My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2014           08.50 P.M.

 

My fascination with Hindi film heroines started in mid 60s. In the dark environs of Amar Jyoti Talkies, Deoria, my rendezvous with Hindi cinema took place with Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi starrer Silver Jubilee hit  ” Sasural ” [ 1961 ] . B. Saroja Devi, though not well-known to Hindi cine-goers, was almost alien to me. But after watching the film, I was unable to forget her. Her elegant persona, her well-kept figure, her chiselled face enticed me for weeks and months. She was the first icon of my childhood fancy.

Few years later in 1967, after appearing in High School exams, I watched Dilip Kumar and  Vyjayanthimala, starrer golden jubilee film ” Ganga Jumna “. B. Saroja Devi and  Vyjayanthimala, to my utter surprise, looked almost similar. I was hooked to Vyjayanthimala and my fascination for the film heroines got fortified.

After passing High School, I went to Allahabad for further studies. My true rendezvous with Hindi cinema started in all earnest in Allahabad. I started watching films regularly. I got acquainted with the heroines of early Hindi cinema. I was particularly enamoured by Devika Rani and Kanan Devi. [ Who can forget Devika Rani’s ………. MAIN BAN KI CHIDIA BAN KE BAN-BAN DOLOON RE ……….( ” Achhut Kanya ” – 1936 ) and Kanan Devi’s ………….. YE DUNIYA ,YE DUNIYA TOOFAN MAIL ……… ( Jawaab ” – 1942 ) ? Few years later I watched two earlier films of Kanan Devi; P. C. Barua starrer ” Mukti ” [ 1937 ] and K. L. Sehgal starrer ” Street Singer ” [ 1938 ]. Though they were the heroines of my father’s generation but their etherial beauty, their sweet voice enthralled me and fascinated me during my adolescent and growing up years in Allahabad.

Later on I got acquainted with the works of other highly successful actresses of the bygone era. The list included Nargis, Suraiya, Nalini Jayawant,  Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nimmi and Geeta Bali. These heroines ruled the golden era of Hindi films. But even they belonged to the earlier era.

My era included highly successful and enchanting heroines like;  Nutan, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman , Nanda and Mala Sinha .

I became a die-hard fan of Waheeda Rehman after watching her films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) . After watching Raj Kapoor‘s Awaara (1951) and of Mehboob Khan‘s Mother India (1957), Nargis, also became one of my all time favourites. Vijay Bhatt‘s Baiju Bawra (1952), made me a fan of  Meena Kumari.  K. Asif‘s Mughal-e-Azam (1960) made Madhubala my eternal favourite.

Then times changed. My journey with cinema matured. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, actresses like Sadhna, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz and Asha Parekh ruled the Hindi film world.

In the early 70s  Amitabh Bachchan, era started in the Hindi film industry. Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya BachchanRekha,  Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia. I adored these heroines but frankly, I was neither enchanted or enamoured by them. Mysterious quality of the earlier heroines was missing. Or may be I became mature and the mystique slowly evaporated.

In 1975, I completed my studies in Allahabad and returned to my native place, Deoria. A 14-year-long second phase of my life started in Deoria.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family centric romantic musicals with the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) . Incidentally this was the last film, which I watched in Deoria.

I moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] in 1989. This was the year when Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) got released and changed the film-watching experience forever.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Dil (1990), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), making stars out of a new generation and actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol . In that point of time actresses such as Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai also arrived on the scene.  Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor too appearing in popular comedy films .

Furthermore, this decade marked the entry of new performers in art house and independent films like Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar were the heroines of this generation.

So it was a long association with the silver screen heroines. From Kanan Devi to Kajol and Karisma Kapoor , I watched everyone, got fascinated by them and silently admired their etherial beauty. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that one day I would train few of the present day ruling Divas of Hindi cinema. After 25 year stay in Mumbai, when I look back, I reminisce my by-gone days with astonishment. I am bewildered with my accomplishment.

In 1994 two heroines trained by me made their debut in Hindi films. They are Sonali Bendre in ” Aag ” [ 1994 ] and Divya Dutta in ” Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna ” [ 1994 ] . It uncanny that 1994 was the year when Devika Rani died. Kanan Devi bid us adieu two years earlier in 1992.

