No Place For Old People In Young Party of New India


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 28 , 2014           11.55 P.M.

 

” Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little but needs that little so much . ” – Margaret Willour

” Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them , for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members . ” – Pearl S. Buck

” In youth the days are short and the years are long : in old age the years are short and the days are long . ”  – Nikita Ivanovich Panin

” Growing old is mandatory ; growing up is optional . ” – Chili Davis

” Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man . ” – Leon Trotsky

” Inside every older person is a young person wondering what happened . ” – Jennifer Yale

 

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Election times are always strange times in India . One can witness many unusual happenings , many bizarre scenario . One such thing is clamour for young blood in politics . There is nothing wrong in the demand per se . In fact young blood is always welcome and it should be more than welcome in the arena of politics .

But what would you say when a 76-year-old Mr. Jaswant Singh is replaced by a young ( ? ) candidate Col. Sonaram Choudhary in Rajasthan , who is 71-year-old ? He is a Congress turncoat , and Shri Jaswant Singh is a loyal party worker and old party war – horse , but it becomes insignificant in the young party of new India . What would you say when there is a cacophonous clamour for the retirement of Shri Lal Krishna Advani from public life ? Several crooks are ruling the roost and Shri Advani has unblemished record of service in public life . His only fault is his age . Unfortunately he is 86 . Is old age sin in our country ? Is it a crime to get old or be old in new India ?

Not always . Former Communist Chief Minister of Kerala , Shri V. S. Achuthanandan [ Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan ] , the grand old patriarch of CPM is 90 and is still active .

M. Karunanidhi [ Muthuvel Karunanidhi ] , the DMK patriarch , also known as Kalaignar , is 89 . Both , far from saying good-bye to public life , are on election trail . Both are going through rigorous and tortuous daily routine during election time in this hot , unbearable Indian summer . They are yet to bid adieu .

Take the case of world leaders . Oldest ruling monarch is 85-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej , the King of Thailand . This year he completes 67 years as the King of Thailand .

Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom is 87 years old and she is firmly in the saddle . She ascended the throne in 1952 . This year she completes 62 years as the reigning queen . Far from retiring , these two monarchs are still calling the shots and are much respected and revered in their respective countries .

Let us take few examples from the world of cinema .

 

Hollywood Actors :

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1 ) – At 82 , Clint Eastwood is still very much involved in the movie making business. In 2012 he plays an aging baseball scout in “Trouble With The Curve ” [ 2012 ] .

Clint Eastwood  also keeps his plate full directing movies . His most recent films are ; ” Invictus ” [ 2009 ] , ” Hereafter ” [ 2010 ] , ” J. Edgar ” [ 2011 ] and ” Jeresy Boys ” [ 2014 ] . Thus from 1955 to 2014 , its 59 year-long and uninterrupted career .

2 ) – At 90 , Christopher Lee is still acting in Peter Jackson’s ” The Hobbit “ movies .

3 ) – At 96 , Kirk Douglas , the star who starred in ” Spartacus ” [ 1960 ] , worked last in ” Empire State Building Murders ” [ 2008 ] . From 1946 to 2008 , it is 62 year-long career .

4 ) – At 96 , Olivia de Havilland , who enthralled audiences world over in the classic ” Gone With The Wind ” [ 1939 ] , is still working . Her last film ” I Remember Better When I Paint ” [ 2009 ] . It is incredibly 74 year-long career which started in 1935 .

 

Indian Actors :

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1 ) – The ever – green Ashok Kumar’s career spanned for 61 long years . Right from ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ]  to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] , Dada Muni , as he was fondly called , was working till he was 86 .

2 ) – Pran is another gem in the crown . He was active till the age of  83 . From ” Yamla Jat ” [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh ” [ 2003 ] , it was 63 year-long career .

3 ) – Dev Anand , another indefatigable legend , worked for 65 years . From ” Hum Ek Hain ” [ 1946 ] to ” Charge Sheet ” [ 2011 ] , it was an awe – inspiring 65 year-long journey of perennial glory and ever – lasting super – stardom . He was 88 when he died . He released his last film ” Charge Sheet ” same year , which was written, produced and directed by him . He also starred in it as the main protagonist . It is unbeatable record in the world of cinema in India .

