Vidur’s Film Diary – May 2013


2
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE  07, 2013          08.30 P.M.
Our Success Ratio in MAY , 2013
175 %
[ 15 ACTORS / 01 Director / 01 E.P. / 01 Music Director
Working in 11 RELEASED FILMS  ]
Month of May 2013 is important for Indian cinema . On May , 1913 first full-length feature filmRaja Harishchandra was released in Coronation Cinema , Girgaon , Mumbai [ then Bombay ] . India cinema celebrates its 100 years of existence this month .
It is sad that in the year when Indian cinema is celebrating its 100th years , world of Indian films lost 5 luminaries in this month .
It was not a very significant month either for Hindi films as for as box office collections are concerned . Out of all 11 released films , only ” Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani “ hits the bull’s-eye . ” Shootout At Wadala ” , ” Go Goa Goneand ” Aurangzeb “ were average hits . Rest 07 were flops .

Tweets

Tweets of eminent trade analysts Mr. Komal Nahta , Mr. Taran Adarsh , which I re-tweet , present the current and authentic trend of film industry :
  1. SHOOTOUT AT WADALA opening in single-screens good, picked up very well in later shows.Opening in many multiplexes below the mark.

  2. SAW has lots for masses in Mahrshtra (mainly)but little for women,families & classes.Not universal.Read my review at http://komalsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/shootout-at-wadala-review/ …

  3. BOMBAY TALKIES is well-intentioned but with bleak chances at the b.o. Read my review at http://komalsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/bombay-talkies-review/ …

    1. #GoGoaGone collected Rs. 4.25 cr on Sat & Rs. 3.75 cr on Fri (approx). Total around Rs. 8 cr for two days….

    2. GIPPI is a non-starter. It has opened dull and is not likely to pick up. Read my review at http://komalsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/gippi-review/

    3. GoGoaGONE is entertaining for a section of the public only.But that may not be enough to sail safe.Read my review at http://komalsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/go-goa-gone/ …

    1. Aditya Roy Kapur shines in YJHD. Kalki Koechlin springs the biggest surprise. Pritam no less a hero of the film.

    2. Ranbir stakes claim to be called superstar after the flying start of YJHD and his extraordinary performance. Deepika is mind-blowing.

    3. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a highly entertaining film which will set the b.o. on fire. Read my review at http://komalsreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/yeh-jawaani-hai-deewani-review/ …

    1. #BombayTalkies Friday *early estimates* 1.25 cr to 1.5 cr.

    2. #ShootoutAtWadala opens at No 11 position in UK. Despite 18 certificate by British censors. That says it all!

    3. Surprise! Surprise!! Overseas biz pouring in and for a film that’s got an 18 cert, the opening day biz of #ShootoutAtWadala is very good!

    4. #ShootoutAtWadala Fri 10.1 cr… Amongst the top openers of the year!

    5. #Gippi is straight from the heart. Brings back childhood memories. Sweet, simple, emotionally engaging, heart-warming cinema.

  1. As per *early estimates* #ShootoutAtWadala crosses Rs 45 cr mark in Week 1. Excellent!

 

  1. #Gippi Fri 75 lacs, Sat 1 cr, Sun 1.25 cr, Mon 40 lacs. Total: 3.40 cr.

  2. #ShootoutAtWadala [2nd Week] Fri 2.02 cr, Sat 2.33 cr, Sun 2.57 cr, Mon 1.20 cr. Grand total: 53.94 cr.

  3. #GoGoaGone Fri 3.75 cr, Sat 4.25 cr, Sun 4.90 cr, Mon 2.05 cr. Total: 14.95 cr.

  1. In Overseas, Ranbir Kapoor is right next to the 3 Khans: SRK, Salman, Aamir. #Barfi and now #YehJawaaniHaiDeewani have cemented his status!

  2. #YehJawaaniHaiDeewani UAE *revised* Thu AED 900,000 … #Barfi Thu was AED 600,000 and #Rockstar Thu was AED 500,000.

  3. #YehJawaaniHaiDeewani *initial trends* suggest 18 cr Friday. Humungous opening!

