Achala Sachdev : The ” Zohara Jabeen ” of ” Waqt ” Fades Away


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           May 07 , 2012           00.55         A.M.

I was busy writing my pending travel diaries of Madhya Pradesh visit , when the news came of the death of Achala Sachdev . She died in Pune on April 30 , 2012 at the age of 91 .

She was not the leading actor but was a very popular character artiste and did many significant and important films in her illustrious career spanning 64 years [ ” Fashionable Wife ” 1938 toNa Tum Jaano Na Hum ” 2002 ] . In total she did 130 films . I came to know her through Yash Chopra directed film ” Waqt ‘ [ 1965 ] .

I still remember the first encounter with her on-screen . The year was 1967 . The cinema hall was Amarjyoti Talkies , Deoria . A film called ” Waqt “ was being screened there . Every one in the town was going gaga over it . So I decided to watch it . One fine evening I went  , bought ticket and entered the auditorium . Film started and the first scene was greeted with claps , loud uproar and whistles . Soon Balraj Sahni appeared on-screen and started crooning  in the voice of Manna Dey ‘ Aye meri zohra jabeen ; tujhe maloom nahin ; Tu abhi tak hai haseen aur main jawan , tujh pe qurban meri jaan , meri jaan ………………. ” . Throughout the song sequence , close – up of a lady , who was smiling coyly , continuously appeared on-screen in intercut . My film pundit friends informed me that name of the lady is Achala Sachdev .

Waqt (1965 film)

Waqt (1965 film)

Opening Scene of " Waqt "

Opening Scene of ” Waqt “

Some Scenes of  " Waqt  "

” Waqt ” – Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen Song Sequence

Last week , when I read about her sad demise , a floodgate of memories got opened and I was transported to my home town Deoria in Uttar Pradesh . Evening of that day in 1967 appeared on my mental firmament . Even after 45 years , the first encounter of Achala Sachdev is not obfuscated even a bit . It is so uncanny that music director Ravi , who created ” Aye meri zihra jabeen …….. for her , also died last month .

After ” Waqt “ , I started following her career and watched some of the important films . Out of all the 130 films , her most memorable films are :” Foot Path ” [ 1953 ] , ” Pardesi ” [ 1957 ] , ” Miss Mary ” [ 1957 ] , ” Adalat ” [ 1958 ] , ” Char Dil Char Rahen ” [ 1959 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] , ” Manzil ” [ 1960 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Meri Surat Teri Aankhen ” [ 1963 ] , ” Dil Ek Mandir ” [ 1963 ] , ” Shagun ” [ 1964 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , ” Raj Kumar ” [ 1964 ] , ” Haqueeqat ” [ 1964 ] , ” Chitralekha ” [ 1964 ] , ” Arzoo ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Mere Sanam ” [ 1965 ] , ” Janwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Himalaya Ki God Mein ” [ 1965 ] , ” Bahu Beti ” [ 1965 ] , ” Akashdeep ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shagird ” [ 1967 ] , ” Hamraaz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mere Hamdam Mere Dost ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kanyadaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadmi Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ 1970 ] , ” Mera Naam Jokar ” [ 1970 ] , ”  Heer Ranjha ” [ 1970 ] , ” Hare Rama Hare Krishna ” [ 1971 ] , ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Julie ” [ 1975 ] , ” Laila Majnu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] , ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ]  and ” Na Tum Jaano Na Hum ” [ 2002 ] .

Poster of Nazrana

Poster of Nazrana

Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Arzoo

Poster of Arzoo

Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Kora kagaz

Poster of Kora kagaz

Geeta Mera Naam

Poster of Geeta Mera Naam

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Poster of Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Out of her 64 – year – long career ; 3 particular years ; 1964 [ 5 films ] ; 1965 [ 7 films ] and 1971 [ 6 films ] could be considered her most successful years in films . After ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] she disappeared from the films for 6 years . She again returned with Yash Chopra’s ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] . And after 6 years gap , she again gave a super hit ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ] .

Born in Peshawar in 1920 , she started her career as child artiste . She did her first film ” Fashionable Wife ” [ 1938 ] at the age of 18 years . She rose to prominence at the age of 45 years with ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , a film produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra . She worked with Ashok Kumar , Dilip Kumar , Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand . Then she worked with Shammi Kapoor , Rajendra Kumar , Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra . Generations changed but she continues to play stellar roles . She , during her later years , worked with Amitabh Bachchan , Rishi Kapoor , Shah Rukh Khan and Hritik Roshan also . She was there in ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ debut of Hema Malini ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ debut of Dev Anand as director ] , ” Mera Naam Joker ” [ debut of Rishi Kapoor ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ debut of Rakesh Roshan as actor ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ debut of Randhir Kapoor as actor and directed ] , ” Daag ” [ debut of Yash Raj Films ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ debut of Sadhna as director ] and above all ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ debut of Aditya Chopra as director ] .

