Sunset Boulevard ( 8 ) : ” Lakshmi Talkies : अपना सिनेमा हाल था ये “


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 17 , 2014           11.40 P.M.

Today when the Hindus , all over the world , are celebrating Holi and rejoicing in festivity , I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and writing this blog about Lakshmi Talkies , Allahabad with tearful eyes . I am struggling for words . I am unable to form sentences . I am full of emotions . Lakshmi Talkies will not ring a familiar bell for several anonymous people or the lovers of cinema . May be some will be familiar of some Lakshmi Talkies of their own cities . But here I am talking about Lakshmi Talkies of Allahabad , Uttar Pradesh .

Few days back I saw the following post on the facebook time line of Shri Neeraj Sri :

अपना सिनेमा हाल था ये …
Lakshmi Talkies - Katara - Allahabad

Lakshmi Talkies – Katara – Allahabad

When I read the post and saw the photograph , I became numb . I was stunned . I was shaken . I was saddened beyond words . I was emotionally disturbed . I spent a sleepless night .

Even now as I am writing the blog , my heart refuses to believe that this is a reality . I was a regular patron of Lakshmi Talkies during my Ganga Nath Jha hostel days . Lakshmi Talkies of Allahabad was a part of my life . Lakshmi Talkies holds a special place for me because Lakshmi Talkies was an integral part of my Allahabad University days . It’s magnificent structure is still fresh in my memory . So when I saw the above picture of a desolate Lakshmi Talkies with moth – eaten walls , broken window panes and barbed wire fencing , I wanted to cry . I wanted to mourn .

I , after passing High School , left my birth place Deoria in 1967 and went to Allahabad for higher studies . Deoria had two cinema halls at that time but being in a small city like Deoria , they were not grand or magnificent , like cinema halls of bigger cities . Allahabad was much bigger city compared to Deoria , so the cinema halls were also huge and opulent . I landed in Allahabad in July 1967 with glitter in my eyes , hope and dreams in my heart for my better future . I , as a 15-year-old small town boy , was fascinated by Allahabad , the city and its atmosphere . Slowly I started getting acquainted with the city of Allahabad . Being a movie buff , I started looking about cinema halls and thus came to know about Lakshmi Talkies at Katara . Lakshmi Talkies management had this strategy of re – releasing old Hindi films . So for me this was a boon because I could now watch all the old classics which I had missed in Deoria .

” Door Ki Awaaz ”  [ 1964 ] , a film directed and produced by Devendra Goel was the first ever film which I watched in Lakshmi Talkies . The Joy Mukherjee , Saira Banu , Pran , Johny Walker and Om Prakash starrer film has some popular Mohammad Rafi gems like , “Ek Musafir Ko Duniya Men Kya Chahiye ……………………….” , ” Husn Se Chand Bhi Sharmaya Hai , Teri Soorat Ne Ghazab Dhaya Hai ……………..” , ” Muqaddar Aazmana Chahta Hoon , Tujhe Apna Banan Chahta Hoon ……………………………. “ , and a lovely duet of Mohammad Rafi with Asha Bhosle ” Haathon Men Haath Hothon Pe Afsane Pyar Ke ……………………” , and the last but not the least , a song sung by Mohammad Rafi , Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle ” Hum Bhi Agar Bachche Hote Nam Hamara Hota Gabloo , Babloo , Khane Ko Milte Laddoo , Aur Duniya Kehti …………….. Happy Birthday To You …………………” . All these lovely songs were tuned by music director Ravi .

The film , the songs and the whole movie going experience is still fresh in my memory even after 47 long , strife – torn and eventful years of my life .

The last film I watched in Lakshmi Talkies was in 1971 . It was a Hemant Kumar produced and Asit Sen directed ” Khamoshi ” [ 1969 ] . During the same year they also opened a skating ring in the western side of the compound . It was a new experience .

I completed graduation in 1971 and left Allahabad and came to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . One year after I left Mumbai again and came to Allahabad to complete my post graduation . So I was in Allahabad and staying in the same Ganga Nath Jha Hostel again from 1972 to 1974 before finally bidding adieu to Allahabad in 1975 . During this period I did watch couple of films in Lakshmi talkies but I don’t remember them .

But I do remember a concert of Pandit Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha Khan , which I was fortunate enough to attend . One evening my friend Pramod Vajpayee came running and informed me about the concert . It was in aid of some NGO . So the ticket rates were low . We went , bought the tickets and took our seat in the packed hall . That evening is still fresh in my memory . It was a life – time experience .

And now 40 years later in March 2014 , I read this posting about the closure of Lakshmi Talkies on the facebook time line of Shri Neeraj Sri and the world of my emotional memory crumbled at one go . A part of my life is gone forever . A silent witness of my many lonely evenings is going to be silent very soon .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I condole the demise of Lakshmi Talkies .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to express grief and pain .

Farewell Lakshmi Talkies !

Neeraj Sri has rightly said , ” अपना सिनेमा हाल था ये … ”

VIDUR

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Ravi : Unsung Music Maestro


Music Director Ravi

Music Director Ravi

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 14 , 2012           02.30 A.M.

I do know and would like to affirm that common people and connoisseurs , both remember all the following songs of Hindi films :

Darshan Do Ghanshyam Nath Mori Ankhiyan Pyasi Re ……………….

Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Ya Aaftab Ho …………………………

Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin ……………………………………..

Baazi Kisi Ne Pyar Ki Jeeti Ya Har Di …………………………..

Bar Bar Dekho Hazar Bar Dekho Ki Dekhne Ki Cheez Hai Hamara Dilruba …..

Itni Haseen Itni Jawan Rat Kya Karen ………………………………..

Chalo Ik Bar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jayen Hum Dono ……………………..

Tora Man Darpan Kahlaye …………………………………

Chhoo Lene Do Nazuk Hoton Ko Kuchh Aur Nahin Hai Jam Hai Ye …………….

Tumhin Meri Manzil Tumhin Meri Pooja Tumhin Devta Ho ………………

Badi Der Bhai Nandlala Teri Rah Take Brijbala ………………………..

O Meri Zohra Jabin Tujhe Maloom Nahin ………………………….

Bhari Duniya Men Akhir Dil Ko Samjhane Kahan Jayen ………………..

Raha Gardishon Me Hardam Mere Ishq Ka Sitara ……………………….

Gharibon Ki Suno Wo Tumhari Sunega Tum Ek Paisa Doge Wo Dus Lakh Dega .

Neele Gagan Ke Tale Dharti Ka Pyar Pale …………………………….

Tujhko Rakhe Ram Tujhko Alla Rakhe ………………………………….

Milti Hai Zindagi Men Muhabbat Kabhi Kabhi ……………………….

Bachche Man Ke Sachche …………………………….

Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile …………………….

Tujhe Sooraj Kahoon Ya Chanda Tujhe Deep Kahoon Ya Tara ……………….

Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna HI Fasana Hai ……………………………

Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai ………………………………

Dil Ke Arman Aansuon Men Bah Gaye ………………………….

Dil Ki Ye Arzoo Thi Koi Dilruba Mile ………………………

These are some of the songs , which are still famous . These are some of the songs , which need no introduction . These are some of the songs , which any one can easily hum because their tunes are still echoing  in everyone’s mind . May be names of the films are not remembered . May be names of the star – cast is forgotten . May be name of the music director is also not known to the younger generation . But songs endure . Melody survives and is still fresh  .

Creator of these immortal songs is a music maestro known as Ravi . Originally named as Ravi Shankar Sharma , Ravi was born in Delhi and wanted to become a play back singer . He was , ironically , not trained in Indian classical music . He moved to Mumbai in 1950 and started his journey in Hindi films .

Anand Math

Poster of Anand Math

He became Hemant Kumar’s assistant for Anand Math and sang in the chorus also in the Vande Mataram song . He , then , was signed by Devendra Goel , a top – notch director of his time , for a film called ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] and after the success of that film , Ravi never looked back .

Then followed many hit films and numerous super – hit songs , which are still popular . ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] , ” Dilli Ka Thug ” [ 1958 ] , ” Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan ” [ 1959 ] , ” Chaudhvin Ka Chand ” [ 1960 ] , ” Ghunghat ” [ 1960 ] , ” Gharana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” China Town ” [ 1962 ] , ” Gehra Daag ” [ 1963 ] , ” Gumrah ” [ 1963 ] , ” Ustadon Ke Ustaad ” [ 1963 ] , ” Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke ” [ 1963 ] , ” Bharosa ” [ 1963 ] , ” Door Ki Awaaz ” [ 1964 ] , ” Kaajal ” [ 1965 ] , ” Khandaan ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Do Badan ” [ 1966 ] , ” Dus Lakh ”  [ 1966 ] , ” Phool Aur Patthar ” [ 1966 ] , ” Humraaz ” [  1967 ] , ” Meharban ” [ 1967 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Do Kaliyaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadami Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Maali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Dhund ” [ 1973 ] , ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] and ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] .

Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Poster of Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Chaudhvin Ka Chand

Phool Aur Patthar

Poster of Phool Aur Patthar

Aadmi Sadak Ka

Poster of Aadmi Sadak Ka

incidentally ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] was his last Hindi hit . In 80s he started giving music in Malayalam films as Bombay Ravi . He gave several hit songs in Malayalam also .

His two songs ; Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja from ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] and Aaj Mere Yaar KI Shadi Hai from ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] are still popular . In all the marriages in the North India these two songs are must . No marriage procession in North India even today ever starts without Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai . And no girl  ever leaves her parental home even today without Babul Ki Duayen leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile  being played in the background . This is genius of Ravi Sahab .

This genius music director left this world on March 07 , 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 86 .

It is sad that he never got his due from the industry . Though he repeatedly worked for B. R. Chopra , Ramanand Sagar , Gemini Productions , AVM Productions , Guru Dutt Films , but was never considered A Grade music director . He gave music for Raj Kapoor starrer , Meena Kumari Starrer , Rajendra Kumar Starrer , Shammi Kapoor Starrer but still was not included in the A list . He gave music for the first production of Sunil Dutt and first super – hit of Dharmendra but was always neglected .

His last days were painful as he was allegedly tormented by his estranged son and daughter – in – law Varsha Usgaonkar .

I am saddened by his sad demise . At this moment I am remembering his song from ” Dhund ” ] 1973 ]  ; Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna Hi Fasana Hai ; Ik Dhund Se Aana Hai Ik Dhund Men Jana Hai ………..

VIDUR

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