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This is incredible video! Now, this proves that music had no language.. here is this contestant from the Taiwanese Idol type music reality show singing “Tujh mein rab dikhta hai yaara main kya karoon” from the Shahrukh starrer Rab ne bana di jodi. Unfortunately, cannot understand Chinese to make out what the folks were saying before and after his singing [sent in my Sumit]
It seems that these days Bollywood has caught the fancy of Chinese and Taiwanese. Hindi TV Serials are now being dubbed in Mandarin and broadcast all over China.
Here is an interview with the music composer of Slumdog Millionaire, who won two Oscars recently. I think he gives very thoughtful answers.
There are many songs that one hears these days which are good. But here is a song that I consider to be one of the All-time-Greats I have heard. This song has been sung by Jagjit/Chitra Singh and Bhimsen Joshi as well. Both formidable singers! However, in my humble opinion, KL Saigal does more in ONE word (the way he sings Mora in the first few second) than JS and Joshiji could do in the entire rendering. The pain he infuses in the song is umatched! I am not a music expert so cannot say if Saigal was technically more perfect than Jagjit Singh or Bhimsen Joshi; but let me put it this way – these two just wasted their time singing this song again!
Saigal just cuts through your heart!
Just listened to this rendering of a variation of Sarfaroshi ki Tammana originally written by Ram Prasad Bismil during the freedom struggle. RP Bismil was a colleague of Bhagat Singh. It is probably one of the most recognized poems from that time. Ironically, this poet – who wrote this modern day variation, juxtaposes Bismil with Gandhi and his practice of making cotton and Khadi. Nice one anyways.
It seems many have benefitted from the Oscar winning performance of Slumdog Millionaire. Freida Pinto is busy coming on the various top mags (e.g. Maxim) and has become the new face of Estee Lauder (along with Liz Hurley and Gwyneth Paltrow).
Now Anil Kapoor is probably looking forward to becoming part of the regular season of the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning Fox show “24″.
So it would seem that the hollywood careers of many Bollywood stars will begin now. It would also begin an era of collaboration. What we saw with the Chinese stars – who used KungFu and martial arts to make a place for themselves in people’s minds… one can see a fusion of Hollywood-Bollywood styles in some top movies in the near future. I can bet that one will see a real fusion movie financed by maybe Anil Ambani, directed by Steven Spielberg (both have done a deal, btw), starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Bruce Willis with Angeline Jolie and Sonam Kapoor perhaps.. in some thriller. Who knows. But the day is not far when such a fusion movie will win an Oscar in the next 2-5 years.
I had been waiting to watch this movie. Finally, this evening I got to do that. I find Farhan Akhtar a very “thinking” guy. Although this movie was made by his sister, but it seemed clear that the “wisdom” of Javed Akhtar and his son were written all over the movie. It was a very intelligent script and very engaging story.
Indian movies are incredible to the outside world in the way they rely on songs. Delhi 6, the movie I reviewed last week, was the exact opposite of this movie. In that film, all that I remembered at the end of the movie were its songs. The story and performances were really forgettable. Here it was the opposite. In this movie, I remembered the performances – and every character had its own strength and finish. Rishi Kapoor, abandoning his Amitabh Bachchan-style goatie/sophisticated look that he had started playing, went for the emotional yet very earthy Punju character and dressed for it. Juhi Chawla also fit her own character really well. Saw Sanjay Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia after a long time and it was interesting to see how they fit the new roles. Sanjay Kapoor’s role was a spoof on his real life – an actor who didn’t make it big and later turned director.
Have you ever seen anything where the whole is way lower than the parts? I saw one such creation last night – Delhi 6. It was such a big disappointment to watch it. It just seemed as if from start to finish it went from one idea to another.
These parts should have been its strengths but instead these in totality became their weaknesses:
Philosophical sarcasm: “Kala Bandar” was a brilliant idea to convey the idea of communal hatred that people have had in India. The way it was used to create a news story – with the way media goes beserk and over board was also hillarious in itself. The thought and the concept was brilliant! But its execution was utterly disjointed and uselessly done. Simillarly, the way that beggar was used – who kept showing the mirror along with speaking out those verses – was also in the similar vein. Great philosophical concept but again the execution and the detailing of the character was badly done. It was as if someone thought of a great idea but the one who was writing the story didn’t know how to do a good job of it or was simply lazy.
