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 !!

 

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Nanda : Pardesiyon Ko Hai Ik Din Jaanaa …..


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 30 , 2014           00.30 A.M.

Vintage Nanda as We Know Her

Vintage Nanda as We Know Her

Unfortunately I was not connected to the net when yesteryear heroine Nanda ji died . I read about her death next day in the Times of India . She died on March 25 , 2014 at the age of 75 . One more icon of my Allahabad days is gone . One more reigning queen of my young years has left this world forever . I am feeling so helpless , so desperate , so forlorn , that I am unable to express myself properly . Several luminaries of cinema , who ruled the tinsel world during my adolescent days , are leaving this ephemeral world one by one . Several beautiful faces have vanished from this terra firma leaving me with this sinking feeling .

Baby Nanda On The Threshold of Youth in "Toofan Aur Diya"

Baby Nanda On The Threshold of Youth in “Toofan Aur Diya”

Nanda started working in films in 1948 as child artiste . She played heroine’s role for the first time in Bandish (1955) . After doing one more film Shatranj (1956) , she attained prominence with Toofan Aur Diya (1956) . This Rajendra Kumar starrer was directed by legendary V. Shantaram . He was Nanda’s paternal uncle .

From Bandish (1955) to Raj Kapoor’s  Prem Rog (1983) , she worked in almost 66 films as lead heroine / character artiste in a career spanning 28 years . She worked in 5 films as child artiste also . Thus Nanda worked in 71 films in a career spanning 35 years . Out of 71 films of Nanda ji , I have watched almost 25 films .

Nanda , during her hey – days , was an epitome of Indianness . Nanda had her own distinct class , beauty and charm . Nanda exuded ethnic oomph and native charm . Nanda was simple , yet she played a glamorous role with perfection and Elan . Nanda was a unique combination of traditional and modern woman . First film of Nanda , which I watched , was a super hit ” Jab Jab Phool Khile ” [ 1965 ] . Nanda played stellar role in the film with Shashi Kapoor .

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I can never forget the film and its heroine Nanda in Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) . All the songs of the film are still fresh in my memory and still reverberate in my ears . ” Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyaan Milaanaa …….. ” , ” Ye Samaa Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Ka …………….. ” , ” Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul ……………. ” , ” Na Na Karte Pyaar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe …………. ” and the soulful and melancholic ” Yahan Main Ajnabi Hoon …………. “ are still part of my life , even after so many years .

With Shashi Kapoor in "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

With Shashi Kapoor in “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

In "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

In “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

Yeh Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa  in "Jab Jab Phool Khile"

Yeh Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa in “Jab Jab Phool Khile”

After Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) , I watched several of her films . One film which I fondly remember even today is Dev Anand starrer Hum Dono (1961) , which I watched much later. I watched it in Palace talkies of Allahabad .

With Dev Anand in "Hum Dono"

With Dev Anand in “Hum Dono”

She was one of the few old era heroines , who modelled for Lux . I still remember the campaign .

Model for Lux

It is sad that she died a lonely death . Nanda was unmarried till her death . Few months back I watched a photograph of Nanda and her contemporaries . It brought tears in my eyes. All the beautiful reigning Divas of my young age are looking so different now . And alas , one is now gone !

Nanda & Her Close Friends : Waqt Ne Kiya , Kya Haseen Sitam

Nanda with Her Close Friends – Waheeda Rehman , Helen & Sadhana : Waqt Ne Kiya , Kya Haseen Sitam

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Filmography

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I offer my condolences to the family of Nanda ji and to all the near and dear ones .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre also pray for the departed soul .

May you REST IN PEACE Nanda ji ! I will always miss you . I will always remember you in Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) and will never forget the image of your’s in a shikara in Kashmir . The beautiful night of Kashmir , the white satin gown caressing your body , gentle breeze playing with your shampooed hair , your amorous face with bewitching smile and the sonorous Lata Mangeshkar song “…………… Ye Samaa , Samaa Hai Ye Pyaar Kaa ; Kisi Ke Intezar Ka ……………….. “ will always remain with me till the last breath of my life . Your ephemeral body has left us but the above mentioned image endures perennially .

 

[ I have taken information about the films of Nanda ji from Wikipedia . I have copied the list of her films from Wikipedia and posted it here . I am indebted . ]

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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 .

