Remembering Mani Rabadi – Queen of Polka Dots


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 18 , 2013           11.50 P.M.

        Mani Rabadi

        ======================  

A well-known costume designer of 60s and 70s , Mani Rabadi died this month on August 06 , 2013 . She was older sister of yesteryear actress Nargis Rabadi a.k.a. Shammi or Shammi aunty .
   

Much before the advent of Manish Malhotra and Neeta Lulla , long before Anna Singh and Anaita Shroff Adajania and eons ago Niharika Khan , there was Mani Rabadi , who along with Bhanu Athaiya , became couturier to the stars in the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema.

Making her debut in 1967 with the Dev Anand starrer Jewel Thief , she worked all the way in to the 90s ending her career with the mega hit ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ” .

” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] , ” An Evening In Paris ” [ 1967 ] , ” Farz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapnon Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Duniya ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mahal ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Mali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Aradhana ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prince [ 1969 ] , ” The Train ” [ 1970 ] , ” Kati Patang ” [ 1970 ] , ” Gambler ” [ 1971 ] , ” Victoria No. 203 ” [ 1972 ] , ” Kachche Dhaage ” [ 1973 ] , ” Jheel Ke Us Paar ” [ 1973 ] , ” Bobby ” [ 1973 ] , ” Trimurti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Aap Ki Kasam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Amir Garib ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kasauti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Sanyasi ” [ 1975 ] , ” Rafoo Chakkar ” [ 1975 ] , ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] , ” Hera Pheri ” [ 1976 ] , ” Don ” [ 1978 ] ,  ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” [ 1979 ] , ” Aasha ” [ 1980 ] , ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] , ” Mard ” [ 1985 ] , ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] , ” Maine Pyar Kiya ” [ 1989 ] , ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ! ” [ 1994 ]  are her famous and most successful films .

She also won National Film Award , along with Ramilla Patel , for Best Costume for ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] .


English: Scanned photograph of my grandmother,...

Costume Designer Bhanu Athaiya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from Bhanu Athaiya , she was another one , who was a professional dress designer in the early years of our film industry . She worked for 27 long years in this unpredictable and risk-driven industry . She successfully withered changing times , fluid tastes and all the changing patterns from ” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] till ” Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ” [ 1994 ] .

Jewel Thief

Jewel Thief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Evening in Paris

An Evening in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amar Akbar Anthony

Amar Akbar Anthony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maine Pyar Kiya

Maine Pyar Kiya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun...!

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Born as Mani Rabadi in a family of Parsi priests , she was only a kid when her father died . Her mother made a living by cooking at religious functions. Later on , along with her younger sister Shammi , Mani Rabadi worked in toy factories after school to source their tuition fees. After school time, they worked at offices, ran a magazine and did odd jobs. Mani also worked with the Indian People’s Theatre Association and did some Gujarati films.

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Here is a gallery of her designs from the movies we all love :

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An Evening in Paris (1967)

Sharmila actually plays a dual role in the film. The villainous side incidentally always shows her tummy–just to help the audience keep things straight.

Uhh, what precisely are you looking at Pran?

Cutsy hair clip that’s bigger than my nose? Don’t mind if I do.

Jewel Thief (1967)

I’ve talked a lot about my feelings for Helen in a chicken suit from this film, but this picture definitely deserves one more mention.

Yup, those are cotton balls puffing out of that red sari like polka dots. Just saying, it takes a bold and confident woman to try and pull that off.

Dev Anand poses as a French jewelry importer. Can’t you tell by the beret?

Aradhana (1969)

Who can forget Rajesh Khanna’s tall Nepali hat as he bellows “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani” on a hillside?

Rajesh Khanna in a blue suit with a hot red turtleneck during “Kora Kaagaz Tha” is the epitome of suave.

Unarguably the most famous scene from Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore makes a sari out of a flimsy blanket…and the rest is history.

Bobby (1973)

Youth and freedom must mean a tight leather jacket!

Umm, ok Dimple Kapadia, where did the rest of your shirt go though?