  4. #YehJawaaniHaiDeewani takes a Blockbuster start in UAE. Thu AED 800,000. #Barfi Thu was AED 450,000.

  5. #Aurangzeb 2nd Week: 4.16 cr. Grand Total: 23.85 cr.

  6. As per trends, #YehJawaaniHaiDeewani should be Ranbir Kapoor’s biggest opener – Day 1, opening weekend and Week 1.

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Obituary :

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Dulari  : 

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From dancing on 2 peppy numbers ” Aana Meri Jaan , Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday “ and ” Jawani Ki Rail Chali Jaye Re “ in ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] to playing poor mother in numerous films , Dulari had a 56 year-long career in Hindi film industry .

She died in Pune on January 18 , 2013 at the age of 85 .

Posting link of the blog , which I wrote about her .

  1. Dulari Ji Is Gone; Unwept, Unheard , Unsung ! http://wp.me/ptyXI-2Vg


Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar :

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Though not a film music director in true sense of the term , Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar made just one exception . He gave background music for Film-maker Mani Kaul’s film ” The Cloud Door “ [ 1994 ] .

Posting the link of the blog , which I wrote about him :

Jagdish Mali :

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When I came to Mumbai in 1989 , there were only three photographers of repute . Gautam Rajadhyaksha , Jagdish Mali and Rakesh Shreshtha . Two of this triumvirate are now gone .

Jagdish Mali died on May 13 , 2013 in Mumbai in very tragic situation . Few months back he was found in semiconscious condition on the streets of Mumbai in tattered clothes .

Sulabha Mantri :

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Sulbha Mantri, an actress who was active on Marathi stage & serials and also worked in some Hindi serials like; “Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai”, “Uttaran” & “Kuchh Khoya Kuchh Paya”, died on May 12, 2013 at the age of 63.

She worked in Marathi serials like ; “Damini” & “Amchi Mati Amchi Manas”.

Rituparno Ghosh :

———————————

Renowned film maker Rituparno Ghosh passed away on May 30, 2013 morning in Kolkata at the age of 49.

He won Multiple National Awards for his Bengali films. He also directed some Hindi films like; “Raincoat” [2004] , “The Last Lear” [2007] & “Sunglass” [2012]

It is painful to know about the demise of a hugely talented and young film-maker. RIP

Posting the link of the blog , which I wrote about him :

Rituparno Ghosh ; Gone Too Soon http://wp.me/ptyXI-2XS

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – May  03

————————————————

1 – Shootout At Wadala …………………………………………………. John Abraham

…………………………………………………………………………………. Sonu Sood

…………………………………………………………………………………. Priyanka Chopra

2 – Bombay Talkies ………………………………………………………. Katrina Kaif

Second Week – May 10

——————————————–——–

1 – Gippi ……………………………………………………………………. Divya Dutta

……………………………………………………………………………….. Shekhar Ravjiani

2 – Go Goa Gone …………………………………………………………. Saif Ali Khan

……………………………………………………………………………….. Soha Ali Khan

3 – Four Two Ka One …………………………………………………… Jimmy Shergill

Third Week – May 17

————————————————-

1 -Aurangzeb ……………………………………………………………. Arjun Kapoor

………………………………………………………………………………. Sikander Kher

………………………………………………………………………………. Ashish Singh

2 – I Don’t Luv U ……………………………………………………….. X

Fourth Week  – May 24

——————————————–

1 – Hum Hai Raahi Car Ke …………………………………………… Priya Pareira

2 – Ishkq In Paris ……………………………………………………… Prem Raj

3 – Zindagi 50 50 ……………………………………………………… Aarya Babbar

……………………………………………………………………………… Riya Sen

 

Fifth Week – May 31

——————————————–

1 – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani ………………………………………. Ranbir Kapoor

……………………………………………………………………………… Kalki Koechlin

In total …………… 11 …………….. films got released in May . Out of these ………….. 11 ………… released films ……….. 10 ………… films have …………… 18 ……………. persons , who are trained by me .

Out of these ………. 18 ……… persons , Prem Raj is the Director of  ” Ishkq In Paris ”  , Ashish Singh is the Executive Producer of  ” Aurangzeb “ and Shekhar Ravjiani is the music director of  ” Gippi ” .

