Lal Krishna Advani & Dilip Kumar


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER 19 , 2013           11 . 10 P.M.

I wanted to write this blog a week back , when Shri Narendra Modi was anointed as the Prime Ministerial candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party . But I was busy writing an article on Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya for a Kenyan magazine , which is published from Nairobi , capital of Kenya . Yesterday I mailed that article to Shri Ram Chandra Pandey , Pracharak of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh , Kenya . Today , as I am relatively free , I am sitting in my study and writing this blog .

I am a fan of Dilip Kumar . My veneration for him knows no limit . In his career spanning 54 years [ when he was working and was active ] , he has done only 59 films [ including Guest appearances ] . Out of his 59 released films , I have seen 45 . I have seen many of his films several times . Ironically I have not seen his first film Jwaar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] and his last film ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] .

Let us have a look on his career and achievements . He was nominated 18 times for the Filmfare Awards , and won it 8  times . He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1991 , Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha also for one term . In 1998 he got Nishan – E – Imtiaz from the government of Pakistan .

His towering and gigantic personality hovered over my horizon from Ganga Jumna ” [ 1961 ] , which I watched in 1967 , till today , when he is recuperating in the ICU of Lilavati hospital .

Thus from 1967 to 2013 , it is a 46 – year – long association full of reverence , veneration and respect . It refuses to ebb .

English: I took this picture when he paid a vi...

Dilip Kumar in MouthShut.com office in 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Dilip Kumar’s benign and all-pervading shadow on my life was disturbed and somewhat eclipsed with the advent of Amitabh Bachchan in 1969 . From Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , he has acted in 186 films [ including Guest appearances & Voice overs ] . And out of 186 , I have watched 120 films . ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] was the first film of Amitabh Bachchan , which I watched . Ironically I have not watched his first film ” Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ]  and his latest ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] . An uncanny coincidence of my life , which happened in the case of Dilip Kumar also .

The Amitabh Bachchan juggernaut , in real sense of the term , started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] . One year later Dilip Kumar came with a critically acclaimed but flop ” Sagina ” [ 1974 ] .

Two years after ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] , Amitabh Bachchan gave two iconic super hits , ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] . Again one year later Dilip Kumar came with triple role in a much – delayed and moderate hit  ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] .

After hiatus of 5 years , Dilip Kumar started his second innings with hugely successful ” Kranti ” [ 1981 ] . But same year Amitabh Bachchan gave 3 super – hits ” Lawaaris ” , ” Yaraana ” and ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] and hugely likable ” Silsila ” [ 1981 ] .

They both , a year later , came together in critically acclaimed , highly likable but a box office dud ” Shakti ” [ 1982 ] .

Dilip Kumar last came in ” Quila ” [ 1998 ] and 2 years later Amitabh Bachchan started his second innings  with hugely successful ” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] . And the juggernaut , which started with ” Zanjeer ” [ 1973 ] still continues unabated in 2013 also .

Thus from  ” Anand ” [ 1971 ] to ” Satyagraha ” [ 2013 ] , it is a 42 – year – long association of me with Amitabh Bachchan also .

Let us have a peek in the other achievements of Amitabh Bachchan . He briefly dabbled in politics and was member of the 8th Lok Sabha . He got Padma Shri in 1984 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. His achievements in the film world are no less spectacular compared to Dilip Kumar . He has got 3 National Awards and unbelievable 39 Filmfare nominations in several categories , though Dilip Kumar holds the record of winning 8 Filmfare trophies .

But I must admit with all honesty that despite his unprecedented and unbelievable accomplishments , acceptance of Amitabh Bachchan was not easy for me . Though I watched his films with much admiration and appreciation , and as stated earlier , I have watched 120 films of Amitabh Bachchan but my hero , my idol was always Dilip Kumar .

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan at IFFA Award 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I think being a fan and admirer of Dilip Kumar does not mean that I don’t accept Amitabh Bachchan’s persona or demean it . They both hovered on my horizon . They both influenced me immensely . I am a fan of both of them but it is also a fact that Dilip Kumar reigns supreme and stands few notches higher .

Coincidently photographs of Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan , which I have posted here , were clicked in 2006 .

English: cropped photograph of L K Advani with...

L K Advani outside his residence. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Same is the case with Shri Lal Krishna Advani . I first heard of him in 1967 when I was in High School . 1967 is the same year when I came to know about Dilip Kumar through his film , a golden jubilee hit ” Ganga Jumna ” . So in an uncanny way my association with Dilip Kumar and Advani ji started in the same year , 1967 .