Contrasting Symbolism: The idea of secular peace and community feeling and what creates the issues was a great idea. Using contrasts in such depictions also help a great deal. But there was an overdoze of the “positive” to “negative” symbolism. What the director and the story-writer wanted to show was true at a very broad level (global level) but in a community, such things don’t happen right away.
Here is one song a UP folk that I think is perhaps the most beautiful I have heard in a long time! All the songs of this movie are great, but this one (and the Aarti) are amazing in the way they just get into your heart.
For all the noise about his “Jai Ho” song from Slumdog Millionaire, that song is nowhere near this in quality and standard! Take a listen.
Slumdog Millionaire, Yoga etc have moved people to explore India as a culture. But one thing that Slumdog Millionaire has also done is to create an interest in Americans in “Bollywood Dancing”. We, from India, all know what it is.. a mix of just about everything – break-dance, hip-hop, Bhangra, stylized Latin American stuff, and anything else that comes along! All mixed with a unique Bollywood spicey masala.. a recipe that is potent.
People who went to gym and used Salsa, modern dancing etc as a gym exercise, but some folks have gotten hooked by the Bollywood version really bad. It is the exotic-ness and the unique vigor that probably provides a potent mix.
“I’d tried all of it. Modern dance and salsa and swing. Nothing has hooked me like this. I love the culture and the community and the spice,” says Bollywood West student Claire Polsky, 45.
Even non-Indian dance studios are incorporating Bollywood-style dancing into their repertoire. At the Atlanta Belly Dance studio, Bollywood moves have been incorporated into dances set to American pop songs.
“Americans like exotic, but they like dancing to songs they know,” says Schadia Hazlett, an owner of three studios of Atlanta Belly Dance, which has several hundred to 1,000 students at times. “It attracts a totally different clientele than salsa or samba.”
I know many people have different choices and different tastes – after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I wanted to bring my list of the “Top 20 All Time Beauties” of Indian Cinema. What do you think? Do you agree? Whom did I miss that you would have brought in.. and who do you think I listed that you dont agree with?
This song was a generational song. That entire generation was defined by this song. From the movie Nai Umar ki Nai Fasal, this song was Written by Dr. Gopal Das Neeraj (one of the finest Hindi Poets we have had) and Music is by Roshan – who was otherwise known for Qawwalis (Yeh Ishq Ishq etc). The cast was of newcomers – Tanuja and Rajiv. Latter was probably never heard of much after this.
Btw, I was going through the discussion on the Youtube page where this song has been uploaded and one commenter suggested that Dr. Neeraj may have written this song on his wife’s death. Ostensibly, the commenter had heard Dr. Neeraj recite the poem in Chandigarh long before it became a song in the movie.
I also wanted to document here the complete lyrics so this will remain as a complete package for me as well. The poetry is so amazing that I would completely hate to lose it! Of course, the divine voice of Rafi has made all the more memorable for ever.
कारवाँ गुज़र गया
स्वप्न झरे फूल से ,
मीत चुभे शूल से ,
लुट गये सिंगार सभी बाग़ के बबूल से ,
और हम खड़ेखड़े बहार देखते रहे।
कारवाँ गुज़र गया , गुबार देखते रहे !
Slumdog Millionaire was after all flawed in more ways than one. A question was asked for Rs. 250,000 about the poet of the bhajan “Darshan Do Ghanshyam”. Jamal answers “Surdas”. I had thought it was Mirabai. But it turns out that it was neither!
In fact this song/bhajan first appeared in the movie Narsi Bhagat in 1957. The lyrics were written by well known Hindi poet Gopal Singh Nepali. Music was directed by Ravi and it was sung by Hemant Kumar and Sudha Malhotra composed in Rag Kedar.
Some believe that Nepali might have fashioned one of Narsi’s own bhajans into this one. Here are the complete lyrics of the bhajan btw. The bhajan that Surdas wrote was “Akhiyaan hari darsan ki pyaasi” – which is what Vikas Swarup’s original novel “Q and A” mentions. The script based on the movie on the other hand initially used “Chalo Ri Murali” – another Surdas bhajan. So, somewhere tampered with the original story AND the original script!
