Jayalalithaa ; Gone Too Soon !!


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 08, 2016           02.30 A.M.

रहने को सदा दहर में आता नहीं कोई
तुम जैसे गए ऐसे भी जाता नहीं कोई

डरता हूँ कहीं ख़ुश्क न हो जाये समंदर
राख अपनी कभी आप बहाता नहीं कोई

इक बार तो खुद मौत भी घबरा गयी होगी
यूँ मौत को सीने से लगाता नहीं कोई

माना कि उजालों ने तुम्हे दाग़ दिए थे
बे-रात ढले शम्अ बुझाता नहीं कोई

अहबाब ने ये कह के संवारी हैं चिताएँ
आराम कहीं और तो पाता नहीं कोई

साक़ी से गिला था तुम्हे मैख़ाने से शिकवा
अब ज़हर से भी प्यास बुझाता नहीं कोई

हर सुबह हिला देता था ज़ंजीर ज़माना
क्योँ आज दीवाने को जगाता नहीं कोई

अरथी तो उठा लेते हैं सब अश्क बहा के
नाज़-ए-दिल-ए-बेताब उठाता नहीं कोई

-कैफ़ी आज़मी

Above mentioned ghazal was written by Kaifi Azmi in memory of Guru Dutt. I am re-producing it in memory of Jayalalithaa.

I am not writing this blog about Jayalalithaa, the AMMA or Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) because much has been written about her political journey and her feisty struggle after demise of her mentor MGR. There is nothing new for me to write.

I am writing about Jayalalithaa, the actor or Kalai Selvi ( artistic or work of art) of Tamil cinema.

As I watched the news of her death and her funeral procession, my thoughts went 48 years back. The year was 1968 and the place was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Fresh after my High School results, I went to Allahabad to pursue my academic career at the age of 15.

One day I saw the posters of a Hindi film Izzat and went to watch the movie in Pushparaj talkies. It had Dharmendra in leading role along with Jayalalithaa. Produced by A. K. Nadiadwala of Pushpa Pictures [ grandfather of now famous Sajid Nadiadwala ] and directed by T. Prakash Rao, Izzat has Lakshmikant Pyarelal as music director.

It was the movie in which Jayalalitha made her debut in Hindi films. She played a spunky Adivasi belle, Jhumki, in love with Dharmendra, who is far above her socially.

I knew Jayalalithaa’s name and reputation in Tamil film industry but was not a fan of her. When the film ended and I came out, I was a life-long fan. I became an ardent admirer of her dancing and acting talent. Just watch the famous dance scene of Izzat and you would be a fan too. My God ! what a fabulous dancer ! Posting the link.

1 – Jagi Badan Me Jwala, Saiyan Tune Kya Kar Dala ………..

The following 2 links showcase her naughty and lighter avatar, though in real life she was reticent and introvert.

2 – Ruk Ja Zara, Kidhar Ko Chala, Main Sadqe Tere Pe ………….

3 – Sar Pe Lamba Top Le Ke Aayega …….

It is sad that in her later years, she could barely move. It was heart-wrenching for me to see a feisty and fabulous dancer like Jayalalithaa in that condition. She was a woman any man could like , love and admire. She was vibrant. She was radiant. She was full of life. But during 2016 election campaign, she looked pale and lifeless. She could barely walk. I felt bad because she was only 4 years older than me. I thought that she will fight this battle too. But alas! that was not to be. She fell ill soon after her glorious political victory in elections and lost her battle of life after 75 days of struggle.

I am a fan but many Hindi film connoisseurs are not aware of her stupendous achievements in the field of cinema. For them she was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who was loved and feared alike.

For them I am placing some other facts of her career as a leading actress.

1 – Her acting career spanned 19 years. [ 1961 to 1980 ]

2 – She appeared in 140 films , primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry.

3 – She also acted in 1 Malayalam , 1 Hindi & 1 English film.

4 – As a child artiste, Jayalalithaa acted in the Kannada-language film Sri Shaila Mahathme (1961), which had Rajkumar and Krishna Kumari in lead roles.

5 – Jayalalithaa starred in English film Epistle ( 1961) .

