My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2014           08.50 P.M.

 

My fascination with Hindi film heroines started in mid 60s. In the dark environs of Amar Jyoti Talkies, Deoria, my rendezvous with Hindi cinema took place with Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi starrer Silver Jubilee hit  ” Sasural ” [ 1961 ] . B. Saroja Devi, though not well-known to Hindi cine-goers, was almost alien to me. But after watching the film, I was unable to forget her. Her elegant persona, her well-kept figure, her chiselled face enticed me for weeks and months. She was the first icon of my childhood fancy.

Few years later in 1967, after appearing in High School exams, I watched Dilip Kumar and  Vyjayanthimala, starrer golden jubilee film ” Ganga Jumna “. B. Saroja Devi and  Vyjayanthimala, to my utter surprise, looked almost similar. I was hooked to Vyjayanthimala and my fascination for the film heroines got fortified.

After passing High School, I went to Allahabad for further studies. My true rendezvous with Hindi cinema started in all earnest in Allahabad. I started watching films regularly. I got acquainted with the heroines of early Hindi cinema. I was particularly enamoured by Devika Rani and Kanan Devi. [ Who can forget Devika Rani’s ………. MAIN BAN KI CHIDIA BAN KE BAN-BAN DOLOON RE ……….( ” Achhut Kanya ” – 1936 ) and Kanan Devi’s ………….. YE DUNIYA ,YE DUNIYA TOOFAN MAIL ……… ( Jawaab ” – 1942 ) ? Few years later I watched two earlier films of Kanan Devi; P. C. Barua starrer ” Mukti ” [ 1937 ] and K. L. Sehgal starrer ” Street Singer ” [ 1938 ]. Though they were the heroines of my father’s generation but their etherial beauty, their sweet voice enthralled me and fascinated me during my adolescent and growing up years in Allahabad.

Later on I got acquainted with the works of other highly successful actresses of the bygone era. The list included Nargis, Suraiya, Nalini Jayawant,  Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nimmi and Geeta Bali. These heroines ruled the golden era of Hindi films. But even they belonged to the earlier era.

My era included highly successful and enchanting heroines like;  Nutan, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman , Nanda and Mala Sinha .

I became a die-hard fan of Waheeda Rehman after watching her films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) . After watching Raj Kapoor‘s Awaara (1951) and of Mehboob Khan‘s Mother India (1957), Nargis, also became one of my all time favourites. Vijay Bhatt‘s Baiju Bawra (1952), made me a fan of  Meena Kumari.  K. Asif‘s Mughal-e-Azam (1960) made Madhubala my eternal favourite.

Then times changed. My journey with cinema matured. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, actresses like Sadhna, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz and Asha Parekh ruled the Hindi film world.

In the early 70s  Amitabh Bachchan, era started in the Hindi film industry. Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya BachchanRekha,  Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia. I adored these heroines but frankly, I was neither enchanted or enamoured by them. Mysterious quality of the earlier heroines was missing. Or may be I became mature and the mystique slowly evaporated.

In 1975, I completed my studies in Allahabad and returned to my native place, Deoria. A 14-year-long second phase of my life started in Deoria.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family centric romantic musicals with the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) . Incidentally this was the last film, which I watched in Deoria.

I moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] in 1989. This was the year when Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) got released and changed the film-watching experience forever.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Dil (1990), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), making stars out of a new generation and actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol . In that point of time actresses such as Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai also arrived on the scene.  Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor too appearing in popular comedy films .

Furthermore, this decade marked the entry of new performers in art house and independent films like Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar were the heroines of this generation.

So it was a long association with the silver screen heroines. From Kanan Devi to Kajol and Karisma Kapoor , I watched everyone, got fascinated by them and silently admired their etherial beauty. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that one day I would train few of the present day ruling Divas of Hindi cinema. After 25 year stay in Mumbai, when I look back, I reminisce my by-gone days with astonishment. I am bewildered with my accomplishment.