Cute but completely arbitrary villager costume for “Jhoot Bole Kauva Kate.”

Farz (1967)

Nice ascot, Jeetendra.

Oh, those tight white pants that made you who you were. It’s no wonder Jeetendra was nicknamed “Jumping Jack”!

Prince (1969)

Did someone say “hep cat”?!

Helen and Vijayantimala dance off in “Muqabla Humse Na Karo.”

Kati Patang (1970)

Asha briefly portrays a 70s bride before running away from the ceremony.

Bindu makes a spectacle of herself in comparison to Asha’s stark white sari..

Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)

Rishi Kapoor dresses as a qawwal by night.

There actually aren’t really words for this.

Moss green leather jacket with religious bling.

You are wearing a fedora? Clearly, you have become a millionaire.

Don (1978)

Nothing says “bad boy” like a big red bow tie.

Don’t mess with her scarf.

Or his.

Helen rocks an overly slitted dress for “Yeh Mera Dil” in Don (1978)

The bottom line here is , could Jeetendra have seized Bombay by storm without his famous tight white pants ? Could Dimple Kapadia have shot to stardom without costumes that only covered half of the minimum required? Her polka dots top for ” Bobby ” is still remembered . Vyjayantimala’s red saree from ” Jewel Thief ” is still fresh in our memories . Amitabh Bachchan’s tuxedo in the song My name is Anthony Gonsalves from the film ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” or Rishi Kapoor’s costumes from the same film are still there in our memory lane . Polka dot waist – coat of Amitabh Bachchan in ” Don ” is unforgettable . You remember his iconic song Khai ke paan Banaraswalla …… from the film and you will surely remember his polka dot waist-coat . You will never forget any costume of legendary Helen . Mani Rabadi designed innumerable costumes for her in films . They were revealing but not vulgar .

Her work is so diverse, so eye-catching, and so unpredictable . Mani Rabadi is unarguably genius. It is sad that her death is not widely reported in newspapers . Today , when Parsi community is celebrating Navroz [ thier new year ] , I am writing this obituary of Mani Rabadi , one of the prominent member of Parsi community .

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 offer my condolences to the bereaved family and specially Shammi aunty who is left alone to bear this loss at the age of 84 .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer heartfelt sympathies at the sad demise of the legendary but almost forgotten dress designer of the golden era of the Hindi films .

[ It is sad that I could know about her death after a week through the latest issue of ” Screen ” weekly . I found material about her in magazines like ” Screen ” , ” Parsi Khabar ” and ” Mid Day ” . For her photographs and her volume of work , I had to refer to online posting of ” Mr. & Mrs. 55 – Classic Bollywood Revisited ” . I express my profound gratitude to all of them . ]

VIDUR

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Vidur’s Year End Musings : Films – 2012


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY  25 , 2013         05.00  P.M.

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2012 gave us only 10 super hits and some major flops .Ek Tha Tiger ” , ” Dabangg 2 ” , ” Rowdy Rathore ” , ” Agneepath ” , Jab Tak Hai Jaan ” , ” Barfi ” , ” Housefull 2 ” , ” Son Of Sardar ” , ” Bol BachchanandTalash were declared hits . ” Talash “ could not make it to the 100 crore club . It earned only 93 crores . But all the other 9 movies earned more than 100 crores . ” Ek Tha Tiger “ became the most successful film of 2012 . It raked in 198 crores .

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Bollywood’s Fastest 100 Crore Grosser of All Times

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(all-India net collections) (in Rs. crores)

Position Movie No.
Of Days to Reach 100 Crores
Total
Collections
1 Ek Tha Tiger
6  198
2 Dabangg 2
6 158.50
3 Bodyguard
8 142
4 3 Idiots
9 202
5 Ra.One
10 115
6 Dabangg 10 145
7 Agneepath
11 123
8 Rowdy Rathore
11 131
9 Jab Tak Hai Jaan
11 120.65
10 Ready
12  120
11 Don 2
13 106
12 Race 2
14 102*
13 Son Of Sardaar
16 105.03
14 Ghajini
16  114
15 Barfi!
17 120
16 Golmaal 3 17 107
17 Housefull 2
17 114
18 Singham 37 100
19 Bol Bachchan
45 102
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Top grosser of 2012 :
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(all-India net collections) (in Rs. crores)

