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Dost Dost na raha from “Sangam” sung by Mukesh
There are some songs that haunt you for a long time to come. This was one of those songs for me! The haunting melody by Shankar Jaikishen and the amazing lyrics by the amazing Shailendra!
There is one line that has fascinated me ever since I understood its meaning and significance. The expression is as beautiful as it comes. “Safar ke waqt mein palak pe motiyon ko tolti” - I had never cared about this line … but what it means is “When I was leaving for my journey you were standing there weighing the pearls (of tears) with your lashes (as they fell)”.. its a simple thing that he is expressing but the beauty of expression is unmatched!
Enjoy the song below if you are reading this after Jan 20, 2007; otherwise play it on the left hand sidebar…
Chalte Chalte from “Pakeezah” sung by Lata Mangeshkar
This song’s music was made by Ghulam Mohammad and lyrics by Kaifi Azmi. I think this is one of best songs in the classical/semi-classical genre. It is amazing in how it uses silence as an instrument! The music stops, but the melody goes on …. somewhere in the middle of this song! Lata has long regarded Ghulam Mohd. as perhaps the best music composer she ever worked with. I couldn’t agree with her more!
Enjoy the song below if you are reading this after Jan 17, 2007; otherwise play it on the left hand sidebar…
Sivaji-The Boss, Rajnikant’s blockbuster hit was celebrating 175th day when the film actress came in a dress that some local Hindu organization did not like. So, they have sued her as she has “offended the HIndu Culture”! Now, who gave them the right to handle and save the Hindu culture anyways?!
These useless ideologues in search of their 15 minutes in limelight try any and every cheap tactic to gain visibility! Sometimes it is Khushboo and sometimes it is Shriya. For a culture that created Khajuraho and wrote Kamasutra, to object about a lady wearing a frock is just insane!
Moreover, the organization’s name is Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK). For an organization that includes the Hindi word for female underwear – Katchi, to object someone wearing a skirt/frock is rather hypocritical.. isnt it? haha…
In any case, the actress has apologized:
This is one of my favorite ghazals from Mirza Ghalib – with some words of translated below each verse. Here is the audio file in Jagjit’s voice (not the full version of the poem though)
1. baazeechaa-e-atfaal hai duniya mere aage
hota hai shab-o-roz tamaasha mere aage
[ baazeechaa = play/sport, atfaal = children ]
2. ik khel hai auraNg-e-sulemaaN mere nazdeek
ik baat hai ‘eijaz-e-maseeha mere aage
[ auraNg = throne, 'eijaz = miracle ]
3. juz naam naheeN soorat-e-aalam mujhe manzoor
juz waham naheeN hastee-e-ashiya mere aage
A whole generation of movie goers have grown up in Delhi watching Hollywood and good Bollywood movies in South Delhi’s Chanakya theater.
This 1076 seat hall with an annual attendance of 850,000 and a turnover of Rs 15 million, started off in 1970 with “Mera Naam Joker” and the screening of the 9-45 p.m. show of “Taare Zameen Par” at Chanakya cinema here on night of December 27, 2007 marked the end of the journey for this cinema hall which marked high of good cinema. The father and son Rajesh and Aditya Khanna have been running this hall since 1970.
The decision to close and vacate the place comes due to a Supreme Court judgment paving the way for the New Delhi Municipal Council to raze the theatre complex and build a multiplex-cum-mall on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
Now, after all these years of Shahrukh being in the limelight, the lady in his life – “The First Lady of Bollywood” – is finally coming out on her own. She will be donning the cover of Vogue India issue of January 2008!
Priya Tanna, editor Vogue India, describes Gauri as “as a ‘true Voguette’, who offers delightful peeks into her life, her wardrobe and her man,” said the report.
“It is her first solo cover and a coup of sorts for Vogue. That she is stylish, enigmatic and poised is known, but at the shoot we saw another side of her, that of a cover girl. Even in the frames she shares with Shah Rukh, she holds her own impressively,” Tanna said.
