Remembering Krishna Kalle


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 30, 2015           06.20 P.M.

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Let me admit that to most of the readers of my blog , the name Krishna Kalle means nothing . Her name doesn’t ring a familiar sound . To general public also , Krishna Kalle remains almost unknown. But for few people like me , who grew in the 60s , Krishna Kalle was a known name in the Hindi film music world. Her name does ring a familiar sound for the music buffs. So when I read about her death, I was saddened. She went unwept and unsung.

She died on March 15, 2015 at the age of 74 in Mumbai.

In the era of Lata Mangeshkar , she , along with Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda tried hard to be in the limelight. All the above mentioned five playback singers , who were good in their own way , failed to make any significant mark in the era of a colossus known as Lata Mangeshkar. When even a giant like Asha Bhosle was also struggling to make her mark, what would anyone expect from the likes of Krishna Kalle , Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda ?

For me Krishna Kalle is synonymous with few hit songs of 60s and early 70s. Meri Hasraton Ki Duniya  , her duet with Mohammad Rafi in a film called  ” Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi ” [ 1974 ]   and Hume Toh Maar Diya  , a duet with Mahendra Kapoor from the film ” Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain ” [ 1966 ] are still fresh in my memory. For the connoisseurs of old Hindi film songs, these are unforgettable gems. Other famous films of that era , which have her memorable songs ,  are : Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain  [ 1966 ] , Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein [ 1967 ] , Raaz [ 1967 ] , Naunihal [ 1967 ] , Shikar [ 1968 ] , Sati Sulochana [ 1969 ] and Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi  [ 1974 ]

She was born in Karwar. As her father were serving at Kanpur, she completed her schooling from there . She got the sanskar of Hindi and Urdu over there. At the age of 16, she started singing at Kanpur Radio Station. She sung in various Yatra singeet mahotsav in Uttar Pradesh and got popularity. In 1957, she was honoured with national level youth singing awards by India’s first president Rajendra Prasad and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The following year, she bagged the All India Sugam Sangeet Award first prize , K.L. Sehgal Memorial’s Golden Voice Award and many others. And after this she got a job with All India Radio in 1960.

Arun Date first heard her voice, when she visited Mumbai . He introduced her to music director Yashwant Dev. This started her journey as Marathi singer.

She was active in the Hindi film industry for about a decade from 1960s to the 1970s. She sang over 200 Bollywood songs, 100 Marathi movie songs, 100 bhajans, ghazals and devotional songs . She also released non-film albums with famous singers like Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi.

Krishna Kalle has been named for the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ instituted by the Maharashtra government. Some other personalities who bagged the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ include : Manna Dey, Anil Biswas, Sudhir Phadke, Khayyam, Mahendra Kapoor, Suman Kalyanpur, Sulochana Chavan, Kalyanji (Shah), Manik Verma and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Thus getting the above mentioned prestigious award shows her calibre as an artiste.

After her death, I tried to remember other hit songs of Krishna Kalle , apart from above mentioned two ,  but my memory failed me. Suddenly I found a website, where link of some of the songs are given . URL of the website is :

https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

Here I am posting links of some of her songs from that website :

Songs Sung by Krishna Kalle

 

 

It is sad that today’s generation doesn’t know or remember Krishna Kalle. It is very easy for any upstart to write what Shabana Azmi says about Dilip Kumar and post it on his timeline . They both are legends. everyone knows everything about them . But knowing and writing about a lesser known artiste like Krishna Kalle is the job of a fan , a lover of old film songs and a connoisseur. For people like me she was one of the representatives of the golden era of Hindi film music.

 

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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 heartfelt condolences and pray that her near and dear ones get strength to bear this loss.

May God bless you Krishna ji ! In this life you never got the kind of success you deserved . I pray to God to be more kind to you in your next birth.

 

Farewell madam !! Accept this tribute from an ardent fan .

[ I have quoted some facts of Krishna Kalle’s life from Wikipedia . List of her songs are taken from the website : https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

I express my gratitude . ]

 

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My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2014           08.50 P.M.

 

My fascination with Hindi film heroines started in mid 60s. In the dark environs of Amar Jyoti Talkies, Deoria, my rendezvous with Hindi cinema took place with Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi starrer Silver Jubilee hit  ” Sasural ” [ 1961 ] . B. Saroja Devi, though not well-known to Hindi cine-goers, was almost alien to me. But after watching the film, I was unable to forget her. Her elegant persona, her well-kept figure, her chiselled face enticed me for weeks and months. She was the first icon of my childhood fancy.