Bollywood 2012
 Box Office Positions

Movie

Lead Stars

Directors

India Nett Collection
in Crores

1

Ek Tha Tiger

Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif

Kabir Khan

198

2

Dabangg 2

Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prakash Raj

Arbaaz Khan

158.50

3

Rowdy Rathore

Akshay Kumar, Nasser

Prabhu Deva

131

4

Agneepath

Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor

Karan Malhotra

123

5

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Shah Rukh KhanKatrina KaifAnushka Sharma

Yash Chopra

120.65

6

Barfi!

Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra

Anurag Basu

120

7

Housefull 2

Akshay KumarJohn AbrahamMithun Chakraborty

Sajid Khan

114

8

Son Of Sardaar

Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt, Juhi Chawla

Ashwni Dhir

105.03

9

Bol Bachchan

Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan

Rohit Shetty

102

10

Talaash

Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji

Reema Kagti

93

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Classification of Top grosser of 2012 :
=================================

SUPER HITS :
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” Dabangg 2 ” , ” Jab Tak Hai Jaan ” , ” Student Of The Year ” , ” OMG Oh My God ! ” , ” Barfi ” , ” Raaz 3 ” , ” Ek Tha Tiger ” , ” Bol Bachchan ” , ” Rowdy Rathore ” , ” Vicky Donor ” , ” Housefull 2 ” , ” Kahani ” & ” Agneepath “
HITS :
==========
” Talaash ” , ” Son Of Sardar ” , ” 1920 Evil Returns ” , ” English Vinglish ” , ” Cocktail , ” Ishaqzaade ” , ” Jannat 2 ” &  ” Paan Singh Tomar “
AVERAGE :
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” Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi ” , ” Gangs Of Wasseypur 2 ” , ” Ferrari Ki Sawaari ” , ” Agent Vinod ” & ” Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu “
PLUS :
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” Khiladi 786 ” , ” Jism 2 ” , ” Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum ” & ” Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya “
So the final tally of hits in 2012 comes to 13 super hits , 8 hits , 5 average and 4 plus films .


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Stalwarts Who Left Us in 2012
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2011 was definitely a cruel year for the Hindi film industry . In total 34 stalwarts left us for their final journey .
Actors :
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Dev Anand , Shammi Kapoor , Rasika Joshi , Vivek Shauq , Navin Nishchol , Bob Christo , Goga Kapoor , Rami Reddy , Pratap Sharma and Sunil Rege .
Singer – Music Directors :
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Jagjit Singh , Bhupen Hazarika , Srinivas Khale , Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Sultan Khan .
Producer – Directors :
=========================
Radhakant Sharma , Mani Kaul , Jagmohan Mundhra , Surinder Kapoor , Tony Walker , M. F. Husain and Shandar Amrohi .
Writers : 
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Sachin Bhowmick , K. K. Singh and Kumar Shailendra .
Cinematographer :
===================
Somak Mukherjee and Harish Patel .
Choreographer :
====================
Subal Sarkar ,
Art Directors :
=================
Samir Chanda and Shanti Das .
Photographers :
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Gautam Rajadhyaksha and Durga Prasad .
Film Historian :
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B. D. Garga .
Theatre Personality  :
=====================
Pandit Satya Dev Dubey .
2012 was equally harsh . In total 29 luminaries and stalwarts of film industry left us in 2012 . Except month of November , almost 2/3 people died every month . In just 2 years 33 stalwarts , who made indelible mark in the industry , left this world .
Actors :
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Kalpana , Joy Mukherjee , Achla Sachdev , Taruni Sachdev , Gavin Packard , Dara Singh , Rajesh Khanna , A. K. Hangal , Jaspal Bhatti
Singer – Music Directors – Arrangers :
==================================
Anthony Gonsalves , Anil Mohile , Ravi , Varsha Bhosle , Pandit Ravi Shankar
Producers – Directors :
=======================
Darshan Sabharwal , Raj Kanwar , O. P. Dutta , Mona Kapoor , B. R. Ishara , Yash Chopra
Writers – Lyricists :
====================
Shahryar
Cinematographers :
==================
Ashok Mehta , Rajen Kothari , Bobby Singh
Art Directors :
===================
Ashish Lakhia
Editor :
=========
M. S. Shinde
Film Critic :
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Nikhat Kazmi , B. K. Karanjia
Theatre Personality :
===================
Dinesh Thakur

