ] , Man-Mauji [ 1962 ] ,  Ek Musafir Ek Hasina [ 1962 ] , Asli-Naqli [ 1962 ] , Mere Mehboob [ 1963 ] , Woh Kaun Thi?  [ 1964 ] , Rajkumar  [ 1964 ] , Picnic [ 1964 ] , Dulha Dulhan [ 1964 ] , Waqt [ 1965 ] , Arzoo [ 1965 ] , Mera Saaya [ 1966 ] , Gaban [ 1966 ] , Budtameez [ 1966 ] , Anita [ 1967 ] , Sachaai [ 1969 ] , Intaquam [ 1969 ] , Ek Phool Do Mali [ 1969 ] , Ishq Par Zor Nahin [ 1970 ] , Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee [ 1971 ] , Dil Daulat Duniya [ 1972 ] , Geeta Mera Naam [ 1972 ] , Hum Sab Chor Hain [ 1973 ] , Chhote Sarkar [ 1974 ] , Vandana [ 1974 ] , Amaanat [ 1977 ] , Mehfil [ 1981 ]  & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ]

Picnic [ 1964 ] was not released and Mehfil [ 1981 ]  & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ] got delayed releases.

In 1966, she married R K Nayyar, director of her first film Love in Simla . SADHANA ji had health issues due to her thyroid, and after the release of Anita [ 1967 ] ,  she got treated in Boston. After returning from the USA, she starred in the successful movies like ;  Sachaai [ 1969 ],  Intaquam (1969), Ek Phool Do Mali (1969), Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee (1971), Dil Daulat Duniya (1972) and Geeta Mera Naam (1974).

In Intaquam she played the role of a revengeful woman, who allures the son of her own boss who cheated her to be put behind the bars for a crime she did not commit.

In 1974 her directorial venture Geeta Mera Naam released. Produced by her husband, the film had herself playing the lead actress along with Sunil Dutt and Feroz Khan .

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Waqt_1965_film_poster

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She also became famous as Mystery Girl with her three suspense thriller films namely Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Mera Saaya (1966) and Anita (1967), all directed by Raj Khosla.

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Sadhana ji was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for films Woh Kaun Thi? and Waqt in 1965 and 1966 respectively.

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After release of  Geeta Mera Naam [ 1972 ] , her career virtually ended. Though she did 6 more films like; Hum Sab Chor Hain [ 1973 ] , Chhote Sarkar [ 1974 ] , Vandana [ 1974 ] , Amaanat [ 1977 ] , Mehfil [ 1981 ]  & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ] but due to her failing health the charishma was missing.

Sadhana - Then & Before End

Sadhana ji – Young & Old

 

Sadhana - Then & Before End

Sadhana ji – Young & Old

 

During her last days, she had a beautiful relationship with 3 heroines of yesteryear. She had company of Nanda ji, Waheeda Rehman ji and Helen ji. I am a fan of all the 4 above mentioned Divas of Hindi film industry. It is sad that 2 are now gone. And the remaining 2 are old and feeble. When I saw the below posted photograph, I remembered a song of Waheeda ji’s film ” काग़ज़ के फूल ” .

वक़्त ने किया , क्या हसीं सितम , हम रहे न हम , तुम रहे न तुम ,

बेक़रार दिल इस तरह मिले , जिस तरह कभी हम जुदा न थे ,

हम भी खो गए , तुम भी खो गए , राह  पर इसी , चल के दो क़दम ,

वक़्त ने किया , क्या हसीं सितम ……………….

From Left to Right : Nanda, Waheeda Rehman, Helen & Sadhana

From Left to Right : Nanda ji, Waheeda Rehman ji, Helen ji & Sadhana ji

 

Sadhana ji - The Last Journey

Sadhana ji – The Last Journey

But this is life…………… It marches ahead………………… With our dear ones………………… and even without our dear ones…………………

It will only stop when our own journey is completed.

So let it be.