- Vishy Anand, the World Chess Champion talks of where the story in the book on which Slumdog Millionaire was based on may have been inspired. It was a real experiment done in a slum by the Indian IT company NIIT, where a computer was left in a village and the experimenters just observed how the kids used it. Within an hour they were able to switch it on and use the mouse and start point-and-click.. and by the evening, the kids had learnt to browse. More on that at the bottom of this post (along with Vishy’s interview on video).
- Boot Polish was one of the first movies to explore the theme of organized begging in India in detail. It was directed by Prakash Arora and Produced by Raj Kapoor.
- Mercedes-Benz asked that its logos be removed in scenes taking place in the slums. The company, according to Danny Boyle, did not want to be associated with the poverty-stricken area, fearing that that might taint its image.
- The actor whose autograph young Jamal gets is Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan is a very real, and very famous Indian actor, the original host of the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, and also the father-in-law of Aishwarya Rai (or Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan as she is known after marriage).
- The cricket match being shown on television in Javed’s house is the 1st one day international of the Future Cup between India and South Africa played at Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont, Belfast on June 26 2007. As shown in the movie, Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batsman, was run out on 99. India went on to score 242 and South Africa won the match by 4 wickets with 3 balls remaining.
- The film used a prototype Digital Cinema Camera from Silicon Imaging. When used in Mumbai, there were SI technicians on set constantly to deal with any problems the prototype had, of which there were many.
- Director Danny Boyle placed the money to be paid to the 3 lead child actors in a trust that is to be released to them upon their completion of grade school at 16 years of age. The production company has set up for an auto-rikshaw driver to take the kids to school everyday until they are 16 years old.
All you need to know about Music Awards is, critics claim, that Mozart never won even ONE! So, sometimes the awards lose their credibility for not being awarded to the best in the play.. for example, the Nobel Peace Prize that was never given to Gandhi! But some prizes lose their sheen for being awarded to thoroughly undeserving candidates of a genre. Golden Globes to Slumdog Millionaire is one such example.
Slumdog Millionaire is a recent rage. It has won 4 Golden Globes including the “Best Drama”, Best Musical Score, and Best Screenplay.
I saw Slumdog Millionaire last night. Honestly, I felt cheated… BIG TIME! Its biggest strength – and probably the only – is its editing. The rest is average.
Story: The story in inherently flawed. I don’t know of any schools in slums that teach English and specially about the Three Musketeers. It is also highly unlikely that a person who is participating in a game show on TV would be picked up by the police and tortured over night. And most hosts are fairly good.. specially in the public! I have yet to see a single Reality show host who has a mean streak – at least in the public, so I am not sure who exactly was Anil Kapoor playing??
Somehow, midway in the movie you realize that the Director and the Story-writer is somehow obsessed with India’s poverty. Most of the things shown in the movie are real. And there is nothing to hide about that. But somehow the story just cannot come out the grime and crime! The Hero somehow keeps switching between an uneducated and orphaned kid from the worst of Indian slums to a kid conversing freely and fluently with Americans in American English! Sometimes you wonder if the story-writer could make such fantastic leap of faith or was it the Director?
Now, this is what I call the ultimate revenge with the MAN-kind!! The guy married to arguably the most beautiful woman on earth has suddenly started acting in movies as a “Gay”!! Abhishek Bachchan is acting in Dostana and has his gay-ish character… and is now saying that he wont mind doing a Brokeback Mountain in future.
Is that where being with the most beautiful female does to you? lol
Salman Khan’s new Movie “Veer” is about an Indian warrior fighting the British Raj.
Set around 1800, the film will be similar to multiple Oscar winner Gladiator, and feature Salman in state of the art fight scenes. Apart from having Indian actors, the film will also feature numerous Western faces, including the daughter of top Hollywood actor Jean Claude Van Damme – Bianca Van Damme.
Salman has charged Rs. 25 crores for the movie. Priyanka Chopra may play the lead. Here are some pictures from the movie. Looks like Salman has really worked on himself!!
Just heard this song sung by a Sa re ga ma pa contestant – Sara Khan – who didn’t sing as well as she usually does. But at least she brought this song back to my mind – as I have been trying to recall this song…. for it’s DANCE! Yes, I think Mumtaz was at her finest in this dance. She was still an “extra” or side artist.. and it is legendary how she rose from a “side-kick” to one of the top heroines of Indian Cinema .. of all times!!