Advani ji became my political hero during my school , college and university days . I came to know Dilip Kumar when Amitabh Bachchan was yet to make his debut . In the same way when I started admiring Lal Krishna Advani , Shri Narendra Modi was yet to make his debut in politics .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , has spectacular achievements to his credit . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is hugely popular . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is continuing with his unstoppable juggernaut . Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current idol and is liked by the cadre immensely .

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference

Narendra Modi in Press Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But as I have said earlier , in my heart Dilip Kumar still reigns supreme . And being a fan of Dilip Kumar is in no way an insult to Amitabh Bachchan . Admiring Dilip Kumar is in no way derogatory to Amitabh Bachchan . In the same way my political hero is Shri Lal Krishna Advani . And being a Lal Krishna Advani admirer is in no way an insult to Shri Narendra Modi .

It is just a question of whom you grow with . Your hero of growing years is going to be your hero till your last breath .

Shri Narendra Modi , just like Amitabh Bachchan , is the current favourite . But it doesn’t mean that Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani have no relevance or have no achievements to their credit . I like Shri Narendra Modi and Amitabh Bachchan for their achievements , but I idolize Dilip Kumar and Lal Krishna Advani for their glorious innings and immense contribution in their respective fields .

I again assert that being an admirer of Advani ji does not make me an automatic hater of Modi ji . Persons like me who have admired Advani ji all their life , can’t accept a new icon in one night . It is going to be a slow and difficult process . This was the case with Amitabh Bachchan also . But gradually Amitabh Bachchan’s all-pervading shadow inundated me completely . Slowly and eventually same will definitely happen with Modi ji also . But till then Advani ji is my political hero as Dilip Kumar is my screen idol .

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

I told this story to all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  . Today I am expressing it for the followers of my blog and general public , who visit my blog space .

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70 Years of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan


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

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

English: Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wish you a very long life Mr. Bachchan !

VIDUR

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Vidur’s Film Diary – September 2012


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER  01, 2012           00.30 A.M.
Throughout September , Ek Tha Tigerkept on raking money , though the fury was subsided . The film is almost nearing the lifetime collection of3 Idiots ” .
Month of September , apart from ” Ek Tha Tiger ” ,  gave us 2 superhit films .Raaz 2 was first hit of the month . AndBarfi was a critical and commercial success . 3 super hits in a row and in a month is such a good thing for crisis ridden Hindi film industry .
Tweets of Mr. Taran Adarsh and Mr. Komal Nahta , which I re-tweet , shows the current trends of the industry .

Tweets

Now good news! #Joker may be a disaster of epic proportions everywhere, but it’s breaking records in Fiji. Bigger hit than #Don2 there!

#EkThaTiger [Week 3] Tue 87 lacs. Total: 193.09 cr nett.

#Murder2 *1st Week* 36.5 cr… #Jannat2 *1st Week* 35.55 cr…#Raaz3 expected to collect 33 cr – 36 cr in just *opening weekend*. Bravo

#Raaz3 collected Rs 55.25 cr nett in Week 1, which is *higher* than the lifetime business of several Emraan Hashmi hits. Wow!

#EkThaTiger 4th Week: Fri 42 lacs, Sat 77 lacs, Sun 1.12 cr, Mon 35 lacs, Tue 31 lacs, Wed 30 lacs, Thu 28 lacs. Grand total: 198.39 cr.

#EkThaTiger heads towards 200 cr… #Raaz3 is biggest hit of Bhatts… #Barfi opens to fab response… Bollywood shining!

#Barfi earns the respect of the audience and critics. #Barfi wows Boxoffice. #Barfi stakes claim on awards. Salute!

#Barfi Fri *est* 9.20 cr nett. Limited shows at plexes. Excellent!

#Raaz3 [2nd Week] Fri *est* 2.25 cr. Grand total: 57.50 cr nett.

#Barfi Fri 9.20 cr, Sat 11.50 cr. Total: 20.70 cr nett. Sat witnesses 30% to 40% jump in several circuits. Limited shows at plexes. Superb!

#Raaz3 is a Blockbuster, in view of nominal costs on one hand and revenue generated from India theatrical+Sat+Music+Overseas on the other.

#Barfi *revised* Fri 9.20 cr, Sat 11.50 cr, Sun 13.90 cr. Total: 34.60 cr nett.

