An Open Letter To FTII Alumna / Alumnus


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 18, 2015           00.30 A.M.

Dear Alumna / Alumnus of FTII, Pune !

I have already written 2 blogs about the FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] , Pune. 1st blog was written on March 28, 2010. It was about the declining and deteriorating standards of FTII. The 2nd one was written on October 28, 2012. It was about hubris and high-handed behaviour of students of FTII. Today I am forced to write 3rd blog about FTII.

I am reading in newspapers that alumnus of this so-called premier institute are agitated against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, the newly appointed FTII Chief. Nearly 150 students boycotted classes today and continued their protest for the 5th day.

According to Harishankar Nachimuthu, the President of Student’s Union of FTII, Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment is a conspiracy to saffronise this prestigious ( ? ) institute. He states that he is not going to accept Shri Gajendra Chauhan as Chief of FTII. May I demand to know, who is seeking his acceptance or concurrence?

I came to know that several past students [ who are jobless since time immemorial ] are holding meeting in Mumbai and threatening central government that they will fight against Shri Gajendra Chauhan, “a Narendra Modi stooge” till the end. According to them he lacks stature and administrative experience. May I demand to know, who the hell are they to decide, whether Shri Chauhan has the required stature or not?

In the past Mr. Shyam Benegal, Mr. Mrinal Sen, Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mr. Mahesh Bhatt, Mr. Girish Karnad, Mr. Vinod Khanna, Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy and Mr. Saeed Mirza have served as Chairman of the Governing Council of FTII.  They were appointed by the government of the day. Shri Gajendra Chauhan is also appointed by present central government.

I fail to understand, how can students demand to have a say in the appointment of Chief of FTII. Moreover, what stake do past students have in the affairs of their Alma Mater? Why are they agitated? Why are they threatening to “fight till the end”?

Students and alumnus of this so-called prestigious institute should realize that their job is to get trained and not to decide about the governing council chief or other administrative matters of the institute. They must realize that the golden days of Shri Roshan Taneja are over. Their activism fails to produce a single actor of the calibre of ASHOK KUMAR, MOTI LAL, DILIP KUMAR, BALRAJ SAHNI, SANJEEV KUMAR, AMITABH BACHCHAN, SHAHRUKH KHAN, AMIR KHAN, HRITIK ROSHAN or RANBIR KAPOOR. None of the above mentioned actors are the alumnus of FTII. I also fail to find among your alumna, any actress of the stature of NARGIS, MEENA KUMARI, MADHUBALA, GEETA BALI, VYJAYANTIMALA, WAHEEDA REHMAN, REKHA or KAJOL. And you people are talking about the calibre of Gajendra Chauhan.

I appeal to the alumnus of FTII to first become a world-class actor and then try to be an activist. The most important FTII alumnus and your biggest inspiration NASEERUDDIN SHAH is busy doing “world-class” ( ? ) films like “Sona Spa” and ” Jackpot” and you people are pontificating on the calibre of Shri Gajendra Chauhan and threatening Shri Narendra Modi.

And now a word for failed ex students of FTII. You have no business to meddle in the affairs of your alma mater if you are still struggling to make a mark. No one needs your activism. You roam around in the alleys of Mumbai with stinking body, wilting faces, faded attires and dead and gloomy eyes. I pity your rancid existence and failed journey of life. The government of the day doesn’t need or seek your approval. Leave your hubris. You are not doing any favour to us or humanity if you are an ex students of FTII.

Let me make it clear that your agitation is politically motivated. All the right thinking people know it. If it is not so, why people like Anand Patwardhan and other known left-liberals are joining your band wagon? Why students of JNU [ Jawahar Lal Nehru University ] , a breeding ground of leftist and pseudo seculars, are joining your protest? What stake have they in the FTII?

Instead of protesting against Gajendra Chauhan, try to check the deterioration in the quality of the institute. May I demand to know why “for a 3 year programme, there have been students floating around the campus since 2008? May be they will graduate only when their creative juices start flowing.[ verbatim quote from Hindustan Times – Dated June 17, 2015 – Page 11 / also read the editorial ” The World’s not a stage at the FTII – Page 12]

You resist every change and want to run the institute as per your whims and fancies. When UPA appointed committee suggested running the institute on public-private partnership, you people protested. When UPA tried to make the syllabus more contemporary, you started indefinite strike. UPA government headed by Congress was not saffronising the institute. So it is clear that protests and strikes are in your DNA.

