Achala Sachdev : The ” Zohara Jabeen ” of ” Waqt ” Fades Away


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           May 07 , 2012           00.55         A.M.

I was busy writing my pending travel diaries of Madhya Pradesh visit , when the news came of the death of Achala Sachdev . She died in Pune on April 30 , 2012 at the age of 91 .

She was not the leading actor but was a very popular character artiste and did many significant and important films in her illustrious career spanning 64 years [ ” Fashionable Wife ” 1938 toNa Tum Jaano Na Hum ” 2002 ] . In total she did 130 films . I came to know her through Yash Chopra directed film ” Waqt ‘ [ 1965 ] .

I still remember the first encounter with her on-screen . The year was 1967 . The cinema hall was Amarjyoti Talkies , Deoria . A film called ” Waqt “ was being screened there . Every one in the town was going gaga over it . So I decided to watch it . One fine evening I went  , bought ticket and entered the auditorium . Film started and the first scene was greeted with claps , loud uproar and whistles . Soon Balraj Sahni appeared on-screen and started crooning  in the voice of Manna Dey ‘ Aye meri zohra jabeen ; tujhe maloom nahin ; Tu abhi tak hai haseen aur main jawan , tujh pe qurban meri jaan , meri jaan ………………. ” . Throughout the song sequence , close – up of a lady , who was smiling coyly , continuously appeared on-screen in intercut . My film pundit friends informed me that name of the lady is Achala Sachdev .

Waqt (1965 film)

Waqt (1965 film)

Opening Scene of " Waqt "

Opening Scene of ” Waqt “

Some Scenes of  " Waqt  "

” Waqt ” – Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen Song Sequence

Last week , when I read about her sad demise , a floodgate of memories got opened and I was transported to my home town Deoria in Uttar Pradesh . Evening of that day in 1967 appeared on my mental firmament . Even after 45 years , the first encounter of Achala Sachdev is not obfuscated even a bit . It is so uncanny that music director Ravi , who created ” Aye meri zihra jabeen …….. for her , also died last month .

After ” Waqt “ , I started following her career and watched some of the important films . Out of all the 130 films , her most memorable films are :” Foot Path ” [ 1953 ] , ” Pardesi ” [ 1957 ] , ” Miss Mary ” [ 1957 ] , ” Adalat ” [ 1958 ] , ” Char Dil Char Rahen ” [ 1959 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] , ” Manzil ” [ 1960 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Meri Surat Teri Aankhen ” [ 1963 ] , ” Dil Ek Mandir ” [ 1963 ] , ” Shagun ” [ 1964 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , ” Raj Kumar ” [ 1964 ] , ” Haqueeqat ” [ 1964 ] , ” Chitralekha ” [ 1964 ] , ” Arzoo ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Mere Sanam ” [ 1965 ] , ” Janwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Himalaya Ki God Mein ” [ 1965 ] , ” Bahu Beti ” [ 1965 ] , ” Akashdeep ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shagird ” [ 1967 ] , ” Hamraaz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mere Hamdam Mere Dost ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kanyadaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadmi Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ 1970 ] , ” Mera Naam Jokar ” [ 1970 ] , ”  Heer Ranjha ” [ 1970 ] , ” Hare Rama Hare Krishna ” [ 1971 ] , ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Julie ” [ 1975 ] , ” Laila Majnu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] , ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ]  and ” Na Tum Jaano Na Hum ” [ 2002 ] .

Poster of Nazrana

Poster of Nazrana

Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Arzoo

Poster of Arzoo

Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Kora kagaz

Poster of Kora kagaz

Geeta Mera Naam

Poster of Geeta Mera Naam

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Poster of Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Out of her 64 – year – long career ; 3 particular years ; 1964 [ 5 films ] ; 1965 [ 7 films ] and 1971 [ 6 films ] could be considered her most successful years in films . After ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] she disappeared from the films for 6 years . She again returned with Yash Chopra’s ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] . And after 6 years gap , she again gave a super hit ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ] .

