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 !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 8 : Gwalior [ B ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           APRIL 26 , 2012           03.45 P.M.

After completing my visit of Jai Vilas Palace , I headed for Gwalior Fort . This fort can be seen from the palace ground itself .

One of the biggest forts of India , Gwalior fort was described by Mughal Emperor Babur as ” The pearl in the necklace of the forts of  Hind . ” It is spread over an area of 3 square kilometres . Its height is 35 feet .

Gwalior Fort As Seen from Jai Vilas Palace Groud

Gwalior Fort As Seen from Jai Vilas Palace Ground

Gwalior is an ancient city . It is said to be stablished by Maharaja Suraj Sen in the 6th century . As per the tradition and folklore , Maharaja Suraj Sen of Kachhwaha clan was a leper . Once , while hunting , he got thirsty and saw this small hillock , known as Gopachal or Gopagiri . He climbed the hillock in search of water and saw a hermit , sitting in a hut and meditating . His name was Galava a.k.a. Gwalia . Sage Galava gave him water to drink . After drinking water , Suraj Sen got cured . Indebted , Suraj Sen constructed this fort and named it Gwalior after sage Galava . Sage Galava renamed Suraj Sen as Suhan Pal and ordained him to keep Pal as his last name . He also said that as long as his progeny and descendents will keep Pal as their last name they will be rulers of this kingdom . Suhan Pal’s 83 generations kept Pal as their last name and they ruled Gwalior . 84th ruler Tej Karna Sen removed Pal and lost the kingdom . Kachhwaha rulers ruled Gwalior for 989 years . Then Pratihars became rulers of Gwalior .

Pratihar kings became rulers of Gwalior after Kachhwaha rulers . 6 generations of Pratihars rules Gwalior and then Sultans of Delhi became the rules for a brief period .

Gwalior fort was later associated with the Tomar rulers , specially Raja Man Singh Tomar . This happened in the 15th century . Raja Man Singh Tomar was the 10th Tomar king and was the most famous . His eternal love story with Gujar princess Mriganayani is still famous . Two of the most magnificent structures in the fort known as Man Mandir and Gujari Mahal , tell the story of his greatness . He was a great musician and is known as the father of the Dhrupad Gharana . Before moving to Akbar”s court , Tansen was the royal musician of his court . Last Tomar king , the 12th king Salivahan Tomar fought at Haldighati for Maharana Pratap .

Then the Mughals became the rulers . During Mughal rule Gwalior fort was used as a prison for special and important prisoners . Akbar imprisoned his first cousin Kamran in this fort and subsequently got him killed there . Aurangzeb also imprisoned and later on killed his brother Murad and his brother Dara Shikoh’s two sons . 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind Singh Ji was also imprisoned here .

When Mughal empire declined , Jats became the rulers for a brief period and finally Gwalior came under Maratha empire . Scindias conquered Gwalior and in 1810 Daulat Rao Scindia made Gwalior his army cantonment and thus Gwalior came to be associated with Scindias and Gwalior fort finally came under Scindia’s control .

Map of Gwalior Fortress Català: Mapa de la for...

Map of Gwalior Fort

Gwalior fort has many famous , magnificent and important structures within its precincts . Each ruler added some structure or other . There is no uniformity , but that , in a way , is the beauty of the fort also . I entered the fort from the southern gate because that is the only gate which has a road . I visited all the structures one by one .

Gwalior Fort - Approach Road Southern Gate

Gwalior Fort - Approach Road Southern Gate

Ramparts of Gwalior Fort - Southern Gate

Ramparts of Gwalior Fort - Southern Gate

From southern gate when you move to the top , you can see ” intricately carved rock-cut temples of 21 Jain Tirthankars . “ One statue of Parshvanath , the 23rd Tirthankar , is 40 feet in height .

Statues of Jain Tirthankars

Statues of Jain Tirthankars

When you reach the top of the fort , the first main structure of importance is Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor , built-in the memory of 6th Sikh Guru Shri Hargobind Singh Ji . Mughal emperor Jahangir imprisoned Guru Hargobind Ji in Gwalior fort for one year and later released him along with 52 fellow prisoners Hindu kings .

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor

Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor

When you proceed to northwards after visiting Gurudwara , the most famous , the most magnificent structure , which comes to draw your attention , is Man Mandir , palace of legendary Man Singh Tomar . Built between 1486 and 1517 , this grand palace still have some traces of colourful tiles , which adorned the outer walls once.

Man Mandir

Man Mandir

Man Mandir Ground & King's Canopy

King's Canopy In front of Man Mandir

Outer Walls of Man Mandir

Outer Walls of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir - Northern Part

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir - Southern Part

Ornate Interiors of Man Mandir - Southern Part

Hathi Pole - Main Gate of Gwalior Fort

Hathi Pole - Main Gate of Gwalior Fort

After having a round of Man Mandir , when you come out and proceed further northwards , there are several old dilapidated structures and crumbling palaces , which attract your attention . Most famous among them are ; Jahangir Mahal , Shahjahan Mahal , Vikram Mahal , Karan Mahal and of course Gujari Mahal .

Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Entrance of Jahangir Mahal

Jahangir Mahal - Interiors

Jahangir Mahal - Interiors

Shahjahan Mahal

Shahjahan Mahal

Hawa Mahal - In Between Jahangir Mahal & Shahjahan Mahal

Hawa Mahal - In Between Jahangir Mahal & Shahjahan Mahal

Gujari Mahal As Visible from Hawa Mahal

Gujari Mahal As Visible from Hawa Mahal

Gujari Mahal As Visible from Hawa Mahal

Gujari Mahal As Visible from Hawa Mahal

Vikram Mahal

Vikram Mahal

Vikram Mahal

Vikram Mahal

Karan Mahal

Karan Mahal

Karan Mahal

Karan Mahal

Gwalior City As Visible From the Fort

Gwalior City As Visible From the Fort

I completed visit of fort after this . Apart from above mentioned palaces , there are several others , which I missed . I could not visit Bhool – Bhulaiya , Teli Ka Mandir , Sas – Bahu Ka Mandir and Scindia Public School .

May be I would be able to visit these places next time . But will there be next time ? Would I be able to visit them again ? May be yes …… May be not …….

May be , I will be visiting the fort again in near future . May be , I will be visiting it after many years . May be never ……… may be never , ever ……….

Still I wish to visit Gwalior fort one more time . But ……………

Agyeya’s line come again to my mind .

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

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