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Ravi : Unsung Music Maestro


Music Director Ravi

Music Director Ravi

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 14 , 2012           02.30 A.M.

I do know and would like to affirm that common people and connoisseurs , both remember all the following songs of Hindi films :

Darshan Do Ghanshyam Nath Mori Ankhiyan Pyasi Re ……………….

Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho Ya Aaftab Ho …………………………

Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin ……………………………………..

Baazi Kisi Ne Pyar Ki Jeeti Ya Har Di …………………………..

Bar Bar Dekho Hazar Bar Dekho Ki Dekhne Ki Cheez Hai Hamara Dilruba …..

Itni Haseen Itni Jawan Rat Kya Karen ………………………………..

Chalo Ik Bar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jayen Hum Dono ……………………..

Tora Man Darpan Kahlaye …………………………………

Chhoo Lene Do Nazuk Hoton Ko Kuchh Aur Nahin Hai Jam Hai Ye …………….

Tumhin Meri Manzil Tumhin Meri Pooja Tumhin Devta Ho ………………

Badi Der Bhai Nandlala Teri Rah Take Brijbala ………………………..

O Meri Zohra Jabin Tujhe Maloom Nahin ………………………….

Bhari Duniya Men Akhir Dil Ko Samjhane Kahan Jayen ………………..

Raha Gardishon Me Hardam Mere Ishq Ka Sitara ……………………….

Gharibon Ki Suno Wo Tumhari Sunega Tum Ek Paisa Doge Wo Dus Lakh Dega .

Neele Gagan Ke Tale Dharti Ka Pyar Pale …………………………….

Tujhko Rakhe Ram Tujhko Alla Rakhe ………………………………….

Milti Hai Zindagi Men Muhabbat Kabhi Kabhi ……………………….

Bachche Man Ke Sachche …………………………….

Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile …………………….

Tujhe Sooraj Kahoon Ya Chanda Tujhe Deep Kahoon Ya Tara ……………….

Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna HI Fasana Hai ……………………………

Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai ………………………………

Dil Ke Arman Aansuon Men Bah Gaye ………………………….

Dil Ki Ye Arzoo Thi Koi Dilruba Mile ………………………

These are some of the songs , which are still famous . These are some of the songs , which need no introduction . These are some of the songs , which any one can easily hum because their tunes are still echoing  in everyone’s mind . May be names of the films are not remembered . May be names of the star – cast is forgotten . May be name of the music director is also not known to the younger generation . But songs endure . Melody survives and is still fresh  .

Creator of these immortal songs is a music maestro known as Ravi . Originally named as Ravi Shankar Sharma , Ravi was born in Delhi and wanted to become a play back singer . He was , ironically , not trained in Indian classical music . He moved to Mumbai in 1950 and started his journey in Hindi films .

Anand Math

Poster of Anand Math

He became Hemant Kumar’s assistant for Anand Math and sang in the chorus also in the Vande Mataram song . He , then , was signed by Devendra Goel , a top – notch director of his time , for a film called ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] and after the success of that film , Ravi never looked back .

Then followed many hit films and numerous super – hit songs , which are still popular . ” Vachan ” [ 1955 ] , ” Dilli Ka Thug ” [ 1958 ] , ” Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan ” [ 1959 ] , ” Chaudhvin Ka Chand ” [ 1960 ] , ” Ghunghat ” [ 1960 ] , ” Gharana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” China Town ” [ 1962 ] , ” Gehra Daag ” [ 1963 ] , ” Gumrah ” [ 1963 ] , ” Ustadon Ke Ustaad ” [ 1963 ] , ” Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke ” [ 1963 ] , ” Bharosa ” [ 1963 ] , ” Door Ki Awaaz ” [ 1964 ] , ” Kaajal ” [ 1965 ] , ” Khandaan ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Do Badan ” [ 1966 ] , ” Dus Lakh ”  [ 1966 ] , ” Phool Aur Patthar ” [ 1966 ] , ” Humraaz ” [  1967 ] , ” Meharban ” [ 1967 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Do Kaliyaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadami Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Maali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Dhund ” [ 1973 ] , ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] and ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] .

Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Poster of Chirag Kahan Roshni Kahan

Chaudhvin Ka Chand

Phool Aur Patthar

Poster of Phool Aur Patthar

Aadmi Sadak Ka

Poster of Aadmi Sadak Ka

incidentally ” Nikah ” [ 1982 ] was his last Hindi hit . In 80s he started giving music in Malayalam films as Bombay Ravi . He gave several hit songs in Malayalam also .

His two songs ; Babul Ki Duayen Leti Ja from ” Neel Kamal ” [ 1968 ] and Aaj Mere Yaar KI Shadi Hai from ” Aadmi Sadak Ka ” [ 1977 ] are still popular . In all the marriages in the North India these two songs are must . No marriage procession in North India even today ever starts without Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai . And no girl  ever leaves her parental home even today without Babul Ki Duayen leti Ja Ja Tujhko Sukhi Sansar Mile  being played in the background . This is genius of Ravi Sahab .

This genius music director left this world on March 07 , 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 86 .

It is sad that he never got his due from the industry . Though he repeatedly worked for B. R. Chopra , Ramanand Sagar , Gemini Productions , AVM Productions , Guru Dutt Films , but was never considered A Grade music director . He gave music for Raj Kapoor starrer , Meena Kumari Starrer , Rajendra Kumar Starrer , Shammi Kapoor Starrer but still was not included in the A list . He gave music for the first production of Sunil Dutt and first super – hit of Dharmendra but was always neglected .

His last days were painful as he was allegedly tormented by his estranged son and daughter – in – law Varsha Usgaonkar .

I am saddened by his sad demise . At this moment I am remembering his song from ” Dhund ” ] 1973 ]  ; Sansar Ki Har Shai Ka Itna Hi Fasana Hai ; Ik Dhund Se Aana Hai Ik Dhund Men Jana Hai ………..

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60 Years of Screen : A News Paper of Indian Cinema


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           January  01 , 2012           01.20 A.M.

Screen weekly completed 60 years in 2011 . I share my birth year with this film weekly . In fact ” Screen “ is few months senior .

Hindi film industry fascinates and lures numerous people from every walk of life . The pull and attraction are so strong that you have to be the Indian or Indian diaspora to believe this .

This syndrome was not different for me also . I was attracted to the film world since my early childhood . I still remember my fascination and that too very vividly .

 

Location of Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh

Location of Deoria in Uttar Pradesh

I started watching films regularly after completing High School . It was in 1967 . Deoria , my home town in Uttar Pradesh had 2 cinema halls ; Amarjyoti and Vijay . After examination , I watched ” Ganga Jumna “ , a Dilip Kumar Film , in the Amarjyoti Talkies and I was hooked . Before that I had watched some films but that was a sporadic , spur of the moment kind of behaviour . I had watched Dev Anand‘s ” Dushman “ , Ashok Kumar’s ” Bahu Beti “ and Rajendra Kumar‘s ” Sasural “ . V. Shantaram‘s ” Mausi “ was also a favourite . In those days of my infancy , every film was my favourite and I became curious and wanted to know more and more about the stars .

I started subscribing various film magazines and one day , while I was searching for a magazine at the news paper stand of Deoria Railway Station , I saw ” Screen “ . It was broad – sheet paper and had several photographs . Its price was 4 annas [ 25 Paise ] . It was published from Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . Though it was in black & white still photographs mesmerized me . I bought the paper , brought it home and read it at one go from top to bottom and from first page to the last page . And thus began a life long association , which still continues . Ali’s Notes , column of Mr. Ali Peter John , was my favourite .

During all these long years ” Screen “ had changed its format several times . From 25 paise in 1967 to INR 10.00 in 2011 , it is now a bit costly . Later on it became partly coloured along with black & white avatar . Then it became fully coloured . From broad – sheet to tabloid , then back to broad – sheet and now again in the form of tabloid , coloured ” Screen “ also changed many times . Style and font of mast – head ” Screen “ also changed couple of times . Though Hindi ” Screen ” was also started , but it was a non – starter from day one .

I think now it has taken final shape in its tabloid avatar .

I used to love its front page photos . Front page photo in ” Screen “ was like a barometer of popularity of a star . They used to feel as if they have arrived if they appeared on the cover of the latest ” Screen ” . It is still the same .The euphoria of being on the cover page of ” Screen “ is undiminished even after 60 long years .