 

I deeply mourn the departed souls , who left us for their heavenly abode . I congratulate all the successful actors , producers and directors , who gave hits and super hits in 2012 . Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  expresses happiness at the turn of events .

[ I have taken some of the facts & figures from http://www.koimoi.com . I express my gratitude .]

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70 Years of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 14 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Amitabh Bachchan turned 70 on October 11 , 2012 . I am following the news since 2 / 3 days and it seems to be a never-ending saga . On that day almost all the luminaries attended his birthday bash at Film City , Mumbai . It became a national , rather international news .

English: Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I have stated in my earlier blog , which I wrote when he completed 40 years in the Hindi Film Industry , I was not his fan initially. But gradually when I grew and when I started understanding cinema , I started appreciating his work more .

I must admit here that I am yet to watch ” Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] , his first film . His first film , which I watched was ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] . A Dilip Kumar fan , who was getting used to Rajesh Khanna , any liking for Amitabh Bachchan was not possible . Though I must admit here that he was very good in that film . Then I watched ” Reshma Aur Shera ” [ 1971 ] . He was definitely very good in that film also . But the era belonged to Rajesh Khanna .

Then I watched ” Ek Nazar ” [ 1972 ] . Sitting in a cinema hall of Allahabad , Uttar Pradesh , I was not impressed or mesmerized by his persona on the screen . I vividly remember some adverse or inimical comments made by public . I was startled because I was watching the film in Allahabad and it being his home town , I was expecting some favourable cheering . But he was being booed . ” Bansi Birju ” [ 1972 ] was another debacle . ” Raste Ka Patthar ” [ 1972 ] , ” Bombay To Goa ” [ 1972 ] and ” Bandhe Haath ” [ 1973 ] couldn’t make matter easier for Mr. Bachchan .

Though things started getting changed in 1973 . ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] got released and things changed for Mr. Bachchan . ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] fortified his position . From 1973 onwards Rajesh Khanna’s historical debacle started and stupendous ascendency of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan began . ” Deewar ” [1975 ] and ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] came in quick succession and juggernaut of Amitabh Bachchan became unstoppable . So from ” Zanjeer ” [1973 ] to ” Paa ” [ 2009 ] and ” Department ” [ 2012 ] , it was and it is Amitabh Bachchan tsunami .

After ” Khuda Gawah ” [ 1992 ] he took sabbatical . It was self – imposed semi retirement . He did few film after 5 years but old spark was missing . He again got his lost empire back with ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] and from 2000 to 2012 he is again numero uno .

2000 is very important year for him because apart from ” Mohabbatein “ , he decided to host ” Kaun Banega Crorepati “ on television . And after that he never looked back till today.

I have tried to chronicle his journey as an actor because he almost forced me to like and appreciate him . I am a self-confessed Dilip Kumar fan . Later on I started liking Ashok Kumar , Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor . My liking and appreciation for Amitabh Bachchan was slow . But now it is complete . Ashok Kumar , Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor are gone . Dilip Kumar doesn’t work anymore . ” Qila ” [ 1998 ] was his last appearance on screen . So naturally Amitabh Bachchan is the only icon , only actor of relevance available .

As Acting Trainer of Mumbai , I need to give example to my students and films of Amitabh Bachchan are my reference point . Almost all the Acting Trainers of India give reference from his films . All the Acting Schools of Mumbai or Bollywood Acting Schools have his photos prominently placed in their premises .