Gauri is quoted as saying she “hates tight and revealing clothes”, but that does not stop her from appearing on the cover in a red strapless low-cut dress, which ends about a foot above her knees.
Look at the difference! Well, at the very least she aint shying away from the camera when without the make up .. and is confident enough to make a public appearance!
I kinda like this actress. I think in modern times – after Kajol, she is the best around. Kajol obviously was the best in last many decades! She combined the spontaneity of her Mom (Tanuja) and the sensitivity of her Aunt (Nutan).
It seems that perennially partying and binging celeb gal is now really concerned about some elephants in the North East of India.. because they follow her life-style!
Others faults make you angry when they mirror your own!
So, there are these elephants in Assam etc, who are given “Rice beer” and they go around trampling things and then get shot. And Paris is really worried about them. So she posts a report on E-news network about them.
Hmmm.. some people’s vision go faaar.. and miss everything on the way..
Sulakshana Pandit – the yesteryears Indian actress – came from a musical background.
Her uncle is none other than renowned vocalist Pandit Jasraj. Her brothers Jatin and Lalit Pandit are established music composers. Her sister Vijeyta Pandit has acted in few movies, and is married to composer Aadesh Srivastava.
Sonu Niigaam – the leading Indian singer – acted as a child artist in movies like Kaamchor, Ustaadi Ustaad Ki, Hum Se Hai Zamana, Taqdeer and Betaab? In Betaab, he played the younger Sunny Deol.
I hadn’t heard this small verse from Pyaasa in a long time. This morning I happened to get it on Youtube. The song slowly and sensitively moves into one of the most touching songs aout prostitution probably ever written in Indian Cinema! The fantastic cinematic genius of my all time favorite director shines in this small clip of the verse and then the song. The brilliance of Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry and the understated purity of Rafi’s voice and the pathos filled direction and acting of Guru Dutt probably makes this small sequence as one of the most sensitive ever done in Indian cinema! All these guys – SD Burman (fantastic as a music director), Guru Dutt, Mohd. Rafi, and Sahir Ludhianvi – combine as THE top team of people I have ever seen assemble in any one movie. It is, therefore, a relief and befitting that Dilip Kumar did not take this role and Guru Dutt hesitatingly took it up himself. I cannot come to believe that anyone could have done justice to it! Enjoy this clip
Here is a trailer from Jodha-Akbar, the movie by Ashutosh Gowarikar. I saw it at Ravi’s site. I must say that the movie looks extremely promising!
Here is the first look at the new movie from Ashutosh Gowarikar – Jodha Akbar. I really like the look of Aishwarya Rai. She has that old world charm of a princess. Somehow that glamor is missing of being an Aish… and the simplicity and innocence is visible! What do you think?
I had discussed about Sa re ga ma pa – the music competition show a few days back. Somehow, this one show gives a hope to you – that things are still good with the people in whose hands the Indian music is in. Why? because it is quite different from Indian Idol or the earlier Fame Gurukul in one BIG way – the judges respect each other. There are arguments sometimes… but there is still respect. A lot of respect. It is not like Indian Idol, where Anu Malik used to treat Udit Narayana with contempt (which I found nauseating!)!
Sa re ga ma pa – a music reality show and the original music competition in India has been the gold standard as far as such shows are concerned. Every year the BEST voices are seen there. This year has been the world championship – where singers from Pakistan, Middle East, UK, US, and India are participating. The standards are very high indeed! The last three are left. Aneek Dhar from Bengal, Raja Hasan from Rajasthan, and Amanat Ali from Pakistan.
To say who is the best is IMPOSSIBLE! All are very very good. In fact I am sure all the top 10 finalists of this show will make a name for themselves in the years to come – specifically Junaid, Harpreet (my personal favorite), Sumedha (complete package – the BEST looking female singer with a top class voice!), Poonam (GREAT voice), and Mussarat (he is a great singer in the Sufi genre).