Few years later in 1967, after appearing in High School exams, I watched Dilip Kumar and  Vyjayanthimala, starrer golden jubilee film ” Ganga Jumna “. B. Saroja Devi and  Vyjayanthimala, to my utter surprise, looked almost similar. I was hooked to Vyjayanthimala and my fascination for the film heroines got fortified.

After passing High School, I went to Allahabad for further studies. My true rendezvous with Hindi cinema started in all earnest in Allahabad. I started watching films regularly. I got acquainted with the heroines of early Hindi cinema. I was particularly enamoured by Devika Rani and Kanan Devi. [ Who can forget Devika Rani’s ………. MAIN BAN KI CHIDIA BAN KE BAN-BAN DOLOON RE ……….( ” Achhut Kanya ” – 1936 ) and Kanan Devi’s ………….. YE DUNIYA ,YE DUNIYA TOOFAN MAIL ……… ( Jawaab ” – 1942 ) ? Few years later I watched two earlier films of Kanan Devi; P. C. Barua starrer ” Mukti ” [ 1937 ] and K. L. Sehgal starrer ” Street Singer ” [ 1938 ]. Though they were the heroines of my father’s generation but their etherial beauty, their sweet voice enthralled me and fascinated me during my adolescent and growing up years in Allahabad.

Later on I got acquainted with the works of other highly successful actresses of the bygone era. The list included Nargis, Suraiya, Nalini Jayawant,  Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nimmi and Geeta Bali. These heroines ruled the golden era of Hindi films. But even they belonged to the earlier era.

My era included highly successful and enchanting heroines like;  Nutan, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman , Nanda and Mala Sinha .

I became a die-hard fan of Waheeda Rehman after watching her films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) . After watching Raj Kapoor‘s Awaara (1951) and of Mehboob Khan‘s Mother India (1957), Nargis, also became one of my all time favourites. Vijay Bhatt‘s Baiju Bawra (1952), made me a fan of  Meena Kumari.  K. Asif‘s Mughal-e-Azam (1960) made Madhubala my eternal favourite.

Then times changed. My journey with cinema matured. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, actresses like Sadhna, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz and Asha Parekh ruled the Hindi film world.

In the early 70s  Amitabh Bachchan, era started in the Hindi film industry. Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya BachchanRekha,  Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia. I adored these heroines but frankly, I was neither enchanted or enamoured by them. Mysterious quality of the earlier heroines was missing. Or may be I became mature and the mystique slowly evaporated.

In 1975, I completed my studies in Allahabad and returned to my native place, Deoria. A 14-year-long second phase of my life started in Deoria.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family centric romantic musicals with the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) . Incidentally this was the last film, which I watched in Deoria.

I moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] in 1989. This was the year when Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) got released and changed the film-watching experience forever.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Dil (1990), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), making stars out of a new generation and actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol . In that point of time actresses such as Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai also arrived on the scene.  Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor too appearing in popular comedy films .

Furthermore, this decade marked the entry of new performers in art house and independent films like Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar were the heroines of this generation.

So it was a long association with the silver screen heroines. From Kanan Devi to Kajol and Karisma Kapoor , I watched everyone, got fascinated by them and silently admired their etherial beauty. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that one day I would train few of the present day ruling Divas of Hindi cinema. After 25 year stay in Mumbai, when I look back, I reminisce my by-gone days with astonishment. I am bewildered with my accomplishment.

In 1994 two heroines trained by me made their debut in Hindi films. They are Sonali Bendre in ” Aag ” [ 1994 ] and Divya Dutta in ” Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna ” [ 1994 ] . It uncanny that 1994 was the year when Devika Rani died. Kanan Devi bid us adieu two years earlier in 1992.

My childhood icons left this world in 1994 and present day icons, trained by me , made their entry in 1994. It is strange. It is quirky. It is really uncanny. After debut of Sonali Bendre and Divya Dutta in 1994, flood-gate of the newcomers got opened and it has now submerged the Hindi film industry. I present a list of some of the epoch-making new era Hindi film Divas, who got trained by me :

Kareena Kapoor : ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] = DEBUT

Priyanka Chopra : ” The Hero ” [ 2002 ] = DEBUT

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] = DEBUT

Anushka Sharma : ” Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ” [ 2008 ] = DEBUT

Katrina Kaif :  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010]

ALIA BHATT : ” Student Of The Year ” [ 2012 ] = DEBUT

KALKI KOECHLIN : ” Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani ” [ 2013 ]

URVASHI RAUTELA : ” Singh Saab The Great ” [ 2013 ] = DEBUT

 

In the end I would like to submit that the above mentioned list is almost endless. I have mentioned very famous names only. As I watch Alia Bhatt making rapid strides,and other newcomers trained by me making their entry in the tinsel town, my heart beats fast with pride.

