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


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 .

Vidur Acting Institute Logo


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 … ”



Joy Mukherjee : Some Sepia – Toned Memories

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 16 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Joy Mukherjee , a popular actor of yesteryear , mainly 60s , died on March 09 , 2012 in a Mumbai hospital at the age of 73 .

Let me admit in the beginning that I was never a fan of Joy Mukherjee . But I do admit that Joy Mukherjee was one of the successful stars of  Hindi film industry during my school , college and university days . And his death brings to my memory many discussions , many heated arguments with friends , about his position in the film industry , which was dominated by a triumvirate ; Dilip Kumar , Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor .

I have many dog – eared magazines in my Deoria house , which carries articles and photos of Joy Mukherjee . I suddenly remembered some of his silver jubilee hits like ; ” Love In Shimla ” [ 1960 ] ,  ” Hum Hindustani ” [ 1960 ] , ” Ek Musafir Ek Hasina ” [ 1962 ] , ” Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon ” [ 1963 ] , ” Ziddi ” [ 1964 ] , ” Door Ki Awaaz ” [ 1964 ] , ” Bahu Beti ” [ 1965 ] , ” Saaz Aur Awaaz ” [ 1966 ] , ” Love In Tokyo ” [ 1966 ] , ” Shagird ” [ 1967 ] ” Humsaya ” [ 1968 ] , ” Ek Kali Muskai ” [ 1968 ] and ” Ek Bar Muskura Do ” [ 1972 ] .

” Haiwan ” [ 1977 ] was his last film .

Love In Simla

Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon

Ek Musafir Ek Hasina

Ek Musafir Ek Hasina

Some of his films have wonderful songs , which are still popular . Who can forget songs like ;

Aap yun hi agar hamse milte rahe , dekhiye ek din pyaar ho jayega …….. ,

Bahut shukriya hai badi meharbani , meri zindagi men huzur aap aaye ……….

Dil vil pyaar vyaar , main kya janoo re ……………..

O bade miyan deewane , aise na bano …………………..

Wo hain zara khafa khafa ……………………..

Raat ka sama , jhoome chandrama , dil mora nache re jaise bijuria ………..

Ye meri zindagi , ek pagal hawa , aaj idhar , kal udhar …………………

Lakhon hain nigah men , zindagi ki raah men , sanam haseen jawan …………

Banda parwar tham lo jigar , banke pyar phir aaya hoon ………………….

Aanchal men saja dena kaliyan , zulfon men sitare bhar dena ………………

Humdam mere khel na jaano , chahat ke iqarar ko ……………………

Le gayi dil , gudia japan ki , pagal mujhe kar gayee ………………….

Sayonara , sayonara , kal phir aoongi sayonara ………………..

Na tum bewafa ho , na ham bewafa hain ……………………….

Wo haseen dard de do , jise main gale laga loon …………………….

Dil ki awaaz bhi sun , mere fasane pe na jaa …………………….

When his innings as lead actor ended , he produced and directed ” Hum Saya ” [ 1968 ] with himself in the lead . Unfortunately film bombed at the box office . He , later on directed ” Chhaila Babu ” [ 1977 ] and ” Fifty Fifty “ with Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman .

He , in 2009 , also worked in a TV serial ” Ae Dil – E – Nadaan “ .

He was son of Ashok Kumar‘s sister , who was married to producer and studio owner Sashadhar Mukherjee . So Ashok Kumar , Kishore Kumar and Anup Kumar were his maternal uncles .

Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar

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

Joy Mukherjee's Nani & Three Mamas ; Ashok Kumar , Kishore Kumar , Anoop Kumar

Famous film makers Subodh Mukherjee and Ram Mukherjee are his paternal uncles .

English: Picture of Subodh Mukherjee

Subodh Mukherjee

Rani Mukherjee With Her Father

Rani Mukherjee With Her Father

Famous Hindi film actors ; Rani Mukhejee , Kajol and Sharbani Mukherjee are his nieces .

English: Bollywood actress Kajol


Rani Mukherjee

Rani Mukherjee

English: Sharbani Mukherjee at a press event

Sharbani Mukherjee

Deb Mukherjee is his younger brother , whose son , Ayan Mukherjee directed ” Wake Up Sid “ and now directing ” Yeh Jwaani Hai Deewani “ . Ayan’s sister and Deb Mukherjee’s daughter is married to Ashutosh Gowarikar .

Deb Mukherjee

Deb Mukherjee

He belonged to an illustrious family . He had very successful innings as a lead actor . During his hey – days , he was known as Shammi Kapoor of poor producers .

I had privilege to visit his residence at Yari Road during Durga Pooja . I had trained his son , Boy Mukherjee , also , who made his debut with Mala Sinha’s daughter Pratibha . It was an honour to meet him .

Joy Mukherjee in his Later Years

Joy Mukherjee in his Later Years

It is sad that one more symbol of my younger days is gone . A chapter of my life is finally closed .

[ I started writing this blog immediately after Joy Mukherjee’s death . But I went to Manali on March 18 for Ayan Mukherjee’s film ” Yeh Jwaani Hai Deewani “ and since there was no network in Manali , I could not complete this blog . I could complete it today and posting it . ]





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