Now of these three who are left – I feel Aneek is the most versatile. All three are great but Aneek beats the rest when it comes to technique – flawless technique! His first song was a shocker in the way he sung it – a rap and pop kind. I will try and post that song from youTube as well. But for now, I wanted to post this classical great song of Manna Dey (see in the complete post below) that he sang in front of two of the greatest doyens of Indian music – Pandit Jasraj and Jagjit Singh. Just listen to this kid – Aneek is just 18 years! This was the most defining performance for me in this series and this particular episode will remain the BEST one and a half hour of music I have EVER heard in my life! It was as if there was a competition between Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey on one platform for 2 hours judged by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib! This ONE episode was truly in that league!
Here is another song that I have always loved from the movie "Gumraah" and one of my favorite singer: Mahendra Kapoor. It is a song that most people can relate to.. of a person meeting his unrequited love after years!
There are many people who have problems in relationships. It is tough in life to let go of relationships. Specially those of the heart. Here is a song that has been my guide for handling the dysfunctional relationships. Specially the last stanza:
Taaruf rog ho jaye…
to usko bhulna behtar
Taaluk bojh ban jaye…
to usko todna acchha.
Wo afsana jise anjaam tak laana na ho mumkin;
Use ek khoobsurat mod de kar chhodna accha!
The beauty of old Hindi songs was that anyone could feel like it was written for him/her. Listen to this most wonderful voice of Mahendra Kapoor – one of the most under-rated voice in Indian Cinema!
Kavita Chhibber is doing some really good work in the Indian blogosphere and e-zine area! I think she does some very original work always. She has recently started doing podcasts. This month is the special feature on Hrishikesh Mukherjee – the great Indian cinema Director. He made movies like Anand, Chupke-Chupke, Khubsoorat, Mili, Golmaal, Rang Birangi etc.
She has done two interviews – One with Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan and second with Amol Palekar. The insight into Hrishida – the man – and director is amazing. One incident that I find endearing about Hrishida is when Amol Palekar talks about his unwillingness to shoot because of cricket match and how Hrishida handled that.
There are very few folks like Hrishikesh Mukherjee now.
As for the interview technique of Kavita you will notice her saying very little. I think THAT is the hall-mark of a great interviewer.
Shahrukh Khan has been a special person in my eyes ever since I first saw him. People listen to his stammer-dialog delivery. I can sense a passion and an energy missing from Indian life! While Amitabh Bachchan epitomized the quiet subdued power of anger, Shahrukh goes a notch higher and makes that anger a rage. A passion that goes beyond words.
I have always mantained that Shahrukh would have succeeded no matter what he did. When he was studying – he did so very well. When he played he captained. Whatever he does, it has his 120% concentration and focus. He works to win. Nothing short. That is why a guy with good but not the most dashing looks, ordinary body (hold on!), and a TV career – made it as a super-star in Bollywood. Unthinkable combo and act.
Now, Shahrukh at his 40+ age thought of doing something with his body. And what does he do? He creates something out of his bland and flat body.. a physique that only a few can match in the Indian cinema!! Here is a pic (from Sakshi’s blog) of his six packs for his movie – Om Shanti Om (a retro kind of take on the world of bollywood itself!)
There haven’t been many white actors on Indian screen. We have had a few Anglo-Indians – but they were Indians who were descendants of foreigners who settled in India. Tom Alter – an actor whose Urdu diction I admired – was one of them. Here on the right he is playing the character of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad – a political luminary of Nehru era.
There were obviously more Anglo-Indians before the Independence era or in early 1950′s. But either they moved out or just bowed out of bollywood.
Now, for the first time on the Indian small screen – TV – we see a German lady in a soap. She is playing a quintessential Indian bahu or daughter-in-law. She has done a few of the good soaps – like Astitva, ek Prem Kahani – and a few movies. She is now engaged to a guy who is into the show business. So her journey into the Indian movie world is far from over.