There are such people in the world of literature also .

Writers :

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1 ) – Khushwant Singh , the age – defying author ; novelist , historian and journalist , died at the age of 99 .  He wrote till he was 97 years old . ” The Mark Of Vishnu and Other Stories ” [ 1950 ] to “Agnostic Khushwant : There Is No God ” [ 2012 ] , he enjoyed 62 unquestioned active years as an author of repute .

2 ) – Maya Angelou , the American writer , poetess and civil rights activist , is writing since 45 years . She is 85 now . Yet to retire , she is widely respected and revered in the U.S.A.

 

So why this clamour for the retirement of Shri Lal Krishna Advani or denial of ticket to Shri Jaswant Singh ? I feel it is not related to age . This is power – struggle . New satraps want to remove old guards unceremoniously and they are taking positions behind the age factor . A person should be respected for his / her age and should not be despised . Age is a boon . When I read comments related to age I am peeved . A person serves his organization from the young age . He gives his life in the service of his party and organization . And suddenly one day a new ascending leader appears on the scene and simply orders the banishment of the old guard . Though the old person in question is not infirm or incapacitated . No one is questioning why Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not given a ticket . Everyone knows that he is bed – ridden and can’t even speak or recognize people . But Shri Lal Krishna Advani is still active and mentally alert .

” A man is not old untill regrets take place of dreams . ” – John Barrymore

No one can stop new leaders or younger people from ascending the firmament . But it does not mean curtain for older leaders , who are still fit and can still serve the country. I feel sad , when I see that contribution of Shri Lal Krishna Advani is being overlooked . Malicious , derogatory and abusive comments are continuously being posted on the various social networking sites , so that he should get dejected and retire . Suggestions are being dished out by so-called party – sympathisers that old people should accept the new order and should not crib or demand any special privilege . It was recently said by the alleged member of the alleged ” Club 160 “ said that old guard should learn to accept ” no ” to their demands and they should accept the dictate of younger dispensation with graceful silence . It was said that they should learn to get adjusted to the new , changed ways of the young party of the new India . It could be argued that it is true to some extent . But the tone and tenor of this statement was contemptuous , smug and full of hubris . It was disrespectful .

” Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little but needs that little so much . ” – Margaret Willour

Then what is the solution . In my opinion there should be a fine balance between old and new generation . For every young Arjun , there has to be a sagacious Bhishma Pitamah and an experienced Dronacharya . For every imperious and bellicose Duryodhana , there has to be a sagely Vidur and a stoic Kripacharya . If this fine balance in the time of yore could not save us from a devastating Mahabharata , what will happen , if today we will have only inexperienced Arjuna and imperious , bellicose and belligerent Duryodhana in our mist ?

Think India , think ! And be afraid . Be very afraid !

” There is one more terrifying fact about old people : you are going to be one soon . ” – P. J. O’Rourke

 

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I urge for the respect of elders and pray for the betterment and well – being of my country .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre also pray for our beloved India and out age – old ethos .

 

[ I have taken information about world and Indian leaders from Wikipedia . For Hollywood actors , I have taken information from a website ; http://www.pajiba.com I am indebted ]

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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 . ]

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In Memoriam Rajesh Khanna : Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli , Hai!


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Dara Singh died on July 12 , 2012 . Within a week another luminary of the Hindi film industry bid adieu to this world . Rajesh Khanna died on July 18 , 2012 .

In Glass Casket

In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Let me state honestly . I am not his fan . In fact I was never ever a fan or admirer of Rajesh Khanna , the actor or the man . Though I have watched many of his films . I do admire some of his cult films . I definitely remember and hummed many of his iconic songs . I am very much aware of his stupendous super stardom , which , once upon a time , engulfed the film industry like a hurricane or tornado or tsunami . I am witness to those years when every star  was dwarfed in front of him . I am well aware of  those momentous days when everyone or everything became insignificant in his presence . His blitzkrieg darkened all the other objects . His tumultuous rise momentarily eclipsed all the other stars and consigned some of the mightiest stars into the trash bin of history . I am witness to those days . I was living in that era . I am privy to those happenings . In 1972 I was here in Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . I have seen the crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad . I have witnessed the fan adulation . But still , I was not his fan or admirer .