In exactly a month, Bollywood witnesses 3 major Hits – #EkThaTiger, #Raaz3 and now #Barfi. Bollywood Shining!

#EkThaTiger collected 72 lacs in its 5th Week. Grand total: 199.11 cr nett. All Time Blockbuster.

#Barfi has grossed 100 cr *worldwide* in 10 days.

#Heroine Mon 3.75 cr, Tue 3.25 cr. Total: Rs 32 cr nett.

#Barfi [2nd Week] Mon 3.25 cr, Tue 3.10 cr. Grand total: 82.55 cr nett.

#Heroine Weekend 25 cr, Mon 3.75 cr, Tue 3.25 cr, Wed 2.7 cr, Thu 2.4 cr. Total: 37.1 cr nett.

#Barfi [2nd Week] Weekend 17.1 cr, Mon 3.25 cr, Tue 3.1 cr, Wed 2.6 cr, Thu 2.5 cr. Grand total: 87.15 cr nett.

Barfi! opens to excellent houses in multiplexes.

Opening of Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal horrifyingly poor. Shows in multiplexes of raipur had to be canceld due to absence of audience!!

Bad times for Bollywood. Heroine entails 10 crore loss; KDM proves a big disaster; OMG fails to pick up at many centres after a dull start.

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Obituary :

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Dinesh Thakur : 

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An iconic figure in the world of Hindi stage , Dinesh Thakur , died on September 20, 2012 at the age of 65 .

During his 40 year-long career , he acted in films like ; ” Mere Apne ” [ 1971 ] , ” Anubhav ” [ 1971 ] , ” Rajnigandha ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kalicharan ” [ 1976 ] , ” Karm ” [ 1977 ] , ” Ghar ” [ 1978 ] , ” Meera ” [ 1979 ] , ” Griha Pravesh ” [ 1979 ] , ” The Burning Train ” [ 1980 ] , ” Aaj Ki Awaz ” [ 1984 ] and ”  Fiza ” [ 2000 ] .

He starred in TV serials like ; ” Shanti ” [ 1994 ] and ” Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi ” [ 2000 ] .

But his main work was in the field of Hindi theatre . He established his theatre group ” Ank ” in 1976 and produced & directed plays like ; ” Hai Mera Dil ” , ” Azar Ka Khwab ” , ” Tughlaq ” , ” Baqi Itihas ” , ” Pagla Ghoda ” , ” Suno Janmejaya ” , ” Jaat Hi Poochho Sadhu Ki ” , ” Khamosh ! Adalat Jaari Hai ” , Kamla ” , ” Adhe Adhure ” , ” Rakt-Beej ” , ” Mahabhoj ” and ” Jin Lahore Nai Dekhya ” .

He won Filmfare Best Story Award for ” Ghar “ in 1979 .

Posting a link of the blog , which I have written as his obituary : Dinesh Thakur : The Final Curtain Call wp.me/ptyXI-2kx

 

Rajen Kothari :

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 An ace cameraman of films like ; ” Hip Hip Hurray ” [ 1984 ] , ” Damul ” [ 1985 ] , ” Dacait ” [ 1987 ] , ” Pestonjee ” [ 1988 ] , ” Ghayal ” [ 1990 ] , ” Ghatak ” [ 1996 ]  , ” Zubeidaa ” [ 2001 ] , ” Bose , The Forgotten Hero ” [ 2005 ] , and ” Welcome To Sajjanpur ” [ 2008 ] , Rajen Kothari died of cardiac arrest on September 27 , 2012 .

He was 60 at the time of his death . His son Pratik Kothari is my student .

 

M. S. Shinde :

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M. S. Shinde , an editor , who edited immortal classic ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , died in penury on September 28, 2012 at the age of 83 .

Apart from ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , he edited more than 100 hit films like ; ” Brahmchari ” [ 1968 ] , ” Seeta Aur Geeta ” [ 1972 ] , ” Sagar ” [ 1985 ] and ” Ram Jaane ” [ 1995 ] .

It is very sad that he had to spend his last days in PMGP colony Dharavi and had to face financial troubles .


