Year End Musings : Vidur Acting Institute in 2016


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 30, 2017           11.40 P.M.

End of a year is the time to make plan for the coming year. But it is also the time to take into account the year gone by. People often forget this and they remain unaware of their downward slide if there are any. And thus they fail to make amends.

This is precisely the reason, I started chronicling my accomplishments and write about the year gone by. Here I am chronicling some shinning achievements of the past and also what happened to me on the career front in 2016.



4 generations of NEW AGE Hindi film actors are my students. They are :





Apart from them, I have trained modern-day Telugu super stars like ; ANUSHKA SHETTY , ALLU ARJUN , NAG CHAITANYA , RAM CHARAN & ALLU SHIRISH . Current Bengali super star DEV is also my student.




SUCCESS RATE : 2012 to 2016

Success Rate : 2012 – 2013 = 40 %

Success Rate : 2013 – 2015 = 55 %

Success Rate : 2015 = 62.35 %

Success Rate : 2016 = 72.60 %




Films : Debut Till Date

Year ======== Actor’s Name ======== Film’s Name

[ From 2007  To 2016 ]

ARRMAAN RALHAN is the 24th student of Vidur Acting Institute, who is making debut as an Actor in a film called ” BEFIKRE “. It was released on December 09, 2016.

[ 24 Actors in 10 Years or more than 02 Actors every year ]

2007 = RANBIR KAPOOR – Saawariya // SONAM KAPOOR – Saawariya // NEIL NITIN MUKESH – Johnny Gaddar

2008 = ANUSHKA SHARMA – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

2010 = KATRINA KAIF – Raajneeti

2011 = KARTIK AARYAN – Pyaar Ka Punchnama – 1 // ZOA MORANI – Always Kabhi Kabhi

2012 = PULKIT SAMRAT – Bittoo Boss // VARUN DHAWAN – Student of the Year

2013 = KALKI KOECHLIN – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani // URVASHI RAUTELA – Singh Saab The Great

2014 = DAISY SHAH – Jai Ho // PREETI DESAI – One by Two // TANVI RAO – Gulab Gang // BILAL AMROHI – O Teri ! // AYESHA KHANNA – Dishkiyaoon // ARMAAN JAIN – Lekar Hum Deewana Dil

2015 = TINA AHUJA – Second Hand Husband // ELLI AVRAM – Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon

2016 = SHEKHAR RAVJIANI – Neerja // PRAKASH JHA – Jai Gangaajal // SAIYAMI KHER – Mirzya // DIVYA SINGH – Ishq Junoon // ARRMAAN RALHAN – Befikre



Serial : Total Debut

Year ======== Actor’s Name ======== Serial’s Name

[ From 2006 To 2016 ]

KRISH PATHAK is my 8th student to make debut in a serial in 11 years. It means more than 1 student every 2 years.

[ 08 Actors in 11 Years or more than 01 Actor every 2 years ]

2006 = PULKIT SAMRAT – KyunkiSaasBhiKabhiBahuThi

2008 = GURMEET CHOUDHARY – Ramayan

2013 = ELLI AVRAM – Bigg Boss [ Season 7 ]

2014 = ROHIT SHETTY – Khatron Ke Khiladi [ Season 5 ]

2014 = PRANALI GHOGARE – Mere Rang Mein Rangne Wali  // SAMRIDDHA BAWA – Mere Rang Mein Rangne Wali

2015 = ROHIT SHETTY – Khatron Ke Khiladi [ Season 6 ]

2016 = KRISH PATHAK – P. O. W. – Bandi Yuddh Ke



2014 = PAWNI PANDEY – Gulab Gang [ Playback Singer ]

[ sung the song ” ……… Sharm Laaj Moh Maar Kar , Hata De Ye Pallu Jhaad Kar ………. “  ]



Bigg Boss [ Season – 1 to 10 ]

Total number of my students, who participated in Bigg Boss

Season – 1 to 10, is 25

Bigg Boss – Season – 1 : Amit Sadh / Ragini Shetty

Bigg Boss – Season – 2 : Monica Bedi / Zulfi Syed

Bigg Boss – Season – 3 : Aditi Govitrikar / Shamita Shetty

Bigg Boss – Season – 4 : Ashmit Patel / Samir Soni

Bigg Boss – Season – 5 : Mahek Chahal / Amar Upadhyay

Bigg Boss – Season – 6 : Niketan Madhok / Karishma Kotak

Bigg Boss – Season – 7 : Tanishaa Mukerji / Hazel Keech / Apurva Agnihotri / Elli Avram

But ” Bigg Boss – Season 8 “ surpasses all the other seasons. It has 5 participants who are my students :

Bigg Boss – Season – 8 : Karishma Tanna / Minissha Lamba / Aarya Babbar / Pritam Pyaare / Upen Patel

Bigg Boss – Season – 9 : Kishwar Merchant / Rimii Sen / Vikas Bhalla

Bigg Boss – Season – 10 : Rahul Dev






In total 172 Hindi films got released in 2016. It is heartening that 125 actors trained by me have appeared in lead role in these films. This makes my success rate 72.60 % in 2016.

I am providing the complete list.