But I was saddened beyond words when I heard the news of his demise . My wife , again not his fan , cried profusely when she watched his funeral procession . So the question arises , what happened to us ? Why we felt for Rajesh Khanna so deeply ? Is it not enigmatic ? Is it not ironical ? No , it is not . Just watch these pictures posted below and notice the horrific changes in his personality down the years and you will fully understand the reason of our empathy .

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From a dashing , charming young superstar to a pale shadow of his own self , these photos tell us a very tragic and pathetic story . For present day generation of movie – goers , his popularity during his heydays is unknown and unimaginable . I am presenting some of the milestones of his life’s journey one by one .

Aakhri Khat

Aakhri Khat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1966 : Made debut with ” Aakhri Khat ” .

1967 : Made his mark with ” Raaz ” .

1969 : Attained Super stardom with ” Aaradhana ”

1969 : ” Bandhan ”

1969 : ” Do Raste ”

1969 : ” Doli ”

1969 : ” Khamoshi ”

1969 : ” Ittefaq ”

[ 6 super hits in 1969 ]

1970 : ” Aan Milo Sajna

1970 : ” Safar ”

1970 : ” Kati Patang ”

1970 : ” The Train ”

1970 : ” Sachcha Jhootha ”

[ 5 super hits in 1970 ]

1971 : ” Anand ”

1971 : ” Haathi Mere Saathi

1971 : ” Dushman ”

1971 : ” Mehboob Ki Mehndi

[ 4 super hits in 1971 ]

1972 : ” Amar Prem ”

1972 : ” Apna Desh ”

[ 2 super hits in 1972 ]

Within 3 years of making his debut , he attained unimaginable , unheard of and unprecedented super stardom in 1969 with ” Aradhana “ and gave 15 consecutive super hits till 1972 , a record still unbroken . ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] and  ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] were also big hits . But 1973 was a watershed moment in his career . He was eclipsed by Amitabh Bachchan in ” Namak Haraam “ . Amitabh Bachchan’s career defining film ” Zanjeer “ also came in 1973 . And thus began the well – known downward slide of mighty Super Star Rajesh Khanna .

Alarmed by his waning popularity , he married much younger Dimple Kapadia and made headlines temporarily.

Though in 1974 he gave 2 super hits like ;Aap Ki Kasamand ” Roti “ but the slide was visible and evident . The era now clearly belonged to Amitabh Bachchan , who once played second fiddle to him in super hit , iconic cult films like ; ” Anand ” and ” Namak Haraam ” .

Poster of Anand

Poster of Anand

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of these two films can give you Amitabh Bachchan’s position in the industry in those days vis-a-vis Rajesh Khanna . But alas , the cruel hands of fate had started writing some unknown and inglorious chapters of his life with indelible ink .

In 1975 Amitabh Bachchan gave ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” . Rajesh Khanna’s mentor and lucky mascot Shakti Samanta made ” Mehbooba ” [ 1975 ] . ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay “ were super hits and became ageless cult classics . While ” Mehbooba “ was a resounding flop and sealed Rajesh Khanna’s fate finally. After 8 years gap and some insignificant films in between , in 1983 , he again came with 2 mega hits like ; ” Avatar ” and ” Soutan “ but the magic was missing . Even these massive hits could not salvage his lost position in the industry . His turbulent career affected his personal life also . In 1984 came the tragic separation from Dimple Kapadia .

From 1983 [ his last hits ] to 2012 [ his death ] ,  29 years of his eventless , colourless career and lonely personal life proved fatal for him . It is regrettable and cruel irony that a c-grade movie ” Wafaa ” [ 2010 ] is his last film .