As I have stated that I used to read ” Screen “ when it was a broad – sheet paper and used to be black & white . I know its reputation , which is untarnished even today . Naturally I was very happy when a small news came in ” Screen “ about me . It was about myself and Katrina Kaif , whom I was training at that time  . I am giving the link :

! – First article about me in ” Screen ”  was published in the May 21 , 2010 issue : http://bit.ly/dmi5FN

2 – Second article about me in ” Screen “ was published in the  December 02 – 08 , 2011 issue . http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Actors–Laboratory/875287/

[ This link is about the article in Indian Express . Same was re – printed in Screen .  Screen and Indian Express are sister publications .]

 

The Indian Express

Indian Express

I was so happy that finally , when I am 60 and ” Screen “ is also 60 , a big article about me was published this year . It’s like a culmination of my 44 year-long association with the paper , which started in 1967 .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Wilting Traditions – 1 : Holi & Hindi Cinema


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 26, 2011                   12. 2O A.M.

We just celebrated Holi. Indian festivals, specially North Indian festivals always played major roles in the Hindi films of yesteryears. Once upon a time Holi , Deewali , Makar Sankranti and  Raksha Bandhan used to be part of the story and were filmed lavishly and portrayed prominently in Hindi films. There used to be hit songs in films celebrating these festivals. And they are still remembered.

When I started watching films, I vividly remember Mehboob Khan‘s films , where Holi was always a part of the story and he used to picturize it lavishly. His first colour film ” Aan ” [ 1951 ] had a memorable Holi song – khelo rang hamare sang aaj din rang rangeela aaya…………..It was filmed on Dilip Kumar , Nimmi and large number of junior artistes.

Mother India

Image via Wikipedia

Mehboob Khan’s another timeless classic in colour was Mother India ” [ 1957 ] . It had immensely popular Holi number – holi aayi re kanhayee rang chhalke suna de jara bansuri………It was filmed on Nargis , Sunil Dutt , Rajendra Kumar , Kumkum and large number of junior artistes. Its canvass was vast and it carried the story forward with the help of intercuts and flash-backs . This song is my personal favourite. Mehboob Khan had earlier made ” Mother India ” in Black & white as ” Aurat ” [ 1940 ] and it too had Holi number filmed on Sardar Akhtar , Surendra and Yakub. Incidently ” Aurat “ also had an artiste named Arun [ father of present day star Govinda ]. So in total Mehboob Khan had 3 memorable Holi songs to his credit in classic films like – ” Aurat ” , ” Aan ” and ” Mother India. ”

After Mehboob Khan’s ” Aan ” [ 1951 ] , Dilip Kumar had another memorable Holi number picturized on him in S. U. Sunny’s ” Kohinoor” [ 196 0 ] . It was – man rang lo ji aaj tan rang lo , khelo umang bhar rang pyar ke le lo…………….During his later years Dilip Kumar did a film Mashaal ”  [ 1984 ] for Yash Chopra and it too had a hit and lovely Holi number – o dekho holi aayi ………….

Cover of

Cover of Mashaal

It is noteworthy that all the above mentioned numbers were composed by Naushad and were written by Shakeel Badayuni. Only ” Aurat ” and ” Mashaal “ numbers are exceptions. ” Aurat ” Holi number was composed by Anil Biswas and ” Mashaal “ was composed by Hriday Nath Mangeshkar and was written by Anand Bakshi.

After Mehboob Khan , Dilip Kumar , Naushad and Shakeel Badayuni another filmmaker who filmed magnificient Holi scenes and songs , was veteran V. Shantaram. His ” Navrang ” [ 1959 ] had a wonderful Holi number – arre ja re arre natkhat………………..

Among the yesteryear filmmakers , strangely , Raj Kapoor never filmed a single Holi song or scene in his directorial ventures. Though in real life , his larger than life Holi celebrations were talk of the film industry and are still envied and remembered by many.