The most Gorgeous woman in the world – Aishwarya Rai has turned 35 today. Wish her the best
During the weekend (September 27, 2008) one of the greatest playback singer of Bollywood movies died. He was 74. Mr. Kapoor had been suffering from kidney ailment and had undergone dialysis as well but was now stable – although now he was suffering from some heart ailment. He died late Saturday in his sleep and was adjudged as having died from Cardiac Arrest.
He hailed from Amritsar and got noticed after he won a singing contest at All India Youth Festival in late 1950s.
He made his debut in V. Shantaram’s Navrang in 1958, singing Aadha Hai Chandrama Raat Aadhi, under the music direction of C. Ramchandra. He was a fan of Mohammad Rafi and his voice was very close to him. In fact when his first song was aired on All India Radio, the credits were given to Mohd Rafi for the song!!
About his relationship with Mohd. Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor once said:
“Rafi saab had made it very clear, much before my career hit a high note, that we should not sing together, mainly because of two reasons. One because we shared a guru-chela relationship and there should be no competition between us and secondly because our voices are very similar.”
He however sang Ek chand aasman pe hai ek mere paas hai from film Aadmi. Check it out below.
Read about how he once gave an autograph to a Rafi fan by signing in as Mohd. Rafi and the rest of his interview here.
No one has had a range like Mahendra Kapoor in songs. His voice could go to lower notes and show restrained strength and then immediately to the highest note that any Bollywood singer could dare to get to and show that strength in its complete glory!! In my personal view, he was the voice of a handsome young man! His was a voice of a restrained and disciplined but strong young guy – and no one benefited from it more than Sunil Dutt! His songs for him in BR Chopra’s movie gave him that aura of Greek God, that Sunil Dutt had!
I am a romantic. And not the one who believs or likes those chic-flicks but the surreal love that is rarely seen in this fast life and quick relationship turnarounds.:-) Raj Kapoor was a master of that love.
Love, to him was, like that first dew drop on the grass in the morning – fresh, delicate, yet beautiful.. and that is what he showed. Somehow that definition of love has not been seen on screen ever before or after.
In my eyes, coming of Ranbir brought that back for me. He has in him something that is different. His eyes tell a tale that has Raj Kapoor-ish style and soul. When he loves despite unrequited love or repents and works to ask for forgiveness after he realizes his mistake regarding all the pain he gave to others – he looks believable. More importantly he seems honest.
Most of the love stories have been about a very uncomplicated and straight forward “love”. Raj Kapoor introduced the complexities of love. That Bulleh Shah’s poem whih Chanchal sang in Bobby expressed that complexity so well.
Chahe Mandir Masjid todo, pyaar bhara dil kabhi na todo;
is dil mein dilbar rehta;
Jis palde mein tule mohabbat;
us mein chandi nahin tolna.
Love was taken to the Ruhani or the spiritual level for the first time.
Sajjad Husain was one of the most interesting music director in the Indian Cinema. His contemporaries agreed that he was the best of the best! So great was he that even Madan Mohan lifted a tune from Husain’s old song, and that Madan Mohan song went onto to become a great hit!
He was no ordinary talent. Such people come rarely and show flashes of genius before they become victims of their own eccentricity. Ghulam Mohammad, Pakeezah’s Music Director was another – about him, I will write on another day. The text below is taken from this page, with a view to popularize the story and the genius of Sajjad Husain – the only Original music director that Bollywood ever saw!!
Two incidents which best explain Husain’s personality and genius:
One: how, during a recording, he called out tartly to Lata Mangeshkar struggling at the mike with one of his intricate compositions, “Yeh Naushad miyan ka gaana nahin hai, aap ko mehnat karni padegi.”
Two: how at a music directors’ meet, eschewing the customary diplomacy of that era, he walked up to Madan Mohan and demanded belligerently, “What do you mean by stealing my song ?” (“Yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chandani” from his ‘Sangdil’ had just found a new avatar as “Tujhe kya sunaoon main dilruba” in Madan Mohan’s ‘Aakhri Dao’.)