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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – September 07

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1 – Raaz 2 …………………………………………………… Emraan Hashmi

2 – Chal Pichchur Banate Hain ………………………… X

3 – Riwayat …………………………………………………. X

Second Week – September 14

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1 – Barfi ………………………………………………………. Ranbir Kapoor

…………………………………………………………………. Priyanka Chopra

2 – Qayamat Hi Qayamat ………………………………… X

3 – Jeena Hai Toh Thok Daal ……………………………. Hazel Crowney

4 – The Lost Tape ………………………………………….. X

Third Week – September 21

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1 – Heroine …………………………………………………… Kareena Kapoor

…………………………………………………………………… Arjun Rampal

…………………………………………………………………… Divya Dutta

Fourth Week  – September 28

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1 – OMG  Oh My God ! ………………………………………. Poonam Jhawar

2 – Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal ………………………….. X



In total …………… 10 …………….. films got released in September . Out of these ………….. 10 ………… released films ……….. 05 ………… films have …………… 08 ……………. actors , who are trained by me .


 

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Veebha Anand  is appearing in a TV show ” Kairi “ on  Colors TV.

2 – Atishri Sarkar is appearing in a TV show ” Savdhan India “ on Life OK .

My ……………. 02 ……….. students in ………… 02 ……………. shows on channels .


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Theatre & Me :

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1 – Adhir Bhatt is playing main lead in  ” Some Times ” .

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

VIDUR

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Farewell Hangal Sahab : Itna Sannata Kyon Hai Bhai ?


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 28, 2012           01.00 A.M.

Death of  Shri A. K. Hangal on August 26, 2012 at the age of 97 was almost expected . He was aged , frail and was suffering from multiple diseases . On August 13 , 2012 he fell in the bathroom of his flat and fractured his right femur bone . On August 16 he was admitted in Asha Parekh Hospital , Santacruz and after 10 days finally succumbed to his injury and other age related complications .

I wrote a blog about him when Hangal Sahab was alive . He hit the headlines for his poor health and penury . Industry people rushed to his succour . But his communist comrades , who are now shedding copious tears after his demise , kept distance and maintained stoic silence .

My Other Blog About Hangal Sahab : A. K. Hangal & His Communist Comrades wp.me/ptyXI-Rn via @VidurChaturvedi

Avtaar Veenit Kishan Hangal a.k.a. A. K. Hangal was an iconic father figure of Hindi cinema . He was first noticed in films like ; Shagird ” [ 1966 ] and ” Teesari Kasam ” [ 1966 ] . I first saw him in ” Shagird “ , a Joy Mukherjee and Saira Banu starrer .

Shagird

Cover of Shagird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Born in Sialkot , Pakistan , Hangal Sahab spent his childhood in Peshawar . He moved to Karachi before partition of India and was a tailor by profession . He joined theatre very early in his life . In 1949 he moved to India after spending 3 years in jail in Pakistan . In Mumbai he , along with Balraj Sahni and Kaifi Azmi , joined IPTA [ Indian People’s Theatre Association ] and then in 1966 joined Hindi films at the age of 50 .

As stated earlier he started his film journey with ” Shagird ” [ 1966 ] and ” Teesari Kasam ” [ 1966 ] . Later on he worked in films like ;Saat Hindustani ” [ 1969 ] , ” Guddi ” [ 1971 ] , ” Bawarchi ” [ 1972 ] , ” Abhimaan ” [ 1973 ] , ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , ” Balika Badhu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Aina ” [ 1977 ] , ” Satyam Shivam Sundaram ” [ 1978 ] , ” Basera ‘ [ 1981 ] , ” Kalyug ” [ 1981 ] , ” Kudrat ” [ 1981 ] , ” Naram Garam ” [ 1981 ] , ” Shaukeen ” [ 1982 ] , ” Avtaar ” [ 1983 ] , ” Sharaabi ” [ 1984 ] , ” Arjun ” [ 1985 ] , ” Bewafai ” [ 1985 ] , ” Meri Jung ” [ 1985 ] , ” Ram Teri Ganga Maili ” [ 1985 ] , ” Khoon Bhari Maang ” [ 1988 ] , ” Khalnayak ” [ 1993 ] and  ” Lagaan ” [ 2001 ] .

Rahim Chacha of Sholay

Rahim Chacha of Sholay

In Shaukeen with Ashok Kumar & Utpal Dutt

In Shaukeen with Ashok Kumar & Utpal Dutt

Lagaan - His Last Film

Lagaan – His Last Film

So from 1966 to his last film in 2001 , it was a 35 year-long and very successful film journey . He acted in almost 200 films .

During his last years , on February 08 , 2011 , he graced the ramp on a wheelchair for fashion designer Riyaz Ganji for his summer line .

Show Stopper for Riyaz Ganji

Show Stopper for Riyaz Ganji

His last appearance was a TV serial ” Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon ” [ 2012 ] . He gave his voice for Maharaja Ugrasen in animation film ” Krishna Aur Kans ” [ 2012 ] . So in a way his career span is 46 years .

