Dulari Ji Is Gone; Unwept, Unheard , Unsung !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 09 , 2013           06.45 P.M.
Dulari In Her Twilight Years

Dulari In Her Twilight Years

On Monday morning I was shocked to read the news of death of Dulari , a veteran yesteryear Hindi film actor . It is so heart-wrenching that she died in January 2013 and the news came in May 2013 , in Monday’s Times of India . If a popular actor dies and the news comes out a full four months later , it shows the callousness of our film industry . How come no one tried to contact her ? How come no one ever called her to say hi ? How come no one inquired about her health and well-being ? I must admit , our film industry is full of cussed , cruel and selfish people .
Today as I am writing this blog , I suddenly remember these lines , which was filmed on her in ” Devdas ” , a Bimal Roy classic .
साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

She left this ephemeral , painful world for her eternal journey . She joined her lover , the God , and became one with him .

A Young Dulari

A Young Dulari

Hindi cinema had many famous and powerful mother figures . Durga Khote , Lalita Pawar , Leela Chitnis , Kamini Kaushal , Achala Sachdev and Sulochna are some of the most famous mothers of Hindi cinema . In recent history Nirupa Roy became an ultimate mother figure . Dulari, though not as famous as her other illustrious peers , was also a popular mother figure of Hindi films .

Dulari - The Poorman's Mother

Dulari – The Poorman’s Mother

She started as a heroine in a couple of films . Immortal hits like  ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ , both from ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] were filmed on her .

Dulari

I first noticed her in Bimal Roy’s ” Devdas “ [ 1955 ] . Two songs , written by Sahir Ludhianvi and tuned by Sachin Dev Burman , were filmed on her . ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware ” and ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori “ are connoisseurs delight even today .  She played a Vaishnavi Saint with Nana Palsikar as her screen companion . A young Paro , played by Baby Naaz , was sitting on a branch of a mango tree and was remembering Devdas , while Nana Palsikar sang the song and danced . Dulari was just sitting calmly and singing the female version sung by Geeta Dutt . Her calm and serene face remained in my memory . In the same film , years later , when Paro grew older [ played by etherial Suchitra Sen ] , she was again sitting and remembering Devdas . Again same Vaishnav saints came and started singing . Now the song was ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori ” . I am unable to forget these scenes , these two songs , melancholic face of Paro , played by Baby Naaz and Suchitra Sen respectively and of course Nana Palsikar and Dulari .

Then , years later I watched ” Padosan ” [ 1968 ] and ” Gopi ” [ 1973 ] . In both the films she played the maternal aunt of lead actors ; Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar . Memory of her earlier starrers ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] , and ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] once again became fresh in my mind . It is not that I have seen only above mentioned 4 films . I have seen innumerable films of her . But these 4 remain in my memory .

Dulari as Mother Figure

Dulari as Mother Figure

A Kanyakubj Brahman from the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh , she was born and brought up in Maharashtra . She spent her childhood in Nagpur , where she was born on 18th April 1928. Her name was Ambika but she was nick-named Rajdulari and later on only Dulari remained and the world knew her as Dulari .

Dulari ji’s first film was ‘Bombay Talkies’s’ famous movie ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] with Ashok Kumar . Later on she played Jairaj’s younger sister in a Bombay Talkies film Hamari Baat’ . She was also seen as the second lead in  ‘Amar Pictures’ film ‘Adaab Arz’ where her leading man was the famous singer Mukesh . Both the films were made in 1944 .
shayar

Later on she played small roles in films like ” Ghar ” [ 1945 ] , ” Kulkalank ”  [ 1945 ] , ‘Ahinsa’, ‘Black Market’, ‘Namak’, ‘Pati Sewa’, ‘Rangeen Kahani’ [ all 1947 ] . But Dulari got her real due with ‘Filmistan’s super hit film ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] . She played Rehana’s elder sister in the movie and her leading man was Mehmood’s father Mumtaz Ali . As I mentioned earlier two immortal songs were picturized on her in this film . ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ .

After ” Shehnai “ she did films like ” Gunsundari ” , ” Mitti Ke Khilone ” , ” Naav’ ” [ all 1948 ] , ” Nanad Bhaujai ” , ” Shayar ”  [ both 1949 ] , ” Apni Chhaya ” , ” Man Ka Meet ”  [ both 1950 ] , ” Albela ”  [ 1951 ], ” Anjaam ” , ” Bhoole Bhatke ” and ” Veer Arjun ”  [ all 1952 ] .
Paapi
Dulari was seen in an important role in the movie ” Paapi ” [ 1953 ] . In this Ranjeet Movietone film Raj Kapoor played his career’s only double role. Nargis and Dulari played his two heroines .  After it she worked in Jeewan Jyoti ” [ 1953 ] , ” Devdas ”  [ 1955 ] , ” Zindagi Ke Mele ”  [ 1956 ] , ” Ek Gaon Ki Kahani ” , ” Johny Walker ” ,  ” Paying Guest ”  [ all 1957 ] ,  ” Kavi Kalidas ”  and ” Santaan ” [ 1959 ] .
Devdas (1955 film)

Devdas (1955 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JPKSHH

images

Padosan

After 1959 , after two years hiatus , she started her second innings from 1961 and for the next 35 years, Dulari played many big and small roles in almost 135 films like ‘Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’, ‘Apne Hue Paraye’, ‘Aap Aaye bahaar Aai’, ‘Aaye Din Bahaar Ke’, Anupama’, ‘Teesri Kasam’, ‘Padosan’, ‘Aradhna’, ‘Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke’, ‘Chiraagh’, ‘Inteqaam’, ‘Aan Milo Sajna’, ‘Heer Ranjha’, ‘Johny Mera Naam’, ‘Caravan’, ‘Laal Patthar’, ‘Beimaan’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Raja Rani’, ‘Ameer Gareeb’, ‘Haath Ki Safai’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Do Jasoos’, ‘Aahuti’, ‘Ganga Ki Saugandh’, ‘Biwi O Biwi’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Agar Tum Na Hote and ‘Dharmadhikari’. And then one day she quietly retired from the world of movies.

Later on she did only two films . ” Surya ” [ 1989 ] and ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] . Ziddi directed by Guddu Dhanoa is her last film . Thus from ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] to ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] , her career span was 56 years .

After a career spanning 56 years and after 171 hindi, 35 Gujarati, 3 Marathi and 1 Rajasthani film , she left Mumbai and went to live with her daughter in Indore . She also acted in a ‘Shri Adhikari Brothers’ serial called ‘Waqt Ki Raftaar’ .

During her final years Dulari ji was suffering from Alzheimer and was admitted to ICU in a hospital in PUNE in the last week of December ’12 where at the age of 85 she breathed her last on 18th January 2013 around 10 a.m. She was cremated on 19th January 2013 in the noon in Pune.

…………………………………………………………………………………
Few links of songs filmed on Dulari :
1 – aana meri jaan sunday ke sunday /shehnai/1947
2 – jawani ki rail chali jaaye/shehnai/1947
3 – aan milo aan milo shyam sanware/devdas/1955
4 – sajan ki ho gai gori/devdas/1955
5 – madhav bin saara brij soona/sautela bhai/1962
 …………………………………………………………………………………

I offer my condolences on behalf myself and on behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . May God give eternal peace to Dulari Ji and strength to her daughter and other near and dear ones to bear this loss .

I can visualize a frail ,  85-year-old , lonely lady suffering from Alzheimer , sitting without a friend or companion in an old age home with blank eyes and waiting for some elusive loving one . Long windy nights of winter , dull and dusty days of summer and wet , pouring and dreary evenings of  rainy season must have come and gone  without any trace of succour . It is painful , very painful . Finally , only death could relieve her from her pain .

