Divya Singh : Aurangabad To Mumbai , A Journey Decoded


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MUMBAI          MAHARASHTRA          INDIA           NOVEMBER  20, 2016          11.45 P.M.

Divya Singh in her latest AVATAR

Divya Singh in her latest AVATAR

Last week a film called ” ISHQ JUNOON ” got released. Critics were not kind to the film. In fact they were indifferent. And before general public could even know about it,  ” ISHQ JUNOON ” was out of theatres. It tanked. And I know, with it tanked many dreams.

So called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs want to see only results.

But for me story of the journey matters and I know the story of the journey. I can visualise the whole scene. I am going to portray the whole picture today.

People in India have no high regards for Bihar.

They may be even oblivious of a nondescript town known as Aurangabad.

But many years back the story began there. In the same nondescript town known as Aurangabad story of DIVYA SINGH started unfolding.

May be one day in the dead of night DIVYA visualised herself on the silver screen. May be one day in the bright morning she gathered all the courage at her command and informed her parents about her decision.

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl starts dreaming about a career in the film industry?

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl gathers courage and informs her parents?

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl decides to come to Mumbai and pursue a career in films?

Do they know the amount of ridicule someone , specially a girl faces in a small town?

Do they know the abuses a girl goes through in a small town?

Do they know how a girl is admonished, ridiculed and made fun of by their non caring, heartless, callous and crude relatives in a small town?

Do they know how a girl is looked down and sneered by her friends and neighbourhood acquaintances when she decides to join the film industry?

No sirs, you don’t.

Here a small town girl aimed for the Everest and tried against all odds.

So respect the struggle and not the outcome.

Outcome can change overnight and yes, it will change.

She is in an august ( Debut Film Flop ) club. Here is the list.

DILIP KUMAR – Jwaar Bhata – Flop

DEV ANAND – Hum Ek Hain – Flop

AMITABH BACHCHAN – Saat Hindustani – Flop

RANBIR KAPOOR – Saawariya – Flop

KAREENA KAPOOR – Refugee – Flop

SONAM KAPOOR – Saawariya – Flop

HARSHVARDHAN KAPOOR – Mirzya – Flop

SAIYAMI KHER – Mirzya – Flop

I would love to quote a song from a 1958 film called ” Phir Subah Hogi ” .

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

इन काली सदियों के सर से जब रात का आंचल ढलकेगा
जब दुख के बादल पिघलेंगे जब सुख का सागर झलकेगा
जब अम्बर झूम के नाचेगा जब धरती नगमे गाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी ……

जिस सुबह की ख़ातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर मर के जीते हैं
जिस सुबह के अमृत की धुन में हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते हैं
इन भूखी प्यासी रूहों पर इक दिन तो करम फ़रमाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी ……

Yes वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी .

It will come definitely. I won’t be there to see that morning. But today as I write this blog I can see that a painfully long, sad, cold and black winter night is about to end. I can see light emerging at the end of the tunnel. Sun is shinning with all its glory. It’s warmth will mitigate all the miseries and painful memories of past.

And in that shinning brightness I vividly see DIVYA SINGH, the same helpless, dreamy girl from Aurangabad, Bihar, standing and taking her rightful place. And that too without the help of a godfather or a godmother.

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A new NUTAN will be born on that day.

And yes, the world can ridicule her and make fun of her till then.

 

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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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Vidur’s Film Diary – July 2015


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 23, 2015           11.25 P.M.

[ MILESTONE : Vidur’s Film Diary completed 6th year of its existence in May 2015. June 2015 marks the beginning of its journey in the 7th year. ]

[  DECLARATION :  In my film diary, since May 2014, I have started mentioning names of only those students, who respect me as their teacher and accept and regard my contribution in their journey of life. All the other students, who had releases this month but are not mentioned here, are the ones, who refuse to acknowledge me in any way . I can sense their abhorrence to my personality . I am not a sweet-talker. So I know that somewhere they were rubbed the wrong way . I also feel their attachment to some acting trainers , who claim to be the re-incarnation of Constantine Stanislavsky and are sweeter than any sweet delicacy on this earth . Such students are free from any obligation from my side. GOD BLESS THEM ! My journey continues without such students . It marches ahead without their support . It flourishes despite their criticism and false propaganda .]