In between he dabbled in TV also . In total he worked in 4 TV serials . ” Apne Paraye [ B4U TV – 2001 ] , ” Ittefaq ” [ Zee TV – 2002 ] , ” Bhabhima ” [ 2008 ] andRaghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi ” [ DD 1 – 2008 ] . But none could touch the popularity of Amitabh Bachchan’s ” Kaun Banega Crorepati ” [ Star Plus – 2000] .

It is a well-known secret that the title superstar was coined for him by his publicists ; Devyani Chaubal and K. Razdan . But the mass hysteria which he generated in those days and that too without the help of internet , twitter and facebook , is unimaginable , unfathomable and still unattainable . It is regrettable that his stardom or superstardom lasted just for 4 years . 15 successive super hits in a row and then 7 consecutive super flops in a row defines Rajesh Khanna’s strange film career . Compare his 4 year tenure with other stars :

DEV ANAND : 65 Years [ 1946 Hum Ek Hain – 2011 Chargesheet ]

ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Years [ 1936 Jeevan Naiya – 1997 Aankhon Me Tum Ho ]

DILIP KUMAR : 54 Years [ 1944 Jwar Bhata – 1998 Qila ]

AMITABH BACHCHAN : 40 Years [ 1973 Zanjeer – 2012 Bol Bachchan ]

Stars of this generation SHAH RUKH KHAN , SALMAN KHAN and AAMIR KHAN are reigning kings even after almost 20 years . HRITIK ROSHAN has 12 years of stardom behind him . Even DARA SINGH survived for 45 years [ 1962 King Kong – 2007 Jab We Met ] . But alas ! Rajesh Khanna vanished from the stardom and was banished from the film industry just after 4 years . Though he did 165 films and played solo lead in 107 films but was forgotten by the masses and ignored by the friends and the same film industry , which once said , ” Upar aaqa ; neeche Kaka .”

It is sad . It is heart – wrenching . People say many things about him . I , myself know many stories about him , which are said to be the cause of his downfall . But I don’t want to write those stories after his death . After all he was human and to err is human . Just re – think about some facts of his life . He debuted when he was 24 . He attained superstardom when he was 27 and lost his empire when he was just 31 . After that , till his death , it was 38 year – long wait for regaining his lost empire . It was 38 year – long wait for The Knock at his door by any producer or director . It was 38 year – long wait for the crowd to assemble again at his doorstep . It was 38 year – long wait for the same mass – hysteria , same mass adulation which was once his right and he thought it was his birth right  .

Mass hysteria , mass adulation did happen again but alas , it happened only after his death . See these pictures of his funeral procession and then watch the  crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad and you will be able to feel the irony of fate . I wish , this attention should have happened a year before ……….. or a week before ……… or even a day before ………… he would have died a happy and contented man . But strange are the ways of destiny.

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

I agree , he did make some mistakes . He did err like a human and for that mistake , for that error destiny punished him with all its might , with all its ferocity , with all its lethal cruelty . He , for his mistakes , never got same benevolence by destiny , which others easily got for their sins . Fate was condescending to others , not to him .

He was like quintessential Greek tragic hero . You can only feel sorry for him . You can empathise with him . And you could hum his memorable song …. zindagi kaisi hai paheli , hai ; kabhi ye hasaye , kabhi ye rulaye ……. Ek din sapno ka rahi , chala jaye sapno se aage kahan ………..

Phenomenon , known as Rajesh Khanna , regained some of his glory once again but alas , only after his death . He had gone forever and had gone even beyond his dreams .

As I finish my blog , I feel , I must express my admiration and gratitude to his son in  law Akshay Kumar and his long – time friend Anju Mahendru , who took every care to give him comfort during his last days . Though it seems futile , but still , it was because of them that a befitting funeral could be arranged for this forgotten phenomenon , fallen Super Star and a lonely icon , who once ruled supreme . Thank you Mr. Akshay Kumar , thank you Madam Anju Mahendru , I bow my head in gratitude ! May God bless you two !

My heart also goes for Rinke Khanna , my student , who was very close and was very much attached to her father .

If I could feel so much without being his fan or admirer , then you can imagine the pain and pathos of his fans and near and dear ones .

Rest In Peace Sir ! Destiny was cruel to you . Better luck in next life .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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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

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