January = Films Released : 18 / My Students : 11

February = Films Released : 16 / My Students : 19

March = Films Released : 18 / My Students : 07

April = Films Released : 17 / My Students : 07

May = Films Released : 17 / My Students : 07

June = Films Released : 17 / My Students : 14

July = Films Released : 14 / My Students : 17

August = Films Released : 16 / My Students : 07

September = Films Released : 13 / My Students : 08

October = Films Released : 13 / My Students : 08

November = Films Released :  09 / My Students : 13

December = Films Released : 04 / My Students : 07

If anyone would like to cross check, they can refer to Vidur’s Film Diary from January 2016 to December 2016. They can get names of the films and release date also.






1 – TV = My 29 students worked in various serials on various channels in 2016.

2 – AD = My 40 students worked as Brand Ambassadors of various products in 2016.

3 – THEATRE = My 16 students appeared in various plays in 2016.

4 – REGIONAL FILMS = My 6 students did lead roles in regional  films in 2016.

Thus in total 91 students worked in TV, AD, THEATRE & REGIONAL FILMS. If you add 125 students of films , this number comes to a whopping  216. 01 more than 2015 .







1 – Did workshop with YAMI GAUTAM for the role of a blind girl in the film ” Kaabil ” in February 2016.




100 CRORE CLUB : 2016

Till date 50 Hindi films have earned 100 crore or more at the box office. Out of these 50 films, my 47 students are there in 44 films. Only ” Ghajini “, ” Holiday ” , ” Ek Villain ” , ” M. S. Dhoni : The Untold Story ” , ” Shivaay ” & ” Dangal “ are the films, which have no students of mine. In this field my success rate is unbelievably whopping 94 % .





Till date my 10 students have won NATIONAL FILM AWARDS in different categories. Out of these 10 recipients, 04 are actors, 03 are directors, 02 are producers and 01 is screenplay writer. Prakash Jha won the awards thrice. 02 as director [ SONAL & GANGAAJAL ] and 01 as screenplay writer [ APAHARAN ].

1 – 49th NATIONAL AWARDS 2002 : Prakash Jha – Director SONAL

2 – 51st NATIONAL AWARDS 2004 : Prakash Jha – Director GANGAAJAL

3 – 52nd NATIONAL AWARDS 2005 : Saif Ali Khan – Actor HUM TUM

4 – 53rd NATIONAL AWARDS 2006 : Prakash Jha – Writer APAHARAN

5 – 56th NATIONAL AWARDS 2009 : Priyanka Chopra – Actor Fashion

6 – 56th NATIONAL AWARDS 2009 : Arjun Rampal – Actor ROCK ON

7 – 56th NATIONAL AWARDS 2009 : Jugal Hansraj – Director ROADSIDE ROMEO

8 – 58th NATIONAL AWARDS 2011 : Arbaaz Khan – Producer DABANGG

9 – 60th NATIONAL AWARDS 2013 : John Abraham – Producer VICKY DONOR

10 – 63rd NATIONAL AWARDS 2016 : Kalki Koechlin – Actor MARGARITA WITH A STRAW





BATCHES : 2016

In 2016, Vidur Acting Institute churned out 07 Batches. [ 01 less than the previous year ] and 38 students got trained [ 05 less than previous year ] .





AWARDS & ACCOLADES : 2014 to 2016

1 – Nagari Pracharini Sabha , Deoria conferred ” NAGARI SHRI ” Samman on September 14, 2014.

2 – Vishwa Hindi Sanstha, Canada gave ” SAMMAN PATRA ” on November 2015.

3 – M4U Entertainment , conferred  ” Top 50 Indian Icon Awards 2016 ” on July 29, 2016.



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Divya Singh : Aurangabad To Mumbai , A Journey Decoded


MUMBAI          MAHARASHTRA          INDIA           NOVEMBER  20, 2016          11.45 P.M.

Divya Singh in her latest AVATAR

Divya Singh in her latest AVATAR

Last week a film called ” ISHQ JUNOON ” got released. Critics were not kind to the film. In fact they were indifferent. And before general public could even know about it,  ” ISHQ JUNOON ” was out of theatres. It tanked. And I know, with it tanked many dreams.

So called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs want to see only results.

But for me story of the journey matters and I know the story of the journey. I can visualise the whole scene. I am going to portray the whole picture today.

People in India have no high regards for Bihar.

They may be even oblivious of a nondescript town known as Aurangabad.

But many years back the story began there. In the same nondescript town known as Aurangabad story of DIVYA SINGH started unfolding.

May be one day in the dead of night DIVYA visualised herself on the silver screen. May be one day in the bright morning she gathered all the courage at her command and informed her parents about her decision.

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl starts dreaming about a career in the film industry?

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl gathers courage and informs her parents?

Do so-called intellectuals, learned critics, all-powerful producers, mighty directors and film connoisseurs know what happens when a small town girl decides to come to Mumbai and pursue a career in films?

Do they know the amount of ridicule someone , specially a girl faces in a small town?

Do they know the abuses a girl goes through in a small town?

Do they know how a girl is admonished, ridiculed and made fun of by their non caring, heartless, callous and crude relatives in a small town?

Do they know how a girl is looked down and sneered by her friends and neighbourhood acquaintances when she decides to join the film industry?

No sirs, you don’t.

Here a small town girl aimed for the Everest and tried against all odds.

So respect the struggle and not the outcome.

Outcome can change overnight and yes, it will change.

She is in an august ( Debut Film Flop ) club. Here is the list.

