Remembering Sushilarani Patel


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 15, 2014           11.45 P.M.

 

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Sushilarani Patel, a classical singer par excellence, but an almost forgotten classical singer, died on July 24, 2014 in Mumbai at the age of 96.

 

SUSHILARANI PATEL

SUSHILARANI PATEL

 

The name Sushilarani Patel is not going to evoke any memories.

The name Baburao Patel is also not going to evoke even faint recognition.

The name of a magazine called ” Filmindia “ is almost forgotten.

Film ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] does not exist for this generation.

Film ” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] is unknown even to die-hard film connoisseurs.

The song ” … LAGAT NAZAR TORI CHHALAIYA … ” is a distant memory.

So why I am writing this obituary ?

Let me unravel the mystery one by one.

I am writing this blog to pay my obeisance to Sushilarani Patel, a classical singer par excellence. It is sad irony of fate that she is relatively unknown compared to her other illustrious colleague Kishori Amonkar, though they both are disciples of the same teacher.

 

SUSHILARANI PATEL

SUSHILARANI PATEL

 

Baburao Patel was a Member of Parliament. But primarily he was a film critic and editor of a very popular film magazine called ” Filmindia “. Sushilarani Patel was married to him. She was his third wife. ” Filmindia “ was dreaded by the film industry folks of bygone era. It is infamous for its acerbic editorials. Just go through the views of Baburao Patel published in the magazine  ” Filmindia “ about ” Jwar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] , the debut film of Dilip Kumar :

Dilip Kumar, the new hero of Bombay Talkies is an anaemic addition to our film artistes. He needs lots of vitamins and a prolonged treatment of proteins before another picture can be risked with him. He looks gaunt and famished and strikes as a long ill-treated convict, who has escaped from a jail. His appearance on the screen creates both laughter and disappointment. His acting efforts in this picture amounts to nill. “

Can it be considered a critical analysis of a debut making young actor’s acting calibre? Do you think it is decent, sensible and appropriate to comment on looks and physicality of an artiste? But Baburao Patel was known for his scathing, acerbic and derogatory personal comments. And Sushilarani Patel was his wife, third wife. It is alleged that he was jealous of her. It is also rumoured that Baburao Patel was very possessive of extremely beautiful and young Sushilarani. So, it was natural that she starred and sang just in two films and then faded into oblivion. And the two films were directed by Baburao Patel himself. The two films in question were ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] and Gwalan ” [ 1946 ]. These films tanked at the box office without any trace and Sushilarani’s career got an untimely and abrupt end.

 

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Draupadi

 

SUSHILARANI as DRAUPADI in Vastra Haran Scene of DRAUPADI

SUSHILARANI as DRAUPADI in Vastra Haran Scene of DRAUPADI

 

Any print of the film or any link of the songs she sang in ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] is not available today. I copied the above picture of Sushilarani in ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ]  from the internet and posted it above.

” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] , second film of Sushilarani Patel was also produced and directed by Baburao Patel. And Sushilarani Patel sang a duet in this film with legendary play back singer Mukesh. The song in question was tuned by Hansraj Bahl and lyrics were written by Indra Chandra. For lovers of old Hindi film songs ” …………………….. LAGAT NAZAR TORI CHHALAIYA ……………………. ” is a gem. Fortunately the song is available on YouTube. I am providing YouTube link of the song :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgcrVFUZLXE

Just two films ; ” Draupadi ” [ 1944 ] and ” Gwalan ” [ 1946 ] and that is all. That heralded the end. A sad end of a talented singer-actor. A talented artiste’s talent was allegedly crushed under the ego, obsessiveness, jealousy and whims of her husband. Sushilarani’s nephew and some of her students have confirmed these allegations in their interviews.

I think now you have all the answers of the questions , which I put forward in the beginning.

Baburao Patel died in 1982. And Sushilarani Patel could properly start her career only after her husband’s death. But at that time she was 62. Her prime was gone. Her other peer Kishori Amonkar became a legend in her own life time. They both started learning classical music from legendary Moghubai Kurdikar. Incidentally Moghubai was the mother of  Kishori Amonkar.