Good bye Sadhana ji ! We shall surely meet in another world. Praying for your eternal peace and salvation !!

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[ Name of films, few facts of Sadhana ji’s life and information about Sadhona Bose’s life and career has been taken from Wikipedia and is quoted in this blog. I express profound gratitude. ]

 

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19 Indian Origin MPs In Canadian Parliament


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 23, 2015           00.45 A.M.

I follow Shri Tarun Chugh on Twitter. He is a BJP leader from Punjab and is in-charge of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. He tweeted about victory of 19 PIOs [ Persons of Indian Origin ] in the 2015 parliamentary elections of Canada. Results were declared on October 19, 2015. Out of these 19 MPs, there are 5 Punjabi females, 5 Sikhs, 7 mona Punjabis and remaining 2 are others. There is one Ms. Anju Dhillon, who created history by winning from Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada.

I felt proud and happy.

 

19 Indian-Canadian MPs

 

My knowledge of Canada began when I read about the 1914 episode of Komagata Maru in history chapters. But my earliest personal memory of Canada dates back to 1968, when Pierre Trudeau, riding on the unprecedented wave called “TRUDEAUMANIA” , won the Canadian parliamentary elections and became the prime minister. I had left my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh in 1967 and got admitted in the Government Inter College, Allahabad. I had already started taking interest in world affairs. So Pierre Trudeau and Trudeaumania was a new revelation for me. Trudeau was prime minister till 1984. Barring a brief interruption, he was prime minister for unprecedented 16 years. He lost the elections because of his wife Margaret. I still remember article about him in DINAMAN, a popular political weekly of those days [ Trudeau ki Triya : Wife of Trudeau ] After his defeat I got entangled in my personal affair and lost touch. My 1st honeymoon with Canada ended with Pierre Trudeau’s departure.

 

Political Map of Canada

Political Map of Canada

 

My 2nd affair with Canada started when I came Mumbai in 1989 and started my life as an acting trainer. I have 4 students from Canada till date. My 1st student is MIA EVONNE UYEDA, a French origin Canadian. Then I have 3 other students, Canada nationals of Indian origin. They are : AVNEET GILL, PAMMI BRAR & SAPNA SEHRAVAT.

My 3rd honeymoon with Canada started this year with the highly successful tour of our prime minister Narendra Modi. I watched his community reception in RICOH COLISEUM, TORONTO on April 15, 2015. I was enthralled by the vigour and energy of the Indian diaspora. I felt proud. I thought its going to be the last Canadian chapter in my life. But history plays unknown, unpredictable games with us.

I never knew that Pierre Trudeau will visit my life one more time. He will visit rather pretty soon. And as I stated in the beginning, I came to know about 19 victorious MPs of Indian origin in recently concluded parliamentary elections. When I read the victorious leader’s name, I just smiled. Its none other than Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau. 31 year after Trudeau senior’s retirement, his son returns as the triumphant leader of his father’s Liberal party. He trounced and ended a decade long rule of Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader. New Democratic Party, the eternally 3rd NDP remains 3rd.

I remembered Justin Trudeau and hid daughter’s picture with our prime minister Narendra Modi.

Modi with Justin Trudeau - The New Prime Minister of Canada & His Daughter

Modi with Justin Trudeau – The New Prime Minister of Canada & His Daughter

While writing this blog, I am smiling and remembering Pierre Trudeau, who apart from Comagata Maru, was my 1st interest in Canadian history. And now his elder son Justin Trudeau makes me a fan because he leads a parliament, which has 19 MPs of Indian origin.

Modi with Justin Trudeau

Modi with Justin Trudeau

Long Live Indo-Canada friendship !!

Flag of India & Canada

Flag of India & Canada

Indian Canadians are just 3% of Canada’s population. But they are 8.15% of the 184 victorious Liberal MPs.

 

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Feroze Rangoonwala is Gone : A Film Historian Becomes History


Feroze Rangoonwala with his Collection

Feroze Rangoonwala with his Collection

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 13, 2015           09.35 P.M.

