Alas ………. Eros Cinema is also gone !!


Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           December 29, 2018           04.45 P.M. 

 

I’m so sad , crestfallen and heartbroken today.

Last month on November 28, 2018, I wrote about closure of Rhythm House and Cafe Samovar . I felt deep sense of loss at that time.

Now comes news of closure of Eros Cinema hall. When I saw the photograph of the gate of this majestic building being locked, my heart melted.

Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate being locked

I had so many warm memories of this particular cinema hall. In 1972, I went there to watch a Hollywood film ” KLUTE ‘ [ 1971 ] starring Jane Fonda , Donald Sutherland and Roy Scheider. Sylvester Stallone was also in the film but as an extra. Jane Fonda won an Academy Award for Best Actress. ” KLUTE ” was huge hit .

When I reached there to watch the movie, ticket windows were closed. I stood on the staircase and was very disappointed. There was a man in sky blue top and denim pants and he gently said, ” do you want to watch the film? ” I simply nodded. He gave me one ticket saying that he bought it for his friend but it seems he won’t be able to make it. So you take this ticket and enjoy the film. When I offered to pay the price, he politely refused. Few days later, I watched the same man in a Satyadev Dubey directed play ” AADHE ADHURE ” at Patkar Hall.

Three years later, while in my native place Deoria, Uttar Pradesh , I went to watch a Hindi movie ” SALAAKHEN ” [ 1975 ]. This Shashi Kapoor and Sulakshana Pandit starrer movie had a villain. I suddenly recognized the man. He was the same person who offered me a ticket of ” KLUTE ” and whom I watched in ” AADHE ADHURE “. Then I got to know his name. His name was Amrish Puri. Those days he was known as the younger brother of Madan Puri. Few years later he became a huge , gigantic star and later on a legend.

Many years later, when I became an acting trainer, I trained his grand-son Vardhan Puri , who is making his debut in a Hindi film called ” PAAGAL “.

Eros Cinema Hall at Churchgate

Later on I watched many Hollywood and Bollywood films at Eros. If I am remembering correctly, Amir Khan and Urmila Matondkar starrer film ” RANGEELA ” [ 1995 ] , was the last film , which I watched there. There after multiplex boom hit Mumbai and many swanky plexes sprung up in suburbs. So Sunday routine of watching film at South Mumbai single screen theatres lost its charm . And I got busy in my acting training activities and watching films at Eros and other single screen theatres was discontinued.

But when I heard the news of its closure and saw the gate being locked, I was devastated.

 

One more iconic place of my struggling days is going to be finished for ever.

There won’t be another Eros. There won’t be same movie watching experience again.

But journey of life moves ahead.

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VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Life Without ” Rhythm House ” & ” Cafe Samovar “


RHYTHM HOUSE at Kala Ghoda

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           November 28, 2018           01.30 P.M. 

 

On November 29, 2015 I read in the newspapers that RHYTHM HOUSE ” , the iconic music shop at Kala Ghoda area of south Mumbai , is going to be closed.

It finally got closed in February 2016.

What is so special that even after 2 years I am forced by emotions to write about this shop. After all it was just a shop.

Today’s generation can’t imagine it’s importance. It was lifeline of Mumbai’s cultural world. Long before Bombay became Mumbai, it was a must visit place for all the connoisseurs and aficionados of music world. In Bombay city of early 70s, 80s and 90s , it was a happening place , where all the connoisseurs of music used to descend every day.

Interior of Iconic RHYTHM HOUSE

 

There are talks to revive this place but in today’s world, when you can download any song for free , who will go and buy LP, EP, records, cassettes and CDs.

I have so many fond memories of this place. Though I didn’t have much money those days but still I used to go there to buy cassettes and CDs of old Hindi films, old songs of Lata Mangeshkar, Bengali songs, Robindro Sangeet and song of  Elvis Presley. Alas! those days are just memory.

Rhythm House is not alone. In the same year when it got closed, another iconic south Mumbai place CAFE SAMOVAR also got close in March 2015. Started by Usha Khanna in 1964, Cafe Samovar in Jehangir Art Gallery has been an icon of Mumbai’s cultural landscape for decades.

One by one all the iconic places of old Bombay are becoming memories. After Bombay became Mumbai, I feel there is no love lost for old icons of the city. I feel sad . Government of the day should try to preserve the heritage of old city.

The new Mumbai doesn’t mean that old Bombay should fade away from the landscape.

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Vidur Acting Institute Logo

silver-jubilee

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VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Kekoo Gandhy : A connoisseur Par Excellence


 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 11 , 2012           11.20 P.M.

Kekoo Gandhy, co-founder of Mumbai’s Gallery Chemould , one of the oldest commercial art galleries of India , passed away in Mumbai on November 10 , 2012 . He was 92 at the time of his death .

He , along with his wife Khorshed , opened his Gallery Chemould in 1963 at the first floor of Jehangir Art Gallery . Last month on October 17 , 2012 , Jehangir Art Gallery completed 60 years of its existence . It is ironical that Kekoo Gandhy died within a month of this historic event .

jahangir art gallery

Jahangir Art Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have written a blog about the 60th year of Jehangir Art Gallery . I am posting the link :

60 Years of Jahangir Art Gallery http://wp.me/ptyXI-2nj

Kekoo Gandhy is considered one of the most significant figures in shaping India’s modern art . He established Chemould Frames, his frame manufacturing business through which he started his association with Mumbai’s first group of post-modern painters like ; Maqbool Fida  Husain , Syed Haider Raza , Tyeb Mehta and Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar , a.k.a. K. K. Hebbar .