My student Alvira Khan, who is Salman Khan’s sister, was a student of Sushilarani Patel. So I know Sushilarani in a way. I empathized with her and after her demise, I am saddened.

 

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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 offer my condolences.


[ Information about Sushilarani Patel and Baburao Patel is taken from several newspapers, YouTube and also from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Lal Krishna Advani & Dilip Kumar


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 19 , 2013           11 . 10 P.M.

I wanted to write this blog a week back , when Shri Narendra Modi was anointed as the Prime Ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party . But I was busy writing an article on Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya for a Kenyan magazine , which is published from Nairobi , capital of Kenya . Yesterday I mailed that article to Shri Ram Chandra Pandey , Pracharak of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh , Kenya . Today , as I am relatively free , I am sitting in my study and writing this blog .

I am a fan of Dilip Kumar . My veneration for him knows no limit . In his career spanning 54 years [ when he was working and was active ] , he has done only 59 films [ including Guest appearances ] . Out of his 59 released films , I have seen 45 . I have seen many of his films several times . Ironically I have not seen his first film Jwaar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] and his last film ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] .

Let us have a look on his career and achievements . He was nominated 18 times for the Filmfare Awards , and won it 8  times . He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1991 , Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha also for one term . In 1998 he got Nishan – E – Imtiaz from the government of Pakistan .

His towering and gigantic personality hovered over my horizon from Ganga Jumna ” [ 1961 ] , which I watched in 1967 , till today , when he is recuperating in the ICU of Lilavati hospital .

Thus from 1967 to 2013 , it is a 46 – year – long association full of reverence , veneration and respect . It refuses to ebb .

English: I took this picture when he paid a vi...

Dilip Kumar in MouthShut.com office in 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Dilip Kumar’s benign and all-pervading shadow on my life was disturbed and somewhat eclipsed with the advent of Amitabh Bachchan in 1969 . From Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , he has acted in 186 films [ including Guest appearances & Voice overs ] . And out of 186 , I have watched 120 films . ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] was the first film of Amitabh Bachchan , which I watched . Ironically I have not watched his first film ” Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ]  and his latest ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] . An uncanny coincidence of my life , which happened in the case of Dilip Kumar also .

The Amitabh Bachchan juggernaut , in real sense of the term , started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] . One year later Dilip Kumar came with a critically acclaimed but flop ” Sagina ” [ 1974 ] .

Two years after ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] , Amitabh Bachchan gave two iconic super hits , ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] . Again one year later Dilip Kumar came with triple role in a much – delayed and moderate hit  ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] .

After hiatus of 5 years , Dilip Kumar started his second innings with hugely successful ” Kranti ” [ 1981 ] . But same year Amitabh Bachchan gave 3 super – hits ” Lawaaris ” , ” Yaraana ” and ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] and hugely likable ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] .

They both , a year later , came together in critically acclaimed , highly likable but a box office dud ” Shakti ” [ 1982 ] .

Dilip Kumar last came in ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] and 2 years later Amitabh Bachchan started his second innings  with hugely successful ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . And the juggernaut , which started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] still continues unabated in 2013 also .

Thus from  ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , it is a 42 – year – long association of me with Amitabh Bachchan also .

Let us have a peek in the other achievements of Amitabh Bachchan . He briefly dabbled in politics and was member of the 8th Lok Sabha . He got Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. His achievements in the film world are no less spectacular compared to Dilip Kumar . He has got 3 National Awards and unbelievable 39 Filmfare nominations in several categories , though Dilip Kumar holds the record of winning 8 Filmfare trophies .

But I must admit with all honesty that despite his unprecedented and unbelievable accomplishments , acceptance of Amitabh Bachchan was not easy for me . Though I watched his films with much admiration and appreciation , and as stated earlier , I have watched 120 films of Amitabh Bachchan but my hero , my idol was always Dilip Kumar .

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan at IFFA Award 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I think being a fan and admirer of Dilip Kumar does not mean that I don’t accept Amitabh Bachchan’s persona or demean it . They both hovered on my horizon . They both influenced me immensely . I am a fan of both of them but it is also a fact that Dilip Kumar reigns supreme and stands few notches higher .

Coincidently photographs of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan , which I have posted here , were clicked in 2006 .

English: cropped photograph of L K Advani with...

L K Advani outside his residence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Same is the case with Shri Lal Krishna Advani . I first heard of him in 1967 when I was in High School . 1967 is the same year when I came to know about Dilip Kumar through his film , a golden jubilee hit ” Ganga Jumna ” . So in an uncanny way my association with Dilip Kumar and Advani ji started in the same year , 1967 .

Advani ji became my political hero during my school , college and university days . I came to know Dilip Kumar when Amitabh Bachchan was yet to make his debut . In the same way when I started admiring Lal Krishna Advani , Shri Narendra Modi was yet to make his debut in politics .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , has spectacular achievements to his credit . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is hugely popular . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is continuing with his unstoppable juggernaut . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current idol and is liked by the cadre immensely .

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference

Narendra Modi in Press Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But as I have said earlier , in my heart Dilip Kumar still reigns supreme . And being a fan of Dilip Kumar is in no way an insult to Amitabh Bachchan . Admiring Dilip Kumar is in no way derogatory to Amitabh Bachchan . In the same way my political hero is Shri Lal Krishna Advani . And being a Lal Krishna Advani admirer is in no way an insult to Shri Narendra Modi .

It is just a question of whom you grow with . Your hero of growing years is going to be your hero till your last breath .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current favourite . But it doesn’t mean that Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani have no relevance or have no achievements to their credit . I like Shri Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan for their achievements , but I idolize Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani for their glorious innings and immense contribution in their respective fields .

I again assert that being an admirer of Advani ji does not make me an automatic hater of Modi ji . Persons like me who have admired Advani ji all their life , can’t accept a new icon in one night . It is going to be a slow and difficult process . This was the case with Amitabh Bachchan also . But gradually Amitabh Bachchan’s all-pervading shadow inundated me completely . Slowly and eventually same will definitely happen with Modi ji also . But till then Advani ji is my political hero as Dilip Kumar is my screen idol .

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I told this story to all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  . Today I am expressing it for the followers of my blog and general public , who visit my blog space .

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60 Years of Film ” Daag ”


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 09 , 2012           09.30 P.M.

Dilip Kumar’s Daag ” , which got him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award , was the 4th biggest grosser of 1952 . After ” Aan “ , it was the second hit of Dilip Kumar in 1952 . Dilip Kumar played an alcoholic youth , who is driven by self – destruction .

Daag (1952 film)

Daag (1952 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

” Daag “ is totally different from other three hits of 1952 . ” Aan “ , ” Baiju Bawra ” and ” Jaal “ are the other three hits . This Dilip Kumar , Nimmi , Lalita Pawar and Usha Kiran starrer was produced and directed by Amiya Chakrabarty , who incidentally directed Dilip Kumar’s debut film ” Jwar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] . Kanhaiyalal and  Leela Mishra played another important roles . If my memory is not failing me , Ram Mohan played Dilip Kumar’s friend and perhaps ” Daag “ is his debut film .

Shankar – Jaikishan gave music for the film and its one song ” Ae Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal , Gham Ki Duniya Se Dil Bhar Gaya ………………………… “ is still popular and hummed by general public and connoisseurs alike . It was written by Shailendra and it has many versions . Sad and playful versions were sung by Talat Mehmood and one version was sung by Lata Mangeshkar . ” Preet Ye Kaisi Bol Ri Duniya ………………………. “ sung by Lata Mangeshkar was another smash hit .

According to my memory , 2 other movies were made after ” Daag ” , using the same name . ” Daag – A Poem Of Love “ was produced and directed by Yash Chopra in 1973 . It was the first movie of Yash Raj Films . Another movie ” Daag : The Fire “ was directed by Raj Kanwar in 1999 .

As an acting trainer , its my job to make my students aware of these iconic films and I do it regularly in my acting class in Mumbai and through my blogs .

In future I resolve to make it a regular feature in Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , my acting school in Mumbai .

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