100 Years of Lalita Pawar – Hindi Cinema’s Unforgettable Doyenne


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 15, 2016           08.00 P.M.

 

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 - 24 February 1998 ]

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998 ]

On April 18, 2016, Lalita Pawar would have been 100 years old, had she been alive. There were not much coverage in the media. I read just one article in DNA. That’s it.

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Present day media Mughals don’t know her importance. In a career spanning 68 years, she did 700 plus films. She was the only one in Indian film industry, who could play a scheming mother-in-law and a golden-hearted matriarch with equal finesse. She was always portrayed prominently in the posters of her films, though she was not playing the lead. Apart from Lalita Pawar, Ashok Kumar was the only other character artiste, who used to appear prominently in the poster of his films.

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

 

Poster of Anari

With Raj Kapoor & Nutan in Anari

Apart from her, there were only 3 other Hindi film actors, who worked more than 6 decades. They, apart from Lalita Pawar, are Dev Anand, Pran and evergreen Ashok Kumar. Only these 4 Hindi Film Artists worked till the last breath of their lives.

Lalita Pawar with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

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LALITA PAWAR : 68 Working Years – 700 Films

” Raja Harishchandra “ [ 1928 ] to ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ]

DEV ANAND : 65 Working Years – 113 Films

Hum Ek Hain “ [ 1946 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ]

PRAN : 63 Working Years – 350 Films

” Yamla Jat “ [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh “ [ 2003 ]

ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Working Years – 301 films .

” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ]

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Among all the 4 history making stars, Lalita Pawar was the senior most. Pran was junior to her by 12 years. And the indomitable Dev Anand was her junior by 18 years. Even grand old man of Hindi cinema, the evergreen Ashok Kumar, was her junior by 8 years. Coincidently their last films came in the same year, 1997. Lalita Pawar’s ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ] & Ashok Kumar’s ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] were their last film. Two immortal legends ended their glorious film journey in the same year.

My first association with her started somewhere in mid 60s. I don’t remember the film correctly, but either it was ” Sampoorna Ramayan ” or ” Jis Desh Me Ganga Bahti Hai “. Later on I saw several films of her and became an ardent admirer.

I am giving list of some of her unforgettable films, which I have seen and fail to forget even today.

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Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , Dahej  [ 1950 ] , Daag  [ 1952 ] , Parchhain  [ 1952 ] , Shri 420 [ 1955 ] , Mr & Mrs 55  [ 1955 ] , Nau Do Gyarah  [ 1957 ] , Anari  [ 1959 ] , Sujata  [ 1959 ] , Hum Dono  [ 1961 ] , Sampoorna Ramayana  [ 1961 ] , Professor  [ 1962 ] , Sehra  [ 1963 ] , Grahasti  [ 1963 ] , Ghar Basake Dekho  [ 1963 ] , Khandan  [ 1966 ] , Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti  [ 1967 ] , Aabroo  [ 1968 ] , Anand  [ 1970 ] , Pushpanjali  [ 1970 ] , Gopi  [ 1970 ] ,  Doosri Sita  [ 1974 ] , Tapasya  [ 1976 ] , Aaina  [ 1977 ] , Yaarana  [ 1080 ] , Kali Ghata  [ 1980 ] , Phir Wohi Raat  [ 1980 ] , Sau Din Saas Ke  [ 1980 ] , Naseeb  [ 1981 ] , Bhai  [ 1997 ] .

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It is pertinent to note that apart from Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , where she played heroine, she played character roles in all above mentioned films. But no film connoisseur can ever forget her. Who can forget GANGAMAI of  Shri 420 [ 1955 ] or Mrs. D’Sa of  Anari  [ 1959 ] , both with Raj Kapoor?