Dear alumnus, if you feel or suspect that the appointment of Shri Gajendra Chauhan is a conspiracy to saffronise FTII, I suggest that you should learn to live with it as soon as possible. It will be better for your future, your health and your well-being.

We have seen enough of your hubris. We have tolerated enough of your pseudo intellectual hypocrisy. It is time to say, ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH “.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I denounce you for your hypocrisy, needless hubris and uncalled for activism.

 

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Remembering Mani Rabadi – Queen of Polka Dots


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 18 , 2013           11.50 P.M.

        Mani Rabadi

        ======================  

A well-known costume designer of 60s and 70s , Mani Rabadi died this month on August 06 , 2013 . She was older sister of yesteryear actress Nargis Rabadi a.k.a. Shammi or Shammi aunty .
   

Much before the advent of Manish Malhotra and Neeta Lulla , long before Anna Singh and Anaita Shroff Adajania and eons ago Niharika Khan , there was Mani Rabadi , who along with Bhanu Athaiya , became couturier to the stars in the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema.

Making her debut in 1967 with the Dev Anand starrer Jewel Thief , she worked all the way in to the 90s ending her career with the mega hit ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ” .

” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] , ” An Evening In Paris ” [ 1967 ] , ” Farz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapnon Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aankhen ” [ 1968 ] , ” Duniya ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mahal ” [ 1969 ] , ” Ek Phool Do Mali ” [ 1969 ] , ” Aradhana ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prince [ 1969 ] , ” The Train ” [ 1970 ] , ” Kati Patang ” [ 1970 ] , ” Gambler ” [ 1971 ] , ” Victoria No. 203 ” [ 1972 ] , ” Kachche Dhaage ” [ 1973 ] , ” Jheel Ke Us Paar ” [ 1973 ] , ” Bobby ” [ 1973 ] , ” Trimurti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Aap Ki Kasam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Amir Garib ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kasauti ” [ 1974 ] , ” Sanyasi ” [ 1975 ] , ” Rafoo Chakkar ” [ 1975 ] , ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] , ” Hera Pheri ” [ 1976 ] , ” Don ” [ 1978 ] ,  ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” [ 1979 ] , ” Aasha ” [ 1980 ] , ” Kaalia ” [ 1981 ] , ” Mard ” [ 1985 ] , ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] , ” Maine Pyar Kiya ” [ 1989 ] , ” Hum Aapke Hain Koun ! ” [ 1994 ]  are her famous and most successful films .

She also won National Film Award , along with Ramilla Patel , for Best Costume for ” Pestonjee ” [ 1987 ] .


English: Scanned photograph of my grandmother,...

Costume Designer Bhanu Athaiya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from Bhanu Athaiya , she was another one , who was a professional dress designer in the early years of our film industry . She worked for 27 long years in this unpredictable and risk-driven industry . She successfully withered changing times , fluid tastes and all the changing patterns from ” Jewel Thief ” [ 1967 ] till ” Hum Aapke Hain Kaun ” [ 1994 ] .

Jewel Thief

Jewel Thief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Evening in Paris

An Evening in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amar Akbar Anthony

Amar Akbar Anthony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maine Pyar Kiya

Maine Pyar Kiya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun...!

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Born as Mani Rabadi in a family of Parsi priests , she was only a kid when her father died . Her mother made a living by cooking at religious functions. Later on , along with her younger sister Shammi , Mani Rabadi worked in toy factories after school to source their tuition fees. After school time, they worked at offices, ran a magazine and did odd jobs. Mani also worked with the Indian People’s Theatre Association and did some Gujarati films.

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Here is a gallery of her designs from the movies we all love :

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An Evening in Paris (1967)

Sharmila actually plays a dual role in the film. The villainous side incidentally always shows her tummy–just to help the audience keep things straight.

Uhh, what precisely are you looking at Pran?

Cutsy hair clip that’s bigger than my nose? Don’t mind if I do.

Jewel Thief (1967)

I’ve talked a lot about my feelings for Helen in a chicken suit from this film, but this picture definitely deserves one more mention.

