Vidur’s Open Letter – 8 : To Armaan Jain


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 17, 2014           00.15 A.M.

Hi Armaan,

It is nice to get in touch with you at the time when you have made your debut and your first film has been released. As I am writing this blog, I am remembering all the Sundays which I spent at your South Mumbai residence when I used to come for the classes. It was years ago but it seems as if it happened just yesterday. I particularly remember your illustrious parents; reticent Manoj Ji and larger than life and exuberant Rima Ji. Rima Ji was always nice and kind to me. Whenever I talked to her, I felt, as if I am talking to legendary and immortal Raj Kapoor.

With Armaan Jain's Proud Parents at their Home

With Armaan Jain’s Proud Parents at their Home

 

I do remember my first day with you. It was a hesitant but confident start. I am unable to forget your child-like innocence even after so many years. Your “Rishi Kapoor of Bobby” kind of look is still fresh in my memory.

After many months, classes got a break when you started assisting Karan Johar in his film  “Student Of The Year”.

 

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I started with you once again before commencement of shooting of  your debut film “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil”. It was a sweet surprise to watch a more confident and mature avatar of yours.

With Armaan Jain & His Mother Rima Jain

With Armaan Jain & His Mother Rima Jain

Because of this long association, I was very excited and was eagerly waiting for your debut film “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil”. And finally it got released on July 04, 2014.

I am yet to see the film. But I am getting the news that it is not doing well at the box office. As per trade circles it is not going to make its producers happy. Though it is not a good or encouraging news for a newcomer, such things do happen. And in this industry it even happened to some of our greats, rather the greatest.

Armaan, I must make you aware that the first film of RK Films “Aag”, made by your illustrious maternal grandfather Late Raj Kapoor, was also a disastrous flop. “Jwaar Bhata”, the first film of legendary Dilip Kumar , was a dud at the box office. Your cousin Kareena Kapoor’s first film “Refugee” got lukewarm response. Your other cousin Ranbir Kapoor‘s debut film “Saawariya” was also a resounding flop.  So you seem to be in an august company.

 

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Armaan, a film’s box office run is not the only criteria of success. Though the first milestone of a long  journey is important but ultimately what matters is the completion of the journey. And your remarkable journey did not start in 2014. It started in 1929 with the release of  “Cinema Girl” and got prominence in 1931 with the first Indian talkie “Alam Ara”. Shri Prithvi Raj Kapoor starred in both the films. It happened 85 years ago. You are the latest torch-bearer of an illustrious legacy, a shinning 85-year-old saga. Just one smeared milestone is not going to tarnish the unparalleled and never seen before cinematic journey. The 85-year-old saga has found a new mascot in you and you have to be ready for that responsibility.

I have made a video celebrating the saga of 85 years of Kapoors. For me this saga is not going to be diminished by just one film. Do watch the video and let me know your reaction :

Vidur Club News Video -5 [ ARMAAN JAIN ] :

Armaan, I am happy that I wrote my first open letter to your cousin Ranbir Kapoor on November 29, 2009. Exactly after 5 years I am writing my latest open letter to you.

 

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I congratulate you on the occasion of the release of your first film. On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise , I wish you all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

Waiting for your next film and promise to meet you on the eve of release of your next film.

Yours ,

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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A Tearful Tribute to Bala Saheb Thackeray


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 22 , 2012           11.20 P.M.

I was trying to write this obituary since Saturday . But I couldn’t . There were many things , many thoughts running in my mind simultaneously . And in such circumstances flood-gates of memory gets opened and submerges our psyche .

On Saturday November 17 , 2012 , I was sitting in the office of my Acting Institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , when I heard about the demise of Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray . I closed my Acting Class immediately and returned home . Then I started watching TV . Every channel was full of the sad news . While watching the channels , I was thrown into the year 1967 , the year I passed high school examinations , left my native place Deoria and went to Allahabad for higher studies .

In Allahabad I heard about Shiv Sena , the 1-year-old new emerging force in Maharashtra .

Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena Symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The year was 1967 and Shiv Sena was just 1-year-old organization . I took admission in the Government Inter College , Allahabad and like all the youngsters of my age , I was trying to gather more knowledge , was trying to know more things about the world . I , along with my friends , used to read news papers and discuss events and personalities . Because of Shiv Sena’s pro – Marathi policies and staunch parochial attitude , the organization Shiv Sena and its leader Bal Thackeray [ as Bala Saheb was known then ] , was centre of debate and topic of many heated discussions .

I finished my studies , returned to my native place again and started my life afresh . Destiny sometimes plan things differently and plays unique games . So in 1989 I landed up in Bombay . The city , yet to be rechristened Mumbai , became my permanent abode . In 1989 Shiv Sena got registered as a political party . So my life in Mumbai and life of Shiv Sena as a political party began simultaneously in 1989 .

As I started living in Mumbai , I took note of Shiv Sena , started reading about it and started appreciating Shri Bala Saheb Thackeray and his ideology . I was not mature in 1967 , so I was critical of Bala Saheb’s policies and as a north – Indian felt bad when he uttered something against the north Indians . But as my life began in Mumbai , I started feeling that if someone feels that Marathi language , Marathi culture should be paramount in Maharashtra , there is no harm . If a leader says that Marathi should get preference in Maharashtra and it should be the state language , it is absolutely fine . Marathi language should get preference as the state language . If some organization advocates , propounds and is vocal about jobs for the son – of – the – soil , I feel that it is not unjustified at all and is definitely not anti – national .

So re – evaluation of Bala Saheb as a person and as a leader of Shiv Sena began in my mind . I must admit that slowly all the misgivings of previous years evaporated from my mind . 1990 onwards I could appreciate him in a much better way . I came to know about his early days as a cartoonist in ” The Free Press Journal ” . I saw some of the cartoons , which were published in ” Marmik ” , a magazine which he started after leaving ” The Free Press Journal “. He was second to none as a cartoonist , not even to the legendary R. K. Laxman . His cartoon character Kaka Ji , though not as famous as the Common Man of R. K. Laxman , was a poignant work of art . He even designed the famous logo of Raj Kapoor‘s R. K. Films .

As an orator , he had few equals . His connect with the masses was absolute . When I heard him for the first time , I was mesmerized , though my knowledge of Marathi was limited in those days .

It is unfortunate that I could not meet him in person . I am writing a book on acting and it was my secret wish that Bala Saheb should launch the book . Alas , along with so many wishes , my this wish will also remain unfulfilled .

While sitting at home and watching his funeral procession on Sunday , I remembered some other funeral processions of eminent Indians . I have seen Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession in photos . He attracted mammoth crowd even after his death . I do remember Jawahar Lal Nehru’s and Indira Gandhi’s last journey . Again the crowd was unprecedented . Last year I visited Anna Durai’s memorial in Puducherri and was stunned to see photos of his last journey . Apart from these above mentioned last journeys of  great Indian leaders , I have never seen such huge crowd for anybody’s last journey . Jawahar Lal Nehru , Indira Gandhi and Anna Durai held high positions in government . Mahatma Gandhi is the sole example of not holding any post and still commanding such respect after his death . Bala Saheb stands second only to Mahatma Gandhi .

I am sad that I could not meet him earlier and now after his demise it is not possible anymore .

English: Photo of Uddhav Thackeray, taken at B...

Photo of Uddhav Thackeray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my behalf and on the behalf of my acting institute Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I offer condolences to Shri Uddhav Thackeray and the whole Thackeray family .

Nation lost a great leader and I lost an opportunity .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

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