6 – As a child artiste, she played Krishna in a three-minute dance sequence held on stage in the Hindi film Manmauji (1962)

7 – She made her debut as the lead actress in Kannada film Chinnada Gombe (1964) at the age of 15, while still in school.

8 – Jayalalithaa starred in 28 box-office hit Tamil films with M.G. Ramachandran between 1965 and 1973. The first with MGR was B.R. Panthalu’s Aayirathil Oruvan in 1965 and their last film together was Pattikaattu Ponnaiya in 1973.

9 – Jayalalitha was paired opposite Sivaji Ganesan in 17 Tamil films.

10 – Jayalalithaa acted in 10 Tamil hit films with Ravichandran .

11 – Jayalalitha had 6 Tamil films with R. Muthuraman .

12 – Jayalalitha acted in 12 Telugu films as heroine opposite N. T. Rama Rao .

13 – Jayalalitha acted in 7 Telugu films with Akkineni Nageswara Rao .

14 – Jayalalithaa’s other Telugu films included 2 films with Krishna and 1 each with Sobhan Babu, Jaggaiah, Ramakrishna and Haranath.

15 – She made her debut in Malayalam films with Jesus (1973) and the film was huge hit.

16 – Her 100th film was Thirumangalyam (1974)  directed by A.Vincent.

17 – Her last film in Tamil was  Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal (1980) .

18 – The last film she worked on, in which she played the lead heroine, was a Telugu film Nayakudu Vinayakudu (1980) . It became the highest grosser of the year in Telugu.

19 – Jayalalithaa holds the record for having been the Tamil actress with maximum silver jubilee hits in her career – 85 hits of 92 Tamil films as main female lead heroine.

20 – she also has all 28 films in Telugu as silver jubilee hits.

21 – She had 119 box office hits of the total 125 films she did in various languages as the main female lead between 1961 and 1980 .

22 – She was the highest paid Indian actress from 1965–1980.

23 – She made guest appearances in 9 films and 6 of her films were dubbed into Hindi.

24 – She did double roles in eight films.

25 – Jayalalithaa wrote columns in the magazines like Bommai . She also wrote a column -Ennanga Selar in magazine Tughlaq in 1970s.

Need I say anything else for her accomplishments?

It is 2 days since she is gone. I am still numb. I am deeply saddened.

Farewell Kalai Selvi ! There will be no one like you ever.

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I pay my tributes to Kalai Selvi (work of art) of cinema and to Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) of political arena.

[ List of films, dates and other information about Jayalalithaa have been taken from Wikipedia .

I am indebted and I express gratitude. ]

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Feroze Rangoonwala is Gone : A Film Historian Becomes History


Feroze Rangoonwala with his Collection

Feroze Rangoonwala with his Collection

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 13, 2015           09.35 P.M.

Eminent film historian Feroze Rangoonwala, credited with having written the highest number of books on Indian cinema, is no more.

Rangoonwala passed away at his residence in Mumbai on August 04, 2015 at the age of 82 after prolonged sickness.

He has left behind a wealth of information on Indian cinema, particularly at a time when efforts are on to save cinematic material for archival purposes.

Rangoonwala was best known for creating the first book of Indian filmography in 1969, Indian Film Index, and his magnum opus, Pictorial History of Indian Cinema, which for its period of issue had a record run in printing. Its Russian translation led to Indian cinema being introduced to the big Soviet readership, which loved Indian films. The book also saw multiple printings.

It came about five years after Indian Film written by an American film historian Erik Barnouw and Indian filmmaker S Krishnaswamy, which was the other major book on Indian cinema at that time.

Rangoonwala wrote 15 major books spanning a career of five decades. These included Indian cinema, Past and Present in 1983, and several monographs on different film personalities including those on filmmakers Guru Dutt and Bimal Roy – some written for the National Film Archives of India. Other books include Satyajit Ray’s ArtSeventy-five years of Indian cinema, and Bharatiya Chalchitra Itihas.

He started as a film publicist in Mumbai in the early 1950s, and soon created a major hobby into a scholastic career. He also collected a large number of film posters and rare photographs. His knowledge of the film industry made him a much sought after person to sit in both international and Indian film juries.

Unfortunately Rangoonwala remained least acknowledged by the Indian government circles and did not receive any accolades.

Rangoonwala finally called it a day in 2006, as illness dogged him.