My childhood icons left this world in 1994 and present day icons, trained by me , made their entry in 1994. It is strange. It is quirky. It is really uncanny. After debut of Sonali Bendre and Divya Dutta in 1994, flood-gate of the newcomers got opened and it has now submerged the Hindi film industry. I present a list of some of the epoch-making new era Hindi film Divas, who got trained by me :

Kareena Kapoor : ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] = DEBUT

Priyanka Chopra : ” The Hero ” [ 2002 ] = DEBUT

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] = DEBUT

Anushka Sharma : ” Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ” [ 2008 ] = DEBUT

Katrina Kaif :  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010]

ALIA BHATT : ” Student Of The Year ” [ 2012 ] = DEBUT

KALKI KOECHLIN : ” Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani ” [ 2013 ]

URVASHI RAUTELA : ” Singh Saab The Great ” [ 2013 ] = DEBUT

 

In the end I would like to submit that the above mentioned list is almost endless. I have mentioned very famous names only. As I watch Alia Bhatt making rapid strides,and other newcomers trained by me making their entry in the tinsel town, my heart beats fast with pride.

Some of the biggest star sons / daughters are currently being trained by me and they are going to make their debut in 2015.

So the SAGA CONTINUES !! Dust settles down. Sun shines brilliantly. And the World { excluding few egoistic nay-sayers } watches with awe, admiration and amazement.

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise , I wish all my above mentioned students all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

God bless them for making me proud !!

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Phalke Award ……………….. And Pran


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 16 , 2013           00.10 A.M.

I was happy to read the news that Pran Saheb was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2012 . As a veteran actor , who has worked in more than 400 films , he deserved much better . He should have got the award long back . But Pran Saheb , the gentleman villain of Hindi film industry got it very late . If you count his active years in films , he stands second in the hierarchy . Dev Anand [ Hum Ek Hain – 1946 to Chargesheet – 2011 === 113 films === 65 active years ] . Pran [ Yamla Jat – 1940 to Kiska Dosh – 2003 === 400 films === 63 active years ] . Legendary Ashok Kumar comes third . From [ Jeevan Naiya – 1936 to Aankhon Me Tum Ho – 1997 === 301 films === 61 active years ] . These three are the only Indian actors who can boast of such long and illustrious innings in Hindi films . In seniority he is second and second only to Ashok Kumar . Dilip Kumar , Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor came much later .

I have seen his films and in his films invariably Pran Saheb’s name used to come at the end . He used to be billed as ……………. and Pran . It is uncanny that this happened to him this time also .

Pran

Pran (Photo credit: Kaddele)

In his prolific career , he did more than 400 films . I am fortunate that I have seen more than100 films of Pran Saheb . I am posting names of important films of his career .

1940s

  • Yamla Jat (1940)
  • Chaudhry (1941)
  • Khajanchi (1941)
  • Khandaan (1942)
  • Sahara (1943)
  • Dasi (1944)
  • Kaise Kahun (1945)
  • Ragini (1945)
  • Pardesi Balam (1945)
  • Badnami (1946)
  • Khamosh Nigahen (1946)
  • Paraye Bas Mein (1946)
  • Rehana (1946)
  • Shahi Lutera (194?)
  • Gupt Raj (194?)
  • Do Saudagar (194?)
  • Arsi (1947)
  • Mohini (1947)
  • But Tarash (1947)
  • Barsat Ki Ek Raat (1948)
  • Birhan (1948)
  • Chunaria (1948)
  • Nek Dil (1948)
  • Ziddi (1948)
  • Grahasti (1948)
  • Aparadhi (1949)
  • Badi Bahen (1949)
  • Roshani (1949)
  • Janmapatri (1949)
  • Rakhi (1949)