Another curious case is Dev Anand’s. His suave and urbane personality was not fit for such kind of rustic and robust celebrations but he has one memorable exception. His immortal film ” Guide ” [ 1965 ] had a popular dance number – piya tose naina lage re , naina lage re…………….In this particular song there was one para dedicated to Holi. It was – aayi holi aayi , sab rang layi , bin tere holi bhi na bhaye………………….. Though Dev Anand was not shown in the song . It was magnificently picturized on Waheeda Rehman by director Vijay Anand. It was composed by Sachin Dev Burman and was written by Shailendra.

After above mentioned artistes and specially after Dilip Kumar , Amitabh Bachchan had most number of memorable Holi songs to his credit. His immortal classic ” Sisila ” [ 1981 ] had a song – rang barse bheege chunar wali rang barse ………… It is a cult song even today. One of his recent hits ” Baghbaan ” [ 2003 ] had another memorable number – holi khelen raghubeera awadh men holi khelen raghubeera……… .. According to me , Amitabh Bachchan has the dubious distinction of having one of the worst Holi number in the history of Hindi cinema to his credit. His later year hit ” Waqt – Race Against Time ” [ 2005 ] had a number composed by Anu Malik – do me a favour lets play holi……………….. Unfortunately this worst Holi song  is the last Holi number in Hindi films till date.

Yash Chopra , director of ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] , is the second filmmaker after Mehboob Khan , who has filmed large number of memorable Holi songs in his films. After ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] , he picturized a melodious Holi song on Dilip Kumar , Anil Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in ” Mashaal ” [ 1984 ]. The song was – o dekho holi aayi……………..After ” Mashaal “ he made ” Lamhe ” [ 1991 ] and once again gave us a hit song – mohe chhedo na……………His another classic ” Darr ” [ 1993 ] had another lovely song – ang se ang lagaana sajan mohe aise rang lagaana………………….It was picturized on Shah Rukh Khan , Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla. So Yash Chopra has 4 Holi songs to his credit , while Mehboob Khan has 3.

In between Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan , for a brief period of time , Rajesh Khanna was the reigning deity. His one of the early successes ” Kati Patang ” [ 1970 ] had a memorable Holi number – aaj na chhodenge bas hamjoli……………It was composed by Rahul Dev Burman and was written by Anand Bakshi. Incidently same composer – lyricist duo gave us another Holi chart-buster in ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ]. It was – holi ke din dil khil jaate hain…………..Though ” Sholay “ was made in the tradition of western cowboy films but it’s Holi song was so wonderfully woven in the story and it was filmed so beautifully that it is remembered even today .

Among today’s stars Aamir Khan had a wonderful song in ” Mangal Pandey  – The Rising [ 2005 ] . It is – dekho aayi holi………….. It is quirk of the matter that worst Holi song of Hindi films , do me a favour , lets play holi……… also came in the same year [ 2005 ] in ” Waqt – Race Against Time ” .

Mangal Pandey: The Rising

Image via Wikipedia

There are some other films also which have some good Holi songs . Rajshri Productions massive hit ” Nadiya Ke Paar ” [ 1982 ] had a catchy number – jogi ji wah jogi ji…………. but it was an exception rather than a rule. After 2005, it is sad that all the recent released films have not portrayed Holi or any other festivals prominently. There are several causes for this scenario.

A – Delhi – UP has ceased to be a prominent territory for Hindi films. Now younger filmmakers make films for metropolitan cities and for overseas markets. So this rustic , robust festival of colours is not finding favours.

B – Younger filmmakers are not familiar with the hinterlands of our country. They seldom go to villages and are unaware of the circumstances of our middle and lower middle class population.

C – Story line of recent films have become city – centric. Rampaging consumerism has changed the scenario beyond recognition and this is being reflected in the recently released films.

D – Rise of television is another root cause for this change. Since films are being made for the overseas territories and for metropolitan centers, so various channels started catering to the rural masses and started beaming village – centric serials. So filmmakers are now not bothered for the masses of hinterlands.

E – Rise of Bhojpuri films are another nail in the coffin. These films specially cater to North Indian public and most of them are still village – centric . So they picturize Holi songs on lavish scale . Recently released hit Bhojpuri film ” Diljale ” [ 2011 ] has a memorable Holi song.

There might be other reasons too, but I am sad that slowly and firmly our festival of colours is coming to a virtual neglect in Hindi films.