I am lucky that I have chance to bump into him several times . I first saw him at the music release function of  K. C. Bokadia’s film ” Pyar Zindagi Hai ” [ 2001 ] . It starred my students Vikas Kalantri and Ashima Bhalla . This film is also noted because it was K. C. Bokadia’s 50th film . Mr. Bachchan came for the music release function at The Club and I got chance to see him .

I admire him as a man , as an actor and as a public figure . I have got inspired by him and started dabbling in internet . He also inspired me to write blog . So in a way , this blog is my tribute to him .

Wish you a very long life Mr. Bachchan !

VIDUR

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Vidur’s Film Diary – July 2012


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA        AUGUST 01 , 2012           00.35  A.M.
Second half of 2012 has started . Some mega hits , some damp squibs ; run of cinema in India continues unabated .
Among Hindi releases of July ,Bol Bachchan entered the 100 crore club of films . ” Cocktail “ was another super hit of the month . Towards the end of the month ” Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum “ got released and also collected handsome amount at the box office .
Re – producing some relevant tweets of two eminent trade analysts ; Mr. Taran Adarsh and Mr. Komal Nahta :

Tweets

#TeriMeriKahaani crashed completely. Collected 2.75 cr to 3 cr in Wknd 2, taking 10-day total to approx Rs 25.75 cr to Rs 26 cr nett. Flop.

#Maximum is very poor. Grossed approx Rs 2 cr + nett in its opening weekend.

#GOW Weekend 2 *actuals* Fri 1.08 cr, Sat 1.70 cr, Sun 1.92 cr. 10-day total: Rs 22 cr nett.

#GOW maintained very well at multiplexes, despite an opponent like ‘Spider-Man‘. Collected approx 7.5 cr in Week 2. Total: 25.25 cr nett.

#Maximum recorded very poor business in Week 1.

#BolBachchan faced stiff competition in North from Punjabi film ‘Jatt & Juliet’ and in South from #Eega. Hence, biz affected there.

#BolBachchan has fared very well in international markets. Weekend total *from all markets* stands at approx $ 2.06 million [Rs 11.5 cr].

EXCLUSIVE DATA: #BolBachchan fares very well, #Eega superb, ‘Jatt & Juliet’ smash hit in Overseas http://bit.ly/NlYjXl

#BolBachchan Tue *actuals* 6.3 cr, total: 56.34 cr nett. Excellent!

#BolBachchan has emerged Rohit-Ajay’s biggest grosser. Had a fabulous wknd [43.10 cr] & maintained excellent biz on weekdays [23.62 cr]…

#BolBachchan collected approx Rs 66.72 cr nett in its Week 1. Business at multiplexes and single screens, both was superb.

#Cocktail [Week 1] Mon 5.75 cr, Tue 4.80 cr. Total: 46.05 cr nett.

#BolBachchan [Week 2]: *actuals* Mon 2.49 cr, Tue 2.20 cr. Total: 87.13 cr nett.

#Cocktail hit by #TDKR wave … #BolBachchan nears 100 cr mark http://bit.ly/Oi5AEL

#BolBachchan *Week 3* Mon 91 lacs, Tue 85 lacs. Total: Rs 99.51 cr nett.

#KyaaSuperKoolHainHum Fri 7.12 cr, Sat 7.03 cr, Sun 8.91 cr. Total: Rs 23.06 cr nett. The youth has taken to the film in a big way!

#BolBachchan collected 2 cr in Weekend 4, taking the grand total to Rs 102.94 cr nett. Breakup: Fri 35 lacs, Sat 66 lacs, Sun 99 lacs. Hit.

BB 1st day approx. 11.5 to 12 crore in spite of an avg start in half of india. Proves that collections picked up as day progressed.

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Obituary :

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

July was disturbingly unfortunate for the film world , as three of its giants and luminaries left the world for their celestial journey .

Dara Singh : 

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An iconic figure in his own way , wrestler – actor Dara Singh died on July 12 , 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 83 . I wrote a blog about him and as usual posting link of that blog :

Remembering Dara Singh : Hindi Cinema’s 1st He Man wp.me/ptyXI-2a1

Rajesh Khanna :

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One week after Dara Singh’s death , another iconic star of Hindi film industry Rajesh Khanna died on July 18 , 2012 in Mumbai at the age of 69 . The blog , which I wrote about him is the longest blog of mine having 2,447 words and it was the most difficult to write also . I am posting the link :
In Memoriam Rajesh Khanna : ” Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli , Hai ! ” wp.me/ptyXI-2bc
B. R. Ishara :
————————
Third casualty of this month , B. R. Ishara , died on July 25 , 2012 in Mumbai . An eminent film director , who made some path – breaking and thought-provoking films in 70s was suffering from tuberculosis since one year . Posting link of the blog , which I wrote and posted about him :
B. R. Ishara : Departure of An Avant – Garde Film Maker wp.me/ptyXI-2cR

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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

First Week – July 06

—————————————

1 – Bol Bachchan ………………………………………………. Krushna Abhishek

………………………………………………………………………. Jeetu Verma

2 – 3 Bachelors …………………………………………………… Riya Sen

Second Week – July 13

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1 – Cocktail …………………………………………………….. Saif Ali Khan

2 – Parthiweshwar Ki Mahima …………………………….. X

Third Week – July 20

——————————————

1 – Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baki Hai …………………… Udita Goswami

2 – Challo Driver …………………………………………….. X

Fourth Week  – July 27

——————————————–

1 – Kya Super Kool Hain Hum …………………………… X

2 – Aalaap ……………………………………………………… Gamya Vijayadasa [ Guest ]

3 –  Harud …………………………………………………….. X

4 – Siyaah …………………………………………………….. X


In total …………… 10 …………….. films got released in July . Out of these ………….. 10 ………… released films ……….. 05 ………… films have …………… 06 ……………. actors , who are trained by me .

 

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

New Regional Films & Me :

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

1 – Tamil : Sudanshu Panday is playing an important role in ” Billa 2 ” .

2 – Marathi : Amruta Patki is playing main lead in ” Satya , Savitree Ani Satyawan ” .

My ………….. 02 ………………. students in ……….. 02 ………….. regional films .

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TV Trivia & Me :

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

1 – Ajeet Singh  is appearing in a TV show” Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke  “ on  Zee TV.

2 – Chaitanya Choudhury is essaying an important role in ” Uttaran “ on Colors TV .

3 – Sachin Chhabra has done one episode of ” Fear Files “ on Zee TV .

4 – Vishal Singh is essaying an important role in ” Parvarrish – Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi “ on Sony TV .

My ……………. 04 ……….. students in ………… 04 ……………. various shows on several channels .


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

Theatre & Me :

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

1 – Samir Soni is playing main protagonist in a new play ” Anything But Love ” .

My …………… 01 ………….. student in ………….. 01 …………. play .

VIDUR

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In Memoriam Rajesh Khanna : Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli , Hai!


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Dara Singh died on July 12 , 2012 . Within a week another luminary of the Hindi film industry bid adieu to this world . Rajesh Khanna died on July 18 , 2012 .

In Glass Casket

In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Let me state honestly . I am not his fan . In fact I was never ever a fan or admirer of Rajesh Khanna , the actor or the man . Though I have watched many of his films . I do admire some of his cult films . I definitely remember and hummed many of his iconic songs . I am very much aware of his stupendous super stardom , which , once upon a time , engulfed the film industry like a hurricane or tornado or tsunami . I am witness to those years when every star  was dwarfed in front of him . I am well aware of  those momentous days when everyone or everything became insignificant in his presence . His blitzkrieg darkened all the other objects . His tumultuous rise momentarily eclipsed all the other stars and consigned some of the mightiest stars into the trash bin of history . I am witness to those days . I was living in that era . I am privy to those happenings . In 1972 I was here in Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . I have seen the crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad . I have witnessed the fan adulation . But still , I was not his fan or admirer .