Her name is Suzzane Bernert, and she can be seen in Kasauti Zindagi Kay. I am obviously not an Indian soap fan.. but the women may want to watch her perform.
Some excerpts from her interview:
How was your first experience facing the camera?
I was really nervous as I had to shoot in a salwar kamez, tikka and heavy jewellery. I gave it my best shot. Alok Nath was very happy and complimented me. That gave me confidence.
I am still in touch with some of the members of Astitva. I came to Mumbai and met my fiance Akhil Mishra. I have been doing theatre with him since 2005.
Some letters in the Pakistani daily Dawn are sometimes very interesting. Here is another one.. where this guys juxtaposes the melodies born out of the melting pot of Bengal, UP and Punjab.. against the "two nation theory" and partition. How partition took away – ruthlessly – the soul and the many wonders out of what has been great music and what could have been even greater!! Here is the letter:
I have been reading Ayaz Amir’s column every Friday, ‘religiously’. It is never complete without mention of General Musharraf. Perhaps the one and only Friday column, when the general was not mentioned, was when he wrote about Saigal and Muhammad Rafee and the Old Songs broadcast from the erstwhile Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka Broadcasting Service). This is what music can do. It makes you forget all grudges and regrets.
Ayaz Amir while eulogising these greats did mention perhaps unwittingly that they belonged to Punjab: “the land of the five rivers”, he said. This, of course, is true but music and art transcend all borders: provincial and ethnic. What would Saigal be without the tutelage of Punkaj Malik, a Bengali, or Rafee without the start he got in the film ‘Jugnu’ with his duet in the company of a reluctant Noor Jehan:
Though many people knew this but hardly everyone talked about this until Dharmendra filed for his elections candidacy in 2004. He was married – after conversion to Islam – to Hema Malini (named as Aisha Bi R. Chakravarty). His name is Dilawar Khan Kewal Krishn. He was 44 years and Hema Malini was 29. Here is the Nikahnama. The Nikahnama (marriage document) says that Dilawar Khan Kewal Krishn (44 years) accepted Aisha Bi R. Chakravarty (29 years) as his wife on 21 August 1979 at a mehr of, Rs 111,000 in the presence of two legal witnesses…’ The nikah was solemnised by Maulana Qazi Abu Talha Misbahi Faizabadi.
Did you know that Hema Malini used to live in Gole Market in Delhi and studied in DTEA School until Std. 8th? Hmm… cool. read more about that here.
So primarily, great film direction involves being able to inject and steep your movie in a certain ethos that you espouse and can effectively create. It is the second nature or the very core of the director’s existence. You cannot do it until YOU completely have it as your passion and core of being. So, only the most profound of people at their core become Great Directors. Technique is not what makes a good director Great – but his/her own CORE OF BEING!
Guru Dutt’s favorite emotion was PATHOS. Everyone who sees the movie can feel that pathos written all over EVERY bit of the movie. His movie Pyaasa was ranked by TIME as one of World’s Greatest movies of all times. Of course, while compiling the list, the "judges" were obviously heavily Hollywood centric so most of the movies (in true tradition of most "World championships" in the US) are from … well.. the US!
If you saw Raj Kapoor’s movie – it was ALWAYS that "other-worldly romance" that was the underlying emotion. He had – I think in Aag, his very first directorial movie – described beauty and romance as first purest dew drop being touched by the first rays of sun.. FANTASTIC visualization of what ultimate beauty and romance could be. THAT emotion was his underlying theme.
Shahrukh Khan – the Indian movie super-star – is obviously a great star and a good actor. But that is not all to him. According to HT’s tidbit, he also draws well!
Shah Rukh Khan can draw with amazing draughtsmanship and could give some of the best sketch artists of the country a run for their money.
He was also excellent at his studies in school and college. According to this fan site – he was excellent in electronics and biology. He also represented school and college in zonals and nationals in hockey, cricket and football! He actually captained his school in all three!
