My 25-Year-Long Journey : From Kareena Kapoor to Alia Bhatt


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 08, 2014           08.50 P.M.

 

My fascination with Hindi film heroines started in mid 60s. In the dark environs of Amar Jyoti Talkies, Deoria, my rendezvous with Hindi cinema took place with Rajendra Kumar and B. Saroja Devi starrer Silver Jubilee hit  ” Sasural ” [ 1961 ] . B. Saroja Devi, though not well-known to Hindi cine-goers, was almost alien to me. But after watching the film, I was unable to forget her. Her elegant persona, her well-kept figure, her chiselled face enticed me for weeks and months. She was the first icon of my childhood fancy.

Few years later in 1967, after appearing in High School exams, I watched Dilip Kumar and  Vyjayanthimala, starrer golden jubilee film ” Ganga Jumna “. B. Saroja Devi and  Vyjayanthimala, to my utter surprise, looked almost similar. I was hooked to Vyjayanthimala and my fascination for the film heroines got fortified.

After passing High School, I went to Allahabad for further studies. My true rendezvous with Hindi cinema started in all earnest in Allahabad. I started watching films regularly. I got acquainted with the heroines of early Hindi cinema. I was particularly enamoured by Devika Rani and Kanan Devi. [ Who can forget Devika Rani’s ………. MAIN BAN KI CHIDIA BAN KE BAN-BAN DOLOON RE ……….( ” Achhut Kanya ” – 1936 ) and Kanan Devi’s ………….. YE DUNIYA ,YE DUNIYA TOOFAN MAIL ……… ( Jawaab ” – 1942 ) ? Few years later I watched two earlier films of Kanan Devi; P. C. Barua starrer ” Mukti ” [ 1937 ] and K. L. Sehgal starrer ” Street Singer ” [ 1938 ]. Though they were the heroines of my father’s generation but their etherial beauty, their sweet voice enthralled me and fascinated me during my adolescent and growing up years in Allahabad.

Later on I got acquainted with the works of other highly successful actresses of the bygone era. The list included Nargis, Suraiya, Nalini Jayawant,  Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nimmi and Geeta Bali. These heroines ruled the golden era of Hindi films. But even they belonged to the earlier era.

My era included highly successful and enchanting heroines like;  Nutan, Vyjayanthimala, Waheeda Rehman , Nanda and Mala Sinha .

I became a die-hard fan of Waheeda Rehman after watching her films Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) . After watching Raj Kapoor‘s Awaara (1951) and of Mehboob Khan‘s Mother India (1957), Nargis, also became one of my all time favourites. Vijay Bhatt‘s Baiju Bawra (1952), made me a fan of  Meena Kumari.  K. Asif‘s Mughal-e-Azam (1960) made Madhubala my eternal favourite.

Then times changed. My journey with cinema matured. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, actresses like Sadhna, Saira Banu, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz and Asha Parekh ruled the Hindi film world.

In the early 70s  Amitabh Bachchan, era started in the Hindi film industry. Actresses from this era included Hema Malini, Jaya BachchanRekha,  Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia. I adored these heroines but frankly, I was neither enchanted or enamoured by them. Mysterious quality of the earlier heroines was missing. Or may be I became mature and the mystique slowly evaporated.

In 1975, I completed my studies in Allahabad and returned to my native place, Deoria. A 14-year-long second phase of my life started in Deoria.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the pendulum swung back towards family centric romantic musicals with the success of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) . Incidentally this was the last film, which I watched in Deoria.

I moved to Bombay [ now Mumbai ] in 1989. This was the year when Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) got released and changed the film-watching experience forever.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Dil (1990), Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), making stars out of a new generation and actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol . In that point of time actresses such as Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai also arrived on the scene.  Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor too appearing in popular comedy films .

Furthermore, this decade marked the entry of new performers in art house and independent films like Satya (1998), directed by Ram Gopal Varma and written by Anurag Kashyap. Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar were the heroines of this generation.

So it was a long association with the silver screen heroines. From Kanan Devi to Kajol and Karisma Kapoor , I watched everyone, got fascinated by them and silently admired their etherial beauty. But never in my wildest dream did I imagine that one day I would train few of the present day ruling Divas of Hindi cinema. After 25 year stay in Mumbai, when I look back, I reminisce my by-gone days with astonishment. I am bewildered with my accomplishment.