But I was saddened beyond words when I heard the news of his demise . My wife , again not his fan , cried profusely when she watched his funeral procession . So the question arises , what happened to us ? Why we felt for Rajesh Khanna so deeply ? Is it not enigmatic ? Is it not ironical ? No , it is not . Just watch these pictures posted below and notice the horrific changes in his personality down the years and you will fully understand the reason of our empathy .

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Image - 2

Image – 2

Image - 3

Image – 3

Image - 4

Image – 4

Image - 5

Image – 5

Image - 6

Image – 6

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Image – 7

From a dashing , charming young superstar to a pale shadow of his own self , these photos tell us a very tragic and pathetic story . For present day generation of movie – goers , his popularity during his heydays is unknown and unimaginable . I am presenting some of the milestones of his life’s journey one by one .

Aakhri Khat

Aakhri Khat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1966 : Made debut with ” Aakhri Khat ” .

1967 : Made his mark with ” Raaz ” .

1969 : Attained Super stardom with ” Aaradhana ”

1969 : ” Bandhan ”

1969 : ” Do Raste ”

1969 : ” Doli ”

1969 : ” Khamoshi ”

1969 : ” Ittefaq ”

[ 6 super hits in 1969 ]

1970 : ” Aan Milo Sajna

1970 : ” Safar ”

1970 : ” Kati Patang ”

1970 : ” The Train ”

1970 : ” Sachcha Jhootha ”

[ 5 super hits in 1970 ]

1971 : ” Anand ”

1971 : ” Haathi Mere Saathi

1971 : ” Dushman ”

1971 : ” Mehboob Ki Mehndi

[ 4 super hits in 1971 ]

1972 : ” Amar Prem ”

1972 : ” Apna Desh ”

[ 2 super hits in 1972 ]

Within 3 years of making his debut , he attained unimaginable , unheard of and unprecedented super stardom in 1969 with ” Aradhana “ and gave 15 consecutive super hits till 1972 , a record still unbroken . ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] and  ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] were also big hits . But 1973 was a watershed moment in his career . He was eclipsed by Amitabh Bachchan in ” Namak Haraam “ . Amitabh Bachchan’s career defining film ” Zanjeer “ also came in 1973 . And thus began the well – known downward slide of mighty Super Star Rajesh Khanna .

Alarmed by his waning popularity , he married much younger Dimple Kapadia and made headlines temporarily.

Though in 1974 he gave 2 super hits like ;Aap Ki Kasamand ” Roti “ but the slide was visible and evident . The era now clearly belonged to Amitabh Bachchan , who once played second fiddle to him in super hit , iconic cult films like ; ” Anand ” and ” Namak Haraam ” .

Poster of Anand

Poster of Anand

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of these two films can give you Amitabh Bachchan’s position in the industry in those days vis-a-vis Rajesh Khanna . But alas , the cruel hands of fate had started writing some unknown and inglorious chapters of his life with indelible ink .

In 1975 Amitabh Bachchan gave ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” . Rajesh Khanna’s mentor and lucky mascot Shakti Samanta made ” Mehbooba ” [ 1975 ] . ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay “ were super hits and became ageless cult classics . While ” Mehbooba “ was a resounding flop and sealed Rajesh Khanna’s fate finally. After 8 years gap and some insignificant films in between , in 1983 , he again came with 2 mega hits like ; ” Avatar ” and ” Soutan “ but the magic was missing . Even these massive hits could not salvage his lost position in the industry . His turbulent career affected his personal life also . In 1984 came the tragic separation from Dimple Kapadia .

From 1983 [ his last hits ] to 2012 [ his death ] ,  29 years of his eventless , colourless career and lonely personal life proved fatal for him . It is regrettable and cruel irony that a c-grade movie ” Wafaa ” [ 2010 ] is his last film .

In between he dabbled in TV also . In total he worked in 4 TV serials . ” Apne Paraye [ B4U TV – 2001 ] , ” Ittefaq ” [ Zee TV – 2002 ] , ” Bhabhima ” [ 2008 ] andRaghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi ” [ DD 1 – 2008 ] . But none could touch the popularity of Amitabh Bachchan’s ” Kaun Banega Crorepati ” [ Star Plus – 2000] .

