Not for nothing Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan is he called Badshah or king Khan. By the dint of hard work, he has attained the pinnacle in Hindi cinema. He lolls in money; money seems to find excuses to go to him or Amitabh Bachpan. It never leaves them for a second.
The sobriquet of King is an appropriate one. There has been an King Shahrukh in the past; he was the king of kings and his full name was Shahpal bin Shahrukh and he ruled Qaf which was a magical place inhabited by Parees, Devs, djinns, and other non-human species. He had subjugated them all like our incumbent King Khan who casts his spell on Bollywood Parees, Devs and Jinns.
What is Dev? It is a species of immensely huge, powerful, strong demons, mostly violent and brutal; they are invisible to ordinary human eyes, and can fly. They live in Qaf, and are kept in subjugation by Shahpal. Some are cannibalistic. Their females seem usually to be magicians.
What is an Ifrit? Ifrit is a “Demon.” The most powerful and terrifying of the Devs who rebel against Shahpal. “’Ifrit” is normally a species name, but here it is the name of a single individual.
What is Djinn? A djinn is a species of Qaf-dwellers, invisible to ordinary human eyes; they can fly. They seem to be intermarried with the Parees: Shahpal bin Shahrukh’s brother Sabz-qaba is described as a Jinn.
It was the Shahpal bin Shahrukh who invited Amir Humzah- uncle of Muhammad to Qaf. Shahrukh had a daughter called Asmaan Paree (Sky fairy) who ruled after his death and married Hamzah and held him captive by love and violence for eighteen years.
So it is not any overstatement to call our Shahrukh, the King.
Sholay is a cult movie in India. After a slow start, it went on to break many records and created many milestones in the history of Bollywood.
Many events happened on the personal levels with some of the actors. People still remember its dialogues. Many buffs have seen the movie umpteen number of times.
Mumbai Mirror carries one such story every Wednesday in its cinema section. Shyam Aurangabadkar, ace lens man took beautiful and unforgettable pictures and the article is published under the title “Sepia Memories”
In this photograph captured by ace lensman Shyam Aurangabadkar, almost the entire stellar cast of the film is seen partying after a hectic day’s shoot in the picturesque terrain of Ramanagara in Karnataka.
(Late) Amjad Khan did an unforgettable turn as the feared bandit Gabbar Singh. Apparently, he was the makers’ second choice after Danny Denzongpa turned down the role. Amjad prepared himself for the role by reading a book based on the dacoits of the Chambal valley.
AK Hangal, who passed away played the blind Rahim Chacha in the film. After all, who can forget his dialogue: “Itna Sannata Kyun Hai Bhai” when his son Ahmed, portrayed by Sachin, returns dead on horseback.
Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan enacted the roles of the two crooks, who are close friends, Veeru and Jai, respectively. They’re assigned the job of capturing Gabbar alive by a seriously maimed ex cop Thakur Baldev Singh portrayed by (late) Sanjeev Kumar, who sadly isn’t there in the picture.
Among the interesting anecdotes related to Sholay, Bachchan married Jaya Bhaduri four months before filming began. Similarly, Dharmendra, who had already started wooing Hema Malini, continued to do so in the film.
Ever since Madhuri Dixit returned to India she is trying very hard to enter the Indian film industry. She is sitting as one of the judges in the dance show on television channels where her songs are extolled by the dancers.
Also doing a couple of advertisement endorsing the toothpaste that remove all the tooth troubles and shines our teeth. She has appeared in item songs against Ranbir Kapoor and worked in the Dedh Isquiya against Naseerudin Shah.
But she is still to hit the limelight. One of the negative factors is her advancing age and availability of fresh faces in plenty. She seems to be desperate.
In her hey days, she really set the screen ablaze with her sensuous dances. One of these was from the movie Beta and it was titled “Dhak Dhak”. It was so provocative that she earned the eponym of being the “Dhak Dhak” girl.