Some of the biggest star sons / daughters are currently being trained by me and they are going to make their debut in 2015.

So the SAGA CONTINUES !! Dust settles down. Sun shines brilliantly. And the World { excluding few egoistic nay-sayers } watches with awe, admiration and amazement.

 

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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 wish all my above mentioned students all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

God bless them for making me proud !!

 

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80 – Year – Old ” New Theatres “


EVENING…………………………..6.00

Yesterday when I was writing about 80 years of  ” ALAM ARA “ , first Hindi talkie , rather Indian talkie , I came across an article in Screen which states that B. N. Sircar’s legendary film production company ” New Theatres “ also completed 80 years on February 10 , 1931 . It was one month and four days before the epoch making ” ALAM ARA “ , that this legendary production company was launched . ” New Theatres ,   Calcutta [ now Kolkata ] was founded by producer B. N. Sircar a.k.a. Birendranath Sircar, the recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award of 1970.

Logo of New Theatres , Calcutta

Logo of New Theatres , Calcutta

The logo of ” New Theatres ” has an elephant in a circle with a quote from  Upnishads . It was like the famous logo of Hollywood’s production company MGM where a lion used to roar in the same kind of circle . Moto of New Theatres was – Jivatang Jyotiretu Chhayam means [ Light infusing shadows with life ]

Like Ardeshir Irani’s Imperial Movietone , New Theatres of Calautta [ now Kolkata ] produced ” Dena Paona,  the first Bengali talkie. It was released in 1931,  and was directed by Premankur Atarthi . Famous musician Raichand Boral composed music for this movie.

Scene from Dena Paona, 1931 - first Bengali Talkie

Scene from Dena Paona, 1931 - first Bengali Talkie

After first Bangla talkie, ” Dena Paona “ , ” New Theatres ” produced another path breaking film ” Devdas “ in 1935.  P.C. Barua directed and acted in ” Devdas , based on Saratchandra Chatterjee‘s novel ” Devdas and this film became phenomenally successful in the industry.

Pramathesh Barua and Jamuna Barua in Debdas, 1935

Pramathesh Barua and Jamuna Barua in Debdas, 1935

Pramathesh Barua and Jamuna Barua in Debdas, 1935.

Pramathesh Barua and Jamuna Barua in Debdas, 1935.

In 1935, playback singing was first used in India in the New Theartes production Bengali film ” Bhagya Chakraby Nitin Bose. The singers were K C Dey, Parul Ghosh and Suprabha Sarkar. ” Dhoop Chhaon Hindi remake of this film, was the first Hindi film to use playback singing. It was another feather in New Theaters’ cap .

Kanan Devi was the first popular star actress, who appeared in many films produced by ”  New Theatres “ . Also there was a group of talented actors with New Theatres like K.L. Saigal, K. C. Dey, Prithviraj Kapoor, Chhabi Biswas, Bikash Roy, Pahari Sanyal, Basanta Choudhury.

Top directors like Premankur Atarthi, P.C. Barua, Debaki Bose and Nitin Bose worked in New Theatres films. The Famous musicians who worked there include R. C. Boral, Pankaj Mullick and Timir Baran.

New Theatres used to make commendable films till 1955. From 1931 to 1955 , it was a 24 year long and illustrious journey . During this period New Theatres produced 150 path breaking films. Many of them are considered classics today . Name of some of the films , which are considered milestone , are given below :

Of the above mentioned films , I have seen two classics ; Pramathesh Barua directed ” Mukti “ [ 1937 ] and ” Devdas” .  Bimal Roy directed ” Udayer Pathe “ [ 1944 ] was later made in Hindi as ” Naya Zamana  ” starring Dharmendra and Hema Malini. I have seen the Hindi version.

Among all the illustrious directors , who worked in ” New Theatres ” , I was fortunate enough to meet Phani Majumdar and was able to take his blessings. Phani da made his debut with ” Street Singer “ , a Kundan Lal Sehgal starrer. It had famous Sehgal song – BABUL MORA NAIHAR CHHUTO HI JAY .  Later on he directed successful films like ” Aarti “ [ first film of Rajshri banner ] , ” Akashdeep ” and ” Oonche Log ” . I was fortunate enough to meet his actress wife Monice Desai also. Phani da died in 1994, when I was starting my acting training career.

After 55 years ” New Theatres ” , the legendary banner , is again producing a new film.

Ami Aadu (Upcoming Film, 2011) – Directed by Somnath Gupta

[I have taken some portions of this blog from the internet sites like Wikipedia and reproduced it here . Some facts are taken from Screen weekly. I express my gratitude .]

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