Chacha Choudhary Is No More !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 13, 2014           11.55 P.M.

 

If I mention that Pran Kumar Sharma died on August 05, 2014, only few will take notice. But if I mention that creator of CHACHA CHOUDHARY died in Gurgaon on August 05, 2014 at the age of 75, thousands will mourn.When I read about the sad demise of creator of CHACHA CHOUDHARY, I felt a personal loss. He was suffering from Colon cancer.

Pran began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi based newspaper Milap with comic strip Daabu. Apart from Daabu, Indian comics scenario was largely based on reprints of The Phantom and Superman. In 1969, Pran sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine Lotpot, which made him famous. Pran has also created other cartoon characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, Channi Chachi and others, which are regularly published in Indian magazines. Pran reached lakhs of Kannadigas through his Putti, Raman that were published in Kannada daily Prajavani and Shrimathi which publishes in Kannada magazine Sudha.

He was included in People of the Year 1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularizing comics in India. In 1983, the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi released Pran’s comics “Raman – Ham Ek Hain” which promoted national integration. Pran received a Lifetime Achievement Award 2001, from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. Pran has also given lessons in cartooning at the Pran’s Media Institute, run by his son Nikhil.

Maurice Horn notes that Pran has been given the title of “Walt Disney of India” in The World Encyclopedia of Comics. The Chacha Chaudhary strips find permanent place in International Museum of Cartoon Art, USA.

Pran Kumar Sharma with His Creation CHACHA CHOUDHARY

Pran Kumar Sharma with His Creation CHACHA CHOUDHARY

 

Since my childhood days in Deoria, I was a huge fan of Mandrake The Magician and Phantom. Both the comic strips used to be published daily in a popular Hindi daily of those days ” AAJ “. Mandrake became Mandareek and Phantom became Van Bhairav in Hindi. My day never began unless I read these two syndicated comic strips in ” AAJ “.

 

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Mandrake the Magician is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk . Its publication began June 11, 1934. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip’s illustrator, while Falk continued to script. The strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate.

Davis worked on the strip until his death in 1964, when Falk recruited current artist Fred Fredericks. With Falk’s death in 1999, Fredericks became both writer and artist. The Sunday Mandrake strip ended December 29, 2002. The daily strip ended mid-story on July 6, 2013 when Fred Fredericks retired,

 

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After hugely popular Mandrake the MagicianLee Falk , created another adventure comic strip , The Phantom . A popular feature adapted into many media, including television, film and video games, it stars a costumed crime fighter operating from the fictional African country Bangalla.

 

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The Phantom is the 21st in a line of crime fighters that originated in 1536, when the father of British sailor Christopher Walker was killed during a pirate attack. Swearing an oath on the skull of his father’s murderer to fight evil, Christopher started the legacy of the Phantom that would be passed from father to son, leaving people to give the mysterious figure nicknames such as The Ghost Who Walks”, “The Man Who Cannot Die” and “Guardian of the Eastern Dark”, believing him to be immortal.

 

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Unlike many fictional costumed heroes, the Phantom does not have any superpowers, and relies on his strength, intelligence, and fearsome reputation of being an immortal ghost to defeat his foes. The 21st Phantom is married to Diana Palmer, whom he met while studying in the United States; they have two children, Kit and Heloise. Like all previous Phantoms, he lives in the ancient Skull Cave, and has a trained wolf, Devil, and a horse named Hero.

The series began with a daily newspaper strip on February 17, 1936, followed by a color Sunday strip on May 28, 1939; both are still running as of 2014. At the peak of its popularity, the strip was read by over 100 million people each day.

Lee Falk continued work on The Phantom until his death in 1999. Today the comic strip is produced by writer Tony DePaul and artists Paul Ryan (Monday-Saturday) and Terry Beatty (Sunday).

New Phantom stories are published in comic books in different parts of the world, among them by Dynamite Entertainment in the United States, Egmont in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and Frew Publications in Australia.

The Phantom was the first fictional hero to wear the skin-tight costume that has now become a hallmark of comic book superheroes, and was also the first shown wearing a mask with no visible pupils, another superhero standard.

 

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Being a fan of above mentioned two comic strip heroes; Mandrake The Magician and Phantom, I was skeptical , rather dismissive when I read about cartoonist Pran and his Desi Comic strip hero CHACHA CHOUDHARY. What can a mustachioed elderly man do in front of such powerful heroes like Mandrake and Phantom? But I was wrong.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY As We All Know

CHACHA CHOUDHARY As We All Know

When I read adventures of CHACHA CHOUDHARY in Diamond Comics , I became a life-long fan.The bond with CHACHA CHOUDHARY, BINNI CHACHI and SABU is unbreakable. I still remember and will always remember the famous tagline “…….. Chacha Choudhary ka dimag, computer se bhi tez chalta hai ………”.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY and SABU

CHACHA CHOUDHARY and SABU

 

According to a Diamond Comics press release, the Indian kids in the age group 10–13 years ranked Chacha Chaudhary as their most recognizable comic book character.