He sold off his entire collection of Indian cinema memorabilia to a collector of film history and retreated into private life. He also donated some rare photographs from cinema to the National Film Archives of India.

Feroze Rangoonwala

Feroze Rangoonwala

I came to know of him in early 70s. I came across an article written by him in 2 parts in “Star & Style”. It was about Dilip Kumar. It was so well-written that I became a fan of Feroze Rangoonwala. I still have this magazine in the library of my Deoria house. Alas ! I could not meet him ever. I will always regret this.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.

May God bless his soul !!

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[ I have taken this article from a website : http://www.indiantelevision.com  I express my gratitude. ]

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Vidur’s Film Diary – July 2014


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 01, 2014           08.15 P.M.

[ DECLARATION : After May, 2014, I have started mentioning names of only those students in my diary, who respect me and accept my humble contribution in their journey of cinema. All the other students, who, though, worked this month but deny my contribution and refuse to even acknowledge me, are not mentioned. They are free from any obligation from my side. GOD BLESS THEM! ]

After a dull May 2014 and June 2014, July 2014 brought happy news on my career front and it became a month of celebration. A new, significant and important film  ” Lekar Hum Deewana Dil “ was released on July 04. Armaan Jain, grandson of legendary Raj Kapoor, made his debut in the said film. He is my student.

I am posting links of the 05 videos. You can watch them for the full understanding of my body of work in 2013 – 2014 till July.
1 : ” Jai Ho ” :  http://youtu.be/cZzBa4sHXMQ
2 : ” One By Two ” :  http://youtu.be/0WCMfQiPdGI
3 – ” O Teri ” & ” Main Tera Hero ” : 
4 – ” Khatron Ke Khiladi – 5 ” : 
5 – ARMAAN JAIN : 

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Obituary :

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Zohra Sehgal  : 

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The grand old lady of Indian film and theatre world died in New Delhi on July 10, 2014 at the age of 102. From Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor, she worked with 4 generation of Kapoors. An incredible feat indeed.

To commemorate her remarkable journey, I am re-posting the blog, which I wrote when she turned 100 years young in 2012.

Wrote this on 100th BD of Zohra Sahgal. Posting it again after her death. Zohra Sahgal : A Glorious Century of Life

 

Sona :

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A starlet of Hindi films, a look-alike of Madhubala, who did several insignificant films and then married Haji Mastan and faded away from public memory, died on July 19, 2014 at the age of 65.

 

Arun Dutt

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Son of legendary actor-producer-director Guru Dutt and playback singer Geeta Dutt, Arun Dutt passed away on July 26, 2014 at the age of 58 due to multiple organ failure.

As a producer he made an action film ” Khule Aam ” [ 1992 ] .


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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – July 04

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1 – Lekar Hum Deewana Dil …………………………. Armaan Jain

………………………………………………………………. Saif Ali Khan

………………………………………………………………. Shweta Pandit

2 – Bobby Jasoos ………………………………………. X

3 – The Dirty Dances ………………………………….. X

 

 

Second Week – July 11

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1 – Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania ……………………. Varun Dhawan

……………………………………………………………….. Alia Bhatt

2 – Bollywood Villa …………………………………….. X

3 Munna Mange Memsaab …………………………… X

 

Third Week – July 18

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1 – Amit Sahni Ki List …………………………………. X

2 – Hate Story 2 ………………………………………… X

3 – Pizza ………………………………………………….. Akshay Oberoi

4 – Bazar-E-Husn ……………………………………… Reshmi Ghosh

5 – Riyasat ………………………………………………. Aryeman Ramsay

6 – Aaj Ka Fashion Trend …………………………… Atishri Sarkar

 

Fourth Week  – July 25
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1 – Kick …………………………………………………. Jacqueline Fernandez

……………………………………………………………. Alvira Agnihotri

 

 

In total …………… 13 …………….. films got released in July . Out of these ………….. 13 ………… released films ……….. 07 ………… films have …………… 11 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 11 ……… persons , ………. 08 ……… are actors . Among the rest …………. 03 ………… Saif Ali Khan is the co-producer of “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil”. Shweta Pandit is the singer and she sang a song in the above mentioned film. And Alvira Agnihotri is the costume designer of “Kick” .