The government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 2006 .

He lived an eventful life and must have left this world with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment .

Al-vidaah Rahim Chacha ! Your voice will always reverberate in my ears , ” Itna sannata kyon hai bhai ? ”

 

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


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

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

In Glass Casket

In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

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

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

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Image - 4

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Image - 5

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Image – 6

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

Aakhri Khat

Aakhri Khat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1966 : Made debut with ” Aakhri Khat ” .

1967 : Made his mark with ” Raaz ” .

1969 : Attained Super stardom with ” Aaradhana ”

1969 : ” Bandhan ”

1969 : ” Do Raste ”

1969 : ” Doli ”

1969 : ” Khamoshi ”

1969 : ” Ittefaq ”

[ 6 super hits in 1969 ]

1970 : ” Aan Milo Sajna

1970 : ” Safar ”

1970 : ” Kati Patang ”

1970 : ” The Train ”

1970 : ” Sachcha Jhootha ”

[ 5 super hits in 1970 ]

1971 : ” Anand ”

1971 : ” Haathi Mere Saathi

1971 : ” Dushman ”

1971 : ” Mehboob Ki Mehndi

[ 4 super hits in 1971 ]

1972 : ” Amar Prem ”

1972 : ” Apna Desh ”

[ 2 super hits in 1972 ]

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

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

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

Poster of Anand

Poster of Anand

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of Namak Haraam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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100 Years of Ashok Kumar : First Super – Star of Hindi Films


Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 10 , 2011           03.00 P.M.

It is centenary year of Ashok Kumar , the first real Super – Star of Hindi cinema . He made his debut in 1936 , just after 5 years of the release of ‘ Alam Ara ” [ 1931 ] , the first talkie of Hindi cinema .

Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli alias Ashok Kumar

October 13 , 1911       –      December 10 , 2001

Born as Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguli in Bhagalpur city of the then Bengal Presidency [ Now Bihar ] , Ashok Kumar spent his early life in Khandwa , Madhya Pradesh , where his father was a practicing advocate . He was educated at The Presidency College of Calcutta [ Now Kolkata ] . His two younger brothers ; Anoop Kumar and Kishore Kumar were also singer actors .

The Ganguly brothers - Anoop Kumar, Ashok Kuma...

Three Ganguli Brothers with Their Mother

After graduation , he came to Mumbai [ Then Bombay ] and started working as lab assistant in Bombay Talkies , where his brother – in – law Sashadhar Mukherjee was working with the owner Mr. Himanshu Rai . He , accidentally , started his acting career in 1936 with the Bombay Talkies film ; ” Jeevan Naiya ” . As the story goes , the original hero Najam Ul Hassan eloped with Devika Rani , the heroine of the film and wife of Himanshu Rai . indignant Himanshu Rai was furious and dismissed Najam Ul Hassan from Bombay Talkies . One day he saw Ashok Kumar and decided to make him the new hero of ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] . Another film , ” Achhut Kanya ” , which also came in the same year , was super hit and with this success Ashok Kumar was catapulted to super – stardom .

English: Scene from the 1936 film Achhut Kanya

Ashok Kumar & Devika Rani in Achhut Kanya

English: A still from the 1936 Hindi film Achh...

Another Photo of Achhut Kanya - Song Main Ban Ki Chidiya ....

After ” Achhut Kanya ” [ 1936 ] , Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani were paired again in hit films like ” Izzat ” [ 1937 ] , ” Savitri ” [ 1937 ] and ” Nirmala ” [ 1938 ] .

Later on he was paired with Leela Chitnis in super hits like ; ” Kangan ” [ 1939 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1940 ] and ” Jhoola ” [ 1941 ] .

He played Hindi cinema ‘s first anti – hero role in ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , which ran for 3 continuous years in the Roxy cinema of Calcutta . [ Now Kolkata ] . This record was broken by ” Sholay ” [ 1975 ] , which ran in Minerva of Mumbai for 5 years .

Before ” Kismat ” [ 1943 ] , he sang all his songs in films , as was the norm and churned out some outstanding numbers . I have a cassette of the songs sung by him in his earlier films . Years later , he again sang in ” Aashirvad ” [ 1968 ] . His song ” Railgaadi …..chhuk , chhuk , chhuk ……… railgaadi “ was a rage and is considered  the first Rap song of Hindi cinema .

After ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , he left Bombay Talkies and started his career as freelance artiste .

He started playing character roles from late 60s . Even as a character artiste , he churned out many marvellous films with some stellar performances .

” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] was his last film . Thus , from ” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] , he had a career span of 61 years as an actor . This is unparalleled in the motion picture history . It was a record , which got eclipsed recently . Dev Anand , who died on December 04 , 2011 , had career span of 65 years as an actor . In his 61 year-long acting career , Ashok Kumar acted in 301 films .

With the advent of television , he whole – heartedly accepted the new medium and in fact was the first major cine – artiste , who appeared in serials . First he anchored ” Hum Log “ and then did title roles in TV serials like ; ” Bahadur Shah Zafar ” and ” Bheem Bhawani ”  His last TV serial was Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed ” Ujale Ki Ore “ . I also did a very insignificant role in it and can say that I have shared screen space with Evergreen , iconic and gigantic super star , Padma Bhushan Ashok Kumar , who was affectionately called , by one and all , Dadamoni , meaning elder brother .

He , apart from acting in 301 films , produced 4 films . They are ; ” Mahal ” [ 1949 ] , ” The Fiancee ” [ 1953 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] and ” Lal Chunariyaa ” [ 1983 ] .

He even directed ” Eight Days ” [ 1946 ] but due to some reasons refused to take credit . He is not billed as a director in the credits .

He also contributed in music department of 4 films . They are ; ” Aashirwad ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kangan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Khubsoorat ” [ 1980 ] and ” Shaukeen ” [ 1982 ] .

In ” Krorepati ” [ 1961 ] and ” Guddi ” [ 1971 ] , he is billed as guest artiste and played himself . It means , he did not play any character but played super – star Ashok Kumar .

Apart from acting , his other passions were painting and Homoeopathy . He was a practicing homeopath . In 1950s , he also became owner of iconic Bombay Talkies , when Devika Rani sold her share and left the studio . He was a linguist and apart from English , Hindi and his mother tongue Bengali , was fluent in Marathi and French . In his film ” Gumrah ” [  1963 ] , he even used French in dialogues .

Devika Rani

Devika Rani

A career span of 61 years , 301 films in Hindi , Bengali and Marathi , various ads and corporate films and half a dozen TV serials , apart from numerous film songs to his credit , this gigantic , iconic Super – star of Hindi films died on December 10 , 2001 in his Chembur residence . He was 90 years old at the time of his death .
Logo of Bombay Talkies

Logo of Bombay Talkies

First film of Ashok Kumar , which I watched was ” Bahu Beti ” . I was in school and went to watch this Joy Mukherjee and Mala Sinha starrer . Ashok Kumar , who was not the hero of the film , was there prominently on the poster and his name came  first in the billing . I got curious . How come an actor , who is playing father in the film , got the top billing ? My cousins , my maternal uncle and some more knowledgeable friends told me about Ashok Kumar and I started watching his films and started following his career .

Initially I was a fan of Dilip Kumar .  I am still a fan but slowly I started veering towards Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand . When I came to Mumbai to pursue career in films I watched Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand from close quarters . I found them humane , warm and without any trappings of a star . I wanted to be close to my icons and these two stars ; Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand permit you to be there in their world . So I became a huge fan of Ashok Kumar and will remain till my death .

This is centenary year of Ashok Kumar . It is sad and appalling that nothing was done to commemorate the occasion . There was just one article in Times of India . Congress government at centre is more interested to preserve the legacy of Nehru – Gandhi family . They have no time for Ashok Kumar . But alas ! Hindi film industry too forgot its first Super Star . MAMI Film Festival also forgot to give him honour in his centenary year .

His contribution is enormous .He ushered in natural style of acting and freed Hindi cinema from the clutches of theatrical style of dialogue delivery . He experimented a lot and did variety of roles . But life is such …………

I am a small man and I have no reach . Still I wanted to write a blog about Ashok Kumar . Through my blog , which is not widely read , I wish to remember Dadamoni Ashok Kumar and paying my unflinching respect to the first real super star of not only Hindi cinema but of Indian films .

Adieu Dadamoni ! You shall always be remembered by a fan like me and your incredible body of work will always be there to enthrall the connoisseurs of world cinema .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Wilting Traditions – 1 : Holi & Hindi Cinema


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

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

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

Mother India

Image via Wikipedia

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

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

Cover of

Cover of Mashaal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mangal Pandey: The Rising

Image via Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is sad , very sad !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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