Jayalalithaa ; Gone Too Soon !!


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 08, 2016           02.30 A.M.

रहने को सदा दहर में आता नहीं कोई
तुम जैसे गए ऐसे भी जाता नहीं कोई

डरता हूँ कहीं ख़ुश्क न हो जाये समंदर
राख अपनी कभी आप बहाता नहीं कोई

इक बार तो खुद मौत भी घबरा गयी होगी
यूँ मौत को सीने से लगाता नहीं कोई

माना कि उजालों ने तुम्हे दाग़ दिए थे
बे-रात ढले शम्अ बुझाता नहीं कोई

अहबाब ने ये कह के संवारी हैं चिताएँ
आराम कहीं और तो पाता नहीं कोई

साक़ी से गिला था तुम्हे मैख़ाने से शिकवा
अब ज़हर से भी प्यास बुझाता नहीं कोई

हर सुबह हिला देता था ज़ंजीर ज़माना
क्योँ आज दीवाने को जगाता नहीं कोई

अरथी तो उठा लेते हैं सब अश्क बहा के
नाज़-ए-दिल-ए-बेताब उठाता नहीं कोई

-कैफ़ी आज़मी

Above mentioned ghazal was written by Kaifi Azmi in memory of Guru Dutt. I am re-producing it in memory of Jayalalithaa.

I am not writing this blog about Jayalalithaa, the AMMA or Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) because much has been written about her political journey and her feisty struggle after demise of her mentor MGR. There is nothing new for me to write.

I am writing about Jayalalithaa, the actor or Kalai Selvi ( artistic or work of art) of Tamil cinema.

As I watched the news of her death and her funeral procession, my thoughts went 48 years back. The year was 1968 and the place was Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. Fresh after my High School results, I went to Allahabad to pursue my academic career at the age of 15.

One day I saw the posters of a Hindi film Izzat and went to watch the movie in Pushparaj talkies. It had Dharmendra in leading role along with Jayalalithaa. Produced by A. K. Nadiadwala of Pushpa Pictures [ grandfather of now famous Sajid Nadiadwala ] and directed by T. Prakash Rao, Izzat has Lakshmikant Pyarelal as music director.

It was the movie in which Jayalalitha made her debut in Hindi films. She played a spunky Adivasi belle, Jhumki, in love with Dharmendra, who is far above her socially.

I knew Jayalalithaa’s name and reputation in Tamil film industry but was not a fan of her. When the film ended and I came out, I was a life-long fan. I became an ardent admirer of her dancing and acting talent. Just watch the famous dance scene of Izzat and you would be a fan too. My God ! what a fabulous dancer ! Posting the link.

1 – Jagi Badan Me Jwala, Saiyan Tune Kya Kar Dala ………..

The following 2 links showcase her naughty and lighter avatar, though in real life she was reticent and introvert.

2 – Ruk Ja Zara, Kidhar Ko Chala, Main Sadqe Tere Pe ………….

3 – Sar Pe Lamba Top Le Ke Aayega …….

It is sad that in her later years, she could barely move. It was heart-wrenching for me to see a feisty and fabulous dancer like Jayalalithaa in that condition. She was a woman any man could like , love and admire. She was vibrant. She was radiant. She was full of life. But during 2016 election campaign, she looked pale and lifeless. She could barely walk. I felt bad because she was only 4 years older than me. I thought that she will fight this battle too. But alas! that was not to be. She fell ill soon after her glorious political victory in elections and lost her battle of life after 75 days of struggle.

I am a fan but many Hindi film connoisseurs are not aware of her stupendous achievements in the field of cinema. For them she was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who was loved and feared alike.

For them I am placing some other facts of her career as a leading actress.

1 – Her acting career spanned 19 years. [ 1961 to 1980 ]

2 – She appeared in 140 films , primarily in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry.

3 – She also acted in 1 Malayalam , 1 Hindi & 1 English film.

4 – As a child artiste, Jayalalithaa acted in the Kannada-language film Sri Shaila Mahathme (1961), which had Rajkumar and Krishna Kumari in lead roles.

5 – Jayalalithaa starred in English film Epistle ( 1961) .

6 – As a child artiste, she played Krishna in a three-minute dance sequence held on stage in the Hindi film Manmauji (1962)

7 – She made her debut as the lead actress in Kannada film Chinnada Gombe (1964) at the age of 15, while still in school.

8 – Jayalalithaa starred in 28 box-office hit Tamil films with M.G. Ramachandran between 1965 and 1973. The first with MGR was B.R. Panthalu’s Aayirathil Oruvan in 1965 and their last film together was Pattikaattu Ponnaiya in 1973.

9 – Jayalalitha was paired opposite Sivaji Ganesan in 17 Tamil films.

10 – Jayalalithaa acted in 10 Tamil hit films with Ravichandran .

11 – Jayalalitha had 6 Tamil films with R. Muthuraman .

12 – Jayalalitha acted in 12 Telugu films as heroine opposite N. T. Rama Rao .