In 1994 two heroines trained by me made their debut in Hindi films. They are Sonali Bendre in ” Aag ” [ 1994 ] and Divya Dutta in ” Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna ” [ 1994 ] . It uncanny that 1994 was the year when Devika Rani died. Kanan Devi bid us adieu two years earlier in 1992.

My childhood icons left this world in 1994 and present day icons, trained by me , made their entry in 1994. It is strange. It is quirky. It is really uncanny. After debut of Sonali Bendre and Divya Dutta in 1994, flood-gate of the newcomers got opened and it has now submerged the Hindi film industry. I present a list of some of the epoch-making new era Hindi film Divas, who got trained by me :

Kareena Kapoor : ” Refugee ” [ 2000 ] = DEBUT

Priyanka Chopra : ” The Hero ” [ 2002 ] = DEBUT

SONAM KAPOOR : ” Saawariya ” [ 2007 ] = DEBUT

Anushka Sharma : ” Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ” [ 2008 ] = DEBUT

Katrina Kaif :  ” Raajneeti ” [ 2010]

ALIA BHATT : ” Student Of The Year ” [ 2012 ] = DEBUT

KALKI KOECHLIN : ” Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani ” [ 2013 ]

URVASHI RAUTELA : ” Singh Saab The Great ” [ 2013 ] = DEBUT

 

In the end I would like to submit that the above mentioned list is almost endless. I have mentioned very famous names only. As I watch Alia Bhatt making rapid strides,and other newcomers trained by me making their entry in the tinsel town, my heart beats fast with pride.

Some of the biggest star sons / daughters are currently being trained by me and they are going to make their debut in 2015.

So the SAGA CONTINUES !! Dust settles down. Sun shines brilliantly. And the World { excluding few egoistic nay-sayers } watches with awe, admiration and amazement.

 

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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 wish all my above mentioned students all the success and stardom never attained before by anyone and unseen even by the mightiest.

God bless them for making me proud !!

 

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Vidur’s Film Diary – October 2013


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           NOVEMBER 07 , 2013           01.45 P.M.
Month of October 2013 will always be infamously known and remembered for ” Besharam “ , a Ranbir Kapoor film , which is the biggest ever Hindi film release till date with over 3000 prints . It is also Ranbir Kapoor’s biggest flop till date . It is said to be the desi version of Lock , Stock And Two Smoking Barrels ” .
” Boss “ , a Akshay Kumar film , also bombed at the box office . Towards the end of the month , 05 films got released but they all failed to make mark in any way .
It is sad and unfortunate that 5 luminaries of Hindi film world left us for their heavenly abode this month . It made this month more gloomy and melancholic .

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Obituary :

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Raj Tilak  : 

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Popular filmmaker of the 70s and 80s, and son-in-law of legendary B. R. Chopra , Raj Tilak passed away on October 06 , 2013 after suffering from septicaemia . He was 73 years old at the time of his death .

He made some highly popular films like ;  ” 36 Ghante ” [ 1974 ] , ” Mukti ” [ 1977 ] ,  ” Tumhare Liye ” [ 1978 ] and ” Chehre Pe Chehra ” [ 1981 ] .

His film ” 36 Ghante ” [ 1974 ] was based on William Wyler’s cult Hollywood film  ” The Desperate Hours ” [ 1955 ] . And ” Chehre Pe Chehra ” [ 1981 ]  was an Indian version of the famous novella of Robert Louis Stevenson ” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”  .

Raj has directed bigwigs like Shashi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Rekha and Parveen Babi. He has been an active member of the Producers Guild too.

Krishna Shah :

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India’s first true export to Hollywood and a producer – director of repute , Krishna Shah died on October 13 , 2013 in Los Angeles , U.S.A. at the age of 75 .

He produced and directed many successful films in Hollywood . His first Indian film was Dharmendra & Zeenat Aman starrer ” Shalimar ” [ 1978 ] . Incidentally it was also the debut film of Rex Harrison in Hindi . He later made a documentary on Indian cinema . It is called ” Cinema Cinema ” [ 1979 ] .

Posting link of the blog , which I wrote about him :

Adieu Krishna Shah http://wp.me/ptyXI-3b5

Randhawa :

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Younger brother of Dara Singh and a wrestler of repute , Randhawa died on 21 October 2013 in Mumbai .

He worked in many films along with his brother and also had few solo starrers . His better known films are ” Faulad ” [ 1963 ] , ” Aadmi Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Henna ” [ 1991 ] and ” Duplicate ” [ 1998 ] .

