25 Years Without Raj Kapoor


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 29 , 2013           08.40 P.M.

I started writing this blog last month . But I was unable to complete it because of several other pressing matters . It seems so uncanny that I am completing and posting it one day after the birthday of Raj Kapoor’s grandson Ranbir Kapoor .

Last month all the members of Raj Kapoor‘s family assembled to remember him on his 25th Death Anniversary . Even general public and his fans remembered him fondly on that occasion . It is heartening to know that even after 25 years of his demise , mortal Raj Kapoor’s  immortal memory refuses to fade away from public memory .

Raj Kapoor died on June 02 , 1988 . I still remember the day . I was sitting in my house in Deoria , Uttar Pradesh , my native place . In those days when the penetration of television was not much , one had to wait for the daily news papers in the morning . In those days I used to subscribe The Times of India , an English daily and  Janasatta , a Hindi daily . Both the papers carried front page news of his demise with banner headlines .

Remembering Raj Kapoor

Remembering Raj Kapoor (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)

Raj Kapoor needs no introduction even today . A Show-Man producer to the hilt , an avant garde director of international repute and a stylized actor of large fan following , Raj Kapoor created history in Indian cinema . He is part of the famous triumvirate of Hindi film industry . Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand being the other members of the famous triumvirate , which ruled the Hindi film world for the longest time .

Raj Kapoor birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, ...

Raj Kapoor birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, Peshawar, Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Main gate of Raj Kapoor's birth place at Dhaki...

Main gate of Raj Kapoor’s birth place at Dhaki Munawar Shah, Peshawar, Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He , at the age of 24 , became the youngest producer & director with his very first film ” Aag ” [ 1948 ] . Later on he produced 18 films and directed 11 under his own banner R. K. Films .

” Aag ” [ 1948 ] , ” Barsaat ” [ 1949 ] , ” Awaara ” [ 1951 ] , ” Aah ” [ 1953 ] , ” Boot Polish ” [ 1954 ] , ” Shree 420 ” [ 1955 ] , ” Jagte Raho ” [ 1956 ] , ” Ab Dilli Dur Nahin ” [ 1957 ] , ” Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai ” [ 1960 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , “Mera Naam Joker ” [ 1970 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , “Bobby ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dharam Karam ” [ 1975 ] , ” Satyam Shivam Sundaram ” [ 1978 ] , ” Biwi O Biwi ” [ 1981 ] , ” Prem Rog ” [ 1982 ] andRam Teri Ganga Maili ” [ 1985 ] .

I am fortunate that I have seen all the 18 films produced by him . Needless to say that I have also watched all the 11 films , which he directed .

When he died in 1988 , I was in Deoria . One year later , in 1989 , I came to Mumbai . In 1990 I started my career as an acting trainer . Today , as I am writing this blog , I can proudly say that in a way , I am also associated with him . I am very fortunate that I have trained 4 grandchildren of legendary and immortal Raj Kapoor .

In 1999 I started training Kareena Kapoor for Hritik Roshan’s debut film ” Kaho Na … Pyaar Hai ” [ 2000 ] . It is another story that she couldn’t do the film and eventually debuted with Abhishek Bachchan in ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] . She is daughter of Randhir Kapoor , eldest son of Raj Kapoor .

After Kareena Kapoor , I was called by Neetu Kapoor ji in 2004 to train Ranbir Kapoor , who was about to make his debut with ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] . Coincidently I am writing this blog one day after his birthday . He is son of Rishi Kapoor , 2nd son of Raj Kapoor .

In 2012 Raj Kapoor’s youngest daughter Rima Jain ji called me to train her elder son Armaan Jain .  Armaan Jain will make his debut in 2014 with a film being produced by Saif Ali Khan , another student of mine . This untitled film is being directed by Imtiaz Ali’s brother Arif Ali .

Currently , Rima ji’s younger son Aadar Jain is also getting trained by me .

Thus I can say it with great sense of satisfaction that I am fortunate enough to have trained 4 grandchildren of legendary Raj Kapoor .

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 homage to Raj Kapoor , the greatest showman of Hindi cinema .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer tributes to the legendary film – maker on his 25th death anniversary .

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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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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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