1950s

  • Biwi (1950)
  • Putli (1950)
  • Lajawab (1950)
  • Sangeeta (1950)
  • Sheesh Mahal (1950)
  • Afsana (1951)
  • Bahar (1951)
  • Daman (1951)
  • Sabz Baag (1951)
  • Pyar ki baaten (1951)
  • Bewafaa (1951)
  • Chham Chhama Chham (1952)
  • Sanskar (1952)
  • Sindbad The Sailor (1952)
  • Zamane Ki Hawa (1952)
  • Moti Mahal (1952)
  • Aah (1953)
  • Alif Laila (1953)
  • Ansoo (1953)
  • Baagi (1953)
  • Farmaish (1953)
  • Malkin (1953)
  • Rahbar (1953)
  • Biraj Bahu (1954)
  • Pehli Jhalak (1954)
  • Pilpili Saheb (1954)
  • Sheeshe Ki Diwar (1954)
  • Angaarey (1954)
  • Lakeeren (1954)
  • Meenar (1954)
  • Toofan (1954)
  • Aab-e-Hayat (1955)
  • Amanat (1955)
  • Azad (1955)
  • Baradari (1955)
  • Chingari (1955)
  • Bahu (1955)
  • Jashan (1955)
  • Kundan (1955)
  • Munimji (1955)
  • Devdas (1956)
  • Aan Baan (1956)
  • Chori Chori (1956)
  • Hum Sab Chor Hain (1956)
  • Hotel (1956)
  • Halaku (1956)
  • Kar Bhala (1956)
  • Inspector* (1956)
  • Naya Andaz (1956)
  • Tankhah (1956)
  • Ek Jhalak (1957)
  • Miss India (1957)
  • Asha (1957)
  • Champakali (1957)
  • Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957)
  • Mr.X (1957)
  • Chandu (1958)
  • Adalat (1958)
  • Amar Deep (1958)
  • Daughter Of Sindbad (1958)
  • Madhumati (1958)
  • Raj Tilak (1958)
  • Chandan (1958)
  • Bedard Zamana Kya Jaane (1959)
  • Daaka (1959)
  • Do Gunde (1959)
  • Guest House (1959)
  • Madam X.Y.Z. (1959)
  • Pyar Ki Rahen (1959)
  • Jaalsaaz (1959)

1960s

1970s

1980s

  • Aap Ke Deewane (1980)
  • Bombay 405 Miles (1980)
  • Desh Drohi (1980)
  • Dhan Daulat (1980)
  • Dostana (1980)
  • Jwalamukhi (1980)
  • Jal Mahal (1980)
  • Karz (1980)
  • Patthar Se Takkar (1980)
  • Khuda Kasam (1980)
  • Zalim (1980)
  • Kaalia (1981)
  • Khoon Ka Rishta (1981)
  • Krodhi (1981)
  • Ladies’ Tailor (1981)
  • Naseeb (1981)
  • Man Gaye Ustad (1981)
  • Waqt Ki Deewar (1981)
  • Jiyo Aur Jeene Do (1982)
  • Takdir Ka Badshah (1982)
  • Partner (1982)
  • Taaqat (1982)
  • Andha Kanoon (1983)
  • Daulat Ke Dushman (1983)
  • Ek Jaan Hain Hum (1983)
  • Film Hi Film (1983)
  • Janwar (1983)
  • Laalach (1983)
  • Naukar Biwi Ka (1983)
  • Souten (1983)
  • Woh Jo Hasina (1983)
  • Nastik (1983)
  • Bade Dilwala (1984)
  • Insaaf Kaun Karega (1984)
  • Farishta (1984)
  • Haisiyat (1984)
  • Jagir (1984)
  • Laila (1984)
  • Raja Aur Rana (1984)
  • Rajtilak (1984)
  • Duniya (1984)
  • Sohni Mahiwal (1984)
  • Sharaabi (1984)
  • Inquilab (1984)
  • Durga (1985)
  • Hoshiyar (1985)
  • Bewafai (1985)
  • Karamyudh (1985)
  • Maa Kasam (1985)
  • Sarfarosh (1985)
  • Yudh (1985)
  • Paatal Bhairavi (1985)
  • Dosti Dushmani (1986)
  • Dilwala (1986)
  • Dharam Adhikari (1986)
  • Jeeva (1986)
  • Love & God (1986)
  • Ricky (1986)
  • Suhaagan (1986)
  • Dilruba Tangewali (1987)
  • Goraa (1987)
  • Insaf Kaun Karega (1987)
  • Imaandar (1987)
  • Kudrat Ka Kanoon (1987)
  • Hifazat (1986)
  • Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987)
  • Maa Beti (1987)
  • Sitapur Ki Gita (1987)
  • Dharam Shatru (1988)
  • Paap Ki Duniya (1988)
  • Sherni (1988)
  • Aurat Teri Yahi Kahani (1988)
  • Dharma Yudh (1988)
  • Gunahon Ka Faisla (1988)
  • Kasam (1988)
  • Shahenshah (1988)
  • Mohabbat Ke Dushman (1988)
  • Ram O Rama (1988)
  • Bade Ghar Ki Beti (1989)
  • Chingari (1989)
  • Jaadugar (1989)
  • Mitti Aur Sona (1989)
  • Nigahen (1989)
  • Shukriya (1989)
  • Toofan (1989)
  • Zooni (1989)