Born in Peshawar in 1920 , she started her career as child artiste . She did her first film ” Fashionable Wife ” [ 1938 ] at the age of 18 years . She rose to prominence at the age of 45 years with ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , a film produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra . She worked with Ashok Kumar , Dilip Kumar , Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand . Then she worked with Shammi Kapoor , Rajendra Kumar , Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra . Generations changed but she continues to play stellar roles . She , during her later years , worked with Amitabh Bachchan , Rishi Kapoor , Shah Rukh Khan and Hritik Roshan also . She was there in ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ debut of Hema Malini ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ debut of Dev Anand as director ] , ” Mera Naam Joker ” [ debut of Rishi Kapoor ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ debut of Rakesh Roshan as actor ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ debut of Randhir Kapoor as actor and directed ] , ” Daag ” [ debut of Yash Raj Films ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ debut of Sadhna as director ] and above all ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ debut of Aditya Chopra as director ] .

She worked , before partition , for All India Radio , Lahore and after partition for All India Radio , New Delhi .

During her later years she married Clifford Douglas Peters and settled in Pune . From there she occasionally came to Mumbai for Yash Chopra’s films .

i3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

In 2011 she fell in her kitchen and since then was admitted in a Pune hospital . Her end came on April 30 , 2012 .

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

I was saddened to see her these two photos . A young Achala Sachdev of ” Waqt “ and a bed – ridden Achala Sachdev befor her death . Her only son from her first marriage is settled in U. S. A. and had no time for her . I am no one to comment on his relationship with his mother but it is heart – wrenching to know that Achala Sachdev died a lonely death . From September 2011 to April 2012 , she was bed – ridden with fractured leg , total paralysis and loss of vision and her only son was leading a comfortable life in U. S. A. with his nuclear family . I have no authority to say anything to him but I know that I would not have abandoned my mother like this .

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

I can only offer my prayers for Achala Sachdev ji . May God give her peace and tranquility .

Farewell ” ZOHRA JABEEN ” !!  You are gone but ” star – like glitter of your forehead ” shall always remain with us .

As long as we have prints of  ” Waqt “ , you will live in our heart .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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I (dont) Hate (such) Luv Storys


As I am writing this blog, I am confronted with a strange fact. I started my twitter account on June 17th, 2009 and till date I have only 83 followers. Its one year now. But Mr. Amitabh Bachchan started tweeting on May 18th, 2010 and he has 2,16,425 followers. Its has been only 46 days. The fact of the matter is that he started his journey on twitter almost 1 year after me. I am not cribbing, or voicing my anguish. I am just stating a fact. This twitter account statistic shows that I have yet to cover a long distance. It shows that I am just a speck in the universe as for as success is concerned. This is fact and I am ready to accept that.

But everything is not that gloomy. There are few occasions to celebrate here and there. Sometimes there is a news to cherish.and rejoice. And today as ” I HATE LUV STORYS” releases in the theatres worldwide , I am feeling that kind of happiness. It is very important film for me. Its main protagonists – Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor and Sammir Dattani are my students. Its director Punit malhotra, who is nephew of Mr. Manish Malhotra, is my student too. The music director Shekhar Ravjiani of Vishal-Shekhar duo, is also a student of mine. When you have 5 students in one film and that too almost in every important departments, it’s definitely a proud moment for a trainer.

PUNIT MALHOTRA : This well-behaved nephew of ace designer Mr. Manish Malhotra, was my student years ago. At that time he was assisting Mr. Karan Johar and was dreaming to make it big as an actor. He assisted Mr. Karan Johar in ” KABHIE KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM “. Then he was assistant in ” KAL HO NA HO “ and ” PAHELI “ also. After that he became a model and did one ad with Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. He was working hard to become an actor but Mr. Karan Johar gave him an offer to direct a film. I advised him to put aside his dream of becoming an actor for the time being and take the plunge . He started scripting and as soon as script was complete, ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ rolled. It got completed and got released on July 02, 2010. It created a lot of positive buzz and Punit’s career as a director is launched. I am happy for the newest director of Hindi film industry.