These two hallmarks of Sajjad’s identity — his penchant for complex, many– layered compositions and his singularly forthright nature — stuck to him like a second skin throughout his life. And they combined in a rather unfortunate manner to diminish the potential brilliance of a career that could have ranked among the most celebrated.
It was not the intricacy of his compositions that put Sajjad at a disadvantage — he worked, after all, in an era that belonged to music directors with erudition and firm classical foundations. Where he lost out was in his handling of producers and directors, sometimes musical illiterates, who sought to simplify or alter his tunes — his contemporaries dealt with such “suggestions” rather more tactfully than Sajjad, who would immediately [get] up and walk out of the film.
“He was an extremely talented man, very knowledgeable about music, but his temperament was his undoing,” says Naushad. “Even if someone made a minor suggestion, he’d turn on him and say, ‘What do you know about music ?’ He fought with almost everyone. Because of this, he sat at home most of his life and wasted his talent. But the body of work he has produced, small as it might be, ranks among the best in Hindi film music.”
Saw this site for a new upcoming movie “Outsourced”. IT has some trailers and snippets from the movie. A lot of it looks cliched but some of the scenes are just hillarious. In this scene – the last part where the kid gets up and… … is the most hillarious! You can enjoy too….
This is my all time favorite song from Pyaasa.
Guru Dutt, the legendary Indian movie director, if he had been alive would have been 83 today (July 9). Just for the record, he is my top of the favorites list of Film Directors. Raj Kapoor follows him close. He has many movies to his credit, but three – Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, and Sahib, Bibi, aur Gulam are my three top favorites. I loved his sense of humor (YES! he had it despite the pathos of his movies and the ability to bring out pathos without sounding help-less and needy).
Lets see something about his life:
Guru Dutt was born Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone in Bangalore to Shivashankar Rao Padukone and Vasanthi Padukone. His parents were Chitrapur Saraswats, originally settled at Panambur, a village in South Kanara district of Karnataka. His father was initially a headmaster, and then a bank employee. His mother Vasanthi, while initially a housewife, later taught in a school, gave private tuition and also wrote short stories and translated Bengali novels into Kannada. Vasanthi was only 16 when Guru Dutt was born.
Guru Dutt had a tough childhood with financial difficulties, and a strained relationship between his parents. As a child he had some bad experiences; the hostility from his maternal uncle’s family, a frightening encounter with his insane maternal adopted uncle, and the death of his seven-month old brother (Shashidhar).
Guru Dutt was initially named Vasanth Kumar at birth at the suggestion of his mother’s elder brother, but after a childhood accident, he was renamed Guru Dutt, which was felt to be a more auspicious name. He was joined by three younger brothers, Atmaram, Devidas and Vijay and a younger sister, Lalitha. The Indian film director, Kalpana Lajmi, is his sister’s daughter.
He spent a great deal of time with his mother’s cousin, Balakrishna B. Benegal (known to the family as Bakutmama) who was a painter of cinema posters. The Indian film director, Shyam Benegal, is the son of Sridhar B. Benegal, Balakrishna’s younger brother.
How times have changed in Bollywood! Do you remember our heroes a few decades back? Sanjeev Kumar? Vinod Mehra? aging Rajesh Khanna? Remember how actresses were conscious of doing anything inappropriate? Remember Asha Parekh?
Now, the new crop is totally into fitness and they can give the best a run for the money. I know that Akshay Kumar is a toughie anyways.. but couldn’t have imagined him and Neha Dhupia – the film actress for Singh is Kinng would climb 60 storeys of a hotel in Australia as part of their exercise!
Last night I watched Black & White – a Subhash Ghai movie. It is a story of a boy from Afghanistan whose parents are killed in some bombings and is finally recruited into terrorism by the vast network of ISI and then tranferred to India (Delhi specifically) with papers establishing that he is from Gujarat and his parents died there and that he is in Delhi looking for a job.
He stays with some young guys who are his local contacts who live with their grandfather Gaffar Bhai – played by theater veteran Habib Tanvir. Anil Kapoor is Professor Mathur a professor of Urdu at Dr. Zakir Hussain College and can recite verses from Quran and explain them as well.