1990s

  • Azaad Desh Ke Ghulam (1990)
  • Pyar Ka Toofan (1990)
  • Roti Ki Keemat (1990)
  • Sanam Bewafaa (1990)
  • Lakshman Rekha (1991)
  • Banjaran (1991)
  • Jigarwala (1991)
  • Mashooq (1992)
  • Meera Ka Mohan (1992)
  • Do Hanson Ka Joda (1992)
  • Bewafa Se Wafa (1992)
  • Panah (1992)
  • Isi Ka Naam Zindagi (1992)
  • Chandramukhi (1993)
  • Dosti Ki Saugandh (1993)
  • Gurudev (1993)
  • Kohra (1993)
  • Aaja Meri Jaan (1993)
  • Bhagyawaan (1993)
  • 1942: A Love Story (1994)
  • Hum Hain Bemisal (1994)
  • Saajan Ki Bahon Mein (1995)
  • Vaapsi saajan Ki (1995)
  • Lalchi (1996)
  • Dadagiri (1997)
  • Gudia (1997)
  • Lakha (1997)
  • Luv Kush (1997)
  • Kaun Rokega Mujhe (1997)
  • Mrityudaata (1997)
  • Salma Pe Dil Aa Gaya (1997)
  • Badmash (1998)
  • Tere Mere Sapne (1999)
  • Jai Hind (1999)

2000s

  • Dosh (2002)
  • Ek Hidustani (2002)
  • Mohabbat Pehli Nazar Mein (2002)
  • Suryakant (2002)
  • Tum Jiyo Hazaron Saal (2002)
  • Deewan Tere Pyar ka (2003)
  • Kiska Dosh (2003)

If my memory is not failing me , the first movie of Pran Saheb , which I watched was ” Khandan ” [ 1965 ] . It was in Vijay Talkies , Deoria and perhaps the year was 1966 . Same year I watched ” Dil Diya Dard Liya “ and my admiration for Pran Saheb , in the garb of hate , began . Next year I watched ” Ram Aur Shyam ” [ 1967 ] in Pushparaj Talkies , Allahabad and it fortified my admiration for him and since then I am a die-hard fan of this legendary actor .

I may not be running most famous acting school of Mumbai , or most famous acting institute of India or most famous acting class of bollywood or most famous acting academy of world but I think it is my duty to offer my greetings to the legend .

I congratulate Pran Saheb on behalf of all the students and staff of Vidur Acting Institute , which is known as  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . May God give long and healthy life to the legend called Pran Krishna Sikand , a.k.a. Pran.

Dada Saheb Phalke Award was instituted in 1969 . Till date 43 luminaries have got this prestigious award . Pran Saheb is 44th .

Devika Rani got it in 1969

…………………….. and  Pran in 2012

[ List of his flms is being re-produced from Wikipedia . I express profound gratitude . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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New Female Playback Singers of Hindi Films


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 10 , 2012           00.35 A.M.

When ” Alam Ara ” , the first Indian talkie , hit the screen in 1931 , an era started , which could easily be called the era of singing stars . All the actors sang their own songs on the screen . Well known female stars of that era were no exception . From Devika Rani to Leela Chitnis and from Kanan Devi to lesser known starlets, every heroine worth the name sang their own songs .