He married Mallika , younger sister of Mumtaz and his son Shaad Randhawa made his debut in Mahesh Bhat’s  ” Woh Lamhe ” [ 2006 ] .

Manna Dey :

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After the sad demise of Mohammad Rafi , Mukesh , Kishore Kumar , Hemant Kumar and Talat Mehmood , the last of the titans in the field of Hindi playback singing , Manna Dey died on October 24 , 2013 in Bengaluru at the age of 94 .

Who can forget his immortal melodies like ; ” Ae Mere Pyare Watan ……… ” , ” Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua ……………… ” , ” Aa Ja Sanam Madhur Chandani Men Ham ………………. ” , ” Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen ……………….. ” , ” Qasme Waade Pyaar Wafa……………… ” ” Ik Chatur Naar Karke Singar ……………………….. ” ” Yaari Hai Eemaan Meraa ……………………. ” and ” Ye Dosti Ham Nahin Chhodenge …………………………. ” ?

Posting the link of the blog , which I wrote about him as tribute :

Remembering Manna Dey : Tu Pyaar Kaa Saagar Hai http://wp.me/ptyXI-3b7

K. P. Saxena :

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Noted Hindi writer and a satirist of repute , K. P. Saxena died on October 31 , 2013 in Lucknow , Uttar Pradesh due to cardiac arrest . He was 81 at the time of his death .

A Padma Shri awardee , he wrote dialogues for couple of Hindi films . Notable among them are ; ” Lagaan ” [ 2001 ] , ” Swades ” [ 2004 ] , ” Hulchul ” [ 2004 ] and ” Jodha Akbar ” [ 2008 ] . He was also nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue Writer for ” Jodha Akbar ” [ 2008 ] .

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New Hindi Film Releases & Me :

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First Week – October  04 ( 02 )

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1 – Besharam …………………………………………………………… Ranbir Kapoor

Second Week – October  11

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1 – Baat Bann Gayi ……………………………………………………. X

2 – War Chhod Na Yaar ……………………………………………. Soha Ali Khan

Third Week – October  18 ( 16 )

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1 – Boss ………………………………………………………………….. Harry Josh

2 – Shahid ………………………………………………………………. Vaibhav Vishant

Fourth Week  – October  25

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1 – Dilli Gang …………………………………………………………… Vikas Bhalla

2 – Micky Virus ……………………………………………………….. X

3 – Sooper Se Ooper …………………………………………………. X

4 – Wake Up India ……………………………………………………. Chirag Patil

5 – Ishk Actually ………………………………………………………. Rayo Bakhirta

 

In total …………… 10 …………….. films got released in October . Out of these ………….. 10 ………… released films ……….. 07 ………… films have …………… 07 ……………. artistes , who are trained by me .



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New Regional Films & Me :

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1 – Bengali : Priyanshu Chatterjee is doing a role in  ” Swabhoomi “.

2 – Bengali : Ashmit Patel is doing a role in ” Swabhoomi ” .


My ………….. 02 ………………. students in ……….. 01 ………….. regional film .

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TV Trivia & Me :

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1 – Rohit Khurana is playing an important role in  ” Sasural Simar Ka ” on Colors TV .

2 – Adhir Bhatt is playing an important role in ” 24 “ on Colors TV .

3 – Tara Sharma is anchoring a new season of ” The Tara Sharma Show – Diaries Of A New Mum “ on NDTV Good Times .


My ……………. 03 ……….. students in ………… 03 ……………. shows on TV .

 

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Commercials & Me :

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1 – Kareena Kapoor is the  Brand Ambassador of ” Colgate  ” .

2 – Katrina Kaif is the Brand Ambassador of ” Titan Raga Pearls ” .

3 – Katrina Kaif is the Brand Ambassador of ” Sony Experia ” .

4 – Saif Ali Khan is the Brand Ambassador of ” Siyaram Suiting ” .

5 – Priyanka Chopra is the Brand Ambassador of ” Nikon ” .


My ………….. 04 …………… students in …………… 05 …………… commercial campaigns .

As an acting trainer / acting tutor I had an average month . Not very satisfying indeed . My 07 students appeared in 07 films , 03 students in 03 TV shows , 02 students in 01 regional film , 03 students in 03 plays and 04 students appeared in 05 Ads also . Thus total number of students working in the month of October comes to 19 .

