Remembering Dara Singh : Hindi Cinema’s 1st He Man

Dara Singh - A Young Wrestler

Dara Singh – A Young Wrestler

Dara Singh - An Old Father Figure

Dara Singh – An Old Father Figure

Dara Singh - An Era Ends

Dara Singh – An Era Ends

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 19 , 2012           01.35 A.M.

Hindi cinema‘s 1st he man , Hindi cinema’s 1st action hero , Hindi cinema’s 1st super hero and Hindi cinema’s 1st actor to appear on-screen without shirt , [ it happened much before Dharmendra and Salman Khan wrestler turned actor Dara Singh a.k.a. Deedar Singh Randhawa died on July 12 , 2012 in Mumbai . He was 83 years old at the time of his death .

Much before he entered Hindi film world as an actor , he was a world-famous wrestler . From a small village Dharmuchak near Amritsar , Punjab to the world arena of free – style wrestling , he bestrode it like a colossus . He went to Singapore and became Champion Of Malaysia in 1947 . After that he never looked back and never got defeated till the very end of his career . In 1983 in his last tournament in Delhi , he himself announced his retirement . An invincible inning thus ended . Winning titles like ; RUSTAM – E – PUNJAB [ 1966 ] , RUSTAM – E – HIND [ 1978 ] and RUSTAM – E – ZAMAN during his long , illustrious and always victorious career , enhanced his prestige and his popularity soared to new heights in India and he became an idiom for the whole generation of Indians .

I still remember watching his posters and other publicity materials during my childhood and teenage years with curiosity and with wide eyes . His wrestling events , which were highly popular and known as free – style wrestling , were talk of the nation during those days .

I could never watch his wrestling in akhada . Though I have heard his name during my school – college days . Me and my classmates were his huge fans .

Old Poster of Dara Singh's Wrestling Event

Old Poster of Dara Singh’s Wrestling Event

In Wrestling Arena

In Wrestling Arena

I only knew him through his films . When I heard about his death , I was deeply saddened as one more icon of my childhood days , one more film hero of my growing years is gone forever . In those days his films were considered and were categorized as B – Great movies . But I have no shame to admit that I was his huge fan and used to watch his black & white flicks in the cinema halls of my home town Deoria . I still remember several noon and afternoon shows in Amarjyoti Talkies and Vijay Talkies of Deoria , when I sneaked into the dark interiors of these cinema halls to watch his films and used to wait for his arrival on-screen . His first appearance on-screen was always greeted with deafening uproar , whistles and claps of the audience including me . I still remember his action scenes and deeply miss them . His action scenes were raw , rustic and had their own charm . They were not mechanically choreographed like present day action scenes .

His first Hindi film wasSangdil ” [ 1952 ] . It coincides with my birth year . His first commercial hit was ” King Kong ” [ 1962 ] . His first Hindi film , which I watched , was “Faulad ” [ 1963 ] . This film , along with Dara Singh , had Mumtaz , her sister Minoo Mumtaz , who incidentally married Dara Singh’s younger brother Randhawa and Kamran , whose son Sajid Khan and daughter Farah Khan are well-known to the present generation of film – goers .

Later on I watched his other hits like ; ” Sikandar – E – Azam ” [ 1965 ] , ” Daku Mangal Singh ” [ 1966 ] , ” Balram Shri Krishna ” [ 1968 ] , ” Toofan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Nanak Dukhiya Sab Sansar ” [ 1970 ] , ” Mera Naam Joker ” [ 1970 ] , ” Sultana Daku ” [ 1972 ] , ” Lalkar ” [ 1972 ] , ” Mera Desh Mera Dharam ” [ 1973 ] , ” Har Har Mahadev ” [ 1974 ] , ” Warrant ” [ 1975 ] , ” Dharam Karam ” [ 1975 ] , ” Jai Bajrang Bali ” [ 1976 ] , ” Mard ” [ 1985 ] , ” Kal Ho Na Ho ” [ 2003 ] and ” Jab We Met ” [ 2007 ] .

He also appeared in some popular serials like ; ” Ramayan ” [ 1986 ] , ” Mahabharat ” [ 1988 ] , ” Uttar Ramayan ” [ 1989 ] and ” Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka ” [ 2006 ] .

Young Wrestling Hero - 1

Young Wrestling Hero – 1

Young Wrestling Hero - 2

Young Wrestling Hero – 2

Young Wrestling Hero - 3

Young Wrestling Hero – 3

Young Wrestling Hero - 4

Young Wrestling Hero – 4

Young Wrestling Hero - 5

Young Wrestling Hero – 5

Young Wrestling Hero - 6

Young Wrestling Hero – 6

Young Wrestling Hero - 7

Young Wrestling Hero – 7

Young Wrestling Hero - 8

Young Wrestling Hero – 8

Young Wrestling Hero - 9 With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero – 9 With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero - 10 With Helen

Young Wrestling Hero – 10 With Helen

Young Wrestling Hero - 11  With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero – 11 With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero - 12

Young Wrestling Hero – 12

Young Wrestling Hero - 13

Young Wrestling Hero – 13

Young Wrestling Hero - 14

Young Wrestling Hero – 14

Young Wrestling Hero - 15 With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero – 15 With Mumtaz

Young Wrestling Hero - 16

Young Wrestling Hero – 16

Young Wrestling Hero - 17 in Colour Era

Young Wrestling Hero – 17 in Colour Era

Young Wrestling Hero - 18 in Colour Era

Young Wrestling Hero – 18 in Colour Era

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 1

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 1

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 2

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 2

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 3

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 3

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 4

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 4

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 5

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 5

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 6

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 6

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 7

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 7

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 8

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 8

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 9

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 9

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 10

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 10

Dara Singh's Film Poster - 11

Dara Singh’s Film Poster – 11

Mera Naam Joker

Mera Naam Joker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dharam Karam

Dharam Karam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alternative film poster

Film Poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jab We Met

Jab We Met - The Last Film of The Legend

Jab We Met – The Last Film of The Legend

In Ramanand Sagar‘s Ramayan he played Bhagwan Hanuman and this portryal made him immortal .

Ramayan (TV series)

Ramayan (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Hanuman in " Ramayan " Serial

As Hanuman in ” Ramayan ” Serial

His record in films , apart from wrestling arena , were also enviable . He directed 7 Punjabi films and 2 Hindi films . Apart from these , he produced 8 films and wrote story for 7 films . As an actor he appeared in 121 Hindi films and 21 Punjabi films . Out of these total 144 films , he played main lead in 58 films . Out of these 58 films , he worked with Mumtaz in 16 films and out of those 16 films 10 were super hits .

He was the first sportsman to be nominated to Rajya Sabha by Bharatiya Janata Party . He served as an MP from 2003 to 2009 .

With Ashok Kumar

With Ashok Kumar

With Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi & Amitabh Bachchan

With Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi & Amitabh Bachchan

Shri Dara Singh inaugurating Harakh Chand Naha...

Shri Dara Singh inaugurating Harakh Chand Nahata Marg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All India Jat Mahasabha Centenary Celebration 2007

All India Jat Mahasabha Centenary Celebration 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two Shades of The Legend

Two Shades of The Legend

Collage of The legend

Collage of The legend

Life is ephemeral . One day one has to go for one’s celestial journey . It is heart – breaking that one by one all the icons of my growing years are leaving this world .

Farewell Dara Singh ji ! You were pride of our generation . I know there would be no one like you .

Rest in Peace sir !



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 .




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