The song was not original as is the case with many songs which have been lifted from South Indian movies and foreign movies. It has been happening since old days. The only difference is that in those days due to the lack of so many sources of information nobody could suspect the copy. But today with the explosion of information available through internet nothing remains hidden long and soon becomes exposed.
So this song was adapted from an Illayaraja composition called “Abba nee teeyani debba” from the Telugu movie Jagadeka Veerudu Atikola Sundari featuring superstar Chiranjeevi and Sridevi. Sridevi looks much graceful and devoid of any sensuousness.
Amar Akbar Anthony the hit bollywood movie in the 1977 had a song “My name is Anthony Gonsalves” in which the character Anthony Gonsalves played by Amitabh Bachchan comes out of an Easter Egg.
“Anthony Gonsalves…passes away….talented musician with LP and on his name my character name for Anthony was put..prayers,” the 69-year-old superstar posted on Twitter.
Legendary music composer Anthony Gonsalves died at a hospital after a bout of pneumonia, family sources said today. The end came last night at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, where he was admitted and undergoing treatment. He was 84 then.
Gonsalves became a household name after Big B’s My name is Anthony Gonsalves, a song dedicated by Pyarelal to his real life ‘guru’.
The late musician, who orchestrated music for several Hindi songs during the 50s and 60s contributed to hit films like Mahal, Naya Daur and Dillagi among others.
The veteran musician was named as one of India’s finest violinists in his time and worked with legends like S D Burman and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
He left for Mumbai in 1943 as a child, when he played violin at the church in his village. Gonsalves later made a name for himself after he orchestrated music for songs like Jyoti Kalash Zhalke.
His musical arrangements in Hum aapki aankhon mein in Pyaasa and Ayega aane wala in Mahal are considered among his best works.
He returned to his native place in Majorda in South Goa in 1983 and lived a life away from glory.
His last rites would be conducted today as the family is awaiting the arrival of his son, based in UK. He is survived by his daughter Laxmi, who is a painter by profession.
I am sure many young people may not be knowing his name but be humming the songs written by him. The young writer hails from Malerkotla, Sangrur, Punjab. His name is Irshad Kamil. He has breathed a freshness in the Bollywood film songs. It is just a beginning. I am sure, he shall blaze a trail in this field.
Man of many gifts, he has dabbled in various professions like a reporter for newspapers in Chandigarh. He wrote scripts of many serials for television. Some of the films he had written the songs for are Jab We Met, Rockstar, Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani.
Recently, I watched his interview on Rajya Sabha television. Besides discussing so many things, he told the interviewer about a popular romantic song from Jab We Met. He met a woman who told him that she listens this song daily in the morning as a prayer song. Just have a look at the lyrics.
Na hai yeh pana,
Na Khona hi hai,
Tera Na hona jane Kyun,
hona hi hai
Tum se hi din hota hai
Surmaiye shaam aati hai,
Tumse hi tumse hi
Har ghari saans aati hai,
Zindagi kehlati hai,
Tumse hi tumse hi
It is just a matter of perspective. Lyrics are just like a prayer. Kamil said he was himself surprised and went through the lyrics in his mind and realised that they are really like a prayer in the praise of God.
There is a galore of soap operas on Indian TV channels. Prime time is hogged by women dominated serials and so called reality shows. The women shows are of Saas Bahu variety.
The reality shows are dance and singing competitions. The concerned families in the women operas are extraordinary kind and generally dominated by a matriarch who seems to run a kingdom according to laws which are extra constitutional. Their writ run large in the home as well as the village they live in. In fact, the whole village is under their mercy day and night.
At home, they have some spoiled brats through which they suppress the Bahus who like cows. But these poor women are clothed in the designer wear. Even the hair of the maids shine like the shampoo ads. These serials are so interminable that basic nature of many characters undergoes metamorphosis. Villains become angels and vice versa. Age cannot alter a speck of their face. You cannot tell the difference between a Bahu and Saas in appearance. If you watch these serials in mute you cannot make out who is senior in age. Even Saas looks hotter than Bahus.