Insignia of Brand VIDUR

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 congratulate all my above mentioned students .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well in their glorious journey ahead .

May they shine in their chosen field .

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Adieu Krishna Shah


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 24 , 2013           02.45 P.M.

Hollywood filmmaker of Indian origin , the first true Indian export to Hollywood ,   Krishna Shah , who wrote , directed and produced genre films such as  “ Hard Rock Zombies ” [ 1985 ] died on Oct. 13 , 2013 in Los Angeles , U. S. A.  He was 75 years old and had been ill since suffering a stroke last year.

Krishna Shah started his career directing Cicely Tyson , James Earl Jones and Lou Gossett Jr. in an adaptation of the play The River Niger ” [ 1976 ] .

Cover of

Cover of The River Niger

He wrote, directed and produced Hindi film “ Shalimar ” [ 1978 ] starring Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman .  It also marked the Bollywood debut of English actor Rex Harrison . In Bollywood he made a documentary on Indian movies , “ Cinema Cinema ” [ 1979 ] .
Besides “ Hard Rock Zombies ” [ 1985 ]  , he also produced  “ Evil Laugh ” [ 1986 ]  andTed & Venus ” [ 1991 ] . He also directed the comedy “ American Drive-In ” .

A graduate of UCLA and Yale , he initially co-wrote with Alan Paton and directed the short-lived South African play “ Sponano ” [ 1964 ] on Broadway .  Off Broadway he adapted Rabindranath Tagore’s “ The King of the Dark Chamber which won two Obies and ran almost a year. His other credits include directing Athol Fugard’s “ Bloodknot ” as well as Milton Hood Ward’s “ Kindly Monies ” in London.

In TV he wrote episodes of “ The Flying Nun ”  , “ Six Million Dollar Man ” and “ The Man From UNCLE ” among other shows.

After making an animated version of epic “ Ramayana ” [ 1992 ] , he started producing other Indian films including Nagesh Kukunoor’s debut  “ Hyderabad Blues ” [ 1998 ] . At the time of his death he was working on “ Sleepaway Camp IV : The Survivor ”  [ 2012 ] .

Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor

Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Krishna Shah ran his own production company Double Helix Films , a production , distribution and foreign sales company called MRI and later was a topper at Carnegie Film Group.

A member of the Writers Guild , he was assistant secretary in the Directors Guild and a member of the Academy .

He was the first true Indian export to Hollywood and should be respected for that .

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 heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Krishna Shah .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to offer homage to the near and dear ones of the departed soul .

[ Several details of his life and career is taken from the Wikipedia and various other sources from internet . I express my gratitude . ]

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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

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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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B. R. Ishara : Departure of An Avant – Garde Film Maker


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 27 , 2012           08.05 P.M.

Avant – Garde and Path  – breaking film – maker , a true iconoclast and a renaissance – man , Babu Ram Ishara , a.k.a. B. R. Ishara died on July 25 , 2012 at the age of  77 in Mumbai . He was suffering from tuberculosis . Last year he got paralytic stroke also .

He could be called a renaissance man of Hindi cinema , as he heralded a new wave in the world of formula laden Hindi film industry with his unconventional and critically acclaimed film  ” Chetna ” [ 1970 ] .

Chetna

Chetna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the film released I was in Allahabad doing graduation at Allahabad University . I vividly remember the sensation it created . The poster of the film was really a shocker . Two naked legs of a female and a peeping Rehana Sultan from there was enough to arouse amorous feelings of youngsters in that era of conservative India . Since Rehana Sultan hailed from Allahabad , the curiosity was at its peak and palpable . Film opened with critical acclaim and was a box office hit too .

Anil Dhawan & Rehana Sultan in Chetna

Anil Dhawan & Rehana Sultan in Chetna

Before ” Chetna “ , films used to be shot in studios . B. R. Ishara shot the film in a bungalow and thus started a new trend . Today shooting a film in bungalows has become a normal affair .

Ek Nazar

Ek Nazar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from ” Chetna ” [ 1970 ] , his three other films were also special and significant in another way . A love story ” Ek Nazar ” [ 1972 ] , will be remembered because of  the lead pair . It starred Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri , as she was called and was known to the world before marriage . This film came and was a super flop . It is ironical that just after one year Amitabh Bachchan came with ” Zanjeer ” , a super hit , which changed his career graph and position in the industry . ” Prem Shastra ” [ 1974 ] was again a film with big star cast . It dealt with the issue of incest and starred Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman . And ” Rahu Ketu ” [ 1978 ] was his biggest . It starred Shashi Kapoor , Rekha , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal , Bindu and Aruna Irani .

