Elizabeth Taylor First , Lauren Bacall Now


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 18, 2014           00.05 A.M.

Lauren Bacall

September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014

Lauren Bacall in Her Iconic Pose

Lauren Bacall in Her Iconic Pose

When Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011, I wrote a blog and posted it on April 02, 2011. She was my first Hollywood favourite. Elizabeth Taylor made her debut with ” National Velvet ” [ 1944 ] . Lauren Bacall, who died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 89,  also made her debut in the same year, with Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not [ 1944 ].

In the library of my Deoria home, I have a book about all the great heroes and heroines of Hollywood. I first noticed Lauren Bacall in that book. Her typical posture, for which she was so famous, caught my fancy. ” THE LOOK ” , for which she was immortalized, was a seductive pose where she lowered her head and glanced up suggestively. I was hooked and my fancy remained intact even after her withdrawal from the limelight.

As stated earlier, she made her film debut with Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not [ 1944 ] . In this film she made sexy query to Humphrey Bogart , ” You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together – and blow.” With these innocuous lines she created history and found a permanent place in Hollywood echelon. She had another memorable line in the film, ” Anybody got a match?”.

Lauren Bacall in Her Famous Inviting Look

Lauren Bacall in Her Famous Inviting Look

She was known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks. One more thing, which attracted me to her is the fact that she worked in many films with Humphrey Bogart and later on became his wife. Needless to say that I am a great Humphrey Bogart fan.

Lauren Bacall with Her Husband Humphrey Bogart

Lauren Bacall with Her Husband Humphrey Bogart

She first appeared as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), as well as comedic roles in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.

Lauren Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals, earning Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

In 1999, Bacall was ranked 20th out of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list by the American Film Institute.

 

Lauren Bacall with Honourary Oscar

Lauren Bacall with honorary Oscar

In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

 

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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 offer my condolences.

[ Information about Lauren Bacall and the list of her films is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Death of Delhi’s Girl Child : ” A Candle In The Wind “


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 29 , 2012           05.00 P.M.

Woke up today to the sad news of the death of  the unfortunate girl , who got gang raped in Delhi in a moving bus . She battled for her life for few days and finally succumbed to her wounds , physical and mental both .

I became numb . Shame and guilt engulfed me . In our religion we worship 51 SHAKTIPEETHAS , temples of goddess Durga , yet this happened . In our country even rivers and animals are called MATA , yet this happened . In our literature women are eulogized , yet this happened . Eons ago Manusmriti eulogized women as :

यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते , रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ,

यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते , सर्वास्तत्रा  क्रिया अफलाः ।।

[ That house becomes abode of Gods , where women are worshipped . Everything fails in the place , where they get insulted . ]

Jay Shankar Prasad , a Hindi poet , also wrote about women in his epic book ” Kamayani ” :

नारी तुम केवल श्रद्धा हो , विश्वास रजत नग पगतल में ,

पीयूष स्रोत सी बहा करो , जीवन के  सुन्दर समतल में ।।

English: Durga puja at Burdwan

Durga puja at Burdwan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it all seems in vain . Women are , in their daily life , subjected to rape , insult , verbal abuse and teasing . Their whole existence is at stake at their working places . In public transport they have to face leery looks of lecherous men .Voyeurism is prevalent in our culture and we do take voyeuristic pleasure while gaping at women . We eulogize women as Goddesses but the reality is pathetic .

English: Beggar Girl at one of New Delhi's bus...

Beggar Girl at one of New Delhi’s busy Metro Rail Stations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is unfortunate . Whatever happened was very unfortunate . But more unfortunate was the behaviour of our ruling oligarchs . Sheila Dikshit , the woman Chief Minister of Delhi , looked helplessly . Sonia Gandhi , the Chairperson of UPA and President of Congress made a pretence of meeting protesters . It is now alleged that they were members of NSUI , the student wing of Indian National Congress . Youth icon Rahul Gandhi is maintaining stoic silence . He does some drama of going to villages and eating and sleeping in the houses of Harijans whenever elections are round the corner . But a 23 old girl’s plight couldn’t move him . Most unfortunate behaviour came from Sushil Kumar Shinde , the Home Minister . He is a Dalit but was unable to empathise with the other weaker section , the hapless girl . President Pranab Mukherjee’s son is another nut case . His very unfortunate remark about some ”  …..dented and painted ……. women coming for few second’s fame ” is deplorable . Sanjay Nirupam also came to chip in . His remarks against Smriti Irani shows his male chauvinism .

Chief Minister of Delhi

Sheila Dikshit , Chief Minister of Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sonia Gandhi, Indian politician, pres...

Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: , from a photograph showing a meeting...

Rahul Gandhi . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, ...

Pranab Mukherjee, current President of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sanjay Nirupam

Sanjay Nirupam , Congress MP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though the girl wanted to live , she is now dead . The ruling oligarchy is trying every trick in the book to save their skin . Delhi has become a war zone . India Gate is beyond reach of common people . Members of Congress are shedding copious tears . But everyone knows that these male chauvinist are just trying to gain time . Public memory is short and elections are still 2 years away . These morons know that by the time next general election is announced , this hapless girl child will be a forgotten news .

Today , when I was reading all the comments about this girl , I suddenly remembered Elton John’s song ” A Candle In The Wind ” . He had originally made it in 1973 for Marilyn Monroe  . He re – wrote the song in 1997 for Princess Diana . I am giving the original version . Words are still relevant , even though 39 years have passed and it was written for another person and in totally different circumstances :

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude
Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe
These ominous words still haunt you . They are still relevant . I end my blog with agony , pain and head bowed in shame .
Good bye , young one ! You were destiny’s unfortunate child …….
And it seems to me , you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in

I have nothing more to say . If you stand for a girl child , I know what you can face . Whole system will gang up against you . Male chauvinist , their accomplices and their pathetic factotum , sycophants and fawning parasites will try to muzzle your voice . And voyeuristic India will only look with glee and sadistic pleasure . None will come forward to help . It will become a lonely , personal fight , an uneven , unequal battle .

But without caring for male chauvinist , I will try to inculcate these views of mine among the students of my acting school ,  Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . So that , if needs be , they could be of some help to a girl child and just won’t be a moot spectator .

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