The target audience is middle class women which don’t have much to do at home. They become hooked to the soaps. Many become so immured in the serials that begin to confuse between real life and reel life. Cable operators love these operas not because they watch them but because these ensure permanent customers.
These viewers discuss the operas and which turn the story is going to take in the next episodes with their friends on phones. This way phone service providers are also happy. These women watch the repeat telecasts of the serials which they missed at night due to overlapping of the broadcasting. You cannot dare to take the remote control from them while they are watching the television.
And who are the victims? No prizes for guessing the answer right. Men…………
Rajinder Singh Bedi was a big name in Indian Film industry. He belonged to the period when films were dominated by Urdu. North Indians were at the helm of Hindustani film industry. Almost all the heroes were from North and heroines from South and Bengal. Story dialogues were loaded with Persian words. I bet if most of Indians except from North India followed any of the dialogues.
Even these days the humor shows make fun of those dialogues by trivializing them for simple and cheap babbling. They are not at fault either because those were the times when communication was not so fast and good and individual languages flowered uncontaminated. Today’s world is erasing many cultures and synthesizing a hybrid culture which belongs to and does not belong to anyone at the same time.
Bedi wrote the dialogues for many big league movies of the yore and produced many of them. But first of all, he was a Punjabi writer and wrote many novels. Of these was one called “Ik Chaddar Adhorani” which mirrored the Punjabi culture and society mores of that time in the villages of Punjab. There was a custom in those days according to which if the husband of a woman died, she married the younger brother of deceased in a ceremony in which she will put a white chaddar on his brother-in-law. This was done to keep the woman in the same family and provide protection to children from the first marriage. Otherwise her life was doomed. As can be assumed woman was forced into this alliance by the mother in laws.
The novel was turned into a movie which cast Hema Malini as the woman whose husband is killed by suspecting brothers of a girl who was raped in an Inn attached to a temple. The Rano which was the central character played by Hema Malini was beaten by her husband daily as he came home inebriated after work. There is nothing surprising in such characters in rural areas. The women themselves begin to like this. After her husbands death she is forced to marry her brother in law whom previously she treated as her child because of his being 10 years younger. The pubescent daughter becomes very zealous of his mother and uncles marriage and even tries to end her life.
Hema Malini herself described her role as most demanding and difficult. Everyone excelled in their roles be it Kulbhusan Kharbanda, as Hema Malini’s husband, Rishi Kapoor who played the younger brother of Kulbhushan Kharbanda and whose shoulders the responsibility of the widowed Hema Malini and her children falls , Hangal as blind father in law , the only one in the family who has soft corner towards the Hema but is helpless against his wife and Dina Pathak as the tormenting mother in law who blames her Bahu for every wrong happening to the family.
“What is in the name, a rose smells as sweet by any other name” said the most famous bard Shakespeare.
In Bollywood, if a movie becomes hit then the character name of the star is repeated in many of his upcoming films because it is thought to be lucky.
Thus superstar Amitabh’s character has been called “Vijay” in as many as 19 movies. We had a boy who was attendant in our office whose real name was also “Vijay”. I asked him his name and when he told “Vijay”, I jokingly said that this is the name Amitabh has in many movies, to which he said reel life is not the real life. Although, in most of the films, Vijay came from a very poor background and destiny catapulted him to riches- all rags to riches kind of stories. May be our Vijay was in the initial stages of his role in the life although the chances of his becoming a man covered in moolah seem to be remote.
Similarly, there is another name which is very popular in Hindi movies and that is Rahul. This name has been adopted by Shahrukh Khan in as many as seven movies. Before that he had repeated another popular name called “Raj”.
Then Salman Khan thought that “Raj” is also lucky for him, so this was repeated in four of his movies. But now he thinks “Prem” is very lucky for him.
Similarly when in some of Salman’s hit movies, the songs for him were sung by southern singer S.P.Balasubramaniam, he insisted on the music directors to get the songs synced by him to be sung by this singer only.
As for as the girl’s names are concerned, Pooja is the most popular name. Almost all the popular modern heroines like Karishma Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit used this name for their characters in movies.