Eminent film historian Feroze Rangoonwala, credited with having written the highest number of books on Indian cinema, is no more.

Rangoonwala passed away at his residence in Mumbai on August 04, 2015 at the age of 82 after prolonged sickness.

He has left behind a wealth of information on Indian cinema, particularly at a time when efforts are on to save cinematic material for archival purposes.

Rangoonwala was best known for creating the first book of Indian filmography in 1969, Indian Film Index, and his magnum opus, Pictorial History of Indian Cinema, which for its period of issue had a record run in printing. Its Russian translation led to Indian cinema being introduced to the big Soviet readership, which loved Indian films. The book also saw multiple printings.

It came about five years after Indian Film written by an American film historian Erik Barnouw and Indian filmmaker S Krishnaswamy, which was the other major book on Indian cinema at that time.

Rangoonwala wrote 15 major books spanning a career of five decades. These included Indian cinema, Past and Present in 1983, and several monographs on different film personalities including those on filmmakers Guru Dutt and Bimal Roy – some written for the National Film Archives of India. Other books include Satyajit Ray’s ArtSeventy-five years of Indian cinema, and Bharatiya Chalchitra Itihas.

He started as a film publicist in Mumbai in the early 1950s, and soon created a major hobby into a scholastic career. He also collected a large number of film posters and rare photographs. His knowledge of the film industry made him a much sought after person to sit in both international and Indian film juries.

Unfortunately Rangoonwala remained least acknowledged by the Indian government circles and did not receive any accolades.

Rangoonwala finally called it a day in 2006, as illness dogged him.

He sold off his entire collection of Indian cinema memorabilia to a collector of film history and retreated into private life. He also donated some rare photographs from cinema to the National Film Archives of India.

Feroze Rangoonwala

Feroze Rangoonwala

I came to know of him in early 70s. I came across an article written by him in 2 parts in “Star & Style”. It was about Dilip Kumar. It was so well-written that I became a fan of Feroze Rangoonwala. I still have this magazine in the library of my Deoria house. Alas ! I could not meet him ever. I will always regret this.

 

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May God bless his soul !!

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[ I have taken this article from a website : http://www.indiantelevision.com  I express my gratitude. ]

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Father’s Day & My Brothers-In-Law


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 21, 2015           11.55 P.M.

 

For me Sunday is the day of reading and writing. As I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and watching rain water caressing window panes of my study, I started pondering about the subject of my blog. As it is the 1st International Yoga Day today, the obvious choice seems to be the 1st International Yoga Day.

But I suddenly realise that it is FATHER’S DAY also and today youngsters are celebrating it with gusto. So I think it is better to write about it.

In India is there any need for a day like this? A country which since time immemorial pronounced :

पिता स्वर्ग , पिता धर्म , पिता ही परमंतपो ,
पितोरि प्रीतिमापन्ने , प्रीयन्ते सर्व देवता ॥

[ Father is like heaven, father is like religion, father is like supreme penance / meditation. If your father is pleased with you, all the Gods are pleased with you automatically. ]

यः प्रीणयेत् सुचरितैः पितरं स पुत्रो ॥

[ They are the worthy sons, who please their fathers with their good conducts. ]

So where is the need for this obnoxious FATHER’S DAY?

But these days youngsters celebrate just one day as FATHER’S DAY, because their father and mother don’t exist for them for the rest of 364 days.

Today as I write this blog about FATHER’S DAY, I remember my two brothers-in-law, Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi. I have never seen such devout father worshippers in my life. They never criticise their respective fathers. They never crib about some imaginary short-comings of their fathers. Their fathers must have made few mistakes in their lives. But I have never heard them complaining about that. They belong to rich and respectable families. Still their fathers were unable to provide them fancy cars, private jet planes and a personal / private islands for vacation. But they don’t complain. They were not sent to foreign countries for so-called better education but they don’t accuse their fathers for that.