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

Rest in peace Dulari ji ! A tearful farewell from an ardent fan . I am happy that you left this cruel , selfish , cussed world . May , in next life , you get everything that you have ever desired for you .

[ While writing this blog , I have taken few facts and materials from the article ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware’-Dulari ” , written by Shri Shishir Krishna Sharma for his ‘Sahara Samay’ column ‘kya bhooloon kya yaad karoon’ . I am indebted . ]

VIDUR

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60 Years of Film ” Jaal ”


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 08 , 2012           11.40 P.M.

After Aan and Baiju Bawra , the third most successful film of 1952 was Dev Anand starrer Jaal ” . It was written and directed by legendary Guru Dutt . This was Guru Dutt‘s second movie, after Dev Anand‘s production Baazi ” . After Baazi, this was the second film in which Dev Anand also came through as a confident star/actor, with a style uniquely his own.

It has some memorable melodies by music maestro Sachin Dev Burman , a Dev Anand regular . Lata Mangeshkar‘s 2 songs ” Chori Chori Meri Gali Aana Hai Bura …………………….. ” , ” Pighla Hai Sona Door Gagan Par , Phail Rahe Hain Shaam Ke Saaye ……………………….. ”  are still very popular . Kishore Kumar and Geeta Dutt’s duet ” De Bhi Chuke Ham Dil Nazrana Dil Ka ……………………… “  is my eternal favourite . But Hemant Kumar‘s ” Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan , Sun Ja Dil Ki Daastaan ………………… “ is immortal and perennial favourite with the connoisseurs of Hindi film songs . It has several versions . Sung by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar separately , it has a duet version also by them .

Dev Anand. Guide.

Sachin Dev Burman

Sachin Dev Burman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar as a yo...

Lata Mangeshkar as a young woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A typical crime thriller in Dev Anand style , ” Jaal “ was a far cry from swashbuckling  costume drama ” Aan “ and rustic , tender love story ” Baiju Bawra ” .World of Dev Anand was totally different from the world of Dilip Kumar and Bharat Bhushan . As I have written in my blog about ” Aan “ , I didn’t like the film when I watched it for the first time . But suave , debonaire , sweater clad and guitar strumming Dev Anand , playing a Christian character , became my instant favourite . Moon – kissed beach of Goa , Dev Anand’s immensely likable persona , Geeta Bali‘s vergin beauty and Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar’s etherial voice in  ” Ye Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan , Sun Ja Dil Ki Dastan ……………………….. “ had mesmerizing effect on my mind and the charm refuses to fade away even after 6 decades . Geeta Bali , again my favourite , was in full form in ” Jaal ” . Sachin Dev Burman’s musical genius was totally opposite of Naushad’s . Mohammad Rafi was as different from Hemant Kumar as North Pole is from South Pole . So the liking for ” Jaal “ , compared to ” Aan “ was much more . It is still one of my favourite films . Lata Mangeshkar is the only common link between all the three films and she was equally superb in all of them .

Apart from Dev Anand and Geeta Bali , it has K. N. Singh and Johny Walker also in the steller roles .

As I have stated in my previous blog , as an acting trainer , its my job to make my students aware of these iconic films and I do it regularly in my acting class in Mumbai .

I strive to make it a regular feature in my acting school Vidur’s Kreating Charakters .

VIDUR

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Death of Kalpana ; A ” Gul Badan ” Ceases to Exist


Kalpana

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 12 , 2012           07.10 P. M.

On January 04 , 2012 Kalpana , yesteryear actor a.k.a. Kalpana Mohan , died in a Pune hospital at the age of 65 . She was battling cancer for 5 years . I do know , the name Kalpana does not ring a familiar bell . Today’s generation is oblivious of her name and ignorant of her work . It is sad state of affair that news of her death appeared in national news papers 6 days later . Even a film news paper like Screen failed to report her death in the latest issue .,

But cine – goers of my generation will always remember her fondly . She did two super hit films like ;ProfessorandTeen Devian ”  in 1962 and 1965 respectively .

Born in Srinagar in a family of freedom fighters , Kalpana was a trained Kathak dancer . At the insistence of Balraj Sahani and Ismat Chughtai she moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] and made debut in ” Professor ”  [ 1962 ] , a Shammi Kapoor starrer .

A Poster of Professor

Another Poster of Professor

Later on she worked in another super hit film ” Teen Devian ” [ 1965 ] , a Dev Anand starrer .

A Poster of Teen Devian

Another Poster of Teen Devian

One More Poster of Teen Devian

I remember Shammi Kapoor serenading her with super hit songs  ; Ai Gul Badan ….. Ai Gul Badan and Khuli Palak Me Jhootha Ghussa , Band Palak Men Pyar ……… Jeena Bhi Mushkil ….. Who can forget these immortals songs ; Aawaz De Ke Hamen Tum Bulao ……… or Koi Aayega …. Aayega ….. Aayega …… and Main Chali Main Chali ……. Peechhe Peechhe Jahan …… ?

Shankar Jaikishans super hit music and interesting story plot made this film ” Professor ” a rage in the 60s . Kalpana arrived with a bang .

She then did ” Teen Devian ” in 1965 with Dev Anand . Sachin Dev Burman‘s melodious music added ethereal quality to Kalpana’s beauty . Can any Hindi movie buff forget Dev Anand entreating Kalpana with Kishore Kumar , Asha Bhosle duet , Are Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho Ghazab , Ghoonghat To Zara Odho …… ?

Are Yaar Meri .... Song

I still remember another gem from the same movie , Khwab Ho Yaa Tum Koi Haqueeqat ….. Kaun Ho Tum Batlao ….. Mr. Dev Anand singing this song on piano and Kalpana and Simi sharing screen space with him .

Khwab Ho Ya Tum .....Song

In ” Professor ” , she was in solo lead . In ” Teen Devian “ , she shared screen with much senior Nanda and another beauty Simi Gerewal . Still she got top billing .

Kalpana

She just did only couple of films . ” Professor ” [ 1962 ] , ” Naughty Boy ” [ 1962 ] , ” Teen Devian ” [ 1965 ] , ” Saheli ” [ 1965 ] , ” Pyar Kiye Ja ” [ 1966 ] , ” Biwi Aur Makan ” [ 1966 ] , ” Tasveer ” [ 1966 ] and ” Nawab Sirajuddaula ” [ 1967 ] .

She quit films after her marriage with story – screenplay writer Sachin Bhowmick . They both were as different as the chalk is from cheese . So marriage failed . She got married again in 1967 , got divorced again in 1972 and then moved to Pune , where she lived till her death .

I was saddened when I saw a recent photo of Kalpana , which was published in Times of India . Age had dimmed her beauty . An aging and lonely Kalpana Mohan caught my fancy once again . I was not a huge fan of hers but I did like her in films like ; ” Professor ” , ” Teen Devian ” , ” Pyar Kiye Ja “ and  ” Biwi Aur Makaan ” .  In the conservative India of 1965 , ” Teen Devian “ got A Certificate from censors , so the film got famous and the craze was enormous . And I , like other youngsters of my age , was charmed by Kalpana and this film .

I did not like her recent photo and I was pained but I am posting it for the record and for the posterity . This photograph of Kalpana is a sad reminder of the ephemeral world we are living in ; real and reel , both .

Kalpana : Then & Now

Farewell Kalpana ji !

In the last quarter of 2011 , your two illustrious co – stars ; Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand left us . Now you too have gone !

Mortal people ; immortal memories !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Wilting Traditions – 1 : Holi & Hindi Cinema


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

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

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

Mother India

Image via Wikipedia

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

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

Cover of

Cover of Mashaal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mangal Pandey: The Rising

Image via Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is sad , very sad !

VIDUR

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