He has also been featured as a guest in other Diamond Comics series, with Billoo, Pinki and Lucky.

With the sad demise of cartoonist Pran, CHACHA CHOUDHARY wont be same again. May be he will also die soon.One more part of my adolescent , growing years is lost forever.

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences.

CHACHA CHOUDHARY is a part of my growing years. His memory is firmly etched in my psyche.

[ Information about Mandrake The Magician, Phantom and their creator Lee Falk is taken from Wikipedia. I express my gratitude. ]

 

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Ode – 5 : To Satyamev Jayate [ A ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 30 , 2012           01.15 A.M.  

In this age of television almost all the stars of Indian silver – screen have already made their television debut . Aamir Khan was the only exception . On May 06 , 2012 he also made his TV debut with his Talk ShowSatyamev Jayate and created history .

English: The present banner of Aamir Khan Prod...

The present banner of Aamir Khan Productions

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

Aamir Khan with The Logo of Satyamev Jayate

His television show ” Satyamev Jayate “ was aired simultaneously on Star Plus and other channels within Star Network along with  D.D. National . In the history of Indian Television , it is the first show to achieve this feat . Apart from Hindi , it is dubbed in Tamil , Telugu , Malayalam , Marathi and Bengali .

Till date 4 episodes have been out and they dealt with various burning social issues :

1st Episode – May 06, 2012 –  ” Daughters Are Precious ” [Female Foeticide

2nd Episode – May 13, 2012 –  ” Break The Silence ”  [Child Sexual Abuse]

3rd Episode – May 20, 2012 – ” Marriage or Marketplace ” [Dowry] 

4th Episode – May 27 , 2012 – ” Every Life Is Precious ” [Medical Malpractices]  

6 May , 2012  - 1st Episode

6 May , 2012 – 1st Episode

13 May - 2nd Episode

13 May – 2nd Episode

As expected the show garnered 4.27 TRP . First episode was viewed by 9 crore people .Riding on the wave of public sympathy and word of mouth publicity , ” Satyamev Jayate “ , topped the popularity chart . It created positive buzz and generated public outcry on the issues it dealt with .

As expected , rivals and critics and jealous friends and die – hard nay – sayers panned the show . They started finding faults with everything related to the show .

A minister in Rajasthan government lashed at Aamir Khan and said that instead of hosting the show , he should come to Rajasthan and work for the people . May I ask what is his job ? Why is he elected ? Aamir Khan brought an issue in his notice . Instead of acting with alacrity and acting against the culprits , he is finding faults with the show .

There was some comments in the press that Aamir Khan is charging fee for hosting the show . May I ask why should he not charge his professional fee ? Instead of hosting some inane show like his contemporaries , he is hosting a show which is bringing some burning social issues for public debate .

A journalist tweeted that Aamir Khan should think about his first wife and only then talk about these issues . May I ask why is he so concerned about Aamir Khan’s first wife ? Two adults mutually decide to terminate their marriage without acrimony and bickering and moreover his first wife is not accusing Aamir Khan for cruelty or anything , then why is this journalist raking up a private issue ?

A journalist of Hindustan Times wrote that instead of making people cry , Aamir Khan should try to create laughter . 4th episode was not weepy at all . It was entertaining and at the same time informative  . Her criticism about the near perfect reaction and well – timed teary eyes also fail to impress . When you are narrating a personal tragedy , you don’t need acting skills . Tears come naturally and reaction is instantaneous . Her criticism is cussed and lacks sensitivity .

According to me above mentioned criticisms are result of some jealous minds and envious rivals . ” Satyamev Jayate “ exposed their mediocrity and they are now naked in the open . So their factotum and some paid – journos are fanning the falsehood .

There was a news item that the show failed to generate viewership and that the TRP is only 3.01 . But soon final verdict was out and now it is a known fact that the actual TRP is 4.27 . According to Television Audience measurement the show reached out to 4.96 million people . 1 lakh people tried calling Aamir Khan during the show .

Several topics related to the show were trending on twitter and were among top 5 . Even before the first episode ended , it got 2,254 tweets on micro – blogging site ,  twitter . Due to huge and unprecedented traffic the official website ; http://www.satyamevjayate.in crashed as soon as the first episode ended . On Google Trends also the show was top search in India . The show’s official page on Facebook has received more than 9,71,000 likes .

Hindustan Times conducted an online poll where 88% viewers have voted that they liked the show . 7% remained undecided and only 5% felt that the show failed to impress .

6th May 2012 - !st Episode of Satyamev Jayate

6th May 2012 – !st Episode of Satyamev Jayate

Need I say anything more ? But there were some honest and saner voices also .

Some eminent personalities like ; Siddharth Basu and Newspapers like ; Hindustan Times and Wall Street Journal have compared the show with Oprah Winfrey Show . To compare ” Satyamev Jayate “ with Oprah Winfrey Show is a great honour . I totally agree with the view .

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The...

Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986

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9 Newcomers of ” Aber ” , My Bhojpuri Film


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA              APRIL 25, 2011               07.15 P. M.

While preparing for the pre – production of ” ABER ” , my Bhojpuri film , I laid down few rules for myself.

1 – I decided that my actors should be genuine struggling actors and not some wannabes, who are well settled in their respective lives and have this everlasting wishful thinking of becoming actors.

2 – I decided that I would give work to the maximum number of my students. And why not ? If I am imparting training and churning out vast number of talented artistes, why should I rummage through the trash bins of some other trainers and sign their discarded and defective museum pieces for my films?

3 – I also decided that I would give chance to maximum numbers of newcomers. Generally people do not understand the process of film – making. They feel that only talent counts. Outsider’s opinion of film industry is based on sweet dreams and some fallacies. Film – making depends on the will and power of financiers and distributors. You wont get money for a non – star cast film. And finally even if you get the money and any how complete the film , you wont be able to sell it to the distributors. So casting newcomers was the most difficult decision, which I took. Though I was adamant and today I am satisfied that there are 9 new comers in ” Aber ” , my Bhojpuri film. I did talk to Rani Chatterjee , Viraj Bhatt , Swati Varma and Aksshey Varma for my film, because they are big stars and I can sell my film on their name. But here also I fulfilled my first commitment. Swati and Aksshey are my students. So out of 4 stablished stars , 2 are my students. And out of  9  new comers , 7 are my students and remaining 2 are new comers but not my students.

1 – Ashutosh Singh : He is the music director of my film and has done just one film. But that film is not released yet. Apart from that film he has not done anything. And since the film he has done is yet to get released , he is as new and fresh as any new comer. Needless to say that he has done fantastic job.

Ashutosh Singh

Ashutosh Singh

2 – PRIYA SHARMA : She is the romantic lead of my film and she has not done any film as main lead. She has worked as second lead in a film but it is yet to get released.

3 – PRIYAMVADA PANDEY : She has done a serial for Mahua channel but not a film. After Rani Chatterjee and Swati Varma, who are big stars in Bhojpuri film industry, she is playing the most important character in the film and it was a big and risky decision as per the norm of film industry. But I am firm on my decision and have confidence that she will always be known and shall always be remembered for this role.

She is our student and was in Batch No. 27 of KEATING CHARAKTERS.

Priyamvada Pandey

 4 – PRIYA JOSHI : She is a Marathi girl and has not done any thing either in Hindi or in Marathi. Her role is smaller compared to all the above mentioned female characters but this role is catalyst and it is the pivotal role of the movie. When I informed her about my decision, she went into disbelief. At that time her batch was yet to be completed and even her batch-mates thought that I am not serious. But I had seen the sparks and was adamant  that only she could essay the role.

She is our student and was in the Batch No. 46 of KREATING CHARAKTERS.

Priya Joshi

5 – Sandip Yadav : Again a rank new comer , he has done nothing ; neither stage , nor TV or film. He is from Uttar Pradesh and basically a Bhojpuri speaking person.

He is our student and was in the Batch No. 41 of KREATING CHARAKTERS.

Sandip Yadav

Sandip Yadav

6 – Rajnish Gore : Like Sandip , he is also a rank new comer. Totally without experience, he has done nothing. He is Bhojpuri speaking boy .

He is our student and was in the Batch No. 38 of KREATING CHARAKTERS .

Rajnish Gore

Rajnish Gore

7 – Riddhi Bansal : He is very old student of mine and is basically a dubbing artiste. He is from Rajasthan and is playing a police officer in the film. He has done just one film , which has not been released yet.

Riddhi Bansal

Riddhi Bansal

8 – RATAN LAL : He is from Ranchi , Jharkhand and he is a black belt holder. He has done few episode of a serial ” Left Right Left “. Apart from that he has done one Bhojpuri film, which is yet to be released. In my film he is playing the role of a Marine commando.

He is working at KREATING CHARAKTERS as action trainer.

Ratan Lal

9 – Raunak Chaturvedi : He is my son and student too. He has done acting workshop with Nadira Zaheer Babbar. After completing that workshop, he started learning dance from Krishna Sir and is still doing that. Earlier he was with Shiamak Davar’s academy also.

Before admitting him in KREATING CHARAKTERS,  I advised him to work as assistant director so that he should know all the aspects of film making. He has assisted 4 directors. He started with clap boy and graduated to become the 1st assistant director. His last job as assistant was for ” Daddy Cool ” , a Inder Kumar film.

He is our student and was in the Batch No. 46 of KREATING CHARAKTERS.

Raunak Chaturvedi

Raunak Chaturvedi


Poster of " Aber " - A Bhojpuri Film With Difference

Poster of " Aber " - A Bhojpuri Film With Difference

1st Publicity Design of " Aber "

1st Publicity Design of " Aber "

2nd Publicity Design of " Aber "

2nd Publicity Design of " Aber "

3rd Publicity Design of " Aber "

3rd Publicity Design of " Aber "

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