70 Years of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 14 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Amitabh Bachchan turned 70 on October 11 , 2012 . I am following the news since 2 / 3 days and it seems to be a never-ending saga . On that day almost all the luminaries attended his birthday bash at Film City , Mumbai . It became a national , rather international news .

English: Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I have stated in my earlier blog , which I wrote when he completed 40 years in the Hindi Film Industry , I was not his fan initially. But gradually when I grew and when I started understanding cinema , I started appreciating his work more .

I must admit here that I am yet to watch ” Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] , his first film . His first film , which I watched was ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] . A Dilip Kumar fan , who was getting used to Rajesh Khanna , any liking for Amitabh Bachchan was not possible . Though I must admit here that he was very good in that film . Then I watched ” Reshma Aur Shera ” [ 1971 ] . He was definitely very good in that film also . But the era belonged to Rajesh Khanna .

Then I watched ” Ek Nazar ” [ 1972 ] . Sitting in a cinema hall of Allahabad , Uttar Pradesh , I was not impressed or mesmerized by his persona on the screen . I vividly remember some adverse or inimical comments made by public . I was startled because I was watching the film in Allahabad and it being his home town , I was expecting some favourable cheering . But he was being booed . ” Bansi Birju ” [ 1972 ] was another debacle . ” Raste Ka Patthar ” [ 1972 ] , ” Bombay To Goa ” [ 1972 ] and ” Bandhe Haath ” [ 1973 ] couldn’t make matter easier for Mr. Bachchan .

Though things started getting changed in 1973 . ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] got released and things changed for Mr. Bachchan . ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] fortified his position . From 1973 onwards Rajesh Khanna’s historical debacle started and stupendous ascendency of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan began . ” Deewar ” [1975 ] and ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] came in quick succession and juggernaut of Amitabh Bachchan became unstoppable . So from ” Zanjeer ” [1973 ] to ” Paa ” [ 2009 ] and ” Department ” [ 2012 ] , it was and it is Amitabh Bachchan tsunami .

After ” Khuda Gawah ” [ 1992 ] he took sabbatical . It was self – imposed semi retirement . He did few film after 5 years but old spark was missing . He again got his lost empire back with ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] and from 2000 to 2012 he is again numero uno .

2000 is very important year for him because apart from ” Mohabbatein “ , he decided to host ” Kaun Banega Crorepati “ on television . And after that he never looked back till today.

I have tried to chronicle his journey as an actor because he almost forced me to like and appreciate him . I am a self-confessed Dilip Kumar fan . Later on I started liking Ashok Kumar , Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor . My liking and appreciation for Amitabh Bachchan was slow . But now it is complete . Ashok Kumar , Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor are gone . Dilip Kumar doesn’t work anymore . ” Qila ” [ 1998 ] was his last appearance on screen . So naturally Amitabh Bachchan is the only icon , only actor of relevance available .

As Acting Trainer of Mumbai , I need to give example to my students and films of Amitabh Bachchan are my reference point . Almost all the Acting Trainers of India give reference from his films . All the Acting Schools of Mumbai or Bollywood Acting Schools have his photos prominently placed in their premises .

I am lucky that I have chance to bump into him several times . I first saw him at the music release function of  K. C. Bokadia’s film ” Pyar Zindagi Hai ” [ 2001 ] . It starred my students Vikas Kalantri and Ashima Bhalla . This film is also noted because it was K. C. Bokadia’s 50th film . Mr. Bachchan came for the music release function at The Club and I got chance to see him .

I admire him as a man , as an actor and as a public figure . I have got inspired by him and started dabbling in internet . He also inspired me to write blog . So in a way , this blog is my tribute to him .

Wish you a very long life Mr. Bachchan !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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B. R. Ishara : Departure of An Avant – Garde Film Maker


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 27 , 2012           08.05 P.M.

Avant – Garde and Path  – breaking film – maker , a true iconoclast and a renaissance – man , Babu Ram Ishara , a.k.a. B. R. Ishara died on July 25 , 2012 at the age of  77 in Mumbai . He was suffering from tuberculosis . Last year he got paralytic stroke also .

He could be called a renaissance man of Hindi cinema , as he heralded a new wave in the world of formula laden Hindi film industry with his unconventional and critically acclaimed film  ” Chetna ” [ 1970 ] .

Chetna

Chetna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the film released I was in Allahabad doing graduation at Allahabad University . I vividly remember the sensation it created . The poster of the film was really a shocker . Two naked legs of a female and a peeping Rehana Sultan from there was enough to arouse amorous feelings of youngsters in that era of conservative India . Since Rehana Sultan hailed from Allahabad , the curiosity was at its peak and palpable . Film opened with critical acclaim and was a box office hit too .