When there were practically no venues in Mumbai for showing modern art , Gandhy would use his showroom window as an informal exhibiting space for budding artists and also seek prospective clients for them.

“Despite being such a huge figure on the art circuit, he was never intimidating to young artists . He was known to be friendly and approachable though he belonged to a different generation ,” said painter Atul Dodiya , who has held several shows at Gandhy’s gallery.

In 2007, Gallery Chemould moved out of Jehangir Art Gallery to a larger, state-of-the-art space . It is now headed by his daughter Shirin Gandhy .

I am not a connoisseur of modern art . It is not because of lack of appreciation but because of my penury . I don’t have money to buy paintings or a huge space to display them properly . But whenever I visit South Mumbai , I do visit Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda . I love to be there .

I don’t know Kekoo Gandhy in personal capacity . I knew him through the columns of news papers . I do know that he is considered a father – figure in the field of modern art . His demise is really an irreparable loss .

I express my condolences . On behalf of me and my Acting Institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I pray for the departed soul .

May his soul rest in peace !

[ Since I had no contacts with Kekoo Gandhy , I have quoted relevant facts of his life from news papers like , Times Of India and Indian Express . I am indebted . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Adieu Sharada Dwivedi : A Historian Becomes History


Sharada Dwivedi

Sharada Dwivedi

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 11, 2012           02.45 A.M.

It is sad and depressing that of late , I have to write so many obituaries . Last quarter of 2011 was full of sudden and sad demise of the so many eminent people of all walks of life . Now the first quarter of 2012 is also no less harsh .

Sharada Dwivedi , eminent historian , researcher and chronicler of Mumbai , died on February 06 , 2012 in Mumbai . She was only 69 at the time of her death .

Map of Mumbai

It is unfortunate that I could not meet her personally but I am familiar with her work . Born , brought up and educated in Bombay [ now Mumbai ] , she was in love with the city . She was familiar with every minute details of the old and neo – gothic style buildings of Mumbai . Every little piece of even hidden history was also known to her . She belonged to the city and her Bombay belonged to her .

She researched the history of all the famous monuments and buildings of Mumbai and was always caring for the conservation work and during conservation work , was very strict and particular regarding the minutest details .

English: Skyline of Mumbai from across Back Bay.

Skyline of Mumbai from Back Bay

English: The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

Deutsch: Gateway of India in Mumbai in Maharas...

Gateway of India

English: Gateway of India in Mumbai, India. Fr...

Gateway of India

English: The David Sassoon Library in Mumbai, ...

David Sassoon Library

Česky: Nádraží čhatrapatiho Šivádžího v Bombaj...

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Formerly Victoria Terminus

Victoria Terminus Railway Station, Mumbai, India

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Formerly Victoria Terminus

English: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumba...

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Formerly Victoria Terminus

Fort Market

Royal Asiatic Society

Museum - Formerly Prince of Wales Museum

Watson Hotel

High Court

Rudyard Kipling Bungalow

Elphinston College

Flora Fountain

A Road in South Mumbai

Eros Cinema

Capitol Cinema

Bandra Local Railway Station

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation

She  was always eager to help and advise , when it came to the old buildings . She was part of Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee and was member of Urban design Research Institute . She was responsible for the inclusion of Opera House in the 2012 World Monument Watch . It was due to her efforts that Fort – Churchgate Precinct was included in the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Monument .

Chawls of Mumbai

The above mentioned chawl and this below mentioned famous Ambani building , Antilia are also a part of her beloved Bombay . She was interested in the city of Mumbai and wanted to preserve every aspect of the city . No one knows her reaction or what she actually felt about the chawls of Mumbai and what she thought about some of the present day structures like Antilia . Though her views about the centuries old Elephanta Caves are well – known and well chronicled .

Antila - Ambani House

Elephanta Caves

Apart from taking part in conservation work , she wrote and co – wrote many books on Mumbai and the historically important British era buildings . Her famous books are :

1 – Bombay , The City Within [ 1995 ]

2 – Banganga , Sacred Tank [ 1996 ]

3 – Fort Walks [ 1999 ]

4 – Anchoring A City Line , The History of The Western Suburban Railway And Its headquarters in Bombay [ 2000 ]

5 – The Jehangir Art Gallery [ 2002 ]

6 – The Victoria Memorial School for the Blind [ 2002 ]

6 – Taj Mahal Palace Hotel [ 2011 ]

Her other famous books are :

1 – Lives of the Indian Princes [ 1984 ]

2 – Reach for the Stars [ 1993 ] – the corporate history Blue Star Ltd

3 –  The Broken Flut [ 1994 ] – a Children’s Novel

4 – The Maharaja [ 1999 ]

5 – A Celebration of Style [ 2000 ] Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosa

It is sad that a chronicler and historian of this eminence left us and that too , so soon . A historian par – excellence , herself , became history .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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