 

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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Bhojpuri : Anjani Kumar Chaturvedi  is doing lead role in  ” Benam Badshah “.


My ………….. 01 ……………. student in ……….. 01 ………….. regional film .

 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Sonali Bendre  is judging ” Cine Stars Ki Khoj “ on Zee TV .

2 – Ankur Nayyar is playing an important role in ” Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap “ on Sony TV.

 

 


My ……………. 02 ……….. students in ………… 02 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Kalki Koechlin  is playing lead in the play  ” Hamlet The Clown Prince “.


My …………. 01 ………….. student in ………… 01 …………. play .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Ranbir Kapoor  is the  Brand Ambassador of  ” Hero Scooters ” .

2Ranbir Kapoor is the face of ” Ask Me ” .

3 – Pulkit Samrat is the face of  ” Snapdeal.com ” .

4 – Imran Khan is the Brand Ambassador of  ” Purer’r Shot ” .

5 – Sonam Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” Colgate Visible White”.

6 -Sonam Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” L’OREAL “.

7- Arjun Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” Philips Pro Skin Trimmers “.

8 – Shazahn Padamsee is the Brand Ambassador of  ” Ketomac “.

9 – Alia Bhatt is the Brand Ambassador of ” Hero Motocorp ” .

10 – Saif Ali Khan is the Brand Ambasador of ” Denver Deo “.

11 – Katrina Kaif is the face of ” Lux ” .

12 – Katrina Kaif is the Brand Ambassador of ” Panasonic “.

13 – Priyanka Chopra is the Brand Ambassador of ” Rajnigandha Elaichi “.

14 – Kareena Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” Slide “.

15 – Kareena Kapoor is the Brand Ambassador of ” Lakme “.

16 – Arjun Rampal is the Brand Ambassador of ” Nivea Men “.

 


My ………….. 12 …………… students in …………… 16 …………… commercial campaigns .

 

As an acting trainer / acting tutor , July 2014 was a remarkable month for me.  My student Armaan Jain made his debut as a lead actor. My 11 students appeared in 07 films , 02 students in 02 TV serials , 01 student in 01 regional film , 01 student in 01 play and 12 students appeared in 16 Ads also . Thus total number of students working in the month of July comes to 27 . And as I have stated earlier, I have mentioned names of only those students, who respect me and accept my contribution in their journey of cinema.

 

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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 congratulate my above mentioned 27 students .

May God bless them and they shine in their chosen field .

 

VIDUR

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60 Years of Film ” Aandhiyan “


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 12 , 2012           11.58 P.M.

Dev Anand‘s film ” Aandhiyan “ stands at the 10th position in the list of hit Hindi films of 1952 . I have written about 6 films of 1952 in a row . This , my 7th blog , is about ” Aandhiyan ” . I am unable to write about remaining 3 films ; ” Maa ” , ” Nagina ” and ” Bewafa “ as I have not watched them and there are almost no information available about those films on internet .

Dev Anand stablished his banner Navketan in 1950 with a film called ” Afsar ” , starring himself and Suraiya . Guru Dutt directed ” Baazi “ in 1951 was the second Navketan film and then came ” Aandhiyan “ in 1952 . This film was directed by Chetan Anand and it starred Dev Anand , his future wife Kalpana Kartik , Nimmi , K. N. Singh , Johny Walker , Durga Khote and Leela Mishra . Film’s story was written by Dev Anand himself .

Narendra Sharma’s lyrics were tuned by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan . Hemant Kumar and Asha Bhosle‘s duet ” Wo Chand Nahin Hai Dil Hai Kisi Deewane Ka ………….. “ was the most popular song of ” Aandhiyan ” . Asha Bhosle’s ” Dard Bant Raha Hai Kise Dard Chahiye …………………… “ is another hit . Lata Mangeshkar‘s ” Hai Kahin Pe Shadmani …………………….. “ was also very popular .

Indian classical musician and master of sarod ...

Indian classical musician and master of sarod Ali Akbar Khan,(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar as a yo...

Lata Mangeshkar as a young woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After massive hit ” Jaal ” , this was Dev Anand’s second hit of 1952 and thus he could consolidate his position at the box office as a formidable star and fortified position of his banner in Hindi film industry .