[  PROCLAIMATION :  In my diary I have been posting above mentioned   DECLARATION  since May 2014. It is now 1 year and 2 months. I suddenly noticed that the ungrateful and disrespectful students are now without work and had no releases recently. They don’t seem to be having any future. So from this month onwards I will stop posting the said   DECLARATION . ]

In 2013 – 14 my success rate was 40% . In 2014 – 15 it is 55% . For the full understanding of my body of work in 2013 – 2014 & 2014 – 2015, please watch the 05 videos posted below :

1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ
2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI
3 – ” O Teri ” & ” Main Tera Hero ” : 
4 – ” Khatron Ke Khiladi – 5 ” : 
5 – ARMAAN JAIN : 

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Obituary :

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 Sheila Ramani :

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Sheila Ramani (March 2, 1932 – July 15, 2015), also known as Sheila Kewalramani, was introduced into Bollywood by the film-maker Chetan Anand. She is known for her role in the movie Taxi Driver. She was born in Sindh and was one of the few actresses from Sindh to join the Indian film industry.

Sheila Ramani played the lead role in Funtoosh (1956) , another Navketan film opposite Dev Anand. But she remained embossed in memory for Taxi Driver (1954). According to Times of India, ” With her languid sway in a dark sari and shiny blouse in the song ” Dil jale to jale ” and her easy abandon in an off-shoulder dress to the dance track ” Dil se milake dil ” – she oozed spunk and sexuality, cool and control. Ramani was a precursor to the urban modern heroine we see today. She set the stage for them.”

 

 

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – July 03

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1 – Second Hand Husband   …………………………………. Tina Ahuja

…………………………………………………………………………….. Geeta Basra

2 – Guddu Rangeela …………………………………………….. Amit Sadh

3 – Madmast Barkha …………………………………………… X

4 – Bezubaan Ishq ……………………………………………….. X

 

Second Week – July 10

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1 – I Love NY ………………………………………………………. Krishan Kumar

2 – Bahubali …………………………………………………………. Anushka Shetty

3 – 2 Chehare …………………………………………………….. Krushna Abhishek

…………………………………………………………………………… Monalisa

4 – Thoda Lutf Thoda Ishq ………………………………………………………. X

5 – S.P. Khan Ek Nayi Kranti ……………………………………………………. X

 

Third Week – July 17
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1 -Bajrangi Bhaijaan …………………………………….. Kareena Kapoor Khan

2 – Bin Roye …………………………………………………. X

 

Fourth Week  – July 24
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1 – Aisa Yeh Jahaan ……………………………………………………………….. X

2 – Masaan …………………………………………………………………………….. X

 

Fifth Week  – July 31
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1 – Drishyam …………………………………………………………… Ashok Beniwal

………………………………………………………………………………… Amita Pathak

 

In total …………… 14 …………….. films got released in July . Out of these ………….. 14 ………… released films …….. 07 ……… films have …………… 10 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 10 ……… persons , ………. 08 ……… are actors . And the remaining …………. 02 ………… Krishan Kumar and Amita Pathak are the co-producers of  ” I Love NY ” and ” Drishyam ” respectively.

 

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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Telugu : Anushka Shetty is playing lead in  ” Bahubali “.

 

My ……….. 01 ………. student in ……….. 01 ……….. regional film .

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Sonu Sood is judging a show  ” Comedy Superstars “ on Sab TV .

2 – Ganesh Hegde is judginging a show  ” Jhalak Dikhla Ja “ on Colors TV .

3 – Shamita Shetty is participating in  ” Jhalak Dikhla Ja “ on Colors TV .