English: Alam Ara poster, 1931.

Alam Ara poster, 1931. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in a Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kanan Devi

Kanan Devi (Photo credit: tonymitra)

Then came the era of Noor Jahan and Suraiya . Both were immensely popular stars and huge singers of their generation . Their songs and their films are still popular . Their retirement from the films finally brought an end to the glorious era of singing stars . Salma Agha , another singing star , came in ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ]  but it was an exception . Singing stars era had ended much earlier .

After the end of singing stars era , playback singing in films became popular . Rajkumari Dubey could be called the first female playback singer . She started her singing career in 1940 . Her songs with Mukesh in ” Bawre Nain “[ 1950 ]  are still famous and they are memorable . Modern day movie goer are familiar with her song from ” Pakeeza “[ 1972 ]  . It is ….. najaria ki mari mari more saiyan …….

Another playback singer from that era was Shamshad Begum . She rose to prominence with ” Khazanchi ” [ 1941 ] and ” Khandaan ” [ 1942 ] . Her career suffered major set back with the advent and subsequent supremacy of Lata Mangeshkar andAsha Bhosle . Amirbai Karnataki was another famous playback singer from that era .

Then began an era which is known as Lata Mangeshkar Era . She , along with her younger sibling Asha Bhosle , dominated the playback scene of Hindi films like a colossus for almost 5 decades .

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During their era many singers came and went into oblivion . Geeta Dutt , Suman Kalyanpur , Kamal Barot ,  Sudha Malhotra , Mubarak Begum and Sharda came and eclipsed quickly without leaving a mark .

In 70s , while Lata Mangeshkar was still reigning supreme , again a new crop of female playback singers emerged . Alka Yagnik , Sadhana Sargam , Kavita Krishnamurty andAnuradha Paudwal came , gave some memorable hits and faded into oblivion . Lata Mangeshkar still ruled and gave memorable hits like ; Yash Chopra directed  ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] .

Now a new crop of playback singers are hovering on the horizon . Shreya Ghoshal has become numero Uno like Lata Mangeshkar and Sunidhi Chauhan has almost taken Asha Bhosle’s place . But there are other female playback singers  also . They are fast emerging on the scene .

ADITI SINGH SHARMA : With chart – busters like ; ” Aali Re …. ” & ” Dilli , Dilli …… ” in ” No One Killed Jessica “ and ” Chhoomantar ….. ” in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan , she became a singer to watch in future .

ALYSSA MENDONSA : Daughter of Loy Mendonsa of Shankar – Ahsan – Loy fame , she sang ” Uff Teri Ada ……. ” in ” Karthik Calling Karthik “ and immensely popular ” Khwabon Ke Parindey ….. ” in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara .

ANUSHKA MANCHANDA : She sang re-mix version of ” Dum Maro Dum …… ” with a rare conviction and forced everyone to take notice of her talent .

HARSHDEEP KAUR : With ” Katiya Karoon ….. ” of  ” Rockstar “ and ” Jugni ………….. ” of ” Cocktail “ , she hit big and is surely on her way to the top .

MAHALAXMI IYER : She hit the bull’s-eye with ” Ae Ajnabee ……….. ” in ” Dil Se ” , ” Sadka Kiya ………… ” in ” I Hate Luv Storys “ and hugely popular Punjabi numbers like ; ” Laung Da Lashkara ……. ” & ” Rola Pe Gaya …….. ” in ” Patiala House ” .

NEHA BHASIN : ” Kuchh Khas Hai …….. ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Dhunki Dhunki ……. ” in ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan “ brought her on the top .

SHIPLA RAO : In a hit number like : ” Khuda Jane …………… ” of ” Bachna Ae Haseenon “ , she found her moorings .

SHRUTI PATHAK : With ” Marjaawan …………… ” in ” Fashion “ and ” Payaliya ………… ” in ” Dev D “ , she arrived and made her presence felt .