They are always full of gratitude because they know that their fathers had made supreme sacrifices for their education and upbringing. Their fathers did everything which they could. And which they couldn’t do, they are not blamed, insulted or cursed for that.

For such people every day is FATHER’S DAY. Because gratitude and respect is in their DNA. I always respect Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla and Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi from the bottom of my heart. I know that my sisters are married to good human beings and that they will live a secure and satisfied life till their end. Whenever death will knock at my door, I will die a satisfied death fully knowing that after I am gone my sisters won’t face any difficulties in their marital lives because they have such good-hearted men as their spouses.

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

With Shri Krishna Mohan Shukla

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With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

With Shri Gyan Prakash Chaturvedi [ Extreme Left ] & My Brother Devesh [ Middle ]

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I don’t know I am a good son or not. But whenever I think about my father, I feel that I never betrayed him. I may not be a good son but he was a good father. He took extremely good care of me. He did everything what he could do for my well-being. He supported me with the kind of money which was genuinely required. He bought me a Herculis Cycle. I still cherish the gift. And I don’t blame him that he was unable to provide me fancy cars, sport bikes and that he never send me abroad for holidaying. I wore normal clothes and Bata shoes. We had no fridge, cooler or radiograme at home, which were common in those days. But I have no grudge against him for these things. He sent me to Allahabad for higher studies. I still feel indebted for that. I don’t blame him that he couldn’t dole out money for me to get admitted in Oxford or Cambridge.

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

My Father Late Shri Lakshmi Kant Chaturvedi

 

He did everything which he could do. I am happy that I never pestered him with unnecessary requests. I never forced him to take loan to give me a life of so-called luxury. In fact my two other brothers and two sister have the same feelings for him. We don’t blame our father for anything.

He died on February 27, 1974 due to heart failure. I was 22 and studying at Allahabad. I was not there at the time of his death. I have a regret. I was not able to help him in his old age. I couldn’t do anything for him, though he did everything for me. My younger brother Atul was more fortunate. He was always at his side. He was there when he died. He served him well and I couldn’t. I still regret it but …………………

 

इस जीवन की चादर में , साँसों के ताने – बाने हैं ,
दुःख की थोड़ी सी सलवट है , सुख के कुछ फूल सुहाने हैं ,
क्यों सोचें आगे क्या होगा , अब कल के कौन ठिकाने हैं ,
ऊपर बैठा वो बाज़ीगर , जाने क्या मन में ठाने है ,
चाहे जितना भी जतन करें , भरने का दामन तारों से ,
झोली  में वो ही आएंगे , जो तेरे नाम के दाने हैं ……

 

As I ponder on my life this night, I don’t find any reason to blame my father for anything. I am myself responsible for my failures, short-comings and misfortunes, if there are any. I don’t need my father as a scapegoat for my wretched life.

A new day of my life starts tomorrow. When all my friends, even my younger brother Devesh, have retired, I am preparing for a 18-hour-working-schedule at the age of 63. Death will knock at my door any day. Though I regret that I wasn’t able to serve my father but I will leave this world with extreme satisfaction that I have no complaint against my father. I don’t blame him for anything.

For this simple reason I don’t need a FATHER’S DAY. My father is always with me. He will remain there till my last day on earth, till my last breath.

 

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VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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3 Boys From Deoria : ज़िन्दगी की जीत पर यक़ीन


2

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 26, 2015           11.55 P.M.

 

अपि स्वर्णमयी लंका रोचते मम लक्ष्मण ,
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी  ।।

[ O Lakshman , I do like this golden city of Lanka . But mother and motherland are superior than even heaven . ]

 

Map of Deoria District of U.P. showing Salempur where our Village Sonbarsa is located

Map of Deoria District – Uttar Pradesh

 

It was a VIJAYA DASHAMI Day in the month of October 1989. On that fateful day, early in the morning, I left my native place Deoria for Mumbai. Cold breeze of early October morning, though not very chilling , was caressing my body and making me numb . Few close friends came to the station to see me off. I didn’t utter a word, didn’t shed tears but I was on the verge of crying. I got emotional. In my heart I knew that I was leaving my birthplace for ever. Even though I might visit it once or twice in a year, but it would be just a visit. It can’t be, in fact it won’t be same again.