Yup, those are cotton balls puffing out of that red sari like polka dots. Just saying, it takes a bold and confident woman to try and pull that off.

Dev Anand poses as a French jewelry importer. Can’t you tell by the beret?

Aradhana (1969)

Who can forget Rajesh Khanna’s tall Nepali hat as he bellows “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani” on a hillside?

Rajesh Khanna in a blue suit with a hot red turtleneck during “Kora Kaagaz Tha” is the epitome of suave.

Unarguably the most famous scene from Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore makes a sari out of a flimsy blanket…and the rest is history.

Bobby (1973)

Youth and freedom must mean a tight leather jacket!

Umm, ok Dimple Kapadia, where did the rest of your shirt go though?

Cute but completely arbitrary villager costume for “Jhoot Bole Kauva Kate.”

Farz (1967)

Nice ascot, Jeetendra.

Oh, those tight white pants that made you who you were. It’s no wonder Jeetendra was nicknamed “Jumping Jack”!

Prince (1969)

Did someone say “hep cat”?!

Helen and Vijayantimala dance off in “Muqabla Humse Na Karo.”

Kati Patang (1970)

Asha briefly portrays a 70s bride before running away from the ceremony.

Bindu makes a spectacle of herself in comparison to Asha’s stark white sari..

Amar Akbar Anthony (1979)

Rishi Kapoor dresses as a qawwal by night.

There actually aren’t really words for this.

Moss green leather jacket with religious bling.

You are wearing a fedora? Clearly, you have become a millionaire.

Don (1978)

Nothing says “bad boy” like a big red bow tie.

Don’t mess with her scarf.

Or his.

Helen rocks an overly slitted dress for “Yeh Mera Dil” in Don (1978)

The bottom line here is , could Jeetendra have seized Bombay by storm without his famous tight white pants ? Could Dimple Kapadia have shot to stardom without costumes that only covered half of the minimum required? Her polka dots top for ” Bobby ” is still remembered . Vyjayantimala’s red saree from ” Jewel Thief ” is still fresh in our memories . Amitabh Bachchan’s tuxedo in the song My name is Anthony Gonsalves from the film ” Amar Akbar Anthony ” or Rishi Kapoor’s costumes from the same film are still there in our memory lane . Polka dot waist – coat of Amitabh Bachchan in ” Don ” is unforgettable . You remember his iconic song Khai ke paan Banaraswalla …… from the film and you will surely remember his polka dot waist-coat . You will never forget any costume of legendary Helen . Mani Rabadi designed innumerable costumes for her in films . They were revealing but not vulgar .

Her work is so diverse, so eye-catching, and so unpredictable . Mani Rabadi is unarguably genius. It is sad that her death is not widely reported in newspapers . Today , when Parsi community is celebrating Navroz [ thier new year ] , I am writing this obituary of Mani Rabadi , one of the prominent member of Parsi community .

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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 the bereaved family and specially Shammi aunty who is left alone to bear this loss at the age of 84 .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer heartfelt sympathies at the sad demise of the legendary but almost forgotten dress designer of the golden era of the Hindi films .

[ It is sad that I could know about her death after a week through the latest issue of ” Screen ” weekly . I found material about her in magazines like ” Screen ” , ” Parsi Khabar ” and ” Mid Day ” . For her photographs and her volume of work , I had to refer to online posting of ” Mr. & Mrs. 55 – Classic Bollywood Revisited ” . I express my profound gratitude to all of them . ]

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My Column ” Kal Aur Aaj ” in Bhojpuri City – [ 6 ]


 

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA            SEPTEMBER 10, 2011                 11 . 55 P. M.

This is the 6th article of my Hindi column ” Kal Aur Aaj ” . It comes in Bhojpuri City , a fortnightly Bhojpuri film trade magazine published from Mumbai .

Though I intend to write one article for my column every fortnight but this time there was a gap of almost two and half months. My last , 5th article was published in the May 1st issue of Bhojpuri City and now this 6th article comes in the September 1st issue. This , regretfully , happened because of my incessant travels and recent illness of my wife.

This article is about the pitiable and woefully pathetic condition of the various famous and legendary film studios of Mumbai.

I am reproducing here the cover page of the current issue of Bhojpuri City and 3 pages of the article. This is my longest article till date .

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