DILIP KUMAR – Jwaar Bhata – Flop

DEV ANAND – Hum Ek Hain – Flop

AMITABH BACHCHAN – Saat Hindustani – Flop

RANBIR KAPOOR – Saawariya – Flop

KAREENA KAPOOR – Refugee – Flop

SONAM KAPOOR – Saawariya – Flop


SAIYAMI KHER – Mirzya – Flop

I would love to quote a song from a 1958 film called ” Phir Subah Hogi ” .

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

इन काली सदियों के सर से जब रात का आंचल ढलकेगा
जब दुख के बादल पिघलेंगे जब सुख का सागर झलकेगा
जब अम्बर झूम के नाचेगा जब धरती नगमे गाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी ……

जिस सुबह की ख़ातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर मर के जीते हैं
जिस सुबह के अमृत की धुन में हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते हैं
इन भूखी प्यासी रूहों पर इक दिन तो करम फ़रमाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी ……

Yes वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी .

It will come definitely. I won’t be there to see that morning. But today as I write this blog I can see that a painfully long, sad, cold and black winter night is about to end. I can see light emerging at the end of the tunnel. Sun is shinning with all its glory. It’s warmth will mitigate all the miseries and painful memories of past.

And in that shinning brightness I vividly see DIVYA SINGH, the same helpless, dreamy girl from Aurangabad, Bihar, standing and taking her rightful place. And that too without the help of a godfather or a godmother.


A new NUTAN will be born on that day.

And yes, the world can ridicule her and make fun of her till then.


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My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt



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 !!




Vidur’s Open Letter – 8 : To Armaan Jain



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

Hi Armaan,

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

With Armaan Jain's Proud Parents at their Home

With Armaan Jain’s Proud Parents at their Home


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

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



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

With Armaan Jain & His Mother Rima Jain

With Armaan Jain & His Mother Rima Jain

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

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

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



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

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

Vidur Club News Video -5 [ ARMAAN JAIN ] :

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


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

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

Yours ,




25 Years Without Raj Kapoor


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 .



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 .



Ode – 7 : To Ranbir Kapoor & ” Barfi ”

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 27 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Few days back I wrote a blog about my association with Karan Johar’s latest movie Student Of The Year ” . Whole film industry is celebrating its super success . I , as an Acting Trainer or Acting Tutor , was also happy for my personal students Varun Dhawan and Shekhar Ravjiani . Twitter handle of Taran Adarsh amplifies the super success of ” Student Of The Year ” :

taran adarsh taran adarsh ‏@taran_adarsh

#SOTY has 48 cr Week 1, superb! …

” Student Of The Year “ is still continuing its stupendous run at the box office worldwide . Today I got one more happy news about my another student Ranbir Kapoor’s latest hit filmBarfi ” . It was released last month . Apart from being India’s official entry at the Oscars , ” Barfi “ garnered 100 crore at the box office and entered 100 Crore Club of Hindi Films .
Through the twitter handle of Mr. Taran Adarsh I got to know that ” Barfi “ has now become the third biggest grosser of 2012 . It has surpassed ” Agneepath “ and is third only to ” Ek Tha Tiger “ and ” Rowdy Rathore ” .

#Barfi is the 3rd highest grosser of 2012, after #EkThaTiger and #RowdyRathore. Both #Barfi and #RowdyRathore are UTV films… contd.

Oct taran adarsh taran adarsh ‏@taran_adarsh

#Barfi 4th Week – 11 cr, 5th Week – 4 cr. Total: 120.62 cr nett. 3rd biggest grosser of 2012. Overtakes #Agneepath in India and Overseas.

It is rare distinction . Ranbir Kapoor deserves special mention for the choice of his films and portraying different and difficult characters with conviction and rare finesse . I am simply amazed with his brilliance . His understanding of life is amazing . Still he gave me this note , while I was working with him as his private tutor for Saawariya , his debut film .

Ranbir Kapoor's Hand - Written Note to Me

Ranbir Kapoor’s Hand – Written Note to Me

He has written ” looking forward to learn life from you “ . It is sheer humility . He knows life better than me and some morons , who claim to know everything . Still he wanted to give credit to me . It shows his impeccable upbringing and sense of respect for his Acting Coach , Acting Tutor or Acting Trainer , whatever title you would like to proffer me .

Success of ” Barfi “ is remarkable because ” Ek Tha Tiger “ and ” Rowdy Rathore “ are mass entertainers . They are typical Hindi pot – boilers . But ” Barfi “ is different . It is not a box office masala film . It is not that kind of entertainer . Still it is this year’s third biggest grosser . It shows Ranbir Kapoor’s rising super – stardom . I am so happy for him . From ” Saawariya “[ 2007 ]  to ” Barfi “[ 2012 ] , his 5-year-old journey is meticulous and well strategize journey in the hazardous killer field known as Hindi Film Industry .

With Ranbir Kapoor before " Saawariya "

With Ranbir Kapoor before ” Saawariya “

I would like to congratulate Ranbir Kapoor on behalf of  all the current students of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters and Vidur’s Kreating Charakters family on this occasion and for this well – deserved super success . It is very proud moment for an ordinary Acting Trainer of Mumbai like me .



Under – 30 Over – Achiever Stars of Hindi Films

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 29 , 2012           01.45 A.M.