It is sad , very sad !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Vidur’s Film Diary – August 2010


Its August and like much-needed rains, it brought some cheers in the industry also. Dry spell of the first half of the year is broken. Last month saw some genuine hits and these hits came as a much-needed respite. ” I Hate Luv Storys “, ” Udaan “, ” Tere Bin Laden “ and ” Once Upon A Time In Mumbai “ became sleeper hits. August starts with the promising note as ” Aisha “ releases too much critical and commercial acclaim. Then Peepli [Live] “ changed the whole scenario.

Though all is not well because compared to Hindi films, Hollywood’s latest flick ” Inception “ garnered better share at the box office.

To emphasise my points and to show latest trends in the industry, I am quoting few relevant tweets of eminent trade analyst Mr. Taran Adarsh :

taran_adarsh

Inception has grossed Rs. 22.30 cr. in 17 days in India [English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu]. Better than most Hindi films. Wake up Bollywood

taran_adarsh

July has seen an upswing in business. IHLS, Tere Bin Laden, Udaan & OUATIM have infused blood in the veins of an ailing industry

taran_adarsh

Biggest hit of the year so far is ‘Raajneeti’. Films that ‘hit’ the industry badly are ‘Kites’ and ‘Raavan’.

taran_adarsh

Overseas, the biggest hit of 2010 is ‘MNIK’. ‘3 Idiots’ was the biggest hit of 2009 in India and Overseas.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/bbkhW4 OUATIM has excellent Week 1, collects Rs. 34.20 cr. nett. Distributors’ share: approx. Rs. 18 cr. Excellent.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/aQZHc9 ‘Aisha’ starts well at high-end multiplexes, dull at smaller centres/single screens

taran_adarsh

Compiling weekend figures of ‘Aisha’. High-end multiplexes are terrific. Sunday showed a big jump in business.

taran_adarsh

‘Aisha’ Fri 3.65 cr, Sat 4.48 cr, Sun 5.29 cr. Total Rs. 13.43 cr nett. Best at plexes of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and South.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/bbkhW4 ‘Aisha’ has Rs. 17.4 cr. nett Week 1

taran_adarsh

‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ 2nd wknd: Rs. 9 cr. Total [10 days] Rs. 43.20 cr. nett. Excellent.

taran_adarsh

Peepli Live cost of prod 6 cr [excl P&A]. Recovered: Satellite 8 cr, Music 2 cr. Money from India theatrical + Oseas + Home Video is bonus.

taran_adarsh

‘Peepli Live’: Night shows packed at many places in advance/block bookings. Opening wknd is expected to be extra-ordinary. Reports v good.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/aQZHc9 ‘Peepli Live’ is a profitable venture even without theatrical revenue

taran_adarsh

‘Peepli Live’ USA Update I: Fri US$ 112,000, Sat US$ 150,000. Higher than many star cast films.

taran_adarsh

‘Peepli Live’ USA Update II: Fri & Sat numbers are higher than Aamir’s ‘Taare Zameen Par’ & ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’.

taran_adarsh

‘Peepli Live’ Gulf Update: Thu US$ 64,690 & Fri US $ 71,820. Excellent, despite limited release & also audience during Ramzan is limited.

taran_adarsh

‘Peepli Live’ India Update: Friday was Rs 4 cr. + nett and Saturday looks like Rs 5 cr. + nett. Superb.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/bbkhW4 ‘Peepli Live’ has Rs. 16 cr. nett weekend. Excellent. Monday is rock-steady as well.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/WyXIx Top 5: ‘Peepli Live’ has Rs. 22 cr. Week 1, extra-ordinary!

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/CjxWd ‘Lafangey Parindey’ opens decent at plexes, dull at places

taran_adarsh

B.O. Update: ‘Lafangey Parindey’ dips in some circuits on Saturday. Lower than Friday.

taran_adarsh

‘Lafangey Parindey’ Update II: Silver lining is its moderate costing. Cost of prod is Rs. 13 cr. and with P&A, it works out to Rs. 18 cr.

taran_adarsh

‘Lafangey Parindey’ Update III: YRF has recovered Rs 10 cr from Satellite & balance [Rs 8 cr] will be recovered from India and Overseas.

taran_adarsh

‘Lafangey Parindey’ IV: Returns from India theatrical [Week 2 onwards], Overseas, Music Rights & Home Video will contribute to YRF profits.

taran_adarsh

‘Lafangey Parindey’ III: Cost of prod Rs 18 cr [incl P&A]. Recovered: Satellite Rights Rs 10 cr + India theatrical Wk 1 share Rs 9 cr.

taran_adarsh

http://bit.ly/aQZHc9 New releases open to poor houses, but ‘Avatar’ leads

taran_adarsh

Multiplexes, Satellite TV rights, followed by Overseas, Music & Home Video Rights – the recoveries are possible from these avenues.