Amba Laxman Rao Shagun from Yeola, Nashik made her debut in 1929 with ” Raja Harishchandra “. At the age of 16, she co-produced and acted in a silent film ” Kailash ” [ 1932 ]. She played a triple role in that film. A triple role in a silent film !! It was 44 years before DILIP KUMAR’s ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] & 51 years before AMITABH BACHCHAN’s ” Mahaan ” [ 1983 ]. Both these legends played triple role much later in their respective careers and when they were very mature. DILIP KUMAR made debut in 1944 and played triple role in 1976. That is 32 years after his debut. AMITABH BACHCHAN made debut in 1969 and played triple role in 1983. That is 19 years after his debut. But LALITA PAWAR played triple role in the beginning of her career. 3 years after her debut and that too in a silent film.

Poster of Silent Film "The Lord of the Jungle"

Poster of Silent Film “The Lord of the Jungle”

Poster of "Himmat-e-Marda" [ 1935 ]

Poster of “Himmat-e-Marda” [ 1935 ]

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

1942 was an epoch-making year in Lalita Pawar’s career. As a part of the scene in a film ” Jung-E-Azadi ” , Bhagwan Dada of ” Albela ” fame was to slap her. Being a new-comer, he accidentally slapped her hard. It resulted in facial paralysis and a vein of her left eye got burst. This incident left her with a defective left eye. But the treatment took 3 years. She lost many lead roles and after her treatment was over, she switched to character roles. The defective left eye, which ended her acting career in lead roles, helped her play cruel, wicked and cussed characters with aplomb.

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Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

Lalita Pawar has left us. She no longer exist. But she is still present in the form of her films where she played several unforgettable characters. I offer my tribute and regards to the unforgettable doyenne of Hindi cinema.

 

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[ List of Lalita Pawar’s released films,  dates and other information is taken from Wikipedia. I , on behalf of VIDUR Acting Institute ,  express gratitude. ]

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Remembering Manna Dey : Tu Pyaar Kaa Saagar Hai


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 06 , 2013           08.25 P.M.

Manna Dey

Manna Dey (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)

Prabodh Chandra Dey a.k.a. Manna Dey

1 May 1919  −  24 October 2013

The news of Manna Dey’s death was almost a certainty and was expected . Advancing age and failing health had prepared us for such an eventuality . Still when I read about his demise , a pall of gloom engulfed me . He died on October 24 , 2013 in Bengaluru at the age of 94 .

Manna Dey , along with Mohammad Rafi , Mukesh , Kishore Kumar , Talat Mehmood and Hemant Kumar , was the most important play back singer of the golden era of Hindi films and a force to reckon with in singing world . With his demise , the last remnant of the golden era of Hindi film music and a gigantic figure among the male play back singers of Hindi film world is gone forever .

Before proceeding further , I must admit my blasphemy that initially I used to dislike his singing . Today as I can understand the nuances of music , I am ashamed of my blasphemy and I am extremely sorry that during my adolescent years , I was unable to appreciate his mastery of the art and craft . The first song of Manna Dey , which I liked and appreciated was the iconic ” Qasme Waade Pyaar Wafa , Sab Baaten Hain Baaton Kaa Kyaa ………………………………………. ” , the song from Manoj Kumar’s ” Upkar ” [ 1967 ] . I was speechless and stunned while listening the song and watching Pran Saheb on screen . It is uncanny that Pran Saheb and his screen voice in many films , Manna Da , both died in 2013 . Pran Saheb left us on July 12 , 2013 and just 3 months 12 days later , his voice on-screen , Manna Da also left us on October 24 , 2013 .

Later on when I started watching old Hindi films in Allahabad in Sunday morning shows , I watched ” Shri 420 ” [ 1955 ] , I was hooked to his voice . ” Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua , Phir Pyaar Se Ab Kyon Darta Hai Dil …………………………… ” , ” Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwaalaa …………………………… ” , ” Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh ………………………. ” and the evergreen ” Ramaiya Vastavaiya ……………… “ are difficult to forget .

After watching ” Chori Chori ” [ 1956 ] , I was mesmerized by his voice . His duets with Lata Mangeshkar are immortal and they are pure gems . ” Aajaa Sanam , Madhur Chandni Men Ham ……………………………….. ” and ” Ye Raat Bheegi Bheegi , Ye Mast Fizayen …………………………………… “ refuse to fade away from my memory even after 57 years .