SHWETA PANDIT : She made her debut in Yash Raj Films ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . From ” Mohabbatein “ to ” Mere Brother Ki Dulhan ” [ 2011 ]  , she had sung several hits in Hindi . She regularly performs with A. R. Rehman‘s stage shows also . She is extremely popular singer in Telugu films also .

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

With Shweta Pandit in My Office

In a way she is my student . Though she never took admission in my Acting Institute and didn’t come to my regular batch . But still she come to my institute whenever she is free and participates in the improvisation classes of my institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

I am happy for her and wish her greater success . I am sure in years to come she will be top playback singer of India .

I am happy that I have at least one student in playback singing field also .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 12 : Naggar & Manikaran [ Kullu ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 30 , 2012           01.00 A.M.

As I have written in my travel diary of Manali , I had a lot of free time in Manali . I made good use of it and visited all the important places in and around Manali .

People told me about Naggar and Manikaran and I decided to visit these places also . So on March 29 , 2012 , when I had no work , I decided to go to Naggar . I hired a cab and started for my journey early in the morning . Naggar is in between Kullu and Manali . It is 22 km. from Manali and 26 km. from Kullu . Naggar was the capital of kings of Kullu for about 1400 years .

Road to Naggar is surrounded by snow – capped mountains and the castle , known as Naggar Castle , is awesome . It is now known as Castle Hotel . This magnificent building of stone and wood was constructed during the reign of Raja Sidh Singh .

Naggar : Surrounded by Snow - Capped Hills

Naggar : Surrounded by Snow – Capped Hills

At Naggar Castle

At Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle

Naggar Castle - Main Entrance

Naggar Castle – Main Entrance

Naggar Castle - Inner Courtyard

Naggar Castle – Inner Courtyard

Naggar Castle - Inner Courtyard

Naggar Castle – Inner Courtyard

Naggar Castle - Restaurant

Naggar Castle – Restaurant

Naggar Castle - Restaurant

Naggar Castle – Restaurant

Naggar Castle - Restaurant

Naggar Castle – Restaurant

Naggar Castle - At The Restaurant

Naggar Castle – At The Restaurant

Naggar Castle - The Temple

Naggar Castle – The Temple

Naggar Castle - The Corridor

Naggar Castle – The Corridor

Naggar Castle - The Corridor

Naggar Castle – The Corridor

Naggar Castle - The Corridor

Naggar Castle – The Corridor

Naggar Castle - The Balcony

Naggar Castle – The Balcony

Snow - Capped Mountains As Seen From Naggar Castle

Snow – Capped Mountains As Seen From Naggar Castle

A little away from Naggar Castle , there is memorial of late Nicholas Roerich , the Russian painter . His villa is set in a beautiful garden and it houses many of his famous paintings . After Naggar Castle , I visited Roerich Art Gallery next .

For me Roerich Villa has an added attraction . Nicholas Roerich’s son Svetoslav Roerich , himself a famous painter , married Devika Rani . She , away from the hustle – bustle of Bombay Talkies and Bombay city , spent many years of her life here . I was eager to see her room , where she stayed whenever she visited Naggar . After death of her first husband Himanshu Rai , she left Bombay [ now Mumbai ] and lived either in Bangalore [ now Bengaluru ] or Naggar .

Road From Naggar Castle to Roerich Memorial

Road From Naggar Castle to Roerich Memorial

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ The Pathway ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ The Pathway ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Verandah ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Staircase ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Staircase ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Surrounding ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Surrounding ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Surrounding ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Surrounding ]

This main gate of the ground floor of Roerich Villa leads to the art gallery , where many precious and priceless paintings of Roerichs are displayed .

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Entrance ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Entrance ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial - Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

Svetoslav Roerich & Devika Rani Memorial – Naggar [ Roerich Paintings ]

I bought a coffee – table book about Devika Rani and surveyed the Villa for the last time and then proceeded for Manikaran . Situated in the Parvati Valley and on the banks of Parvatiriver , Manikaran is famous for its hot springs . You can easily cook food in the boiling hot water . These streams are very close to ice – cold Parvati River . It is one of the wonders of Kullu district .