Obituary
:=========

SURAJ PRAKASH :

He died on July 28 at the age of 79. His obituary should have been in the Vidur’s Film Diary – July 2010. But I was not aware of his death, as national media ignored it completely and it was reported only in IMPPA Bulletin, Film Information and Screen. It is sad state of affair for a man , who gave ” Jab Jab Phool Khile ” (1965 ) to the industry. He made his debut with Rajendra Kumar, Mala Sinha starrer ” Patang “. His second film ” Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath ” starring Shashi Kapoor and Nanda was the first solo hit of lyricist Anand Bkshi. His third film ” Jab Jab Phool Khile ” changed the career graph of Shashi Kapoor, Nanda, Anand Bakshi and Kalyanji Anandji. It was a block-buster of its time. After that he made several films like ” Aamne Saamne ” and ” Juari ” . He ghost-directed ” Bewafa Sanam” , officially a Gulshan Kumar directed film. His last film ” Mere Jeevan Sathi ” ( 2006 ) starring Akshay Kumar, Karishma Kapoor and Amisha Patel was as a producer. It is sad that he went unsung.

KAMAL KAPOOR :

Veteran actor Kamal Kapoor died on August 02 in Mumbai. He was 90 years old. Today’s generation might not recognize him but once upon a time Kamal Kapoor was a very successful villain in Hindi films.

I saw him in ” Johar Mehmood In Goa ” for the first time. He played a Portuguese officer in the film. His menacing look and fierce demeanour is still fresh in my memory. One particular scene , where he puts his hand in the aquarium and lifts a fish from the water while torturing the freedom fighter, is still fresh in my memory. Fish was fighting for its life in his hands and freedom fighter was being tortured in front of him. He was so brilliant in the film and he performed so well in this particular scene, that no connoisseur of film will ever forget it.His face and his eyes were his assets and he used them for maximum effect. After Johar Mehmood In Goa I watched him in several films and he was always brilliant even in mediocre films.

He is survived by his children and grandchildren, producer Srishti Behl Arya and producer – director Goldie Behl. Incidentally my student Sonali Bendre is married to Goldie Behl.

New releases & Me :

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

First Week – August 06

1 – Aisha……………………………….Sonam Kapoor
……………………………………………Sameer Malhotra

Second Week – August 13

1 – Peepli Live………………………..x

2 – Help…………………………………x

Third Week – August 20

1 – Lafangey Parindey………………Neil Nitin Mukesh
……………………………………………..Ashish Singh ( Executive Producer )

2 – Kis Hudh Tak………………………x

Fourth Week – August 27

1 – Aashayein…………………………..John Abraham

2 – Antardwand…………………………x

3 – Gumshuda…………………………..Priyanshu Chatterjee

4 – Hello Darling…………………………Divya Dutta

5 – Madholal Keep Walking………….x

6 – Soch Lo………………………………..x

In total ..11… films got released this month. Out of these…11…films my …….7….students were there in….3….films. Out of these ..7….students …6… are actors,and .1…Ashish Singh is the executive producer .

News This month :
=================

1 – yrfmovies

http://bit.ly/cDO4yL – Dil Bole Hadippa Wins “Best Film of 2009 Readers’ Choice Award”

Trivia
=======

1 – ” India’s Got Talent – Khoj 2 ” has three anchors – Kirron Kher , Sajid Khan and Sonali Bendre. Out of these three, two are my students. They are : Sajid Khan and Sonali Bendre.

2 – Khatron Ke Khiladi – Season – 3 ” , which will start soon will have 5 students of mine. Anchor Priyanka Chopra and four participants, Abhishek Kapoor, Dino Morea,Rahul Dev and Angad Bedi, all are my students .

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