13 – Jayalalitha acted in 7 Telugu films with Akkineni Nageswara Rao .

14 – Jayalalithaa’s other Telugu films included 2 films with Krishna and 1 each with Sobhan Babu, Jaggaiah, Ramakrishna and Haranath.

15 – She made her debut in Malayalam films with Jesus (1973) and the film was huge hit.

16 – Her 100th film was Thirumangalyam (1974)  directed by A.Vincent.

17 – Her last film in Tamil was  Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal (1980) .

18 – The last film she worked on, in which she played the lead heroine, was a Telugu film Nayakudu Vinayakudu (1980) . It became the highest grosser of the year in Telugu.

19 – Jayalalithaa holds the record for having been the Tamil actress with maximum silver jubilee hits in her career – 85 hits of 92 Tamil films as main female lead heroine.

20 – she also has all 28 films in Telugu as silver jubilee hits.

21 – She had 119 box office hits of the total 125 films she did in various languages as the main female lead between 1961 and 1980 .

22 – She was the highest paid Indian actress from 1965–1980.

23 – She made guest appearances in 9 films and 6 of her films were dubbed into Hindi.

24 – She did double roles in eight films.

25 – Jayalalithaa wrote columns in the magazines like Bommai . She also wrote a column -Ennanga Selar in magazine Tughlaq in 1970s.

Need I say anything else for her accomplishments?

It is 2 days since she is gone. I am still numb. I am deeply saddened.

Farewell Kalai Selvi ! There will be no one like you ever.

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I pay my tributes to Kalai Selvi (work of art) of cinema and to Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader) of political arena.

[ List of films, dates and other information about Jayalalithaa have been taken from Wikipedia .

I am indebted and I express gratitude. ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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A. Nageswara Rao Garu : From Paddy Field to Super Stardom


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 02 , 2014           04.45 P.M.

Akkineni Nageswara Rao

20 September 1923 – 22 January 2014

A. Nageswara Rao , a.k.a. ANR Garu died on January 22 in Hyderabad at the age of 91 . I was saddened and distraught after hearing the news. It opened floodgates and brought many memories of ANR Garu to my mind. In 1990, when I was training his grandsons; Nag Chaitanya and Sushanth Anumolu, I came to know many intimate stories about him , became privy to many chapters of his life and thus became an ardent fan and a lifelong admirer.

Later on I also met his son Nagarjuna, the super-star of Telugu film. He presented me a DVD of ” Devadasu ” [ 1953 ] , the Telugu film version of Sharat Chandra’s immortal classic ” Devdas “.  I watched the film. The admiration for ANR Garu got fortified.
 

With ANR Garu's son Nagarjuna & His grandson Nag Chaitanya in My Institute

With ANR Garu’s son Nagarjuna & His grandson Nag Chaitanya in My Institute

ANR Garu with His Son Nagarjuna & Grandson Nag Chaitanya

ANR Garu with His Son Nagarjuna & Grandson Nag Chaitanya

I first came to know about ANR Garu during my Allahabad days. I read a comment made by none other than Dilip Kumar. I watched Bimal Roy’s ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] and was mesmerized by Dilip Kumar’s performance . Dilip Kumar played Devdas and became immortal as the tragedy king of Hindi cinema. When a journalist asked him about his brilliant portrayal of Devdas, he said, ” there is only one Devadasu, and that is Nageswara Rao.” I was mesmerized by Dilip Kumar’s performance and here he is saying that there is only one Devdas and that is A. Nageswara Rao . I was puzzled.

I started searching about ANR Garu but in those pre – google days it was not very easy. With great difficulty I gathered some knowledge. I came to know that he played Devdas in Telugu film ” Devadasu ” [ 1953 ]. It was two years before Dilip Kumar’s ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] .

ANR Garu, along with NTR Garu [ Nandamuri Tarak Rama Rao ] , dominated the Telugu cinema and Telugu film scene like a colossus. From paddy fields, he strode into the field of fine arts through theatre. He became a famous stage artiste, specialising, in playing female characters, because women at that time were prohibited from acting.

Young ANR Garu

Young ANR Garu

Middle-Aged ANR Garu

Middle-Aged ANR Garu

An Old ANR Garu

An Old ANR Garu

A. Nageswara Rao Garu was discovered, by chance, by the prominent film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, at the Vijayawada railway station. He was then cast in the film Dharmapatni. Since then, he starred in several films of various genres during his 75-year acting career.

Rao won three Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards during his acting career. He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, for his contribution to Indian cinema, and is a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.

Manam - Last Film of ANR Garu [ ANR Garu with His Son & Grandson]

Manam – Last Film of ANR Garu [ ANR Garu with His Son & Grandson]

Incidentally ” Manam “ , his last film has his grandson Nag Chaitanya playing a stellar role along with his grandfather and his father Nagarjuna .

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences to all the family members and admirers of Padma Vibhushan A. Nageswara Rao.