She worked , before partition , for All India Radio , Lahore and after partition for All India Radio , New Delhi .

During her later years she married Clifford Douglas Peters and settled in Pune . From there she occasionally came to Mumbai for Yash Chopra’s films .

i3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

In 2011 she fell in her kitchen and since then was admitted in a Pune hospital . Her end came on April 30 , 2012 .

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

I was saddened to see her these two photos . A young Achala Sachdev of ” Waqt “ and a bed – ridden Achala Sachdev befor her death . Her only son from her first marriage is settled in U. S. A. and had no time for her . I am no one to comment on his relationship with his mother but it is heart – wrenching to know that Achala Sachdev died a lonely death . From September 2011 to April 2012 , she was bed – ridden with fractured leg , total paralysis and loss of vision and her only son was leading a comfortable life in U. S. A. with his nuclear family . I have no authority to say anything to him but I know that I would not have abandoned my mother like this .

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

I can only offer my prayers for Achala Sachdev ji . May God give her peace and tranquility .

Farewell ” ZOHRA JABEEN ” !!  You are gone but ” star – like glitter of your forehead ” shall always remain with us .

As long as we have prints of  ” Waqt “ , you will live in our heart .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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Incredible DEV ANAND SAHAB : The Immortal Mortal


With Dev Anand in His Office

With DEV ANAND SAHAB in HIS Office

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA            DECEMBER 07 , 2011           10.30 P.M.

On December 04 , 2011 , I woke up as usual in the morning imagining a lazy Sunday and as per my habit picked up my BlackBerry to check BBM messages . I opened the page and got a shock of my life , which I won’t be able to forget ever . There was a posting by Mr. Arsh Jaikrishan :

” THE EVERGREEN HERO OF THE FILM INDUSTRY PASSES AWAY , WE LOSE DEV ANAND JI TO A HEART ATTACK IN LONDON , IN THE EARLY HOURS , RIP DEV SAAB , THANK YOU FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL CINEMA , ZEST & ENTHUSIASM , GOD BLESS ! “

I was shocked beyond belief . I conveyed this message to my wife and she almost shrieked in dismay . I rushed to my TV set and saw the news . I kept on changing channels in hope that may be some will say that the news of the sad demise of  DEV ANAND SAHAB is not true . But ……… alas !

For me DEV ANAND SAHAB was immortal . I thought that he will always be there in this world . At least I will be watching HIM throughout my life . Anyhow HE will outlive me . It was a belief . I won’t be able to give any reason for my belief but the thought of the immortality of DEV ANAND SAHAB was ingrained in my psyche .

So when I knew that HE was in London for medical check up , it was beyond comprehension .

DEV ANAND and hospitals , don’t sink in the psyche .

DEV ANAND and doctors , don’t go together in mind .

DEV ANAND and illness , don’t go together .

DEV ANAND and death , don’t and can’t co – exist .

Even incapacitated and bed – ridden DEV ANAND is beyond imagination . This image doesn’t exist in the galaxy .

So news of his demise is still not sinking in . I am feeling , even today , that HE just vanished from this earth and may be making motion pictures in some far away galaxy .

I met HIM in his office last year on December 20 , 2010 . I was planning to launch my son in a Bhojpuri Movie ” Aber ” , and I wanted DEV ANAND SAHAB to give clap for the Muhurat shot . I requested Mr. Ali Peter John to introduce me to DEV SAHAB .It is honour that HE agreed to meet me .

Watching television coverage all day long , I was ushered to the world of DEV ANAND SAHAB and some sepia toned memories of my childhood rushed to the firmament of my being . ” Dushman ” [ 1957 ] was the first film , which I saw in the Vijay Talkies of Deoria , my home town . After that I watched almost all his films till ” Hum Naujawan ” [ 1986 ] . And after that I lost track of His films but certainly not HIS personality or life .