Remaining ………. 15 ………. are actors . Saif Ali Khan doubles as actor / producer of  ” Go Goa Gone ” .

 

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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Punjabi : Jimmy Shergill  is playing main lead in ” Rangeelay “.


My ………….. 01 ………………. student in ……….. 01 ………….. regional film .

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TV Trivia & Me :

======================

1 – Rohit Khurana  is playing an important role in   Dil Ki Nazar Se Khoobsurat on Sony TV .

on Star Plus .

2 – Manish Naggdev is playing an important role in ” Savdhaan India “ on Life OK .


My ……………. 02 ……….. students in ………… 02 ……………. shows on different channels .

 

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Theatre & Me :

======================

1 – Pratik Kothari is playing an important role in  ” Mummy ! Tu Aavi Kevi ” ?

2 – Adhir Bhatt is playing lead in ” The ugly One ” .

3 – Vikrant Sharma is playing an important role in ” Clowns @ Play ” .

 

 My …………… 03 ………….. students in ………….. 03 …………. plays .

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Commercials & Me :

=======================

1 – Hritik Roshan is the brand ambassador of Ground Zero Products .

My ………….. 01 …………… student in …………… 01 …………… commercial campaign .

I am happy that as an acting trainer or acting tutor I had a very satisfying month . My 18 students appeared in 10 films , 02 students in 02 TV serials , 01 student in 01 regional film , 03 students in 03 plays and 01 student appeared in 01 Ad also . Thus total number of students working in the month of May comes to 25 .

Self-proclaimed most famous acting school of Mumbai , self-appointed most famous acting institute of India and self-anointed most famous acting academy of bollywood are nowhere in the scene .

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I congratulate all my above mentioned students . VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre also wishes them well in their glorious journey ahead .

May they shine in their chosen field . May , through their endeavour , our acting institute will one day become one of the most famous acting institutes of the world .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 13 : Varanasi


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 03 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Varanasi or Benaras or Kasi or Kashi , this old and perennial city of India , which symbolises Hindu ethos and its timeless tradition , is a new metropolis , yet it existed and started its journey several millennium ago . As per tradition and folklore it is 5000 years old city . Its mythical and cultural name is Kashi . Rigveda mentions this city as Kasi or Kashi . During British era the name was changed and the city came to be known as Benaras . After independence the city was rechristened as Varanasi . Varuna and Assi are two rivers , which caress the city from two sides , hence the city was rechristened as Varanasi .

Varanasi predates history . It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world and the oldest city in India . As per Hindu mythology this city rests on the trident of Bhagwan Shiva . This city is closely associated with the legendary Raja Harishchandra , an ancestor of Bhagwan Ram . Harishchandra ghat still exists and bears his name and reminds us of his supreme sacrifices in pursuit of truth . Along with AYODHYA , MATHURA , MAYA [ HARIDWAR ] , KANCHI , AVANTIKA [ UJJAIN ] and DWARKA , Varanasi , for the Hindus , is the 7th Holiest Cities of India . I consider myself lucky and fortunate that I have chance to visit all the above mentioned seven cities .

I have been to Varanasi several times . I first visited this city with my parents and other siblings , while I was a toddler . It was for the MUNDAN [ Tonsure Ceremony ] of my younger brother . I still remember my first journey to Varanasi by train . I was a kid and I used to converse with my parents only in Bhojpuri . My father insisted that while in Varanasi , we all must converse in Hindi . I was finding it difficult and avoided speaking throughout the journey .

I have visited this city numerous times since then . Every year when I visit my native place Deoria , I have to make a halt either at Varanasi or Lucknow . This year in June , I took a morning flight from Mumbai on June 16 , 2012 and along with my wife , landed there in the afternoon . Varanasi now has a swanky and sprawling airport . Old airport was not worthy of the reputation of this ancient city . This new Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is truly impressive .

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport – Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport - Varanasi

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport – Varanasi

I took a cab and drove to Hotel Gautam Grand near Varanasi Cant station .

Hotel Gautam Grand - Varanasi

Hotel Gautam Grand – Varanasi

When in Varanasi , you have to enjoy the crowded lanes and by-lanes of this mythical yet  modern metropolis . Godaulia is the nerve – centre of the city .