4 – Amar Upadhyay is doing a role in  ” Saath Nibhaana Saathiya “ on Sab TV .

 

My ……….………. 04 …………….….. students in ………………… 03 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Smita Bansal  is playing a role in  ” Hum Do Hamare Wo “.

 

My …………. 01 ………….. student in ………… 01 …………. play .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Kareena Kapoor Khan is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Tetley Tea ” .

2 – Anushka Sharma is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Code by Lifestyle ” .

3 – Priyanka Chopra is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Blenders Pride ” .

4 – Varun Dhawan is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Skybags ” .

5 – Jacqueline Fernandez is the  Brand Ambassador of  ”  Glares by Titan ” .

6 – Prithvi Pai is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Joyalukkas Jewellers ” .

 

 My ………….. 06 …………… students in …………… 06 …………… commercial campaigns .

 

My 10 students appeared in 07 films , 04 students in 03 TV show , 01 student in 01 regional film , 01 student in 01 play and 06 students appeared in 06 Ads also . Thus total number of students working in the month of July 2015 comes to 22. 22 is a good number considering the fact that I have eliminated names of so many students .

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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 22 students .

May God bless them and they shine in their chosen field .

 

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Remembering Sudhir


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 03, 2014           11.50 P.M.

 

Bhagwandas Mulchand Luthria aka Sudhir

1944 – 12 May 2014

Noted character artiste of yesteryear Bhagwandas Mulchand Luthria or Sudhir as he was lovingly called, passed away after battling through a prolonged lung illness. He died on 12 May 2014 at the age of 70. He had long been suffering from a lung infection.

What is most shocking is the fact nobody in the film industry is even talking about his sad demise. A bachelor throughout his life, he stayed at a bungalow in Lokhandwala, Andheri. A few days post his demise, Shah Rukh Khan took on to twitter and wrote, ”My prayers and may his soul rest in peace. Wonderful co-actor Sudhirji. Feel bad didn’t get to have dinner at his house.”

I know that Sudhir’s name wont ring a bell in the ears of many film lovers. Even keen connoisseurs of Hindi cinema would scratch their heads, might try to figure out or unsuccessfully try to remember and then fail to recognize the persona and identity of an actor called Sudhir. Nothing much is available about his body of work or about his personal life in the print or electronic media. But if  film lovers happen to see some of his pictures, they will immediately recognize him. He was quite popular figure among the movie-goers. Who can fail to recognize him in the pictures posted below?

 


A still from the film ‘Satte Pe Satta’ – His most iconic film


Sudhir’s acting was always complimented with his dramatic outfits.


A still from the film ‘Dharmatma’


A still from the film ‘Dharmatma’


A still from the film ‘Dharmatma’

 

He was best known for his role in the film Satte Pe Satta with Amitabh Bachchan. He acted in over 200 films in a career spanning from 1962 to 2009. He was one of Bollywood’s best known baddies from the 1970s through to the 1990s.

He would usually play the second-in-command sidekick to villains Ajit, Premnath and Pran or the torturous police inspector or a sleazy man. He was most known for his shrill voice, long moustache and sideburns. He starred in at least a dozen Amitabh Bachchan movies, such as Satte Pe Satta and Shaan. His biggest claim to fame was probably in Feroz Khan’s 1974 hit Khote Sikkay, as the handicapped thief in Dev Anand’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and in Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Baadshah (1999). His recent and last film appearances were in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (2007) and Victoria House (2009).

He was also filmmaker Milan Luthria’s paternal uncle.


Few films gave him decent screen time and well-etched characters. Feroz Khan’s superhit Khote Sikkay ” [ 1974 ]  was an exception. Here Sudhir got a chance to show his acting skills. Later, they did sequel of the film Khote Sikkay called ” Kachche Heere “, where Sudhir reprised his earlier role. But the film did not work at the Box Office.

 

Sudhir was also a regular in almost every Navketan Film after 1970s. Sudhir even worked with Ravi Tandon in hit films like ” Muqaddar ” andMajboor “.