In the Hindustan Times of August 25 , 2012 , there was an article in HT Cafe section . It is about 8 stars of Hindi cinema , who are currently ruling the box office and yet are below 30 years of age . Their names are ; Ranbir Kapoor , Katrina Kaif , Priyanka Chopra , Imran Khan , Sonam Kapoor , Deepika padukone , Sonakshi Sinha and Anushka Sharma .

It is very heartening to note that out of these 8 stars , 5 are my students and were trained by me during different phases of my career .

RANBIR KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” to ” Rockstar “


With Ranbir Kapoor before "Saawariya"

With Ranbir Kapoor before “Saawariya”

I trained him before his debut film ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] . I used to go to his Pali Hill bungalow and work with him . I am happy to see his rise to the dizzying heights of super – stardom . I also attended the premier of his first film ” Saawariya “ at the Imax theatre , Wadala in Mumbai .

Cover of

Cover of Saawariya

After 7 years of gap , I again met him at Manali in March 2012 . He had gone there for ” Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani “ , a film being produced by Karan Johar and Dharma Productions . I was also there to train Kalki Koechlin for the same film . Much has been changed since his ” Saawariya “ days . From a confident newcomer , he has now become a super – confident super – star . I was ushered into his room in Manu Allaya , a 5 star hotel in Manali by Kalki Koechlin . I was sceptical . Whether he would recognize me or not ? When Kalki told him about a visitor , he came forward , recognized me immediately and warmly hugged me .

As per trade grapevine he charges INR 8 – 10 crore per film . For ads he charges 1 – 2 crore per ad per day .

His major endorsements are ; Panasonic , Pepsi , Tata Docomo , Nissan , Ronco Leone Shoes , Hero Moto Corp and Lenovo .

KATRINA KAIF : ” Boom ” to ” Ek Tha Tiger ”


With katrina Kaif In Her Apartment

With katrina Kaif In Her Apartment

She is again a rising super star among female artistes . Coming from a non – filmy background and without much knowledge of  Hindi language , she climbed the stairs of stardom and is now the most successful female star of Hindi film industry .

I was called by Yash Raj Films to train her for ” New York ” [ 2009 ] . I worked with her briefly for that film . Later on she again called me for Prakash Jha’s film  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010 ]  . I worked on her accent . Results are there for everyone to see . She is tremendously hard-working girl .

As per trade analysts , she charges INR 3 – 4 crore per film . For ads she gets 1 – 1.5 per ad per day .

Her major endorsements are ; Barbie , Choc – On , Linc Uniball , Lux , Nakshatra , Olay , Panasonic , Pantene , Slice , Titan , Wrigleys , Yardley and Veet .

PRIYANKA CHOPRA : ” The Hero ” to ” Agneepath ”


Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif are my personal students . I used to go to their houses . But Priyanka Chopra was my student in Mr. Kishore Namit Kapoor’s classes ,  with whom I was working those days .

She joined the class after being crowned Miss World in 2000 . She made her acting debut with Tamil film ” Thamizhan ” [ 2002 ] . Her first Hind film was ” The Hero ” [ 2003 ] . She gained superstardom with ” Andaaz ” [ 2003 ] .

Till date she has got 1 National Award and 4 Filmfare Awards .

As per trade pundits , she charges INR 2 – 3 crores per film . For ads she charges INR 65 – 75 lakh per ad per day .

Her major endorsements are ; Nokia , Dabur , Dabur Amla , Garnier , Samsung , Bru , Nikon , Hero Honda and Asmi .

IMRAN KHAN : ” Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na ” to ” Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu ”


He , also , is not my personal student . He became my student when he joined Kishore Namit Kapoor’s classes .

He made his debut with ” Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na ” [ 2008 ] . His last release was ” Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu ” [ 2012 ] . Though he is only 8 films old , he , among the stars of his age , is considered bankable . Incidentally his heroine Genelia D’Souza in his debut film is also my student .

As per industry grapevine he charges INR 5 – 7 crores per film . For ads he demands INR INR 1 – 1.5 crore per ad per day .

His major endorsements are Levis and Coke .

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” to ” Mausam ”


One day I got a call from Mr. Anil Kapoor . He wanted me to come to his house . I immediately rushed and to my surprise I found that he wanted me to train his daughter , who was making her debut in ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] with Ranbir Kapoor . I trained her for the film . She is , contrary to her image , very warm – hearted girl . She is style icon and a philanthropist .

She is only 7 films old , but is considered as one of the rising stars among the girls of her age .

According to trade pundits , she gets INR 50 – 75 lakh per film . For ads she demands INR 25 – 50 lakh per ad per day .

Her major endorsements are ; L’Oreal , Spice Mobile , Mont Blanc , Electrolux , Indian Gems and Jewellery Exibition .

[ So out of these 5 stars , 3 are my personal students and remaining 2 were my students in Mr. Kapoor’s class . ]

DEEPIKA PADUKONE and SONAKSHI SINHA are not my students . So there is not much to write about them .

ANUSHKA SHARMA : “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” to “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”


Batch No. 19 of The Institute

Batch No. 19 of The Institute

Her case is peculiar . She was in the Batch No. 19 of Kreating Charakters . But she constantly refuses to accept this . She says that she is not trained . So let it be . If she does not accept me as her teacher , so I cannot force myself to be her teacher . May God bless her in her journey !

