Lal Krishna Advani & Dilip Kumar


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 19 , 2013           11 . 10 P.M.

I wanted to write this blog a week back , when Shri Narendra Modi was anointed as the Prime Ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party . But I was busy writing an article on Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya for a Kenyan magazine , which is published from Nairobi , capital of Kenya . Yesterday I mailed that article to Shri Ram Chandra Pandey , Pracharak of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh , Kenya . Today , as I am relatively free , I am sitting in my study and writing this blog .

I am a fan of Dilip Kumar . My veneration for him knows no limit . In his career spanning 54 years [ when he was working and was active ] , he has done only 59 films [ including Guest appearances ] . Out of his 59 released films , I have seen 45 . I have seen many of his films several times . Ironically I have not seen his first film Jwaar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] and his last film ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] .

Let us have a look on his career and achievements . He was nominated 18 times for the Filmfare Awards , and won it 8  times . He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1991 , Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha also for one term . In 1998 he got Nishan – E – Imtiaz from the government of Pakistan .

His towering and gigantic personality hovered over my horizon from Ganga Jumna ” [ 1961 ] , which I watched in 1967 , till today , when he is recuperating in the ICU of Lilavati hospital .

Thus from 1967 to 2013 , it is a 46 – year – long association full of reverence , veneration and respect . It refuses to ebb .

English: I took this picture when he paid a vi...

Dilip Kumar in MouthShut.com office in 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Dilip Kumar’s benign and all-pervading shadow on my life was disturbed and somewhat eclipsed with the advent of Amitabh Bachchan in 1969 . From Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , he has acted in 186 films [ including Guest appearances & Voice overs ] . And out of 186 , I have watched 120 films . ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] was the first film of Amitabh Bachchan , which I watched . Ironically I have not watched his first film ” Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ]  and his latest ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] . An uncanny coincidence of my life , which happened in the case of Dilip Kumar also .

The Amitabh Bachchan juggernaut , in real sense of the term , started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] . One year later Dilip Kumar came with a critically acclaimed but flop ” Sagina ” [ 1974 ] .

Two years after ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] , Amitabh Bachchan gave two iconic super hits , ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] . Again one year later Dilip Kumar came with triple role in a much – delayed and moderate hit  ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] .

After hiatus of 5 years , Dilip Kumar started his second innings with hugely successful ” Kranti ” [ 1981 ] . But same year Amitabh Bachchan gave 3 super – hits ” Lawaaris ” , ” Yaraana ” and ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] and hugely likable ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] .

They both , a year later , came together in critically acclaimed , highly likable but a box office dud ” Shakti ” [ 1982 ] .

Dilip Kumar last came in ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] and 2 years later Amitabh Bachchan started his second innings  with hugely successful ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . And the juggernaut , which started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] still continues unabated in 2013 also .

Thus from  ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , it is a 42 – year – long association of me with Amitabh Bachchan also .

Let us have a peek in the other achievements of Amitabh Bachchan . He briefly dabbled in politics and was member of the 8th Lok Sabha . He got Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. His achievements in the film world are no less spectacular compared to Dilip Kumar . He has got 3 National Awards and unbelievable 39 Filmfare nominations in several categories , though Dilip Kumar holds the record of winning 8 Filmfare trophies .

But I must admit with all honesty that despite his unprecedented and unbelievable accomplishments , acceptance of Amitabh Bachchan was not easy for me . Though I watched his films with much admiration and appreciation , and as stated earlier , I have watched 120 films of Amitabh Bachchan but my hero , my idol was always Dilip Kumar .

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan at IFFA Award 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I think being a fan and admirer of Dilip Kumar does not mean that I don’t accept Amitabh Bachchan’s persona or demean it . They both hovered on my horizon . They both influenced me immensely . I am a fan of both of them but it is also a fact that Dilip Kumar reigns supreme and stands few notches higher .

Coincidently photographs of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan , which I have posted here , were clicked in 2006 .

English: cropped photograph of L K Advani with...

L K Advani outside his residence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Same is the case with Shri Lal Krishna Advani . I first heard of him in 1967 when I was in High School . 1967 is the same year when I came to know about Dilip Kumar through his film , a golden jubilee hit ” Ganga Jumna ” . So in an uncanny way my association with Dilip Kumar and Advani ji started in the same year , 1967 .

Advani ji became my political hero during my school , college and university days . I came to know Dilip Kumar when Amitabh Bachchan was yet to make his debut . In the same way when I started admiring Lal Krishna Advani , Shri Narendra Modi was yet to make his debut in politics .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , has spectacular achievements to his credit . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is hugely popular . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is continuing with his unstoppable juggernaut . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current idol and is liked by the cadre immensely .

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference

Narendra Modi in Press Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But as I have said earlier , in my heart Dilip Kumar still reigns supreme . And being a fan of Dilip Kumar is in no way an insult to Amitabh Bachchan . Admiring Dilip Kumar is in no way derogatory to Amitabh Bachchan . In the same way my political hero is Shri Lal Krishna Advani . And being a Lal Krishna Advani admirer is in no way an insult to Shri Narendra Modi .

It is just a question of whom you grow with . Your hero of growing years is going to be your hero till your last breath .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current favourite . But it doesn’t mean that Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani have no relevance or have no achievements to their credit . I like Shri Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan for their achievements , but I idolize Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani for their glorious innings and immense contribution in their respective fields .