Godaulia - Varanasi

Godaulia – Varanasi

The world-famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 JYOTIRLINGAS of Bhagwan Shiva in India . You dare not afford to miss this shrine . The old temple , built by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th century , was destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb , who built a mosque on the ruins of this temple , which , today , is known as Gyanvapi mosque . The present Kashi Vishwanath temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1717 . This temple was adorned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh , who donated 820 k.g. gold in 1889 .

Kashi Vishwanath Temple - Entrance

Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Entrance

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

World Famous Lane of Vishwanath Temple

 

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the t...

Gyanvapi, the original holy well between the temple and mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After darshan of Kashi Vishwanath temple , you proceed to Dashashwamedha Ghat , where Ganga Aarti is performed in the evening . Dashashwamedha Ghat was built by Maharaja Savai Jai Singh II in 1693 . It is one of the 100 ghats of Varanasi . Originally Ganga Aarti was started in Haridwar by Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya . Few years back it was started in Varanasi also and today it is major tourist attraction .

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Ganga Arti - Varanasi

Ganga Arti – Varanasi

Apart from Dashashwamedha ghat , Kedar ghat and Harishchandra ghat are other two major ghats of Varanasi .

Kedar Ghat - Varanasi

Kedar Ghat – Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat - Varanasi

Harishchandra Ghat – Varanasi

Godaulia - Varanasi at Night

Godaulia – Varanasi at Night

A British Era Church at Godaulia

A British Era Church at Godaulia

Sankat Mochan temple is the another famous temple of Varanasi . According to the folklore , Sant Tulsidas worshipped here and Bhagwan Hanuman gave him darshan . After Kashi Vishwanath temple , it is the 2nd most revered temple of Varanasi for Hindus .

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Temple

Varanasi is famous for Sants like Tulsi Das , Kabir Das , Ravi Das , Tailang Swami and Keena Ram . Tailang Swami and his disciple Keena Ram Baba followed AGHOR PANTH . Keena Ram Baba is most famous exponent of AGHOR PANTH . I visited his Ashram also . This was my first visit . I visited it twice . First visit was in the afternoon of June 16th and the second one was next day , on June 17 , 2012 .

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba - Main Entrance

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Main Entrance

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

At The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba  - Residence

The Ashram of Keena Ram Baba – Residence

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

At Keena Ram Baba Ashram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

My Wife at The Ashram of Sant Keena Ram

I left Varanasi on June 17 , 2012 in the morning . While proceeding towards Sarnath and Aundihar , I started remembering several luminaries of Indian history , who were born in Varanasi and spent their lives in this city .

Notable residents of Varanasi

Temple of Markandeya Mahadev in Aundihar is another famous shrine of Bhagwan Shiv , which I visited with my wife , while on my way to Deoria .

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

At Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple - Aundihar

My Wife at Markandeya Mahadev Temple – Aundihar

Varanasi is not a remote place for me . It is in between Mumbai and Deoria . I can and will visit it as long as I am alive . But then being alive is the big , unknown and unanswered question . Who knows it is my last visit or not ? Who knows whether I would be able to visit it again or not ?

I started for Deoria with heavy heart . Though I do hope to visit Varanasi again in winters for Allahabad Kumbh mela . Lines of Agyeya come running in my mind :

पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;

बिछी पैरों में नदी ज्यों दर्द की रेखा , विहग शिशु मौन नीड़ों में ; 

मैंने आँख भर देखा , दिया मन को दिलासा ; 
पुनः आऊँगा , भले ही बरस दिन , अनगिन युगों के बाद ;

क्षितिज ने पलक सी खोली , दमक कर दामिनी बोली ;
” अरे यायावर ! रहेगा याद ? “
………………………………………………..अज्ञेय 
[ Tenderness of mighty mountains reflected in pine trees ,
Upward moving pathways symbolizing my enthusiasm ,
River , flowing deep down like a line of pain ,
Tiny tots of birds sitting silently in their nest ,
I saw everything with contentment ,
Consoled myself , I would come again ,
After a year or may be after ages ……….
Horizon opened its eyes , lightning dazzled in the sky ,
As if saying ………………
O Wanderer ! Would you ever even remember ? ]