In the photograph you can see her sitting in the front row , [ Extreme Right ]. Second from the left in the front row is Veebha Anand of the ” Balika Badhu ” fame .



Vidur’s Travel Diary – 11 : Manali

DEORIA – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA           JUNE 19 , 2012           11.45 P.M.

It is much delayed blog . I wanted to write and post it immediately after my return from Manali on April 10 , 2012 but couldn’t do it because of my eye operation . Then there were other works like ; training actors and writing my book on acting and this particular blog got postponed and delayed . I decided to complete it and post it today , while sitting in the office cum study of my Deoria house .

One day while I was in my class in Mumbai , I got a call from Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions . They wanted me to train the stars of their new film which stars Ranbir Kapoor , Deepika Padukone , Kalki Koechlin and Aditya Roy Kapoor . And for that they wanted me to travel to Manali for a month . I jumped at the idea because Himachal Pradesh , along with the Union Territory of Chandigarh , are the only provinces of North India , which I have not visited yet . And my second temptation was that I would be able to meet Ranbir Kapoor after a long time , whom I have trained for ” Saawariya “ . In addition to that I would get an opportunity to work with Deepika Padukone and Kalki Koechlin also .

Map of India showing location of Himachal Pradesh

Map of India showing location of Himachal Pradesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Mumbai , I took early morning flight for Chandigarh on March 18 , 2012 . I reached Chandigarh and proceeded for Manali by car , I saw this Union Territory for the first time . Chandigarh is the first planned city of independent India . I was simply amazed . Swanky airport , 4 / 6 lane roads , gigantic traffic islands and neatly maintained colonies ; Chandigarh is pride of India .

Chandigarh Airport

Chandigarh Airport

A Traffic Island of Chandigarh

A Traffic Island of Chandigarh

I could not watch much because I was put in a car and immediately proceeded for 310 km. long road journey to Manali . My impression of Chandigarh is what I could see through the window of a speeding car .

Travelling time to Manali from Chandigarh is 11 hours . As soon as I entered  Himachal Pradesh , hills started. Snow capped mountains and rocky landscape is beautiful and breathtaking . As per Hindu legends Manali is associated with Manu , who started procreation on the pious land of Manali after the great deluge , MAHAPRALAY , the end of the world . It happened in SATYUGA . Manali is also associated with Maharshi Shringi , who performed PUTRESHTI YAGYA for King Dhasharath and thus the king got 4 sons ; Rama , Bharat , Lakshman and Shatrughna . It happened in TRETAYUGA . In DWAPARYUGA , Arjun worshipped Shiva in a cage near Manali and got PASHUPATASTRA . His elder brother Bheem married Hidimba here and had a son Ghatotkach . Thus from SATYUGA to TRETEYUG to DWAPARYUG , Manali is closely associated with our history , culture and ethos .

Known as Queen of Hill Stations , Manali is situated at an altitude of 2050 metres and is 40 km. away from Kullu , the district headquarters . One can reach Manali by road via Chandigarh or you can take a flight to Kullu and then proceed for Manali by car .

Sunset - On Way to Manali

Sunset – On Way to Manali

A Road Side Restaurant - On Way To Manali

A Road Side Restaurant – On Way To Manali

After 11 hour-long car journey from Chandigarh , I reached Manali and was put at Hotel Quality Inn River Country Resort . Chilli winds greeted me at the arrival . I was forced to take out my woollen jacket . I was amazed at the difference of weather condition in India . When I left Mumbai , its temperature was 35 degree celsius . In Manali inside the room heater was on .

Hotel Quality Inn River Country is a fabulous hotel . It’s only drawback is that it is 2/3 km. away from the Mall Road , main market of Manali .

Quality Inn River Country Resort - Manali

Quality Inn River Country Resort – Manali

My Room in Quality Inn River Country Resort - Manali

My Room in Quality Inn River Country Resort – Manali

Manali city is evenly divided in two parts by Bias river . I could see the streams of Bias through the window of my hotel room .

River Bias Which Flows & Devides Manali In 2 Parts

River Bias Which Flows & Divides Manali In 2 Parts

River Bias - Another View

River Bias – Another View

Way To Mall Road - Manali

Way To Mall Road – Manali

It is not easy to get autos in Manali and that too for a short distance . So next day I gathered courage and walked to The Mall . And I was hooked . A small but beautiful market welcomed me . One can buy woolen clothes from various shops . It is made of pure wool and cheaper also .

Mall Road - Manali

Mall Road – Manali

Mall Road - Manali

Mall Road – Manali

Mall Road - Manali

Mall Road – Manali

Mall Road - Manali

Mall Road – Manali

Rain Washed Mall Road

Rain Washed Mall Road

Due to some prior booking at the Quality Inn River Country Resort , I had to shift to another place , Hotel Piccadilly , after a week . It is again a beautiful hotel with some minus points . It’s main plus point is that it is situated at the Mall . So shopping and even strolling is easy and convenient .

Hotel Piccadily - Manali

Hotel Piccadilly – Manali

Hotel Manu Allaya is another fabulous hotel where I used to go to train Kalki Koechlin .

Hotel Many Allaya - Manali

Hotel Many Allaya – Manali

A Corridor of Hotel Many Allaya - Manali

A Corridor of Hotel Many Allaya – Manali

Reception Hotel Manu Allaya - Manali

Reception Hotel Manu Allaya – Manali

At Hotel Manu Allaya - Manali

At Hotel Manu Allaya – Manali

As I have stated earlier , Manali city is divided in two parts by river Bias . City is situated on both the banks of Bias and beyond that there is snow – capped mountains on both sides . Weather is simply heavenly and salubrious .