SONAM KAPOOR : I trained her during ” SAAWARIYA ” days.  I was already training Ranbir Kapoor at that time. He mentioned my name to Mr. Anil Kapoor and one day I got a call from him. I went to meet Mr. and Mrs. Anil kapoor and soon started training Sonam. She is an accomplished Kathak dancer and worked really hard for SAAWARIYA “. It’s unfortunate that film tanked badly and got bad press. But Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor were praised for their acting skills. Sonam’s second film DELHI 6 ” also tanked and it was sad to see this beautiful girl’s efforts not bearing fruits. Fortunately ” I HATE LUV STORYS ” will change the scenario.

SAMMIR DATTANI : I used to go to his Malabar Hills apartment to train him. In those early years of my career I had a Bajaj Super scooter and I used to commute on it. From Andheri to Malabar Hills, it was a tiring ride , but I used to go to his place because of the tremendous respect which his whole family has for me. He started working in Kannada film and made his debut in ” NANNA PRITIYA HUDUGI ” in 2001. Film was a smash hit and launched Sammir in the Kannada industry . He is known there as DHYAN. After that he worked in couple of Kannada films, such as : ” MONALISA ” , ” JOOTATA “ and ” AMRUTHADHARE “. In the last mentioned film even Mr. Amitabh Bachchan played a cameo. Sammir worked in a Tamil film also. Its name is ” KUTTY ” . I have seen all his regional films as he used to have private screening of all his films in Mumbai and never ever forgot to invite me.

Then he was signed to play main lead in a Hindi film called ” UFF KYA JAADOO MOHABBAT HAI “. It was a Rajshri Production film and Sammir was signed for it along with 3 other new comers. Tanishaa was the female lead but later on she opted out of the film. I was assigned to train all of them and I started going to Rajshri’s office. By that  time I had Bajaj Pulsar and I was commuting on that. Film got released and was a damp squib at the box office. Undeterred Sammir signed another Hindi film ” PYAAR MEIN TWIST “ and after its release he thought that he needs some more modulation and voice training . He again called me and I started going to his place once again. Even after so many years, the warmth and respect of Sammir and his family was same for me. It is yet to diminish. Before IHLS , Sammir did some other  good films : ” CORPORATE ” , ” MUKHBIR “ and ” WELL DONE ABBA “ are some of them. His last one is my personal favourite. I was invited for the private screening of ” WELL DONE ABBA “. I went there in my car. So from a rickety Bajaj Super scooter to Bajaj Pulsar and now a Maruti Swift, my relationship with Sammir has seen all the shades and colours of my life.

SHEKHAR RAVJIANI : I got a call from an assistant of Mr. Aditya Chopra and was informed that I have to train Shekhar of Vishal-Shekhar duo. I started going to his  Khar apartment and worked with him. He is a talent music director and a charming human being. He is a good singer and has wonderful screen presence. He made me listen almost all the songs of  ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ and I knew that his score is going to top the charts. He used to work with me in the morning and worked on the  musical score of ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ in the night. Both the work were going on simultaneously. I am happy that I was privy to all the scores of this film even before the official release.

IMRAN KHAN : He is the only one among all the 5 , who is not my private student. He was in the regular batch and after completing his training left for U S A. I lost touch and years after, when he surfaced in Mumbai and made it big with ” JAANE TU YA JAANE NA ” , I am yet to make contacts with him. He is master of special effects and did many such things in the class. Once I made a remark about his voice and told him that he have to work on it. I have an inkling that he felt bad and resented my remarks. Though he didn’t show his displeasure. His subsequent films – ” LUCK ” and ” KIDNAP ” did not get success at the box office but I think he will touch gold with this film. Though his films as child artiste – ” QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK ” and  ” JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER ” were more successful.

” I HATE LUV STORYS ” has been released with much fanfare and is getting all the positive bytes. I am happy at the moment and as I am about to retire for the day, I am going to sleep as a contented man but remembering these famous lines of American poet Robert Frost :.

The woods are lovely dark and deep ,

But I have promises to keep  ,

And miles to go before i sleep   ,

And miles to go before I sleep .

Vidur

Mumbai

http://www.vidur.co.in

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