English: Dev Anand, Asha Parekh, at the ABN Am...

English: Dev Anand,at the ABN Amro Solitaire Design Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another ” Andhiyan “ was made by David Dhawan in 1990 and it starred Shatrughan Sinha with Mumtaz . This was the come back film of Mumtaz and it bombed at the box office .

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In my acting institute of Mumbai , I have decided to introduce my students to this fantastic world of Hindi films . They should know about the history – making films of India . It will be now a regular feature of the curriculum of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

With this blog about ” Aandhiyan ” , I am ending my ” Down The Memory Lane ” category blogs . In the last month of 2013 , I will again return with the hit films of 1953 .

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60 Years of Film ” Jaal ”


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 08 , 2012           11.40 P.M.

After Aan and Baiju Bawra , the third most successful film of 1952 was Dev Anand starrer Jaal ” . It was written and directed by legendary Guru Dutt . This was Guru Dutt‘s second movie, after Dev Anand‘s production Baazi ” . After Baazi, this was the second film in which Dev Anand also came through as a confident star/actor, with a style uniquely his own.

It has some memorable melodies by music maestro Sachin Dev Burman , a Dev Anand regular . Lata Mangeshkar‘s 2 songs ” Chori Chori Meri Gali Aana Hai Bura …………………….. ” , ” Pighla Hai Sona Door Gagan Par , Phail Rahe Hain Shaam Ke Saaye ……………………….. ”  are still very popular . Kishore Kumar and Geeta Dutt’s duet ” De Bhi Chuke Ham Dil Nazrana Dil Ka ……………………… “  is my eternal favourite . But Hemant Kumar‘s ” Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan , Sun Ja Dil Ki Daastaan ………………… “ is immortal and perennial favourite with the connoisseurs of Hindi film songs . It has several versions . Sung by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar separately , it has a duet version also by them .

Dev Anand. Guide.

Sachin Dev Burman

Sachin Dev Burman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar as a yo...

Lata Mangeshkar as a young woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A typical crime thriller in Dev Anand style , ” Jaal “ was a far cry from swashbuckling  costume drama ” Aan “ and rustic , tender love story ” Baiju Bawra ” .World of Dev Anand was totally different from the world of Dilip Kumar and Bharat Bhushan . As I have written in my blog about ” Aan “ , I didn’t like the film when I watched it for the first time . But suave , debonaire , sweater clad and guitar strumming Dev Anand , playing a Christian character , became my instant favourite . Moon – kissed beach of Goa , Dev Anand’s immensely likable persona , Geeta Bali‘s vergin beauty and Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar’s etherial voice in  ” Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan , Sun Ja Dil Ki Dastan ……………………….. “ had mesmerizing effect on my mind and the charm refuses to fade away even after 6 decades . Geeta Bali , again my favourite , was in full form in ” Jaal ” . Sachin Dev Burman’s musical genius was totally opposite of Naushad’s . Mohammad Rafi was as different from Hemant Kumar as North Pole is from South Pole . So the liking for ” Jaal “ , compared to ” Aan “ was much more . It is still one of my favourite films . Lata Mangeshkar is the only common link between all the three films and she was equally superb in all of them .

Apart from Dev Anand and Geeta Bali , it has K. N. Singh and Johny Walker also in the steller roles .

As I have stated in my previous blog , 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 .

I strive to make it a regular feature in my acting school Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

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Zohra Sahgal : A Glorious Century of Life


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 22 , 2012           04.15 P.M.

100 Years Old Zohra Segai

100 Years Old Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal , the legendary film and theatre actor , recently completed 100 years of her momentous life . It is fascinating to know that she is as old as Indian cinema . She , in fact , is a year older . She was born in Saharanpur , Uttar Pradesh in 1912 . And the first Indian cinema ” Raja Harishchandra ” was made and released in 1913 in Mumbai . So she precedes Indian cinema and is still among us .

Map showing location of district in Uttar Prad...

Map showing location of U.P. in India & Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh

She was born as Zohra Mumtaz Ullah Khan in an orthodox Muslim aristocratic family and went to Queen Mary’s Girls College , Lahore and later on to Mary Wigmen’s ballet school in Dresden , Germany . There she was trained in modern dance and was the first Indian to get trained at that school . She stayed there for couple of years and fortunately met Uday Shankar there , who was travelling Europe at that time with his troupe .