 

Though his illness distanced him from everyone in the film fraternity, his contribution to the movies cannot be ignored. It is surely a loss for his fans.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences and prayers to the departed soul.

VIDUR Editing Studio, VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise would also like to express profound grief.

[ For this blog, I have taken materials from Wikipedia and a website called http://www.businessofcinema.com 

All the photos of Sudhir ji have been copied from a website called http://www.ibnlive.in.com

I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Nanda : Pardesiyon Ko Hai Ik Din Jaanaa …..


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 30 , 2014           00.30 A.M.

Vintage Nanda as We Know Her

Vintage Nanda as We Know Her

Unfortunately I was not connected to the net when yesteryear heroine Nanda ji died . I read about her death next day in the Times of India . She died on March 25 , 2014 at the age of 75 . One more icon of my Allahabad days is gone . One more reigning queen of my young years has left this world forever . I am feeling so helpless , so desperate , so forlorn , that I am unable to express myself properly . Several luminaries of cinema , who ruled the tinsel world during my adolescent days , are leaving this ephemeral world one by one . Several beautiful faces have vanished from this terra firma leaving me with this sinking feeling .

Baby Nanda On The Threshold of Youth in "Toofan Aur Diya"

Baby Nanda On The Threshold of Youth in “Toofan Aur Diya”

Nanda started working in films in 1948 as child artiste . She played heroine’s role for the first time in Bandish (1955) . After doing one more film Shatranj (1956) , she attained prominence with Toofan Aur Diya (1956) . This Rajendra Kumar starrer was directed by legendary V. Shantaram . He was Nanda’s paternal uncle .

From Bandish (1955) to Raj Kapoor’s  Prem Rog (1983) , she worked in almost 66 films as lead heroine / character artiste in a career spanning 28 years . She worked in 5 films as child artiste also . Thus Nanda worked in 71 films in a career spanning 35 years . Out of 71 films of Nanda ji , I have watched almost 25 films .

Nanda , during her hey – days , was an epitome of Indianness . Nanda had her own distinct class , beauty and charm . Nanda exuded ethnic oomph and native charm . Nanda was simple , yet she played a glamorous role with perfection and Elan . Nanda was a unique combination of traditional and modern woman . First film of Nanda , which I watched , was a super hit ” Jab Jab Phool Khile ” [ 1965 ] . Nanda played stellar role in the film with Shashi Kapoor .

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I can never forget the film and its heroine Nanda in Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) . All the songs of the film are still fresh in my memory and still reverberate in my ears . ” Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyaan Milaanaa …….. ” , ” Ye Samaa Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Ka …………….. ” , ” Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul ……………. ” , ” Na Na Karte Pyaar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe …………. ” and the soulful and melancholic ” Yahan Main Ajnabi Hoon …………. “ are still part of my life , even after so many years .

With Shashi Kapoor in "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

With Shashi Kapoor in “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

In "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

In “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

Yeh Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa  in "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

Yeh Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa in “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

After Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) , I watched several of her films . One film which I fondly remember even today is Dev Anand starrer Hum Dono (1961) , which I watched much later. I watched it in Palace talkies of Allahabad .

With Dev Anand in "Hum Dono"

With Dev Anand in “Hum Dono”

She was one of the few old era heroines , who modelled for Lux . I still remember the campaign .

Model for Lux

It is sad that she died a lonely death . Nanda was unmarried till her death . Few months back I watched a photograph of Nanda and her contemporaries . It brought tears in my eyes. All the beautiful reigning Divas of my young age are looking so different now . And alas , one is now gone !

Nanda & Her Close Friends : Waqt Ne Kiya , Kya Haseen Sitam

Nanda with Her Close Friends – Waheeda Rehman , Helen & Sadhana : Waqt Ne Kiya , Kya Haseen Sitam

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Filmography

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences to the family of Nanda ji and to all the near and dear ones .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre also pray for the departed soul .