Train chugged out of Deoria station and slowly left the city. I landed in Mumbai next day in the night. From a shaky start to a firm footing of today, it took me 25 long years to accomplish my dream . When I re-visit my last 25 years in Mumbai , I find that it was a tumultuous journey, full of numerous pitfalls, littered with few milestones.

I have 3 type of people in my social circle in Deoria. There are friends, who were sad and concerned for my uncertain future. Then there are enemies, who were happy. My banishment was an unimagined windfall, an uncalled riddance.

There is another group in Deoria. I call then FRENEMIES [ Friend + Enemy ]. They are friends in my presence but become heartless enemies in my absence. They were ecstatic. They were feeling orgasm. They were sure that I was heading for a disaster. They were sure that I am doomed beyond redemption.

For my FRENEMIES, I became subject of ridicule and insult. I was humiliated profusely in front of whole town and became butt of jokes. I was aware of it but thought not to respond. In my earlier years in Mumbai, I lived like a recluse. I lived incommunicado. No one knew about my job or about my whereabouts.

Away from the prying eyes of my FRENEMIES, I was slowly climbing the stairs of success. I was diligently scaling the heights of fame and When I earned a name for myself, I thought that I must do something to make my FRENEMIES realise that their ecstasy was futile. That their orgasm was in vain. That I didn’t perish in an alien land. I thought to share my gain of knowledge with the city of my birth.

Since I train actors , so my contribution could have been in that field only. I decided to give acting training to young aspiring boys and girls of Deoria. It was in a way my answer to all my FRENEMIES. It was a gentle way to say, “look my dear FRENEMIES, I have not perished. I have not failed. I have not degenerated either.”

In these 25 years I have trained 03 boys from Deoria. 03 is definitely not a very impressive number but a small city like Deoria doesn’t have very conducive atmosphere for fine arts.

RAJNEESH GORE : [ Batch No. 38 ] 

Joined September 2009 – Finished December 05, 2009

 

Rajnish Gore

With Rajneesh Gore in My Previous Office

 

Rajneesh is my first student from Deoria . He joined me when I was completing 20th year in Mumbai.

His father Shri Shri Chand Gore is a famous journalist and used to write for famous Hindi daily ” Janasatta “. He was lecturer of English Literature in Marwari Inter College, Deoria. Gore sahab is a very dear friend and a respected, reputed figure in the social circle of Deoria.

Rajneesh was in the Batch No. 38 of my previous institute . He, after completing training,  is struggling to make a mark in the tinsel town. He is soft and gentle and can easily fill the void, created by the sad demise of Bharat Bhushan, the star of films like “Baiju Bawra”. Rajneesh Gore is also capable of doing roles, which Amol Palekar used to do during his hey-days.

His only obstacle could be the evil influence of self-proclaimed reincarnations of Stanislavsky. The ill-advice of upstarts of facebook acting institute can derail his journey.

KARAN TRIPATHI : [ Batch No. 83 ]

Joined March 14, 2014 – Finished  July 18, 2014

 

With Karan Tripathi in My Institute

With Karan Tripathi in My Institute

 

Karan, my second student of Deoria, is also son of a dear friend of mine . Shri Sudhakar Mani Tripathi is a renowned public figure of Deoria. He used to edit and publish a Hindi weekly ” JAN CHAKSHU “. He is lecturer in B. R. D. Degree College , Deoria and currently the President of  NAGARI PRACHARINI SABHA , Deoria .