In 1994 two heroines trained by me made their debut in Hindi films. They are Sonali Bendre in ” Aag ” [ 1994 ] and Divya Dutta in ” Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna ” [ 1994 ] . It uncanny that 1994 was the year when Devika Rani died. Kanan Devi bid us adieu two years earlier in 1992.

My childhood icons left this world in 1994 and present day icons, trained by me , made their entry in 1994. It is strange. It is quirky. It is really uncanny. After debut of Sonali Bendre and Divya Dutta in 1994, flood-gate of the newcomers got opened and it has now submerged the Hindi film industry. I present a list of some of the epoch-making new era Hindi film Divas, who got trained by me :

Kareena Kapoor : ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] = DEBUT

Priyanka Chopra : ” The Hero ” [ 2002 ] = DEBUT

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] = DEBUT

Anushka Sharma : ” Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ” [ 2008 ] = DEBUT

Katrina Kaif :  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010]

ALIA BHATT : ” Student Of The Year ” [ 2012 ] = DEBUT

KALKI KOECHLIN : ” Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani ” [ 2013 ]

URVASHI RAUTELA : ” Singh Saab The Great ” [ 2013 ] = DEBUT

 

In the end I would like to submit that the above mentioned list is almost endless. I have mentioned very famous names only. As I watch Alia Bhatt making rapid strides,and other newcomers trained by me making their entry in the tinsel town, my heart beats fast with pride.

Some of the biggest star sons / daughters are currently being trained by me and they are going to make their debut in 2015.

So the SAGA CONTINUES !! Dust settles down. Sun shines brilliantly. And the World { excluding few egoistic nay-sayers } watches with awe, admiration and amazement.

 

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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 wish all my above mentioned students all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

God bless them for making me proud !!

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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I (dont) Hate (such) Luv Storys


As I am writing this blog, I am confronted with a strange fact. I started my twitter account on June 17th, 2009 and till date I have only 83 followers. Its one year now. But Mr. Amitabh Bachchan started tweeting on May 18th, 2010 and he has 2,16,425 followers. Its has been only 46 days. The fact of the matter is that he started his journey on twitter almost 1 year after me. I am not cribbing, or voicing my anguish. I am just stating a fact. This twitter account statistic shows that I have yet to cover a long distance. It shows that I am just a speck in the universe as for as success is concerned. This is fact and I am ready to accept that.

But everything is not that gloomy. There are few occasions to celebrate here and there. Sometimes there is a news to cherish.and rejoice. And today as ” I HATE LUV STORYS” releases in the theatres worldwide , I am feeling that kind of happiness. It is very important film for me. Its main protagonists – Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor and Sammir Dattani are my students. Its director Punit malhotra, who is nephew of Mr. Manish Malhotra, is my student too. The music director Shekhar Ravjiani of Vishal-Shekhar duo, is also a student of mine. When you have 5 students in one film and that too almost in every important departments, it’s definitely a proud moment for a trainer.

PUNIT MALHOTRA : This well-behaved nephew of ace designer Mr. Manish Malhotra, was my student years ago. At that time he was assisting Mr. Karan Johar and was dreaming to make it big as an actor. He assisted Mr. Karan Johar in ” KABHIE KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM “. Then he was assistant in ” KAL HO NA HO “ and ” PAHELI “ also. After that he became a model and did one ad with Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. He was working hard to become an actor but Mr. Karan Johar gave him an offer to direct a film. I advised him to put aside his dream of becoming an actor for the time being and take the plunge . He started scripting and as soon as script was complete, ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ rolled. It got completed and got released on July 02, 2010. It created a lot of positive buzz and Punit’s career as a director is launched. I am happy for the newest director of Hindi film industry.