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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80 Years of ” Alam Ara ” : India’s First Talkie


NIGHT……………………………….11.00

On March 14 , 1931 Indian cinema created history . First Hindi talkie ” ALAM ARA “ made by Ardeshir Irani was released on this very day in the Majestic cinema of Bombay [ now Mumbai ] Though , ” RAJA HARISCHANDRA ” , first ever full – length silent feature film of India was made by Dada Saheb Phalke , the pioneer of Indian cinema , in 1913.

scanned from personal collection Removed from ...

Dada Saheb Phalke - Father of Indian Cinema

A scene from indian movie

A scene from Indian movie Raja Harishchandra

A still of a scene from the first full-length ...

A scene from Indian movie Raja Harishchandra

It took almost 18 years to produce a talkie film and Ardeshir Irani became the pioneer. ” ALAM ARA ” made under the banner of Imperial Movietone had Master Vithal and Zubeida as the leading stars of the film and the movie had 7 memorable songs including DE DE KHUDA KE NAAM PAR sung by Wazir Mohammad Khan , who also played a faqir in the film . In those early years of talkie era there were no system of recording the song , Ardeshir Irani recorded it live with harmonium and tabla . This particular song is considered as the first ever song of not only Hindi films but Indian films as well. Music of ” ALAM ARA “ was given by Ferozshah M. Mistri and B. Irani .When released in the Majestic cinema hall of Bombay [ now Mumbai ] it created history . Public frenzy was to be seen to be believed , and finally police had to be summoned to control the crowd .

Director, Ardeshir Irani recording, Alam Ara f...

Ardeshir Irani recording a Song of Alam Ara

Alam Ara poster, 1931.

Alam Ara poster, 1931.

The film is a love story between a prince and a gypsy girl, based on a Parsi play written by Joseph David. David later served as a writer at Irani’s film company. The story centers on an imaginary, historical royal family in the kingdom of Kumarpur. The main characters are the king and his two warring wives Dilbahar and Navbahar. Their rivalry escalates when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king’s heir. Dilbahar, in revenge, attempts to have an affair with the kingdom’s chief minister Adil. The affair goes sour and a vengeful Dilbahar imprisons him and exiles his daughter, Alam Ara (Zubeida). In exile, Alam Ara is brought up by Gypsies. Upon returning to the palace at Kumarpur, Alam Ara meets and falls in love with the charming young prince (Master Vithal). In the end, Adil is released, Dilbahar is punished and the lovers marry.

A rare still from Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara, t...

A rare still from Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara

Description: Low-resolution reproduction of pu...

A Scene fron Alam Ara

After the fire at National Film Archive of India, Pune, in 2003, which destroyed the last surviving prints of several classics such as Raja Harishchandra and Achhut Kanya, this film is no longer available in its original format.

Master Vithal and Zubeida in Alam Ara, 1931.

Master Vithal and Zubeida in Alam Ara, 1931.

Newpaper advertisement for first Indian talkie...

Newspaper advertisement for Alam Ara

The name of the actors , who played major role in ” ALAM ARA ” , is worthy of notice for the today’s film connoisseurs. Apart from Master Vithal and Zubeida Begum Dhanrajgir [ known as Zubeida ] , it had singer Wazir Mohammad Khan as a faqir. Three prominent actors , who were part of the cast of ” ALAM ARA ” and who played major role in the talkie era and are known to today’s generation also , were Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Jillo Bai and L. V. Prasad .

Prithvi Raj Kapoor went on to play major roles in many films , won many awards and created an empire. His legacy was carried forward by his sons ; Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kpoor. Later on legacy was carried forward by his grandsons ; Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Rajeev Kapoor. Now fourth generation of Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s family is working in films. They are Kareena Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor’s daughter manages Prithvi Theatre , made to commemorate  Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s memory.

Jillo Bai was seen as Madhubala’s mother in ” Mughal – E – Azam “ and as mother – in law of Nargis in ” Mother India “ .