A few days back, I was searching for clips of movie Siddhartha on the youtube. I found a few. The movie was directed by Conrad Rooks and the river features prominently in the story. The river is the best teacher tells the movie at many places. We should look towards it for peace of mind because it lives in the present. Today is everything because yesterday is gone now and tomorrow is unpredictable.
The movie seems like sketches made by an artist with the boat being rowed by the characters on the river. It is like celluloid poetry. In one of the clips, a very lean and handsome Shashi Kapoor is rowing the boat with another person who have beard and covered his head with a cloth. He is a man full of wisdom and delivering the knowledge to Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor). Then there is scene in which the old man is taking leave of Siddhartha and before leaving he talks philosophically to Siddhartha. I was mesmerized by his voice. Such a mellifluous modulated voice. It transported you somewhere out of this dull routine. I searched for his name and found out that it is Zul Vellani.
Not much is available on the net about him. May be because he was mostly associated with English theatre and acted in so many plays written by Shakespeare and other masters. Although he came to India from Africa where his family must have migrated. He was the main person behind so many documentaries made by Films Division of India. Indira Gandhi liked his voice and she had specially written a note directing that it is to Zul Vellani who shall be called to be the compere about her death news. He was specially flown to Delhi after her assassination. He also lent his voice in the LP record cut by HMV and sung by Lata Mangeshkar about Sant Dnayneshwar and Bhagwat Geeta.
He is no more and breathed his last on the last day of 2010. The man who has such beautiful voice is said to stammer in the childhood. This was due to his uncle who was very harsh and Zul was very much afraid of him. It was only in the school where he found a very encouraging teacher that he overcome the problem. But he never ever stammered during his acting.
I wish we could find more about him. I could find only following few links.
Sasural Genda Phool is a very popular song from the movie Delhi-6. Actually the song is adapted on the Dadaria folk of Chhatisgarh state of India. While rest of the songs of the film has been written by Prasoon Joshi, Rehman and actor Raghuvir Yadav searched for the folk song for the movie in addition to the other songs. Rajat Dholakia is credited along with A.R. Rehman for introducing the song in Hindi movie.
Raghuvir Yadav belongs to that area and must have been familiar with the folk songs of the area. The origin of the song has been traced to the writer late Gangaram Shivaare and sung by Bulavaram Yaadav. Later on three Joshi sisters Ramadutt, Rekha & Prabhadutt Joshi sung this song first time in Raipur which is now the capital of Chhatisgarh and the name features in the end of the song. The song is very popular song sung in the local marriages.
Chattisgarh being the tribal area, where innocent people are wedded to nature and are till now insulated from the industrialization and modernization may not be even aware that their song has been adapted in Bollywood. They care it least because the folks are constantly being modified to newer and newer music. Only the writer who has modified it should give due credit to the original writer.
Incidentally, a program called “Dadaria” recorded many years back is available with Doordarshan of India and I have myself watched that program a few days back on DD Bharati. One of the female singers featuring in that program was humming this song. And think this program must have been recorded by Doordarshan much earlier than the movie was made.
In the book “Encyclopedia of Literature” , the author Mr. Joseph T. Shipley, states that in Dadaria songs emphasis is on the rhyme and in their effort to stick to matching the second line to the first line, sometimes words not exactly relating to the meaning of first line are substituted and it results in the songs becoming somewhat cheap and facile though their music quality is very good. May be the song “Sasural Genda Phool” which compares the in-laws household of a girl to an marigold flower was substituted extempore.
Many other interpretations are available. For example traditionally in India, the girls are treated badly by their mother-in-laws, and sister-in-laws titter when the mother-in-laws are rebuking the girl, the brother-in-laws, if younger in age to her husband, tease her, in a language couched with sexual expletives. So this means that they represent an assortment of characters like numerous flowers within the flower of marigold. The girl is dependent on her husband for the succor who is often in such families mostly afraid of his mother and often takes the side of her mother. This way if he is emotional, his life will be made miserable by his mother and wife. He will be like the grain being crushed between the two stones of a mill.