Anil Dhawan & Rehana Sultan in Chetna

Anil Dhawan & Rehana Sultan in Chetna

Before ” Chetna “ , films used to be shot in studios . B. R. Ishara shot the film in a bungalow and thus started a new trend . Today shooting a film in bungalows has become a normal affair .

Ek Nazar

Ek Nazar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from ” Chetna ” [ 1970 ] , his three other films were also special and significant in another way . A love story ” Ek Nazar ” [ 1972 ] , will be remembered because of  the lead pair . It starred Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri , as she was called and was known to the world before marriage . This film came and was a super flop . It is ironical that just after one year Amitabh Bachchan came with ” Zanjeer ” , a super hit , which changed his career graph and position in the industry . ” Prem Shastra ” [ 1974 ] was again a film with big star cast . It dealt with the issue of incest and starred Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman . And ” Rahu Ketu ” [ 1978 ] was his biggest . It starred Shashi Kapoor , Rekha , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal , Bindu and Aruna Irani .

Apart from above mentioned four films , his other films are : Gunah Aur Kanoon ” [ 1970 ] , ” Man Tera Tan Mera ” [ 1971 ]  , ” Man Jaiye ” [ 1972 ] , ” Zaroorat ” [ 1972 ] , ” Milap ” [ 1972 ] , ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dil Ki Rahen ” [ 1973 ] , ” Charitra ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dawat ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kaagaz Ki Nao ” [ 1975 ] , ” Ghar Ki Laaj ” [ 1979 ] , ” Log Kya Kahenge ” [ 1982 ] .  ” Hukumnama ” [ 1996 ] was his last film .

Milap

Milap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dil Ki Rahen

Dil Ki Rahen

Rahu Ketu

Rahu Ketu

Ghar Ki Laaj

Ghar Ki Laaj (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He worked with many stalwarts of Hindi film industry . He signed Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Sanjeev Kumar & Kumkum for ” Gunah Aur Kanoon “ , Shatrughan Sinha , Anil Dhawan , Nadira & Rehana Sultan for ” Chetna “ , Amitabh Bachchan , Jaya Bhaduri & Nadira in ” Ek Nazar “ , Vijay Arora , Reena Roy & Danny Denzongpa in ” Zaroorat “ , Shatrughan Sinha , Reena Roy & Danny Denzongpa in ” Milap ” , Reena Roy , Danny Denzongpa & Nadira in ” Nai Duniya Naye Log “ , Dev Anand & Zeenat Aman in ” Prem Shastra “ , Sanjeev Kumar in ” Dawat “ , Sarika , Raj Kiran & Pradeep Kumar in  ” Kaagaz Ki Nao “ , Shashi Kapoor , Rekha , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal & Aruna Irani in ” Rahu Ketu “ , Sanjeev Kumar , Moushumi Chatterjee & Sohrab Modi in ” Ghar Ki Laaj “ and Shabana Aazmi , Sanjeev Kumar , Shatrughan Sinha & Navin Nischol in ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

His discovery , his lucky muse and future wife , Rehana Sultan appeared in 4 films directed by him . They are ; ” Chetna ” , ” Man Tera Tan Mera ” , ” Man Jaiye ” and ” Dil Ki Rahen ” .

His other discovery Reena Roy worked with him in 3 films . They are ; ” Zaroorat ” , ” Milap ”  and ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” .

Shatrughan Sinha  repeatedly worked with him in 3 films . They are : ” Chetna ” , ” Milap “ and  ” Log Kya Kahenge ” . 

Danny Denzongpa , a very choosy actor , worked with him in 3 films . They are ” Zaroorat ” , ” Milap ” and ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” .

An actor of the caliber of Sanjeev Kumar worked with him in 4 films . They were : ” Gunah Aur Kanoon ” , ” Dawat ” , ” Ghar Ki Laaj ” and ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

Shabana Aazmi , who does not sign films easily and left , right and centre , also worked in his film ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

Thespians like Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Sohrab Modi , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal  and Pradeep Kumar also readily worked in his films .

Asit Sen , Johny Whisky , Nadira , Rakesh Pandey and Raza Murad repeatedly worked with him and were almost in every second films directed by B. R. Ishara .

It is astonishing that a man , who was not so well-educated and who used to wash dishes at Qamar Jalalabadi’s house and used to serve tea at Roop Tara Studio , made 30 films and stars of the calibre of Shabana Aazmi , Rekha , Shashi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar readily agreed to work with him .

He introduced Rehana Sultan , Reena Roy , Parveen Babi , Raza Murad , cricketer Salim Durrani and music director Bappi Lahiri in films .

His 2 Discoveries Anil Dhawan & Raza Murad at the Funeral

His 2 Discoveries Anil Dhawan & Raza Murad at the Funeral

It is sad that a director of the calibre of B. R. Ishara left the world in penury and was almost work less during his last years .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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