May you REST IN PEACE Nanda ji ! I will always miss you . I will always remember you in Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) and will never forget the image of your’s in a shikara in Kashmir . The beautiful night of Kashmir , the white satin gown caressing your body , gentle breeze playing with your shampooed hair , your amorous face with bewitching smile and the sonorous Lata Mangeshkar song “…………… Ye Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa ; Kisi Ke Intezar Ka ……………….. “ will always remain with me till the last breath of my life . Your ephemeral body has left us but the above mentioned image endures perennially .

 

[ I have taken information about the films of Nanda ji from Wikipedia . I have copied the list of her films from Wikipedia and posted it here . I am indebted . ]

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No Place For Old People In Young Party of New India


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 28 , 2014           11.55 P.M.

 

” Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little but needs that little so much . ” – Margaret Willour

” Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them , for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members . ” – Pearl S. Buck

” In youth the days are short and the years are long : in old age the years are short and the days are long . ”  – Nikita Ivanovich Panin

” Growing old is mandatory ; growing up is optional . ” – Chili Davis

” Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man . ” – Leon Trotsky

” Inside every older person is a young person wondering what happened . ” – Jennifer Yale

 

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Election times are always strange times in India . One can witness many unusual happenings , many bizarre scenario . One such thing is clamour for young blood in politics . There is nothing wrong in the demand per se . In fact young blood is always welcome and it should be more than welcome in the arena of politics .

But what would you say when a 76-year-old Mr. Jaswant Singh is replaced by a young ( ? ) candidate Col. Sonaram Choudhary in Rajasthan , who is 71-year-old ? He is a Congress turncoat , and Shri Jaswant Singh is a loyal party worker and old party war – horse , but it becomes insignificant in the young party of new India . What would you say when there is a cacophonous clamour for the retirement of Shri Lal Krishna Advani from public life ? Several crooks are ruling the roost and Shri Advani has unblemished record of service in public life . His only fault is his age . Unfortunately he is 86 . Is old age sin in our country ? Is it a crime to get old or be old in new India ?

Not always . Former Communist Chief Minister of Kerala , Shri V. S. Achuthanandan [ Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan ] , the grand old patriarch of CPM is 90 and is still active .

M. Karunanidhi [ Muthuvel Karunanidhi ] , the DMK patriarch , also known as Kalaignar , is 89 . Both , far from saying good-bye to public life , are on election trail . Both are going through rigorous and tortuous daily routine during election time in this hot , unbearable Indian summer . They are yet to bid adieu .

Take the case of world leaders . Oldest ruling monarch is 85-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej , the King of Thailand . This year he completes 67 years as the King of Thailand .

Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom is 87 years old and she is firmly in the saddle . She ascended the throne in 1952 . This year she completes 62 years as the reigning queen . Far from retiring , these two monarchs are still calling the shots and are much respected and revered in their respective countries .

Let us take few examples from the world of cinema .

 

Hollywood Actors :

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1 ) – At 82 , Clint Eastwood is still very much involved in the movie making business. In 2012 he plays an aging baseball scout in “Trouble With The Curve ” [ 2012 ] .

Clint Eastwood  also keeps his plate full directing movies . His most recent films are ; ” Invictus ” [ 2009 ] , ” Hereafter ” [ 2010 ] , ” J. Edgar ” [ 2011 ] and ” Jeresy Boys ” [ 2014 ] . Thus from 1955 to 2014 , its 59 year-long and uninterrupted career .

2 ) – At 90 , Christopher Lee is still acting in Peter Jackson’s ” The Hobbit “ movies .

3 ) – At 96 , Kirk Douglas , the star who starred in ” Spartacus ” [ 1960 ] , worked last in ” Empire State Building Murders ” [ 2008 ] . From 1946 to 2008 , it is 62 year-long career .

4 ) – At 96 , Olivia de Havilland , who enthralled audiences world over in the classic ” Gone With The Wind ” [ 1939 ] , is still working . Her last film ” I Remember Better When I Paint ” [ 2009 ] . It is incredibly 74 year-long career which started in 1935 .