Way To Manikaran

Way To Manikaran

On Way To Manikaran

On Way To Manikaran

On Way To Manikaran

On Way To Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Gurudwara at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

At Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

At Hot Water Spring at Manikaran

I finished my visit after visiting the Manikaran gurudwara and proceeded for Manali .

These are remote places . Even if I visit Manali again , I am not sure whether I would be visiting Manikaran again or not . On my return journey to Manali , I remembered Agyeya‘s famous lines and reached my hotel in the late evening .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

100 Years of Ashok Kumar : First Super – Star of Hindi Films


Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 10 , 2011           03.00 P.M.

It is centenary year of Ashok Kumar , the first real Super – Star of Hindi cinema . He made his debut in 1936 , just after 5 years of the release of ‘ Alam Ara ” [ 1931 ] , the first talkie of Hindi cinema .

Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli alias Ashok Kumar

October 13 , 1911       –      December 10 , 2001

Born as Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli in Bhagalpur city of the then Bengal Presidency [ Now Bihar ] , Ashok Kumar spent his early life in Khandwa , Madhya Pradesh , where his father was a practicing advocate . He was educated at The Presidency College of Calcutta [ Now Kolkata ] . His two younger brothers ; Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar were also singer actors .

The Ganguly brothers - Anoop Kumar, Ashok Kuma...

Three Ganguli Brothers with Their Mother

After graduation , he came to Mumbai [ Then Bombay ] and started working as lab assistant in Bombay Talkies , where his brother – in – law Sashadhar Mukherjee was working with the owner Mr. Himanshu Rai . He , accidentally , started his acting career in 1936 with the Bombay Talkies film ; ” Jeevan Naiya ” . As the story goes , the original hero Najam Ul Hassan eloped with Devika Rani , the heroine of the film and wife of Himanshu Rai . indignant Himanshu Rai was furious and dismissed Najam Ul Hassan from Bombay Talkies . One day he saw Ashok Kumar and decided to make him the new hero of ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] . Another film , ” Achhut Kanya ” , which also came in the same year , was super hit and with this success Ashok Kumar was catapulted to super – stardom .

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in Achhut Kanya

English: A still from the 1936 Hindi film Achh...

Another Photo of Achhut Kanya - Song Main Ban Ki Chidiya ....

After ” Achhut Kanya ” [ 1936 ] , Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani were paired again in hit films like ” Izzat ” [ 1937 ] , ” Savitri ” [ 1937 ] and ” Nirmala ” [ 1938 ] .

Later on he was paired with Leela Chitnis in super hits like ; ” Kangan ” [ 1939 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1940 ] and ” Jhoola ” [ 1941 ] .

He played Hindi cinema ‘s first anti – hero role in ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , which ran for 3 continuous years in the Roxy cinema of Calcutta . [ Now Kolkata ] . This record was broken by ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , which ran in Minerva of Mumbai for 5 years .

Before ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , he sang all his songs in films , as was the norm and churned out some outstanding numbers . I have a cassette of the songs sung by him in his earlier films . Years later , he again sang in ” Aashirvad ” [ 1968 ] . His song ” Railgaadi …..chhuk , chhuk , chhuk ……… railgaadi “ was a rage and is considered  the first Rap song of Hindi cinema .

After ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , he left Bombay Talkies and started his career as freelance artiste .

He started playing character roles from late 60s . Even as a character artiste , he churned out many marvellous films with some stellar performances .

” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] was his last film . Thus , from ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] , he had a career span of 61 years as an actor . This is unparalleled in the motion picture history . It was a record , which got eclipsed recently . Dev Anand , who died on December 04 , 2011 , had career span of 65 years as an actor . In his 61 year-long acting career , Ashok Kumar acted in 301 films .

With the advent of television , he whole – heartedly accepted the new medium and in fact was the first major cine – artiste , who appeared in serials . First he anchored ” Hum Log “ and then did title roles in TV serials like ; ” Bahadur Shah Zafar ” and ” Bheem Bhawani ”  His last TV serial was Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed ” Ujale Ki Ore “ . I also did a very insignificant role in it and can say that I have shared screen space with Evergreen , iconic and gigantic super star , Padma Bhushan Ashok Kumar , who was affectionately called , by one and all , Dadamoni , meaning elder brother .