It is a well-known secret that the title superstar was coined for him by his publicists ; Devyani Chaubal and K. Razdan . But the mass hysteria which he generated in those days and that too without the help of internet , twitter and facebook , is unimaginable , unfathomable and still unattainable . It is regrettable that his stardom or superstardom lasted just for 4 years . 15 successive super hits in a row and then 7 consecutive super flops in a row defines Rajesh Khanna’s strange film career . Compare his 4 year tenure with other stars :

DEV ANAND : 65 Years [ 1946 Hum Ek Hain – 2011 Chargesheet ]

ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Years [ 1936 Jeevan Naiya – 1997 Aankhon Me Tum Ho ]

DILIP KUMAR : 54 Years [ 1944 Jwar Bhata – 1998 Qila ]

AMITABH BACHCHAN : 40 Years [ 1973 Zanjeer – 2012 Bol Bachchan ]

Stars of this generation SHAH RUKH KHAN , SALMAN KHAN and AAMIR KHAN are reigning kings even after almost 20 years . HRITIK ROSHAN has 12 years of stardom behind him . Even DARA SINGH survived for 45 years [ 1962 King Kong – 2007 Jab We Met ] . But alas ! Rajesh Khanna vanished from the stardom and was banished from the film industry just after 4 years . Though he did 165 films and played solo lead in 107 films but was forgotten by the masses and ignored by the friends and the same film industry , which once said , ” Upar aaqa ; neeche Kaka .”

It is sad . It is heart – wrenching . People say many things about him . I , myself know many stories about him , which are said to be the cause of his downfall . But I don’t want to write those stories after his death . After all he was human and to err is human . Just re – think about some facts of his life . He debuted when he was 24 . He attained superstardom when he was 27 and lost his empire when he was just 31 . After that , till his death , it was 38 year – long wait for regaining his lost empire . It was 38 year – long wait for The Knock at his door by any producer or director . It was 38 year – long wait for the crowd to assemble again at his doorstep . It was 38 year – long wait for the same mass – hysteria , same mass adulation which was once his right and he thought it was his birth right  .

Mass hysteria , mass adulation did happen again but alas , it happened only after his death . See these pictures of his funeral procession and then watch the  crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad and you will be able to feel the irony of fate . I wish , this attention should have happened a year before ……….. or a week before ……… or even a day before ………… he would have died a happy and contented man . But strange are the ways of destiny.

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

I agree , he did make some mistakes . He did err like a human and for that mistake , for that error destiny punished him with all its might , with all its ferocity , with all its lethal cruelty . He , for his mistakes , never got same benevolence by destiny , which others easily got for their sins . Fate was condescending to others , not to him .

He was like quintessential Greek tragic hero . You can only feel sorry for him . You can empathise with him . And you could hum his memorable song …. zindagi kaisi hai paheli , hai ; kabhi ye hasaye , kabhi ye rulaye ……. Ek din sapno ka rahi , chala jaye sapno se aage kahan ………..

Phenomenon , known as Rajesh Khanna , regained some of his glory once again but alas , only after his death . He had gone forever and had gone even beyond his dreams .

As I finish my blog , I feel , I must express my admiration and gratitude to his son in  law Akshay Kumar and his long – time friend Anju Mahendru , who took every care to give him comfort during his last days . Though it seems futile , but still , it was because of them that a befitting funeral could be arranged for this forgotten phenomenon , fallen Super Star and a lonely icon , who once ruled supreme . Thank you Mr. Akshay Kumar , thank you Madam Anju Mahendru , I bow my head in gratitude ! May God bless you two !

My heart also goes for Rinke Khanna , my student , who was very close and was very much attached to her father .

If I could feel so much without being his fan or admirer , then you can imagine the pain and pathos of his fans and near and dear ones .

Rest In Peace Sir ! Destiny was cruel to you . Better luck in next life .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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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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