* There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Rajnikant has allowed to live.
* Outer space exists because it’s afraid to be on the same planet with Rajnikant.
* Rajnikant counted to infinity – twice.
* When Rajnikant does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.
* Rajnikant is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
* Rajnikant’s hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
* Rajnikant doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.
* Rajnikant gave Mona Lisa that smile.
* Rajnikant can slam a revolving door.
* Rajnikant does not get frostbite. Rajnikant bites frost.
* Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a Padayappa on Satellite TV
* There are no races, only countries of people Rajnikant has beaten to different shades of black and blue.
* Rajnikant’s house has no doors, only walls that he walks through.
* When Rajnikant has sex with a man, it won’t be because he is gay. It will be because he has run out of women.
* Rajnikant doesn’t actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.
* Rajnikant can divide by zero.
* Newton’s Third Law is wrong: Although it states that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, there is no force equal in reaction to a Rajnikant turnaround kick.
* For some, the left testicle is larger than the right one. For Rajnikant, each testicle is larger than the other one.
* When taking the GRE, write “Rajnikant” for every answer. You will score over 1600.
* Rajnikant invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
* In the beginning there was nothing…then Rajnikant kicked that nothing in the face and said “Get a job”. That is the story of the universe.
* Rajnikant has 12 moons. One of those moons is the Earth.
Bipasha was at the Gala cermoney to announce the Seven Wonders of the World. She shared the stage with Ronaldo – soccer star. Later they went to club for a dance and were all over each other.
Actually the duo hit so well that Ronaldo, who has reportedly been dating former Hollyoaks star Gemma Atkinson for months, was spotted kissing Bips at a VIP party in his home country of Portugal.
Sivaji – the movie with Rajnikant has become such a big hit in India and abroad.. that it is a phenomenon these days! Most of us North Indians do not quite realize that the movies from South make a lot of money and every state has a cinema of itself capable of challenging the best in the world. Here is an interesting SMS that is making rounds in India these days.. (Jhoom Barabar Jhoom – is a movie from Bollywood with Abhishek Bacchan – the latest hottest actor – and Bobby Deol!):
"Breaking news from South India… Car parking and cycle stand fee collection for Sivaji found to be more than the box office collection of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom…"
The father and sons trio of the Deol family have come together for the first time! A trend I guess set by the Kapoors first and then the Bacchans.. there werent many families apart from the Kapoors who had as many around in the celluloid world to create a movie together The movie is called "Apne". And they did the film for free! Or at least no fee right away. They have but asked for the Mumbai distribution rights.. which some say would be worth Rs 4 crores! There are, as they say, no free lunches. Not even when it is an advertisement for your own family!
After the Aishwarya-Abhishek marriage – many pictures came out.. but I found this one to be the best. It is very intimate and brings out a very private moment…. it was as if this picture should not have been meant for public use… they appear very much one’s own family.
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These days AB is showing some aggression when the younger guys come up in competition… for example the way he questioned Shahrukh’s "greatness" while he was merely copying AB in various things. Now, this question on the highest tax payer status. In a way he is right to do this.. since he does want to give the right impression around … that he is a law abiding citizen who pays up as much as he is owed.. unlike many of the yester-year stars like Rajesh Khanna.. who used to never pay up!
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan claims he is the "top" tax payer in the country with Rs.15.59 crore (Rs.155.9 million), and with Aishwarya Rai joining the family, the Bachchan family’s total tax would be around Rs.25.3 crore (Rs.253 million).
Richard Gere kisses Shilpa Shetty on the neck in a AIDS meet.. and the Indian Hindu nationalists start an uproar.. saying it was against our national interests – so what are these clueless idiots going to do next? bring down Khajuraho and Konark? Or ban all the raas lila poetry? Shilpa chastised these stupid people.. and RIGHTLY so!! Bringing you the photo and the video: