Dulari Ji Is Gone; Unwept, Unheard , Unsung !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 09 , 2013           06.45 P.M.
Dulari In Her Twilight Years

Dulari In Her Twilight Years

On Monday morning I was shocked to read the news of death of Dulari , a veteran yesteryear Hindi film actor . It is so heart-wrenching that she died in January 2013 and the news came in May 2013 , in Monday’s Times of India . If a popular actor dies and the news comes out a full four months later , it shows the callousness of our film industry . How come no one tried to contact her ? How come no one ever called her to say hi ? How come no one inquired about her health and well-being ? I must admit , our film industry is full of cussed , cruel and selfish people .
Today as I am writing this blog , I suddenly remember these lines , which was filmed on her in ” Devdas ” , a Bimal Roy classic .
साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

She left this ephemeral , painful world for her eternal journey . She joined her lover , the God , and became one with him .

A Young Dulari

A Young Dulari

Hindi cinema had many famous and powerful mother figures . Durga Khote , Lalita Pawar , Leela Chitnis , Kamini Kaushal , Achala Sachdev and Sulochna are some of the most famous mothers of Hindi cinema . In recent history Nirupa Roy became an ultimate mother figure . Dulari, though not as famous as her other illustrious peers , was also a popular mother figure of Hindi films .

Dulari - The Poorman's Mother

Dulari – The Poorman’s Mother

She started as a heroine in a couple of films . Immortal hits like  ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ , both from ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] were filmed on her .

Dulari

I first noticed her in Bimal Roy’s ” Devdas “ [ 1955 ] . Two songs , written by Sahir Ludhianvi and tuned by Sachin Dev Burman , were filmed on her . ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware ” and ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori “ are connoisseurs delight even today .  She played a Vaishnavi Saint with Nana Palsikar as her screen companion . A young Paro , played by Baby Naaz , was sitting on a branch of a mango tree and was remembering Devdas , while Nana Palsikar sang the song and danced . Dulari was just sitting calmly and singing the female version sung by Geeta Dutt . Her calm and serene face remained in my memory . In the same film , years later , when Paro grew older [ played by etherial Suchitra Sen ] , she was again sitting and remembering Devdas . Again same Vaishnav saints came and started singing . Now the song was ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori ” . I am unable to forget these scenes , these two songs , melancholic face of Paro , played by Baby Naaz and Suchitra Sen respectively and of course Nana Palsikar and Dulari .

Then , years later I watched ” Padosan ” [ 1968 ] and ” Gopi ” [ 1973 ] . In both the films she played the maternal aunt of lead actors ; Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar . Memory of her earlier starrers ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] , and ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] once again became fresh in my mind . It is not that I have seen only above mentioned 4 films . I have seen innumerable films of her . But these 4 remain in my memory .

Dulari as Mother Figure

Dulari as Mother Figure

A Kanyakubj Brahman from the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh , she was born and brought up in Maharashtra . She spent her childhood in Nagpur , where she was born on 18th April 1928. Her name was Ambika but she was nick-named Rajdulari and later on only Dulari remained and the world knew her as Dulari .

Dulari ji’s first film was ‘Bombay Talkies’s’ famous movie ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] with Ashok Kumar . Later on she played Jairaj’s younger sister in a Bombay Talkies film Hamari Baat’ . She was also seen as the second lead in  ‘Amar Pictures’ film ‘Adaab Arz’ where her leading man was the famous singer Mukesh . Both the films were made in 1944 .
shayar

Later on she played small roles in films like ” Ghar ” [ 1945 ] , ” Kulkalank ”  [ 1945 ] , ‘Ahinsa’, ‘Black Market’, ‘Namak’, ‘Pati Sewa’, ‘Rangeen Kahani’ [ all 1947 ] . But Dulari got her real due with ‘Filmistan’s super hit film ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] . She played Rehana’s elder sister in the movie and her leading man was Mehmood’s father Mumtaz Ali . As I mentioned earlier two immortal songs were picturized on her in this film . ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ .

After ” Shehnai “ she did films like ” Gunsundari ” , ” Mitti Ke Khilone ” , ” Naav’ ” [ all 1948 ] , ” Nanad Bhaujai ” , ” Shayar ”  [ both 1949 ] , ” Apni Chhaya ” , ” Man Ka Meet ”  [ both 1950 ] , ” Albela ”  [ 1951 ], ” Anjaam ” , ” Bhoole Bhatke ” and ” Veer Arjun ”  [ all 1952 ] .
Paapi
Dulari was seen in an important role in the movie ” Paapi ” [ 1953 ] . In this Ranjeet Movietone film Raj Kapoor played his career’s only double role. Nargis and Dulari played his two heroines .  After it she worked in Jeewan Jyoti ” [ 1953 ] , ” Devdas ”  [ 1955 ] , ” Zindagi Ke Mele ”  [ 1956 ] , ” Ek Gaon Ki Kahani ” , ” Johny Walker ” ,  ” Paying Guest ”  [ all 1957 ] ,  ” Kavi Kalidas ”  and ” Santaan ” [ 1959 ] .
Devdas (1955 film)

Devdas (1955 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JPKSHH

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Padosan

After 1959 , after two years hiatus , she started her second innings from 1961 and for the next 35 years, Dulari played many big and small roles in almost 135 films like ‘Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’, ‘Apne Hue Paraye’, ‘Aap Aaye bahaar Aai’, ‘Aaye Din Bahaar Ke’, Anupama’, ‘Teesri Kasam’, ‘Padosan’, ‘Aradhna’, ‘Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke’, ‘Chiraagh’, ‘Inteqaam’, ‘Aan Milo Sajna’, ‘Heer Ranjha’, ‘Johny Mera Naam’, ‘Caravan’, ‘Laal Patthar’, ‘Beimaan’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Raja Rani’, ‘Ameer Gareeb’, ‘Haath Ki Safai’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Do Jasoos’, ‘Aahuti’, ‘Ganga Ki Saugandh’, ‘Biwi O Biwi’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Agar Tum Na Hote and ‘Dharmadhikari’. And then one day she quietly retired from the world of movies.

Later on she did only two films . ” Surya ” [ 1989 ] and ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] . Ziddi directed by Guddu Dhanoa is her last film . Thus from ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] to ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] , her career span was 56 years .

After a career spanning 56 years and after 171 hindi, 35 Gujarati, 3 Marathi and 1 Rajasthani film , she left Mumbai and went to live with her daughter in Indore . She also acted in a ‘Shri Adhikari Brothers’ serial called ‘Waqt Ki Raftaar’ .

During her final years Dulari ji was suffering from Alzheimer and was admitted to ICU in a hospital in PUNE in the last week of December ’12 where at the age of 85 she breathed her last on 18th January 2013 around 10 a.m. She was cremated on 19th January 2013 in the noon in Pune.

…………………………………………………………………………………
Few links of songs filmed on Dulari :
1 – aana meri jaan sunday ke sunday /shehnai/1947
2 – jawani ki rail chali jaaye/shehnai/1947
3 – aan milo aan milo shyam sanware/devdas/1955
4 – sajan ki ho gai gori/devdas/1955
5 – madhav bin saara brij soona/sautela bhai/1962
 …………………………………………………………………………………

I offer my condolences on behalf myself and on behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . May God give eternal peace to Dulari Ji and strength to her daughter and other near and dear ones to bear this loss .

I can visualize a frail ,  85-year-old , lonely lady suffering from Alzheimer , sitting without a friend or companion in an old age home with blank eyes and waiting for some elusive loving one . Long windy nights of winter , dull and dusty days of summer and wet , pouring and dreary evenings of  rainy season must have come and gone  without any trace of succour . It is painful , very painful . Finally , only death could relieve her from her pain .

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

Rest in peace Dulari ji ! A tearful farewell from an ardent fan . I am happy that you left this cruel , selfish , cussed world . May , in next life , you get everything that you have ever desired for you .

[ While writing this blog , I have taken few facts and materials from the article ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware’-Dulari ” , written by Shri Shishir Krishna Sharma for his ‘Sahara Samay’ column ‘kya bhooloon kya yaad karoon’ . I am indebted . ]

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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

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