 

Indian Actors :

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1 ) – The ever – green Ashok Kumar’s career spanned for 61 long years . Right from ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ]  to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] , Dada Muni , as he was fondly called , was working till he was 86 .

2 ) – Pran is another gem in the crown . He was active till the age of  83 . From ” Yamla Jat ” [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh ” [ 2003 ] , it was 63 year-long career .

3 ) – Dev Anand , another indefatigable legend , worked for 65 years . From ” Hum Ek Hain ” [ 1946 ] to ” Charge Sheet ” [ 2011 ] , it was an awe – inspiring 65 year-long journey of perennial glory and ever – lasting super – stardom . He was 88 when he died . He released his last film ” Charge Sheet ” same year , which was written, produced and directed by him . He also starred in it as the main protagonist . It is unbeatable record in the world of cinema in India .

There are such people in the world of literature also .

Writers :

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1 ) – Khushwant Singh , the age – defying author ; novelist , historian and journalist , died at the age of 99 .  He wrote till he was 97 years old . ” The Mark Of Vishnu and Other Stories ” [ 1950 ] to “Agnostic Khushwant : There Is No God ” [ 2012 ] , he enjoyed 62 unquestioned active years as an author of repute .

2 ) – Maya Angelou , the American writer , poetess and civil rights activist , is writing since 45 years . She is 85 now . Yet to retire , she is widely respected and revered in the U.S.A.

 

So why this clamour for the retirement of Shri Lal Krishna Advani or denial of ticket to Shri Jaswant Singh ? I feel it is not related to age . This is power – struggle . New satraps want to remove old guards unceremoniously and they are taking positions behind the age factor . A person should be respected for his / her age and should not be despised . Age is a boon . When I read comments related to age I am peeved . A person serves his organization from the young age . He gives his life in the service of his party and organization . And suddenly one day a new ascending leader appears on the scene and simply orders the banishment of the old guard . Though the old person in question is not infirm or incapacitated . No one is questioning why Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not given a ticket . Everyone knows that he is bed – ridden and can’t even speak or recognize people . But Shri Lal Krishna Advani is still active and mentally alert .

” A man is not old untill regrets take place of dreams . ” – John Barrymore

No one can stop new leaders or younger people from ascending the firmament . But it does not mean curtain for older leaders , who are still fit and can still serve the country. I feel sad , when I see that contribution of Shri Lal Krishna Advani is being overlooked . Malicious , derogatory and abusive comments are continuously being posted on the various social networking sites , so that he should get dejected and retire . Suggestions are being dished out by so-called party – sympathisers that old people should accept the new order and should not crib or demand any special privilege . It was recently said by the alleged member of the alleged ” Club 160 “ said that old guard should learn to accept ” no ” to their demands and they should accept the dictate of younger dispensation with graceful silence . It was said that they should learn to get adjusted to the new , changed ways of the young party of the new India . It could be argued that it is true to some extent . But the tone and tenor of this statement was contemptuous , smug and full of hubris . It was disrespectful .

” Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little but needs that little so much . ” – Margaret Willour

Then what is the solution . In my opinion there should be a fine balance between old and new generation . For every young Arjun , there has to be a sagacious Bhishma Pitamah and an experienced Dronacharya . For every imperious and bellicose Duryodhana , there has to be a sagely Vidur and a stoic Kripacharya . If this fine balance in the time of yore could not save us from a devastating Mahabharata , what will happen , if today we will have only inexperienced Arjuna and imperious , bellicose and belligerent Duryodhana in our mist ?

Think India , think ! And be afraid . Be very afraid !

” There is one more terrifying fact about old people : you are going to be one soon . ” – P. J. O’Rourke

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I urge for the respect of elders and pray for the betterment and well – being of my country .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre also pray for our beloved India and out age – old ethos .