SONAM KAPOOR : I trained her during ” SAAWARIYA ” days.  I was already training Ranbir Kapoor at that time. He mentioned my name to Mr. Anil Kapoor and one day I got a call from him. I went to meet Mr. and Mrs. Anil kapoor and soon started training Sonam. She is an accomplished Kathak dancer and worked really hard for SAAWARIYA “. It’s unfortunate that film tanked badly and got bad press. But Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor were praised for their acting skills. Sonam’s second film DELHI 6 ” also tanked and it was sad to see this beautiful girl’s efforts not bearing fruits. Fortunately ” I HATE LUV STORYS ” will change the scenario.

SAMMIR DATTANI : I used to go to his Malabar Hills apartment to train him. In those early years of my career I had a Bajaj Super scooter and I used to commute on it. From Andheri to Malabar Hills, it was a tiring ride , but I used to go to his place because of the tremendous respect which his whole family has for me. He started working in Kannada film and made his debut in ” NANNA PRITIYA HUDUGI ” in 2001. Film was a smash hit and launched Sammir in the Kannada industry . He is known there as DHYAN. After that he worked in couple of Kannada films, such as : ” MONALISA ” , ” JOOTATA “ and ” AMRUTHADHARE “. In the last mentioned film even Mr. Amitabh Bachchan played a cameo. Sammir worked in a Tamil film also. Its name is ” KUTTY ” . I have seen all his regional films as he used to have private screening of all his films in Mumbai and never ever forgot to invite me.

Then he was signed to play main lead in a Hindi film called ” UFF KYA JAADOO MOHABBAT HAI “. It was a Rajshri Production film and Sammir was signed for it along with 3 other new comers. Tanishaa was the female lead but later on she opted out of the film. I was assigned to train all of them and I started going to Rajshri’s office. By that  time I had Bajaj Pulsar and I was commuting on that. Film got released and was a damp squib at the box office. Undeterred Sammir signed another Hindi film ” PYAAR MEIN TWIST “ and after its release he thought that he needs some more modulation and voice training . He again called me and I started going to his place once again. Even after so many years, the warmth and respect of Sammir and his family was same for me. It is yet to diminish. Before IHLS , Sammir did some other  good films : ” CORPORATE ” , ” MUKHBIR “ and ” WELL DONE ABBA “ are some of them. His last one is my personal favourite. I was invited for the private screening of ” WELL DONE ABBA “. I went there in my car. So from a rickety Bajaj Super scooter to Bajaj Pulsar and now a Maruti Swift, my relationship with Sammir has seen all the shades and colours of my life.

SHEKHAR RAVJIANI : I got a call from an assistant of Mr. Aditya Chopra and was informed that I have to train Shekhar of Vishal-Shekhar duo. I started going to his  Khar apartment and worked with him. He is a talent music director and a charming human being. He is a good singer and has wonderful screen presence. He made me listen almost all the songs of  ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ and I knew that his score is going to top the charts. He used to work with me in the morning and worked on the  musical score of ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ in the night. Both the work were going on simultaneously. I am happy that I was privy to all the scores of this film even before the official release.

IMRAN KHAN : He is the only one among all the 5 , who is not my private student. He was in the regular batch and after completing his training left for U S A. I lost touch and years after, when he surfaced in Mumbai and made it big with ” JAANE TU YA JAANE NA ” , I am yet to make contacts with him. He is master of special effects and did many such things in the class. Once I made a remark about his voice and told him that he have to work on it. I have an inkling that he felt bad and resented my remarks. Though he didn’t show his displeasure. His subsequent films – ” LUCK ” and ” KIDNAP ” did not get success at the box office but I think he will touch gold with this film. Though his films as child artiste – ” QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK ” and  ” JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER ” were more successful.

” I HATE LUV STORYS ” has been released with much fanfare and is getting all the positive bytes. I am happy at the moment and as I am about to retire for the day, I am going to sleep as a contented man but remembering these famous lines of American poet Robert Frost :.

The woods are lovely dark and deep ,

But I have promises to keep  ,

And miles to go before i sleep   ,

And miles to go before I sleep .

Vidur

Mumbai

http://www.vidur.co.in

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