His wife is a social worker who lands up in soup all the time with her forthrightness. Anurag Sinha plays the terrorist young guy named Numair Qazi. He is very focused and lands in Delhi in the first week of August with the mission to blow himself up on Independence Day and has planned everything well. He has a certain version of Islam and does not feel any remorse in shooting his own team members for transgressing that interpretation of Islam. He looks very believable with his intense eyes and very powerful dialog delivery.
The film is about the transformation of this young focused fundamentalist Muslim boy whose only mission is to kill the Kafirs and Hindus because they are anathema to Islam. Even Shagufta a beautiful girl played by Aditi Sharma who falls in love with Numair does not change him.
This is very interesting set of pictures… three current bollywood stars and how they would look when old. Just seemed an interesting thing to blog on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Poetry is heart’s deepest feelings shared in words. Words form the basic structure of poetry, but word smithing is not poetry. Poetry goes beyond mere words. It has a soul that reflects the soul of the poet. Poet’s soul is often a reflection of his society and how he/she interprets that society. Some times and some societies are great breeding grounds for thoughtful poetry but not all poetry in those times rise above the fray. The ones that rise above all else are the ones where the poet looked at the already ripe poetic times in a way that was very compelling and difficult to forget.
Indian experience is not complete without its movies and movies have provided the canvas where the times of the society – within and without have been chronicled. These movies had a soul – as abused and revered it may have been but it did reflect our combined selves. The Indian soul – how ever you may define it from time to time has been refelcted and aggregated by the large screen. We may feel shocked by our own reflection but that is part of us.
Arguably, the most important of part of our movies have been the songs. Songs that made the Indians in India and outside, their kids and their spouses laugh, cry, love, hate, get up with courage, challenge the status quo and seek more responsibility. The poets from the begining of the times when movies were made have given our souls a voice. It has often been accepted at a superficial level by the audience but the poet was at many times very honest. Even those who were not completely honest to their own selves reflected the dilemma that the society lived in. The revolutions that we saw are participated or ignored were all part of this growing up and evolution that is eternal.
Given such a rich history of poetry in India cinema, specially the Hindi, it is rather tough to pin point any list of poets who rose above the fray. There were scores who were revered and have pushed to become better or startled us at our dishonesty and hypocrisy or made us love better. Nevertheless, there are three poets that have, in my view and mind heads and shoulders above all others of their times. They may have seen the same things that their peers saw but they gave those an interpretation that defied straight lines. The complexity of their thought process to arrive at a very simple but profound line in a very mundane setting has baffled me always. Who were these three?
Khuda ke Liye is a landmark movie. It is the first Pakistani movie in a long time to be released in India. Its star cast includes Naseeruddin Shah in a cameo as the Islamic scholar who clarifies the Islamic tenets to the court. The movie weaves together three stories — of a pop singer who comes under the influence of Islamic extremists, a Briton of Pakistani origin who is forcibly married to her cousin and a man illegally detained in the US after the Sept 11 attacks.
The movie is directed by Shoaib Mansoor and the actors are Shaan, Fawad Khan, Iman Ali, Alex Edwards, and Rasheed Naz.
Here are Pakistani actor Jawed Shaikh and Naseeruddin Shah at the Premiere in Mumbai
and a trailer
Yesteryear Actress Sridevi walks the ramp during the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. Hadn’t seen her for awhile! She still looks stunning.
I had earlier written a post on Madhubala. Today I read her younger sister’s interview on rediff, where Madhur Bhushan (real name Zahida) discusses the three important relationships in Madhubala’s life: her Father, Dilip Kumar, and Kishore Kumar.
You then realize how egotistic and full of themselves the big stars have been.
Entry into movies:
My father, Ataullah Khan, was working in the Imperial Tobacco Company in Peshawar, Pakistan, when he lost his job and decided to come to Mumbai. Madhubala was seven at that time. Her real name was Mumtaz Begum. We called her Mazliappa, as she was the fifth child.
My father started looking for a job. He also took Madhubala to film studios. She got work in Basant (1942) at the age of nine. The leading lady’s name was Mumtaz Shanti, so Madhubala was called Baby Mumtaz, when she was a child actress.
She got her first break in Kirdar Sharma’s Neel Kamal. Kirdar’s wife was supposed to play the lead role but she passed away. As Madhubala knew the dialogues, she became a heroine at the age of 13. From this film onwards, she was credited as Madhubala. The film did not do well, but her work was appreciated.