 

[ I have taken information about world and Indian leaders from Wikipedia . For Hollywood actors , I have taken information from a website ; http://www.pajiba.com I am indebted ]

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Suchitra Sen : Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi……


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 18, 2014           09.20 P.M.

Mahanayika Suchitra Sen

Mahanayika Suchitra Sen

The year was 1967 or 1968. The city was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. And the cinema hall , if my memory is not failing me , was Ajanta Talkies at Zero Road. I , along with few of my friends, went to watch a Dilip Kumar starrer black & white film ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] . I had read Sharat Chandra written immensely popular novel of the same name during my adolescent age in Deoria. I read it so many times and I was so infatuated, fascinated by the character of Devdas that even after so many decades , I vividly remember each and every thing about the novel and all the details of all the characters. In 1967 – 1968, when I went to watch the film, I could even recite the dialogues and paragraphs from the novel.

I had heard about myriads film avatars of Devdas, which were made in several Indian languages.  Naturally Dilip Kumar starrer and Bimal Roy directed ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] in Hindi was on the top of my list. It had Dilip Kumar portraying the male protagonist to the perfection. I had read various articles about his portrayal of the character. I also knew that Paro is being played by a Bengali actress called Suchitra Sen .

I entered and took my seat in the Ajanta cinema hall. Film started and Dilip Kumar’s arrival on the screen was greeted with thunderous applause. I got totally engrossed in the histrionics and persona of the thespian, the legendary tragedy king of Hindi cinema, ( the ) Dilip Kumar. I was waiting for Suchitra Sen to appear on the screen. Young Paro was played by baby Naaz. I was waiting with curiosity for Suchitra Sen to appear on the screen. She appeared on the screen …………

………….and behold !!!

I was smitten by her eyes. I was hooked to her beauty. I was enamoured by her personality. I was hypnotized by her voice. I was captivated for life by her screen persona. Apart from Waheeda Rehman, I have never admired any other actress so much.

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas with Dilip Kumar

Suchitra Sen as Paro in Hindi Devdas with Dilip Kumar

Later on I watched Dev Anand and Suchitra Sen starrer ” Bombai Ka Baboo ” [ 1960 ] . Though an ordinary film but the climax of the film refused to fade away from my psyche for days and months. After so many decades , even today, it refuses to get obfuscated. Ah, her serene elegant persona, her haunting tear-filled eyes and the back-ground song in the voice of legendary Mukesh, ” Chal Ri Sajni Ab Kya Soche ; Kajra Na Beh Jayen Rote Rote ………. “ shook me permanently and became an eternal part of my being. Every drop of tear on her cheek is still fresh in my memory.

Vintage Suchitra Sen

Vintage Suchitra Sen

After above mentioned two films , I watched ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] .1966 – 67 is the important year of my life. I passed high school. I left Deoria and went to Allahabad for higher studies. Slowly I started coming out of my cocoon. I started watching films regularly and started appreciating them also. I started spending hours and hours with my friends discussing films. And one day , I watched ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] . I was a fan of Ashok Kumar. I was a fan of Suchitra Sen . And she was essaying a double role of mother and daughter in this film. She played it with perfection. It was one year before Dilip Kumar’s highly successful and much acclaimed double role in the film ” Ram Aur Shyam ” [ 1967 ] .

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Suchitra Sen in Mamta

Needless to say that much later I watched ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] also . It is her last Hindi film. She was marvellous as usual. 3 years after the much acclaimed film ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] , she retired in 1978 and slowly faded from public life.

Suchitra Sen in Andhi

Suchitra Sen in Andhi

From ” Sharey Chuattor ” [ 1953 ] to ” Pronoy Pasha ” [ 1978 ] , she worked in 60 films in a career spanning 25 years. Out of her total 60 films , her Hindi films are only 7. These films are : ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] , ” Musafir ” [ 1957 ] , ” Champakali ” [ 1957 ] , ” Bombai Ka Baboo ” [ 1960 ] , ” Sarhad ” [ 1960 ] , ” Mamta ” [ 1966 ] and ” Aandhi ” [ 1975 ] . Of all the 7 Hindi films of her, I have watched 4 films.

Her important and memorable Bengali films are : ” Sharey Chuattor ” [ 1953 ] , ” Sabar Uparey ” [ 1955 ] , ” Mejo Bou ” [ 1955 ] , ” Shilpi ” [ 1956 ] , ” Harano Sur ” [ 1957 ] , ” Pathe Holo Deri ” [ 1957 ] , ” Deep Jwele Jaai ” [ 1959 ] , ” Smriti Tuku Thaak ” [ 1960 ] , ” Saptapadi ” [ 1961 ] , ” Saat Paake Badha ” [ 1963 ] , ” Uttar Phalguni ” [ 1963 ] , ” Grihadaha ” [ 1967 ] , ” Alo Amaar Alo ” [ 1972 ] , ” Haar Maana Haar ” [ 1972 ] , ” Devi Chaudhurani ” [ 1974 ] , ” Datta ” [ 1976 ] and ” Pronoy Pasha ” [ 1978 ].

I have seen many of these films. I will specially mention Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen starrer ” Saptapadi ” [ 1961 ] . One number of this film is considered all time great romantic song ever in Bengali films. It is ” Ei poth jodi na shesh hoi …………….. Uttam Kumar on the bike and Suchitra Sen as pillion rider singing the immortal ” ………………. Ei poth jodi na shesh hoi ………………. ” .

"Saptapadi" -Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi ......

“Saptapadi” -Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoi ……

Years later when I came to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] and became acting trainer, one day I got a call from Riya Sen. She wanted to get trained by me. I was ecstatic that I would be training legendary Suchitra Sen’s grand-daughter. I immediately went to her Juhu residence. I worked with her for few months. I met her sister Raima and mother Moon Moon Sen also. But I could not get a chance to meet legendary Suchitra Sen. Though I wanted to meet her desperately. But it was not destined.

She became recluse by each passing year. She came out of her house when Uttam Kumar died on July 24, 1980. After that day no one had seen her ever. It was 34 year-long reclusive life. It was 34 year-long self – imposed exile. But instead of fading from memory, it made her personality more enigmatic. Even after 34 years the aura remained undiminished. She went away from public gaze but never faded from public memory.

Enigmatic Suchitra Sen

Enigmatic Suchitra Sen

Ethereal Suchitra Sen

Ethereal Suchitra Sen

Impish Suchitra Sen

Impish Suchitra Sen

One of her many avatars

One of her many avatars

I used to ask Riya many questions about her grandmother. I wanted to know more and more mortal details about immortal Suchitra Sen. Riya was nonchalant. Initially her nonchalance baffled me, disappointed me. It never occurred to me that for me Suchitra Sen is an idol , an icon but for Riya , she is her grandmother. So her answers never matched my enthusiasm. I think she must have felt awkward by my intrusion.

Alas ! as is the inevitable for every human being, Suchitra Sen left this world for her celestial journey on January 17, 2014 . She died in Kolkata aged 82.

Suchitra Sen : Last Journey

Suchitra Sen : Last Journey

Mortal Remains of Immortal Suchitra Sen

Mortal Remains of Immortal Suchitra Sen

I was saddened beyond words. I am still numb. I was unable to write about her immediately, though I wanted to write desperately. Suchitra Sen is gone and with her departure my world of adolescent years has gone forever. It has crumbled. This void is not going to be filled easily. A world without Suchitra Sen is not the world for me. But ….. nothing could be done. Life will meander to complete its course. Life will slither with saddened soul.

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my profound sorrow and grief. Life goes on and it will go on. But without Suchitra Sen, it will not be same again.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer condolences and express solidarity with Moon Moon Sen, Raima Sen and Riya Sen in this hour of grief.

As they say, they won’t make people like Suchitra Sen any more.

[ List of Suchitra Sen’s films  is taken from Wikipedia. I express gratitude. ]

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