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to join in mourning.

May his soul Rest In Peace!

[ I have quoted some portions of this blog from Wikipedia. I express my debt. ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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Tamil Nadu : 25 Years Without M. G. R.


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 28 , 2012           05.35 P.M.

Marudhur Gopala Ramachandran or M. G. Ramachandran or simply M. G. R. needs no introduction in Tamil Nadu . Though he died 25 years ago , still his popularity refuses to wane . I always knew about his phenomenal sway over the masses in Tamil Nadu but I personally experienced it during my recent visit to the state .

English: MGR with Kerala politician K.Karunaka...

MGR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One morning when I came out of my room in Subam Lodge , Vaitheeswaran Koil , I noticed that arched are being erected on the streets and photos of M. G. R. are being garlanded everywhere . Old hit songs of the films of M. G. R. were being played . People in large number were queuing in front of his photos and paying respect .

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Rememberedin a Village of Thanjavur

On 25th Death Anniversary , MGR Being Remembered in a Village of Thanjavur

I was astonished . I was astounded by the fact that it is his 25th death anniversary and still people are remembering him . To know the height of his popularity , please go through the description of his death scene , which I am quoting from Wikipedia :

” M.G.R. died on December 24, 1987 after his prolonged illness. He was 70. His death sparked off a frenzy of looting and rioting all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Shops, movie theatres, buses and other public and private property became the target of violence let loose all over the state. The police had to resort issuing shoot-at-sight orders. Tamilians from Bangalore rushed to Madras in trains to see the mortal remains of MGR. Govt had announced free train facility for this visit. The violence during the funeral alone left 29 people dead and 47 police personnel badly wounded. This state of affairs continued for almost a month all over the state of Tamil Nadu. Around one million people followed his remains, around 30 followers committed suicide and people had their heads tonsured.

After his death, his political party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, split between his wife Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa; they later merged in 1988.

In 1989 Dr. M. G. R. Home and Higher Secondary School for the Speech and Hearing Impaired was established in the erstwhile Residence MGR Gardens, Ramapuram, in accordance with his will dated January 17, 1986. His official residence at 27, Arcot Street, T.Nagar is now MGR Memorial House and is open for public viewing. His film studio, Sathya Studios has been converted into a women’s college. “

English: New emblem for All India Anna Dravida...

New emblem for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Party, designed by B. Balamanigandan email:bbm@drmgr.org (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now non – Tamil people can understand his impact and popularity among the masses . It was well – crafted image with the help of his films . He was the first major film star of India , who became Chief Minister of any state and won 3 consecutive elections in 1977 , 1980 and 1984 . He became Chief Minister in 1977 and remained in office till his death in 1987 . In 1984 assembly elections , though he was in the hospital for treatment and could not participate in electioneering , still he led his party to unprecedented victory . His images , from his hospital bed in the U.S.A. , were broadcast through cinema halls . And his party A.I.A.D.M.K. got 56% of assembly seats .

How he created this larger – than – life political image ? You can watch the song  “…….. neenga nalla irukkanum ……… ” of his film ” Idhayakkani ” [ 1975 ] . In the  ……neenga nalla irukkanum ……… song , he pays homage to his mentor Annadurai , whose image is clearly visible on the screen . His party flag is also fluttering in air and you could see that in the song itself his screen character is doing his philanthropic work . ” Idhayakkani “ was released 2 years before he became the Chief Minister . His last released film was ” Madurai Meeta Sundara Pandian ” [ 1978 ] .  This was his 136th film .  It was released 1 year after he became the Chief Minister . So through his 136 films , he created this kind of image , which is unheard of anywhere in the world . After becoming CM , the ongoing project ” Anna En Theivam “ was stopped and later on it was released by Bhagyaraj with modified story in which Bhagyaraj was the hero.

Apart from M.G.R. , no one in India or in world could replicate this kind of success . He was the first and till date only actor turned politician , who got this kind of mass popularity and could generate mass hysteria of this magnitude . N.T.R. or Nandamoori Tarak Ramarao was also an actor in Telugu film industry and he did succeed in Andhra Pradesh but his success was short – lived as he was soon toppled by his own son – in – law . President of U.S.A. , Ronald Reagan was also an actor in Hollywood but he was not a major star.

On my previous visit to Chennai in 2011 , I visited memorial of M.G.R. at Marina Beach to show my respect . In December 2012 , when I visited Chennai again , I was again able to pay respect to him on his 25th death anniversary .

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

At MGR Memorial , Marina Beach , Chennai

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

With Poster of MGR in a Small Town

It is sad that he died when he was only 70 . And 70 is not the age to leave the world . Had he been alive he would have been a formidable Prime Minister of India . In these days of coalition politics it would have been a real possibility .

Alas ! We lost him too early and too soon .

I think it would be fascinating to tell his story to all the students of my acting academy , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . Who knows ? They might replicate M.G.R. story in their lives also .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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www.vidurfilms.com

www.youtube.com/ividur

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