It has become a habit among some section of movie going public to make fun of his later – year movies . I would like to give few facts :

1 – AS AN ACTOR : [ 65 years – 113 Films  = ” Hum Ek Hain ” [ 1946 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ]   Survive / Exist in the world of cinema for 65 years  and then talk .

2 – AS A PRODUCER : [ 61 years – 31 Films = ” Afsar ” [ 1950 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ]  Survive Exist in the world of cinema for 61 years  and then talk .

3 – AS A DIRECTOR : [ 41 years – 19 Films  = ” Prem Pujari ” [ 1970 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ] Survive / Exist in the world of cinema for 41 years   and then talk .

4 – AS A WRITER : Write your autobiography at the age of  84 years , and that too with pen and paper ; neither dictating it to your secretary , nor typing on the computer , and then talk . AndRomancing With Life is a voluminous book , and it got released by the Prime Minister of India Dr . Manmohan Singh .

5 – AS AN AGING STAR : [ 22 years – 10 Flop Films ]  Survive / Exist in the slippery world of films without a single hit and that too without fading into oblivion for 22 years .  ” Lashkar ” [ 1989 ] was his last hit , and then talk .

If you can equal even one of the above mentioned startling data , only then you have the right to talk about DEV ANAND SAHAB . And if you can’t achieve any one of the above mentioned facts or even dream of doing anything similar , then keep your mouth shut , bow your head and pay obeisance .

It is not for nothing that within 3 days of HIS death , there are 13,894 articles about HIM in the media . It is a record and shows his relevance and importance .

I will always cherish the memory of meeting HIM .I am sharing few facts , which I never said before :

I wanted to touch HIS feet and sought his permission . HE said looking direct into my eyes , ” There is no need . You want to give me respect by touching my feet but I can see that respect in your eyes .”

I gave him brochure of the institute and the booklet , which I have written about diction . HE browsed through and said , ” You are doing great work sir . Keep on doing it . God bless ! ”

When I sought his blessings for my project , he said , ” Keep on working and remember , your dreams should be longer than your memories . Never let your memories be longer than your dreams .”

I will never ever forget his parting words , ” If ever I meet God , I will ask him why didn’t you make man an immortal being ? Were you afraid that immortal human beings can take your place ?  I long for immortality . ”

I left his office with Mr. Ali Peter John , who took me there , hoping that I might meet him soon . But my film project got delayed and I couldn’t meet HIM .

And now I won’t be able to meet him ever .

Evergreen Romantic Star , indefatigable , indomitable , inimitable , Padma Bhushan DEV ANAND SAHAB passed away in his sleep at the young age of 88 in London .

It is customary to say REST IN PEACE . But ……..

DEV ANAND and rest are antonyms .

So I end up saying – keep on making motion pictures in another world SIR . I will definitely meet you there .

With DEV ANAND SAHAB in HIS Office

In my formative years ,  my family was my epicentre . Apart from family , world of motion pictures was my second universe . That world was adorned by a beautiful canopy . For me that canopy is Ashok Kumar . That beautiful , magnificent canopy was supported by four enormously magnificent and gigantic pillars . Name of those pillars are ; tragedy king Dilip Kumar , evergreen romantic DEV ANAND , show – man Raj Kapoor and rebel star Shammi Kapoor . Once upon a time , not very long ago this canopy stood graciously with the support of these gigantic pillars . Sitting under the canopy , in the vicinity of four gigantic pillars , I was serenaded by the soothing voice of a nightingale , known as Lata Mangeshkar .

Apart from my family , this was my another world . The canopy is long gone . Two pillars ; Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor have also crumbled . With the death of DEV ANAND SAHAB , one more pillar succumbed to the vagaries of nature . Now the solitary pillar remains in the form of Dilip Kumar . And yes , the soothing voice of Lata Mangeshkar still serenades me .

But alas , like my family , my other world has also shrunk beyond recognition . I am shattered . I am numb . I am disheartened .

But if you are a fan of DEV ANAND , you have to move on .

Without you there is no light in my life DEV SAHAB .

But I promise to carry on , just like you .

Thanks a lot DEV SAHAB , thanks for teaching me life .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

I had written two blogs about DEV ANAND SAHAB earlier . Re – posting them here from my archives :

1 – My First blog about DEV SAHAB :

60 Years Of Navketan & Some More Years Of Mr. Dev Anand wp.me/ptyXI-6v via@wordpressdotcom
2 – My second blog about DEV SAHAB :
Meeting Mr. Dev Anandwp.me/ptyXI-AS via @wordpressdotcom
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