Manali - East of the River Bias

Manali – East of the River Bias

A Bridge on Bias - Connecting East & West Manali

A Bridge on Bias – Connecting East & West Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic Views of Manali

Panoramic View of Manali

Panoramic View of Manali

Sun Sets on Manali

Sun Sets on Manali

River Bias in Manali

River Bias in Manali

Jungal Near Mall - Manali

Jungal Near Mall – Manali

Colourful Tibetan monastery is another landmark place . It is situated near the Mall .

Tibetan Monastery

Tibetan Monastery

I never knew that Hidimba of MAHABHARAT belonged to Manali . There is a pagoda like temple dedicated to Hidimba , known as Devi Hadimba in popular parlance . King Bhadur Shah built this temple in 1553 . This four tiered pagoda shaped temple is made of wood . Front door is carved with figures and symbols and is also made of wood . King Bhadur Shah was very happy to see the temple when it was completed . As per local tradition , king ordered to cut off the hand of the person who made this temple , so that he can not replicate this temple elsewhere . Undaunted by this misfortune , the artiste trained his left hand and made even better version of this temple at Trilokinath in Chamba district . It is so unfortunate that local people thought that this masterpiece should not be made anywhere , so they chopped off the head of that artiste . That poor nameless fellow lost his hand first and his life later on , for creating two masterpieces .

Hadimba Temple - Manali

Hadimba Temple – Manali

At Hadimba Temple - Manali

At Hadimba Temple – Manali

Wooden Main Gate of Hadimba Temple - Manali

Wooden Main Gate of Hadimba Temple – Manali

Deodar Lined Path of Hadimba Temple

Deodar Lined Path of Hadimba Temple

In the compound and vicinity of Hadimba temple , one can see yaks in abundance . I myself saw a yak for the first time in the compound of Hadimba temple .

Yak at Hadimba Temple - Manali

Yak at Hadimba Temple – Manali

Span Spa & Resort is a marvellous property , which is though modern but still steeped in tradition . It is situated few km. away from Manali on the banks of Bias .

Span Resort - Manali

Span Resort – Manali

Span Resort - Manali

Span Resort – Manali

Span Resort - Manali

Span Resort – Manali

Span Resort - Manali

Span Resort – Manali

How come someone complete any travelogue of Manali without going to Rohtang Pass . At an altitude of 3980 metres , Rohtang Pass is situated 51 km. away from Manali . This pass connects Manali to Leh in Ladakh . It is open for public from June to September every year . So when I was there , it was closed . Road was cleared till Gulaba only . So I did not get the opportunity to visit Rohtang Pass . I went up to Gulaba only . Despite inclement weather , I enjoyed my 5 day consecutive visits to the place . 4/5 layers of woollen clothes were not sufficient even in the month of April .

On The Way - From Manali to Rohtang Pass

On The Way – From Manali to Rohtang Pass

On The Way - From Manali to Rohtang Pass

On The Way – From Manali to Rohtang Pass

On The Way - From Manali to Rohtang Pass

On The Way – From Manali to Rohtang Pass

Gulaba - Inbetween Manali & Rohtang Pass

Gulaba – in-between Manali & Rohtang Pass

Gulaba - Inbetween Manali & Rohtang Pass

Gulaba – in-between Manali & Rohtang Pass

At Gulaba - Inbetween Manali & Rohtang Pass

At Gulaba – in-between Manali & Rohtang Pass

At Gulaba - Inbetween Manali & Rohtang Pass

At Gulaba – in-between Manali & Rohtang Pass

Sun Sers At Gulaba - Inbetween Manali & Rohtang Pass

Sun Sets At Gulaba – in-between Manali & Rohtang Pass

Manali - Leh Highway via Rohtang Pass

Manali – Leh Highway via Rohtang Pass

I reached Manali in the night of March 18 , 2012 . Stayed there for 21 days . It was a different experience . I thoroughly enjoyed my paid holiday , courtesy Dharma Productions .

After every visit I remember Hindi poet Agyeya’s lines . In the case of Manali , these oft – repeated lines are more pertinent and relevent .

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

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

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

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

Zohra Sahgal : A Glorious Century of Life

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 22 , 2012           04.15 P.M.

100 Years Old Zohra Segai

100 Years Old Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal , the legendary film and theatre actor , recently completed 100 years of her momentous life . It is fascinating to know that she is as old as Indian cinema . She , in fact , is a year older . She was born in Saharanpur , Uttar Pradesh in 1912 . And the first Indian cinema ” Raja Harishchandra ” was made and released in 1913 in Mumbai . So she precedes Indian cinema and is still among us .

Map showing location of district in Uttar Prad...

Map showing location of U.P. in India & Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh

She was born as Zohra Mumtaz Ullah Khan in an orthodox Muslim aristocratic family and went to Queen Mary’s Girls College , Lahore and later on to Mary Wigmen’s ballet school in Dresden , Germany . There she was trained in modern dance and was the first Indian to get trained at that school . She stayed there for couple of years and fortunately met Uday Shankar there , who was travelling Europe at that time with his troupe .