Who can forget his other immortal melodies like ; ” Ae Mere Pyare Watan …………… ” , ” Ik Chatur Naar Karke Singar ………………………………. ” , ” Poochho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitayee ………………………………………. ” , ” Aao Twist Karen ………………………………………………. ” , ” Yaari Hai Eemaan Meraa …………………………………….. ” and ” Ye Dosti Ham Nahin Chhodenge ……………………………………. ” ?

Known by his stage name Manna Dey , he debuted in the film ” Tamanna ” [ 1942 ] , and continued to sing till ” Umar ” [ 2006 ] . He went on to record more than 4000 songs during 1942 – 2013 . He , though sang for other heroes occasionally , was the voice of Raj Kapoor , Uttam Kumar , Mehmood and Pran .

Since 1992, Manna Dey withdrew himself from Hindi film music. But he continued to sing in Bengali movies, bhajans and ghazals in different languages and appeared in live performances during 1992 to 2012 . His last live performance was in 2012 in Mumbai. His last recorded song in Hindi films was for the film Umar in 2006 composed by Shamir Tandon, Duniyawaalo Kee Nahee Kuchh Bhee Khabar, which he sang along with Kavita Krishnamoorthy and Sonu Nigam.

He sang duets with singers like Mukesh, Sandhya Mukherjee, Mahendra Kapoor, Talat Mahmood, Amit Kumar, Shailendra Singh, Krishna Kalle, Shardha Rajan Iyengar, Arati Mukherjee, Chandrani Mukherjee, Anuradha Pudwal, Hemlata, Minu Purushottom, Bhupinder Singh, K.J. Yesudas, Suresh Wadkar, Kavita Krishnamoorty, Alka Yagnik, Antara Chowdhury, Preeti Sagar, Dilraj Kaur, Yunus Fazmi, Jaspal Singh, Anwar, Manhar Udhas, Joginder and Mubarak Begum.

He worked with more than 102 music directors in Hindi film industry from working with Krishna Chandra Dey in ” Tamanna ” [ 1942 ] to music composer Shamir Tandon in ” Umar ” [ 2006 ] . Thus it was an unprecedented 64 years – long – singing – career .

The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan in 2005 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007 . He was presented the Filmfare Life Time Achievement Award in 2011.

Manna Da sang mainly in Hindi and Bengali; he also recorded songs in several other Indian languages .

Music career in other languages

  • He sang around 1262 songs in Bengali : 611 songs in Bengali films and 356 Bengali non-film songs . He also sang 46 Rabindra Sangeet Songs in Bengali , 3 Dwigendra Geet , 84 Shyama Sangeet , 23 songs in Akashvani , 3 title songs for Bengali TV serials , 103 Bengali songs from non-released Bengali films and 33 Bengali songs of other varieties .
  • He sang 35 film songs in Bhojpuri , 2 songs in Magadh and one song in Maithili language .
  • He sang 13 Punjabi film songs and 5 non-film songs .
  • He sang 2 songs in Assamese films and 4 non-film songs in Assamese language .
  • He sang 7 songs in Oriya language and 1 song each in Konkani film and Sindhi film .
  • He sang 85 songs in Gujrathi films.
  • He sang 55 Marathi songs in Marathi films and 15 non-film songs in Marathi .He was good at Marathi natya sangeet too, which is one of the most difficult genres to sing
  • He sang 5 film songs in Kannada .
  • He sang in the Nepali movie ” Maitighar “
  • He sang 2 in Malayalam – “Maanasamaine Varoo” from 1965 film Chemmeen and song “Chemba Chemba” from 1974 film Nellu sung with P Jayachandran both composed by Salil Chowdhary and lyrics by Vayalar.

Insignia of Brand VIDUR

On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , I offer my condolences to his family . My heart goes to his daughters and other near and dear ones .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer tribute . It is clichéd to say but there will never be another Manna Dey . He bestrode the Hindi film music world like a colossus but unfortunately never got his due .

May his soul rest in peace !

[ Some of the information and the long list of his songs are being quoted from Wikipedia . I express my debt and gratitude . ]

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