He , apart from acting in 301 films , produced 4 films . They are ; ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , ” The Fiancee ” [ 1953 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] and ” Lal Chunariyaa ” [ 1983 ] .

He even directed ” Eight Days ” [ 1946 ] but due to some reasons refused to take credit . He is not billed as a director in the credits .

He also contributed in music department of 4 films . They are ; ” Aashirwad ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kangan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Khubsoorat ” [ 1980 ] and ” Shaukeen ” [ 1982 ] .

In ” Krorepati ” [ 1961 ] and ” Guddi ” [ 1971 ] , he is billed as guest artiste and played himself . It means , he did not play any character but played super – star Ashok Kumar .

Apart from acting , his other passions were painting and Homoeopathy . He was a practicing homeopath . In 1950s , he also became owner of iconic Bombay Talkies , when Devika Rani sold her share and left the studio . He was a linguist and apart from English , Hindi and his mother tongue Bengali , was fluent in Marathi and French . In his film ” Gumrah ” [  1963 ] , he even used French in dialogues .

Devika Rani

Devika Rani

A career span of 61 years , 301 films in Hindi , Bengali and Marathi , various ads and corporate films and half a dozen TV serials , apart from numerous film songs to his credit , this gigantic , iconic Super – star of Hindi films died on December 10 , 2001 in his Chembur residence . He was 90 years old at the time of his death .
Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies

First film of Ashok Kumar , which I watched was ” Bahu Beti ” . I was in school and went to watch this Joy Mukherjee and Mala Sinha starrer . Ashok Kumar , who was not the hero of the film , was there prominently on the poster and his name came  first in the billing . I got curious . How come an actor , who is playing father in the film , got the top billing ? My cousins , my maternal uncle and some more knowledgeable friends told me about Ashok Kumar and I started watching his films and started following his career .

Initially I was a fan of Dilip Kumar .  I am still a fan but slowly I started veering towards Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand . When I came to Mumbai to pursue career in films I watched Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand from close quarters . I found them humane , warm and without any trappings of a star . I wanted to be close to my icons and these two stars ; Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand permit you to be there in their world . So I became a huge fan of Ashok Kumar and will remain till my death .

This is centenary year of Ashok Kumar . It is sad and appalling that nothing was done to commemorate the occasion . There was just one article in Times of India . Congress government at centre is more interested to preserve the legacy of Nehru – Gandhi family . They have no time for Ashok Kumar . But alas ! Hindi film industry too forgot its first Super Star . MAMI Film Festival also forgot to give him honour in his centenary year .

His contribution is enormous .He ushered in natural style of acting and freed Hindi cinema from the clutches of theatrical style of dialogue delivery . He experimented a lot and did variety of roles . But life is such …………

I am a small man and I have no reach . Still I wanted to write a blog about Ashok Kumar . Through my blog , which is not widely read , I wish to remember Dadamoni Ashok Kumar and paying my unflinching respect to the first real super star of not only Hindi cinema but of Indian films .

Adieu Dadamoni ! You shall always be remembered by a fan like me and your incredible body of work will always be there to enthrall the connoisseurs of world cinema .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

 

 

My Column ” Kal Aur Aaj ” in Bhojpuri City – [ 6 ]


 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA            SEPTEMBER 10, 2011                 11 . 55 P. M.

This is the 6th article of my Hindi column ” Kal Aur Aaj ” . It comes in Bhojpuri City , a fortnightly Bhojpuri film trade magazine published from Mumbai .

Though I intend to write one article for my column every fortnight but this time there was a gap of almost two and half months. My last , 5th article was published in the May 1st issue of Bhojpuri City and now this 6th article comes in the September 1st issue. This , regretfully , happened because of my incessant travels and recent illness of my wife.

This article is about the pitiable and woefully pathetic condition of the various famous and legendary film studios of Mumbai.

I am reproducing here the cover page of the current issue of Bhojpuri City and 3 pages of the article. This is my longest article till date .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

Sunset Boulevard ( 5 ) : Alvida Kamalistan


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

Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

Alvida Kamalistan !

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

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

Vidur

Mumbai – Maharashtra – India

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

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