While still in Europe , she was invited by Uday Shankar to join his troupe . She joined legendary dancer’s troupe in 1935 and worked with him for 8 long years . Along with his troupe , she toured Japan , Egypt , Europe and U. S. A. Later on she became a teacher in Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre at Almora .

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer,...

Uday Shankar (1900-1977), noted Indian dancer, here seen in a 1930s photograph

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). ...

The Uday Shankar Ballet Troupe, ca (1935-37). Also seen at the bottom left Zohra Segal

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar's Troupe

Zohra Sehgal In Uday Shankar’s Troupe

She met her future husband Kameshwar Nath Sehgal at the Uday Shankar’s India Cultural Centre  and married him against the wishes of her orthodox family and  hence , she came to be known as Zohra Sehgal . She has a daughter Kiran and a son Pavan , who is married to the grand – daughter of Munshi Premchand , the renowned Hindi writer .

Young Zohra Sehgal

Young Zohra Sehgal

Later on , she migrated to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] with her family and started working with Prithvi Raj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre in 1945  , where her sister Uzra Butt was already working . She essayed many roles in his plays . She was a major star of Prithvi theatre . She also worked with Indian People’s Theatre Association [ IPTA ] for 14 long years .

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal

Prithvi Theatre Festival 06, commemorating the...

Prithvi Theatre Festival 2006 , commemorating the Birth Centenary of Prithviraj Kapoor

She made her screen debut with IPTA’s first film production ” Dharti Ke Lal ” [ 1946 ] , a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas . This followed by ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] , directed by Chetan Anand . incidentally ” Neecha Nagar “ became the first Indian film to win Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival . Later on she worked in ” Afsar ” [ 1950 ] , first film of Dev Anand’s banner Navketan and ” Baazi ” [ 1951 ] , a film directed by Guru Dutt .

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Poster of Dharti Ke Lal

Neecha Nagar

Neecha Nagar

After her husband’s death in 1959 , Zohra Sehgal moved to Delhi and then to London and worked in films like ” The Courtesans of Bombay ” [ 1983 ] , a Merchant Ivory Productions . ” The Jewel in The Crown ” [ 1984 ] and ” Tandoori Nights ” [ 1985 ] are her famous TV role .

Cover of

Cover of The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

The Courtesans of Bombay

In mid 90s , she again returned to India and started her second innings with films like ; ” Dil Se ” [ 1998 ] . ” Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam ” [ 1999 ] , ” Dillagi ” [ 1999 ] , ” Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham ” [ 2001 ] , ” The Mystic Masseur ” [ 2001 ] , ” Bend It Like Beckham ” [ 2002 ] , ” Veer – Zaara ” [ 2004 ] ” Cheeni Kum ” [ 2007 ] and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] .

Poster of Dil Se

Poster of Dil Se

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Poster of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...

Poster of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Poster of Veer - Zaara

Poster of Veer – Zaara

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Cheeni Kum

Poster of Saawariya

Poster of Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

With Amitabh Bachchan in Cheeni Kum

She won many awards in her long and chequered career . She got Padma Shri in 1998 , Padma Bhushan in 2002 and Padma Vibhushan in 2010 . She also received Kalidas Samman in 2001 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2004 for lifetime achievement .

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

Zohra Sehgal Receiving Padma Vibhushan in 2010

It is fascinating to complete 100 years of one’s life and 61 years of active film and stage career . She started her career on stage in 1945 at Prithvi Theatre . So from 1945 to 2006 , when she appeared on stage again for the Centenary Year celebration of Prithvi Raj Kapoor , it is 61 – year – long stage career .

From ” Dharti Ke Lal ” and ” Neecha Nagar ” [ 1946 ] to ” Cheeni Kum ” and ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] , it is again 61 – year – long career in films .

She joined Uday Shankar’s troupe in 1935 . And her last two appearances on-screen ; ” Cheeni Kum “ and ” Saawariya ” came in 2007 . So it becomes incredible 72 – year – long career in fine arts .

She has another distinction to her credit . She worked with Prithvi Raj Kapoor in 1945 . And then she worked with his great grandson Ranbir Kapoor in 2007 . I think this is un – paralleled in the history of world cinema . She beautifullybridged the gap of 62 years and 4 generations .

Her life and achievements are amazing . I have trained Ranbir Kapoor for ” Saawariya ” . So I feel a sense of attachment to the legendary Zohra Sehgal because she was also associated with the film . I feel blessed .

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

100th Birthday Celebration of Zohra Sehgal

See the photograph posted above . See her zest and vigour . Her energy is infectious . Her impish smile is intact .

I pray for her long life . May she out – live me also . Amen !!!



I (dont) Hate (such) Luv Storys

As I am writing this blog, I am confronted with a strange fact. I started my twitter account on June 17th, 2009 and till date I have only 83 followers. Its one year now. But Mr. Amitabh Bachchan started tweeting on May 18th, 2010 and he has 2,16,425 followers. Its has been only 46 days. The fact of the matter is that he started his journey on twitter almost 1 year after me. I am not cribbing, or voicing my anguish. I am just stating a fact. This twitter account statistic shows that I have yet to cover a long distance. It shows that I am just a speck in the universe as for as success is concerned. This is fact and I am ready to accept that.