Apart from above mentioned four films , his other films are : Gunah Aur Kanoon ” [ 1970 ] , ” Man Tera Tan Mera ” [ 1971 ]  , ” Man Jaiye ” [ 1972 ] , ” Zaroorat ” [ 1972 ] , ” Milap ” [ 1972 ] , ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dil Ki Rahen ” [ 1973 ] , ” Charitra ” [ 1973 ] , ” Dawat ” [ 1974 ] , ” Kaagaz Ki Nao ” [ 1975 ] , ” Ghar Ki Laaj ” [ 1979 ] , ” Log Kya Kahenge ” [ 1982 ] .  ” Hukumnama ” [ 1996 ] was his last film .

Milap

Milap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dil Ki Rahen

Dil Ki Rahen

Rahu Ketu

Rahu Ketu

Ghar Ki Laaj

Ghar Ki Laaj (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He worked with many stalwarts of Hindi film industry . He signed Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Sanjeev Kumar & Kumkum for ” Gunah Aur Kanoon “ , Shatrughan Sinha , Anil Dhawan , Nadira & Rehana Sultan for ” Chetna “ , Amitabh Bachchan , Jaya Bhaduri & Nadira in ” Ek Nazar “ , Vijay Arora , Reena Roy & Danny Denzongpa in ” Zaroorat “ , Shatrughan Sinha , Reena Roy & Danny Denzongpa in ” Milap ” , Reena Roy , Danny Denzongpa & Nadira in ” Nai Duniya Naye Log “ , Dev Anand & Zeenat Aman in ” Prem Shastra “ , Sanjeev Kumar in ” Dawat “ , Sarika , Raj Kiran & Pradeep Kumar in  ” Kaagaz Ki Nao “ , Shashi Kapoor , Rekha , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal & Aruna Irani in ” Rahu Ketu “ , Sanjeev Kumar , Moushumi Chatterjee & Sohrab Modi in ” Ghar Ki Laaj “ and Shabana Aazmi , Sanjeev Kumar , Shatrughan Sinha & Navin Nischol in ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

His discovery , his lucky muse and future wife , Rehana Sultan appeared in 4 films directed by him . They are ; ” Chetna ” , ” Man Tera Tan Mera ” , ” Man Jaiye ” and ” Dil Ki Rahen ” .

His other discovery Reena Roy worked with him in 3 films . They are ; ” Zaroorat ” , ” Milap ”  and ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” .

Shatrughan Sinha  repeatedly worked with him in 3 films . They are : ” Chetna ” , ” Milap “ and  ” Log Kya Kahenge ” . 

Danny Denzongpa , a very choosy actor , worked with him in 3 films . They are ” Zaroorat ” , ” Milap ” and ” Nai Duniya Naye Log ” .

An actor of the caliber of Sanjeev Kumar worked with him in 4 films . They were : ” Gunah Aur Kanoon ” , ” Dawat ” , ” Ghar Ki Laaj ” and ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

Shabana Aazmi , who does not sign films easily and left , right and centre , also worked in his film ” Log Kya Kahenge ” .

Thespians like Prithvi Raj Kapoor , Sohrab Modi , Pran , Prem Nath , Kamini Kaushal  and Pradeep Kumar also readily worked in his films .

Asit Sen , Johny Whisky , Nadira , Rakesh Pandey and Raza Murad repeatedly worked with him and were almost in every second films directed by B. R. Ishara .

It is astonishing that a man , who was not so well-educated and who used to wash dishes at Qamar Jalalabadi’s house and used to serve tea at Roop Tara Studio , made 30 films and stars of the calibre of Shabana Aazmi , Rekha , Shashi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar readily agreed to work with him .

He introduced Rehana Sultan , Reena Roy , Parveen Babi , Raza Murad , cricketer Salim Durrani and music director Bappi Lahiri in films .

His 2 Discoveries Anil Dhawan & Raza Murad at the Funeral

His 2 Discoveries Anil Dhawan & Raza Murad at the Funeral

It is sad that a director of the calibre of B. R. Ishara left the world in penury and was almost work less during his last years .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

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