I again assert that being an admirer of Advani ji does not make me an automatic hater of Modi ji . Persons like me who have admired Advani ji all their life , can’t accept a new icon in one night . It is going to be a slow and difficult process . This was the case with Amitabh Bachchan also . But gradually Amitabh Bachchan’s all-pervading shadow inundated me completely . Slowly and eventually same will definitely happen with Modi ji also . But till then Advani ji is my political hero as Dilip Kumar is my screen idol .

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

I told this story to all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  . Today I am expressing it for the followers of my blog and general public , who visit my blog space .

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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Zohra Sahgal : A Glorious Century of Life


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 22 , 2012           04.15 P.M.

100 Years Old Zohra Segai

100 Years Old Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal , the legendary film and theatre actor , recently completed 100 years of her momentous life . It is fascinating to know that she is as old as Indian cinema . She , in fact , is a year older . She was born in Saharanpur , Uttar Pradesh in 1912 . And the first Indian cinema ” Raja Harishchandra ” was made and released in 1913 in Mumbai . So she precedes Indian cinema and is still among us .

Map showing location of district in Uttar Prad...

Map showing location of U.P. in India & Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh

She was born as Zohra Mumtaz Ullah Khan in an orthodox Muslim aristocratic family and went to Queen Mary’s Girls College , Lahore and later on to Mary Wigmen’s ballet school in Dresden , Germany . There she was trained in modern dance and was the first Indian to get trained at that school . She stayed there for couple of years and fortunately met Uday Shankar there , who was travelling Europe at that time with his troupe .

While still in Europe , she was invited by Uday Shankar to join his troupe . She joined legendary dancer’s troupe in 1935 and worked with him for 8 long years . Along with his troupe , she toured Japan , Egypt , Europe and U. S. A. Later on she became a teacher in Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre at Almora .

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer,...

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer, here seen in a 1930s photograph

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). ...

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). Also seen at the bottom left Zohra Segal

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar's Troupe

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar’s Troupe

She met her future husband Kameshwar Nath Sehgal at the Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre  and married him against the wishes of her orthodox family and  hence , she came to be known as Zohra Sehgal . She has a daughter Kiran and a son Pavan , who is married to the grand – daughter of Munshi Premchand , the renowned Hindi writer .

Young Zohra Sehgal

Young Zohra Sehgal

Later on , she migrated to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] with her family and started working with Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre in 1945  , where her sister Uzra Butt was already working . She essayed many roles in his plays . She was a major star of Prithvi theatre . She also worked with Indian People’s Theatre Association [ IPTA ] for 14 long years .

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal

Prithvi Theatre Festival 06, commemorating the...

Prithvi Theatre Festival 2006 , commemorating the Birth Centenary of Prithviraj Kapoor

She made her screen debut with IPTA’s first film production ” Dharti Ke Lal ” [ 1946 ] , a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas . This followed by ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] , directed by Chetan Anand . incidentally ” Neecha Nagar “ became the first Indian film to win Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival . Later on she worked in ” Afsar ” [ 1950 ] , first film of Dev Anand’s banner Navketan and ” Baazi ” [ 1951 ] , a film directed by Guru Dutt .

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Neecha Nagar

Neecha Nagar

After her husband’s death in 1959 , Zohra Sehgal moved to Delhi and then to London and worked in films like ” The Courtesans of Bombay ” [ 1983 ] , a Merchant Ivory Productions . ” The Jewel in The Crown ” [ 1984 ] and ” Tandoori Nights ” [ 1985 ] are her famous TV role .

Cover of

Cover of The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

In mid 90s , she again returned to India and started her second innings with films like ; ” Dil Se ” [ 1998 ] . ” Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam ” [ 1999 ] , ” Dillagi ” [ 1999 ] , ” Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham ” [ 2001 ] , ” The Mystic Masseur ” [ 2001 ] , ” Bend It Like Beckham ” [ 2002 ] , ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] ” Cheeni Kum ” [ 2007 ] and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] .

Poster of Dil Se

Poster of Dil Se

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Poster of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...

Poster of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Poster of Veer - Zaara

Poster of Veer – Zaara

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Saawariya

Poster of Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

She won many awards in her long and chequered career . She got Padma Shri in 1998 , Padma Bhushan in 2002 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 . She also received Kalidas Samman in 2001 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2004 for lifetime achievement .

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

It is fascinating to complete 100 years of one’s life and 61 years of active film and stage career . She started her career on stage in 1945 at Prithvi Theatre . So from 1945 to 2006 , when she appeared on stage again for the Centenary Year celebration of Prithvi Raj Kapoor , it is 61 – year – long stage career .

From ” Dharti Ke Lal ” and ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] to ” Cheeni Kum ” and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] , it is again 61 – year – long career in films .

She joined Uday Shankar’s troupe in 1935 . And her last two appearances on-screen ; ” Cheeni Kum “ and ” Saawariya ” came in 2007 . So it becomes incredible 72 – year – long career in fine arts .

She has another distinction to her credit . She worked with Prithvi Raj Kapoor in 1945 . And then she worked with his great grandson Ranbir Kapoor in 2007 . I think this is un – paralleled in the history of world cinema . She beautifullybridged the gap of 62 years and 4 generations .

Her life and achievements are amazing . I have trained Ranbir Kapoor for ” Saawariya ” . So I feel a sense of attachment to the legendary Zohra Sehgal because she was also associated with the film . I feel blessed .

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

See the photograph posted above . See her zest and vigour . Her energy is infectious . Her impish smile is intact .

I pray for her long life . May she out – live me also . Amen !!!

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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