Karan was in Batch No. 83 of Vidur Acting Institute . He completed the course in 2014 and working hard to accomplish his dream . He is capable of playing negative and positive roles in Hindi and Bhojpuri serials and films .

If he works hard, plans his moves intelligently and with precision and doesn’t leave the film line in haste, he could be another Pran, the legendary actor. But the “if” is very big “IF” indeed.

CHANDAN RAUNIYAR : [ Batch No. 90 ]

Joined Dec. 05, 2014 – Finished April 10, 2015

 

With Chandan Rauniyar in My Institute

With Chandan Rauniyar in My Institute

 

Third boy of Deoria, Chandan, is the son of an acquaintance of mine . His family runs fruit juice shop at Moti Lal Road, Deoria. He was planning to come to Mumbai since long but could manage to came only in 2014 .

He was in Batch No. 90 of Vidur Acting Institute . He completed his course in March 1015 and has started his journey as an actor . He is capable of acting in negative and positive roles in Hindi and Bhojpuri films and serials.

Karan and Chandan joined me in the Silver Jubilee year of my career.

 

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I congratulate my above mentioned 03 students of DEORIA.

I wish them a brilliant future. Their success will make me proud and will always remind me that my 25 year-long banishment from Deoria was not in vain. It was a risk worth taking.

Even if they don’t accomplish what I see and wish for them, still their existence in Deoria will be a gentle reminder to my FRENEMIES that away from the confines of my well-settled life of Deoria, I struggled hard in an alien place and make a name for myself.

But RAJNEESH GORE, KARAN TRIPATHI and CHANDAN RAUNIYAR can’t fail. They have to succeed. They have to succeed for me. They have to succeed for their own dreams.

तू ज़िन्दा है , तू ज़िन्दगी की जीत पर यक़ीन कर

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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NAMITA ; The Daughter I Never Had


IMG_7992

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 09, 2015           11.55 P.M.

Sometimes hidden hands of unknown and mysterious future play cruel, cussed and complicated games with our lives. To know how, have a look : My elder son Nitin was born on February 21, 1977.  And my younger son Gaurang got married to Namita on February 21, 2015.  There is 38 year gap between the two chapters of my life but the date [ February 21 ] is same.

Nitin, at the age of 18, died a premature death in Mumbai on February 25, 1994. And my daughter-in-law Namita entered into my house for the first time on February 25, 2015.   Again there is 21 year gap between these two chapters of my life’s journey but again the date [ February 25 ] is same.

Isn’t it uncanny? Though it all started with Gaurang’s engagement to Namita on November 24, 2014. But the similarity of other two dates make me numb. It seems surreal. It seems quirky. It seems strange. It is definitely uncanny.

Is there some hidden meaning, which I am unable to read? Is there some mystery, which I am unable to unravel? Is God trying to say something in a subtle way, which I am unable to understand? Is there some divine signal, which I am unable to see? I have no answers. Only time knows. Only fate will tell.

Namita  नारी तुम केवल श्रद्धा हो , विश्वास रजत नग पगतल में , पीयूष स्रोत सी बहा करो , जीवन के  सुन्दर समतल में ।।

Namita
नारी तुम केवल श्रद्धा हो , विश्वास रजत नग पगतल में ,
पीयूष स्रोत सी बहा करो , जीवन के सुन्दर समतल में ।।

At the time of writing this blog, I am a bit unnerved and concerned for my future. After marriage, daughters go to their husband’s house and sons take a new path. They start preparing for their own lives. A new life begins, but sadly an old journey comes to an abrupt end. With my elder son gone 21 years back and other two sons starting their own individual journey, I stare at a lonely future. And yes, I am getting old and I am becoming weak too by each passing day.