While still in Europe , she was invited by Uday Shankar to join his troupe . She joined legendary dancer’s troupe in 1935 and worked with him for 8 long years . Along with his troupe , she toured Japan , Egypt , Europe and U. S. A. Later on she became a teacher in Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre at Almora .

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer,...

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer, here seen in a 1930s photograph

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). ...

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). Also seen at the bottom left Zohra Segal

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar's Troupe

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar’s Troupe

She met her future husband Kameshwar Nath Sehgal at the Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre  and married him against the wishes of her orthodox family and  hence , she came to be known as Zohra Sehgal . She has a daughter Kiran and a son Pavan , who is married to the grand – daughter of Munshi Premchand , the renowned Hindi writer .

Young Zohra Sehgal

Young Zohra Sehgal

Later on , she migrated to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] with her family and started working with Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre in 1945  , where her sister Uzra Butt was already working . She essayed many roles in his plays . She was a major star of Prithvi theatre . She also worked with Indian People’s Theatre Association [ IPTA ] for 14 long years .

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal

Prithvi Theatre Festival 06, commemorating the...

Prithvi Theatre Festival 2006 , commemorating the Birth Centenary of Prithviraj Kapoor

She made her screen debut with IPTA’s first film production ” Dharti Ke Lal ” [ 1946 ] , a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas . This followed by ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] , directed by Chetan Anand . incidentally ” Neecha Nagar “ became the first Indian film to win Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival . Later on she worked in ” Afsar ” [ 1950 ] , first film of Dev Anand’s banner Navketan and ” Baazi ” [ 1951 ] , a film directed by Guru Dutt .

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Neecha Nagar

Neecha Nagar

After her husband’s death in 1959 , Zohra Sehgal moved to Delhi and then to London and worked in films like ” The Courtesans of Bombay ” [ 1983 ] , a Merchant Ivory Productions . ” The Jewel in The Crown ” [ 1984 ] and ” Tandoori Nights ” [ 1985 ] are her famous TV role .

Cover of

Cover of The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

In mid 90s , she again returned to India and started her second innings with films like ; ” Dil Se ” [ 1998 ] . ” Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam ” [ 1999 ] , ” Dillagi ” [ 1999 ] , ” Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham ” [ 2001 ] , ” The Mystic Masseur ” [ 2001 ] , ” Bend It Like Beckham ” [ 2002 ] , ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] ” Cheeni Kum ” [ 2007 ] and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] .

Poster of Dil Se

Poster of Dil Se

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Poster of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...

Poster of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Poster of Veer - Zaara

Poster of Veer – Zaara

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Saawariya

Poster of Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

She won many awards in her long and chequered career . She got Padma Shri in 1998 , Padma Bhushan in 2002 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 . She also received Kalidas Samman in 2001 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2004 for lifetime achievement .

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

It is fascinating to complete 100 years of one’s life and 61 years of active film and stage career . She started her career on stage in 1945 at Prithvi Theatre . So from 1945 to 2006 , when she appeared on stage again for the Centenary Year celebration of Prithvi Raj Kapoor , it is 61 – year – long stage career .

From ” Dharti Ke Lal ” and ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] to ” Cheeni Kum ” and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] , it is again 61 – year – long career in films .

She joined Uday Shankar’s troupe in 1935 . And her last two appearances on-screen ; ” Cheeni Kum “ and ” Saawariya ” came in 2007 . So it becomes incredible 72 – year – long career in fine arts .

She has another distinction to her credit . She worked with Prithvi Raj Kapoor in 1945 . And then she worked with his great grandson Ranbir Kapoor in 2007 . I think this is un – paralleled in the history of world cinema . She beautifullybridged the gap of 62 years and 4 generations .

Her life and achievements are amazing . I have trained Ranbir Kapoor for ” Saawariya ” . So I feel a sense of attachment to the legendary Zohra Sehgal because she was also associated with the film . I feel blessed .

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

See the photograph posted above . See her zest and vigour . Her energy is infectious . Her impish smile is intact .

I pray for her long life . May she out – live me also . Amen !!!

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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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

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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