Madhubala shot to fame in 1949 with Mahal. She was 16. At that time, no one realised that she was sick, not even my father. Madhubala was a healthy child, and very bubbly.
Madhubala first vomited blood when she was in Chennai shooting for S S Vassan’s Bahut Din Huwe (1954). She was treated, and she resumed shooting. Nobody thought she was sick until she fainted on J K Nanda’s sets while shooting with Raj Kapoor on Chalack (1957). The film never got completed. That’s when the doctor said that she had a hole in her heart. She was 24 then.
This week Aamir Hafeez was eliminated from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. It created a very sad and avoidable situation. His brother and family went on a rage rant accusing other participants of not being good singers and also bringing in the example of Musarrat, Amanat Ali and Raja Hasan – implying that Muslims are discriminated against in reality shows. It was really a sad situation – specially with someone like Amjad Ali Khan there.
I personally have been a great fan of Raja Hasan but his singing had limited dimensions. Areas that he was strong in, no body could even touch him.. Period! But, he was not the same in all the areas. Amanat, on the other hand, was good and had a very easy singing style (clean singing – as Ismail Durbar rightly said) but he was not, in my humble opinion worthy of the top spot. Between, Raja and Aneek, I really think that Aneek was certainly the most versatile. In fact, he probably happens to be the most versatile singers I have seen. Ironically, many people held his technical correctness against him as if just because he cannot get it wrong technically, he doesn’t have any “feel”, which was a BS. Aneek was anyday the best.
And, honestly, if there was indeed anything negative against a minority singer, then Harpreet Deol was one who should have felt bad. He kept on improving and bettering himself and yet no one ever gave him good remarks. I was as much longing to hear a standing ovation for him as he was. I wonder where he went wrong? I was always a fan of his. But until the end he never got appreciated! He even started to say that but stopped short. That showed his greatness.
Madhubala, was in my view – as in many’s eyes – the most beautiful face to ever adorn the Indian movie screens. She had the freshness, eroticism, divinity, innocence, naughtiness – all rolled into one! Her life was a tragedy which was lived only to enrich others – specifically her father and family. Everyone milked her. Used her. Rarely did anyone help her live a life worth her.
She was also in my considered view one of the most under-rated actress! Her comedy in Chalti ka naam Gadi and her tragic performance in the epic Mughal-e-Azam were truly unique. Ones that have never been matched in their power. Yet, she will be known for her beauty… that was timeless, yet ephemeral.
Her angelic face also has provided me with solace and peace during my childhood as well. During my school years, I would draw her potrait after every term exam. She was my salvation and my companion on the road to recovery. I would pour over her many pictures and study every contour of her face, marvel the forth-right-ness of her eyes and the hopeless-ness being pushed desperately through labored longingness in her ethereal smile. I could never capture it all in my drawings. She was there in my mind but eluded the paper. It was befitting.
Hamari sanson mein aaj tak from Pakistani Movie “Mere Huzoor” sung by Mehdi Hasan (music by M Ashraf and lyrics by Unknown)
This song was sent by Sukriti. I think its extremely nice – good music, and great lyrics… and fantastic voice of Mehdi Hasan. It has been sung by both Mehdi Hasan and Noorjehan. Mehdi Hasan has a very soulful voice which makes him one of the greatest ghazal singers of all time! I would still rate Rafi as the best singer of ghazals in the sub-continent, but then I am biased! Also see the Youtube video of the song below.
Enjoy the song below if you are reading this after Jan 25, 2007; otherwise play it on the left hand sidebar…
Hum tere pyar mein from “Dil ek Mandir” sung by Lata (music by Shankar Jaikishen and lyrics by Shailendra)
This song is in Raag “Desh” – so it has a special attraction. Narcissism apart, this song symbolized for me the ultimate love for a long time. Although it has been expressed by a lady, but it could have been a man as well. The sentiments in poetry and the peerless voice of Lata (this period – early 1960′s – saw her come up with the most romantic and peerless rendering of songs ever!), makes it a song that simply pries open your heart! One of my favorite Lata songs!
Enjoy the song below if you are reading this after Jan 24, 2007; otherwise play it on the left hand sidebar…