Case of L. V. Prasad is more curious. He worked as an actor in first Hindi talkie ” ALAM ARA ” , first Tamil talkie ” KALIDAS ” and first Telugu talkie ” BHAKT PRAHLAD ” , all released in 1931. Later on he stablished a major production company named as Prasad Productions and made hits like ; ” SHARDA ” , ” CHHOTI BAHAN ” , ” BETI BETE ” , ” DADI MAA ” , ” MILAN ” , ” JEENE KI RAH ” , ” RAJA AUR RANK ” ,  ” KHILONA ” and ” EK DUJE KE LIYE ” .

It is sad that no print of the epic movie ” ALAM ARA “ is available today. This part of our history is lost for ever and no one is bothered . Ardeshir Irani’s path-breaking film is lost forever.

Ardeshir Irani, (1886 - 1969)

Ardeshir Irani, (1886 - 1969)

Ardeshir Irani died in 1969 , when I was studying in intermediate and Zubeida Begum Dhanrajgir a.k.a. Zubeida died in 1988, one year before I came to Mumbai to make a career in films.

Zubeida, a silent era actress in Indian Cinema...

Zubeida, a silent era actress

[ Synopsis of ” ALAM ARA “ is taken from Wikipedia. I have not seen the film , so for the story I have to rely on Wikipedia. I express my gratitude . ]

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Bhojpuri Cinema Down the Years


Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani : Achhut Kanya

As is known, ” Raja Harishchandra ” , the first Indian film was made in 1913. ” Alam Ara ” , the first Indian talkie was made in 1931. Films in other major Indian languages followed soon. But Bhojpuri, though a major dialect of Hindi belt of India , waited till 1961, almost 48 long years after the first Indian film. This in spite of the fact that almost all the major hits of early Indian Cinema had rural north Indian theme . Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani’s ” Achhut Kanya” is the most glaring example of this fact. It was released in 1936. Dilip Kumar‘s ” Ganga Jumna ” was made in Awadhi , a major dialect of Uttar Pradesh . It was released in 1960. Bhojpuri  Cinema had to wait for one more year, in spite of the fact that ” Ganga Jumna ” was a golden jubilee hit of its time. In the above mentioned films Ashok Kumar and Dilip Kumar played rural , rustic characters of Uttar Pradesh. Both the films were major hits. Ashok Kumar and Dilip Kumar were gigantic stars of their times , but in spite of this fact, there were no breakthrough in Bhojpuri films.

Dilip Kumar & Vyjayanti Mala :in First Awadhi Film - Ganga Jumna

”]
Screen image from Alam Ara 1931, the first Ind...

Image via Wikipedia - First Indian Talkie _ Alam Ara - 1931

”] ”]

First Assamiya Talkie - Joymati - 1935

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Bhojpuri cinema history begins in 1961 with the well-received film ” Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo ” , which was directed by Kundan Kumar.Asim Kumar and Kumkum were the stars of this super hit film. Its music was  provided by Chitragupt, was extremely popular. Lyrics were written by Shailendra and songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsale. Its hit music is remembered even today. Throughout the following decades, films were produced only in fits and starts. Films such as  ” Laagi Nahi Chhute Ram “, ” Bidesiya ” (1963, directed by S. N. Tripathi) , ” Loha Singh ” and ” Ganga  ” (1965, directed by Kundan Kumar) were profitable and popular, but in general Bhojpuri films were not commonly produced in the 1960s and 1970s. 

In the 1980s, enough Bhojpuri films were produced to tentatively make up an industry. Films such as ” Mai ” (1989, directed by Rajkumar Sharma) and ” Hamar Bhauji ” (1983, directed by Kalpataru) continued to have at least sporadic success at the box office. ” Nadiya Ke Paar ” is a 1982 Hindi-Bhojpuri blockbuster directed by Govind Moonis and starring Sachin, Sadhana Singh, Inder Thakur, Leela Mishra and Soni Rathod.The film ran houseful for years in a movie theatre in Allahabad. However, this trend faded out by the end of the decade, and by 1990, the nascent industry seemed to be completely finished 