But everything is not that gloomy. There are few occasions to celebrate here and there. Sometimes there is a news to cherish.and rejoice. And today as ” I HATE LUV STORYS” releases in the theatres worldwide , I am feeling that kind of happiness. It is very important film for me. Its main protagonists – Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor and Sammir Dattani are my students. Its director Punit malhotra, who is nephew of Mr. Manish Malhotra, is my student too. The music director Shekhar Ravjiani of Vishal-Shekhar duo, is also a student of mine. When you have 5 students in one film and that too almost in every important departments, it’s definitely a proud moment for a trainer.

PUNIT MALHOTRA : This well-behaved nephew of ace designer Mr. Manish Malhotra, was my student years ago. At that time he was assisting Mr. Karan Johar and was dreaming to make it big as an actor. He assisted Mr. Karan Johar in ” KABHIE KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM “. Then he was assistant in ” KAL HO NA HO “ and ” PAHELI “ also. After that he became a model and did one ad with Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. He was working hard to become an actor but Mr. Karan Johar gave him an offer to direct a film. I advised him to put aside his dream of becoming an actor for the time being and take the plunge . He started scripting and as soon as script was complete, ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ rolled. It got completed and got released on July 02, 2010. It created a lot of positive buzz and Punit’s career as a director is launched. I am happy for the newest director of Hindi film industry.

SONAM KAPOOR : I trained her during ” SAAWARIYA ” days.  I was already training Ranbir Kapoor at that time. He mentioned my name to Mr. Anil Kapoor and one day I got a call from him. I went to meet Mr. and Mrs. Anil kapoor and soon started training Sonam. She is an accomplished Kathak dancer and worked really hard for SAAWARIYA “. It’s unfortunate that film tanked badly and got bad press. But Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor were praised for their acting skills. Sonam’s second film DELHI 6 ” also tanked and it was sad to see this beautiful girl’s efforts not bearing fruits. Fortunately ” I HATE LUV STORYS ” will change the scenario.

SAMMIR DATTANI : I used to go to his Malabar Hills apartment to train him. In those early years of my career I had a Bajaj Super scooter and I used to commute on it. From Andheri to Malabar Hills, it was a tiring ride , but I used to go to his place because of the tremendous respect which his whole family has for me. He started working in Kannada film and made his debut in ” NANNA PRITIYA HUDUGI ” in 2001. Film was a smash hit and launched Sammir in the Kannada industry . He is known there as DHYAN. After that he worked in couple of Kannada films, such as : ” MONALISA ” , ” JOOTATA “ and ” AMRUTHADHARE “. In the last mentioned film even Mr. Amitabh Bachchan played a cameo. Sammir worked in a Tamil film also. Its name is ” KUTTY ” . I have seen all his regional films as he used to have private screening of all his films in Mumbai and never ever forgot to invite me.

Then he was signed to play main lead in a Hindi film called ” UFF KYA JAADOO MOHABBAT HAI “. It was a Rajshri Production film and Sammir was signed for it along with 3 other new comers. Tanishaa was the female lead but later on she opted out of the film. I was assigned to train all of them and I started going to Rajshri’s office. By that  time I had Bajaj Pulsar and I was commuting on that. Film got released and was a damp squib at the box office. Undeterred Sammir signed another Hindi film ” PYAAR MEIN TWIST “ and after its release he thought that he needs some more modulation and voice training . He again called me and I started going to his place once again. Even after so many years, the warmth and respect of Sammir and his family was same for me. It is yet to diminish. Before IHLS , Sammir did some other  good films : ” CORPORATE ” , ” MUKHBIR “ and ” WELL DONE ABBA “ are some of them. His last one is my personal favourite. I was invited for the private screening of ” WELL DONE ABBA “. I went there in my car. So from a rickety Bajaj Super scooter to Bajaj Pulsar and now a Maruti Swift, my relationship with Sammir has seen all the shades and colours of my life.

SHEKHAR RAVJIANI : I got a call from an assistant of Mr. Aditya Chopra and was informed that I have to train Shekhar of Vishal-Shekhar duo. I started going to his  Khar apartment and worked with him. He is a talent music director and a charming human being. He is a good singer and has wonderful screen presence. He made me listen almost all the songs of  ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ and I knew that his score is going to top the charts. He used to work with me in the morning and worked on the  musical score of ” I HATE LUV STORYS “ in the night. Both the work were going on simultaneously. I am happy that I was privy to all the scores of this film even before the official release.

IMRAN KHAN : He is the only one among all the 5 , who is not my private student. He was in the regular batch and after completing his training left for U S A. I lost touch and years after, when he surfaced in Mumbai and made it big with ” JAANE TU YA JAANE NA ” , I am yet to make contacts with him. He is master of special effects and did many such things in the class. Once I made a remark about his voice and told him that he have to work on it. I have an inkling that he felt bad and resented my remarks. Though he didn’t show his displeasure. His subsequent films – ” LUCK ” and ” KIDNAP ” did not get success at the box office but I think he will touch gold with this film. Though his films as child artiste – ” QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK ” and  ” JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER ” were more successful.

” I HATE LUV STORYS ” has been released with much fanfare and is getting all the positive bytes. I am happy at the moment and as I am about to retire for the day, I am going to sleep as a contented man but remembering these famous lines of American poet Robert Frost :.

The woods are lovely dark and deep ,

But I have promises to keep  ,

And miles to go before i sleep   ,

And miles to go before I sleep .




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