हर रोज़ निकलता है सूरज , और शाम को ढलता जाता है ,

प्रभु तेरे दिए इस जीवन का , हर दिन कम होता जाता है ।।

Nitin Chaturvedi [ BORN February 21, 1980 - DIED February 25, 1996 ]

Nitin Chaturvedi [ BORN February 21, 1977 – DIED February 25, 1994 ]

My 3 Sons : [ From Right to Left ] Nitin, Abhinav & Gaurang

My 3 Sons : [ From Right to Left ] Nitin, Abhinav & Gaurang

I would love to have my sons in my life as they look in the above picture. But alas! they are grown up now. Even if I desire, and even if they wish, they can’t be kids again.

I always secretly wish that my wife should precede me in death. I don’t want her to live longer than me and suffer. Though, not a good husband myself, I still feel that I can take better care of her. I am stronger than her and have thick skin to tolerate all kinds of old-age related family problems. Her death will certainly make me lonely, forlorn and melancholy but for her peace of mind, I wish it to happen.

With everyone gone or getting busy with their lives, I dread a hypothetical scenario of my future life, which might happen soon, rather very soon.

I imagine and visualise myself as an old, frail, emaciated, infirm and rickety man with a forlorn mind and dotage-stricken body.  I see that I am unable to walk ………………….. unable to do my daily chores ………………………………. waiting for my morning cup of tea, but in vain ……………… looking for my cold breakfast, delayed lunch and much delayed dinner with unending anticipation …………………….. waiting hopelessly for someone to spend time with me  ………………………… somebody to listen to my asinine talks ……………………………  someone to share my toothless chuckle …………………….. but alas ………………… ! Wait might be unending. Perhaps no one will be there.

My two sisters are definitely there for me but they are happily married. They do care for me. They do try to help me and solve my problems as much as possible. They are really concerned for my well-being. But they too have their own lives. They have their own family. They have their own problems.

My brothers are there. We have now much better understanding among ourselves. We have become mature and have become more sensitive about each other’s feelings and way of thinking. But they too are getting old. They don’t tell me but they must be having their own problems and complications.

We - The People of KRISHNA KUNJ

We – The People of KRISHNA KUNJ, DEORIA

I don’t have a daughter. Tanya a.k.a. Aryama is my niece. She has grown up as a beautiful swan. During the marriage, I had severe pain in my right leg. Tanya came to me. She gave me helping hand, so that I can climb stairs of the hotel, I was staying in. She served me lunch and dinner and that too with perfection. She is still a kid with dreams in her eyes. But she gave me succour and that too without being asked. She could have been a support in my old age. But as stated earlier, one day she has to marry and leave me permanently for her marital bliss. Same is the case with Saumya, another niece of mine.

With My Niece Tanya , a.k.a. Aryama

With My Niece Tanya , a.k.a. Aryama

Whenever I used to think about my advancing age, my impending loneliness and the above mentioned imaginary future, I used to just sit and ponder. But now I think I have an answer. I am sensing the divine signal.

Namita’s wedding date and Nitin’s birth date is same. The date when she entered into my house, never to leave us and the date when my elder son left this world, never to return to us, is same. First letter of their names are also same. I think NAMITA has been sent by God to replace my deceased son and yes, She is also the daughter I never had. I feel she has come as a succour to my future melancholic being and a helping hand during my lonely old age.

A day after her arrival, my wife got hurt. She sat near her and nursed her till the wee hours of dawn. She massaged her body, put ointment, made hot water bag to sooth her. Even when her husband called her she firmly replied that “at this moment mummy ji needs me more than you.”

NAMITA With My Wife

NAMITA With My Wife

I couldn’t say anything. I heard the conversation in silence, in disbelief. I was standing there dumbfounded. I never realised when tears started rolling down my cheeks. That night, in the pitch darkness, I could see a faint glimmer of hope for me and my future.

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With tears in my eyes, gratitude in my heart and a faint hope for my future life, I welcome the new member in my family. I welcome NAMITA ; The Daughter I Never Had !

शत – शत तुमको धन्यवाद है , सुखी रहो जीवन भर ;

झरें शीश पर सुमन सुयश के , अम्बर तल से झर – झर ॥

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.viduractinginstitute.com

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