Ravi Kissan

The industry took off again in 2001 with the “Silver Jubilee” hit ” Saiyyan Hamar ” ( directed by Mohan Prasad), which shot the hero of that film, Ravi Kissan, to superstardom.This success was quickly followed by several other remarkably successful films, including ” Panditji Batai Na Biyah Kab Hoi ” (2005, directed by Mohan Prasad) and ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ” (2005). In a measure of the Bhojpuri film industry‘s rise, both of these did much better business in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar than mainstream Bollywood hits at the time, and both films, made on extremely tight budgets, earned back more than ten times their production costs. ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ” also introduced Manoj Tiwari, formerly a well-loved folk singer, to the wider audiences of Bhojpuri cinema. In 2010, he and Ravi Kissan are still the leading actors of Bhojpuri films, along with Nirahua and Pawan Singh.  The extremely rapid success of their films has led to dramatic increases in Bhojpuri cinema’s visibility, and the industry now supports an awards show and a trade magazine,  ” Bhojpuri City ” ,which chronicles the production and release of what are now over one hundred films per year. Many of the major stars of mainstream Bollywood cinema, including Amitabh Bachchan, have also recently worked in Bhojpuri films. Mithun Chakraborty’s Bhojpuri debut ” Bhole Shankar ” , released in 2008, is considered as the biggest Bhojpuri hit of all time.Also in 2008, a 21-minute diploma film Bhojpuri film by Siddharth Sinha, ” Udedh Bun ” was selected for world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival,later it won the National Film Award for Best Short fiction Film.

Once upon a time writer-filmmaker Kamal Anand dubbed Namak Halal into Bhojpuri , after sitting on its copyright for eight years, as there was no market for films in that dialect. “But today the situation has changed.The new version is called ” Babua Khiladi Dadua Anadi ” with Amitabh as ‘Babua’. The film’s memorable songs such as Jawani Jaaneman, Raat Baki Baat Baki and Pag Ghungaroo Baandh Meera Nachi Thi have been peppered in Bhojpuri.The new cinema has attracted producers like Subhash Ghai, Rajshri, Nitin Manmohan and Tinu Verma. Actors Govinda, Juhi Chawla and Nagma are already taking lessons in the language. Even Columbia Tristar briefly toyed with the idea of getting one of its films dubbed.

Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

Image via Wikipedia

“It makes good business sense as these films sell in Bihar, UP, and parts of Punjab and Maharashtra,”says producer-director Ranjan Kumar Singh. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh agrees. “Most Bhojpuri films are made in small budgets, usually Rs 20-30 lakh, and they fetch Rs 1-2 crore.”Several of these films are grossing 10 times their production costs. A good film can even make a profit of Rs 10-12 crore.

Regions of Uttar Pradesh

Image via Wikipedia

A few years ago, this wasn’t the case. While Gujarati, Marathi and Punjabi films got their due at the box office, Bhojpuri films didn’t really recapture the supersuccess of the 1982 blockbuster ” Nadiya Ke Paar” , which starred Sachin and Sadhna Singh, and was made under the respectable banner of Rajshri Productions.

Twenty two years hence, the tide finally turned. In 2005, Manoj, a struggling singer, debuted in sex comedy ” Sasura Bada Paisewala.”  The film ran for more than 50 weeks in Varanasi and Kanpur in UP and for 25 weeks elsewhere. ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ” made with a modest budget of Rs 30 lakh, grossed a stupendous Rs 15 crore. Manoj’s other films such as ” Daroga Babu I Love You ” then went on to do a business of Rs 4 crore and ” Bandhan Tutey Na ” has already made Rs 3 crore..

The Bhojpuri Industry has learned to talk in crores and has budgeted Rs 1-1.25 crore for an action film ” Dharti Putra ” , also starring who else but Manoj. Industry sources say that Manoj has made the most of the prosperity. He was paid Rs 2 lakh earlier. Now he charges Rs 50 lakh a film. He admits that his films are raking in big money in UP and Bihar. ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ”   played to full houses in Bihar and had surpassed Hindi films in the region, except for Gadar, for now. Even Hindi heavyweights like ” Mangal Pandey, The Rising “, are said to have fallen behind ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ”  in Bihar and MP . Manoj is very busy these days.  ” Pyar Ke Bandhan ” , ” Dharti Kahey Pukar Ke ” with Ajay Devgan followed by a film with Jackie Shroff. ” Damadji ” ,  followed by Tinu Varma’s Dharti Putra.”Meanwhile Hindi filmsinger Udit Narayan, a Bihari, has debuted as a producer with ” Kab Hui Gauna Hamar.”  The film ran to packed theatres for two months in Punjab and Delhi and its success had encouraged Narayan to produce another film, to be shot in London. The film goes back 150 years and depicts the plight of Biharis in Mauritius..  

Distributors attribute the success to cleaner content. “Gone are double-meaning dialogues, lack of a coherent storyline and poor technical quality. The films are slicker, “says Manoj. Bhojpuri films are also heading to countries which have a Bhojpuri-speaking population such as Mauritius, Fiji, Surinam and Nepal.  We started selling ” Daroga Babu I Love You ” overseas and then  looked at possibilities for ” Sasura Bada Paisa Wala. The returns have taken film shootings out of grimy studios to exotic locations. ” Babul Pyare ” with Raj Babbar, Arun Govil, Ravi Kishan and Hrishita Bhatt completed a shooting spell in London . Kishan, who also starred in ” Saiyan Hamar” , says that Bhojpuri films have saved single-screen cinema halls in Bihar and UP, which would have otherwise been converted into malls.

New moral standards are guarding Bhojpuri films. In ” Firangi Dulhania ” , a story about a village boy from Bihar who goes to study in London and returns with a foreign bride, director Ranjan Kumar Singh, has got the exciting services of an Ukrainian actress, Tanya (what else..)

Actors

Diwakar PandeySujeet KumarManoj TiwariRavi KishanNazir HussainRakesh PandeyJai TilakDinesh Lal YadavBhushan Tiwari, Kunal, Ram Singh, Anand RaiJ.MohanVinod TiwariAsim KumarHari shuklaBrij KishoreVijai KhareKewal KrishnaLaliteshDinesh KaushikManoj VermaDevendra PodwalKiran Kumar, and JeevanSushil Singh,Vinod,Vinay, Brijesh Tripathi Laxman ChaturvediRajendra Karn, Mukesh Kumar Barnwal, Mrityunjay Sharma, Pawan singh, parbesh lal yadav, amit kumar yadav, Saagara Nageena Tripathy, Trinath

Actresses

NaazShweta Tiwari parul yadav

Producers

Bihar Films and Devi Padmavati FilmsKamasar Films

Directors

Nazir Hussain, Ranjeet singh , Kundan KumarRajkumar SharmaPrakash JhaSiddharth SinhaAbhishek ChhadhaAshok JainLalji Gupta, and Kalpataru.Ram Nath Rai,[Udaisenapati][Aslam Sheque][Raj Kumar]

Music directors

Vinay Bihari, Rajesh Rajneesh [Madhuker Anand]

Famous films

Main article: List of Bhojpuri Film

Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo (1962)  • Laagi Nahi Chhute Ram (1963)  • Ganga (1965)  • Bidesiya (1963)  • Bhouji (1965)  • Loha Singh (1966)  • Dher Chalaki Jinkara (1971)  • Daku Rani Ganga (1976/II)  • Amar Suhagin (1978)  • Balam Pardesia(1979)  • Chanwa Ke Take Chakor (1981)  • Saiyan Magan Pahelwani Mein (1981)  • Saiyan Tore Karan (1981)  • Hamar Bhauji (1983)  • Chukti Bhar Senur (1983)  • Dulha Ganga Paar Ke (1986)  •  ;’Jug Jug Jiya More LalRoos Gailen Saiyen Hamaar(1988)  • • Ganga (2006)

Ganges River, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Image via Wikipedia

Bhojpuri cinema is also watched in many parts of the world, where Indian diasporahas settled, including BrazilFijiGuyanaMauritiusSouth AfricaSuriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many colonizers faced labor shortages due to the abolition of slavery; thus, they imported many Indians, many from Bhojpuri-speaking regions. Today, some 200 million people in the West IndiesOceania, and South America speak Bhojpuri as a native or second language[1] and they also watch Bhojpuri films.

 


 



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