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Om Puri bids farewell – Day 1007

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It was a normal day for film actor Om Puri on 06 January. He had his lunch at his regular time followed by a short nap and his favorite cup of tea in the evening. He finished his pending work early because in the evening he was committed to attend his long lasting theatre friend SeemaPahwa’s son’s engagement with wife Nandita and son Ishaan.

Seema lives in Versova and the celebrations lasted till approximately 11 pm after which Om Puri dropped Nandita and Ishaan home and returned to his flat a few buildings away.

In the morning, Om Puri’s driver reported for duty at his regular time and when his master did not answer the door bell after a long time,used the spare key given to him to unlock the door. Nothing in his wildest imagination could have prepared him for what he saw inside!

Om Puri was on the kitchen floor and not responding. The driver panicked and phoned Nandita. She arrived within minutes and together they drove him to the Cooper Hospital for a post mortem.

Within moments the news flashed like wild fire and friends and well -wishers gathered at the hospital. When I reached Cooper Hospital a devastated Nandita was surrounded by friends and supporters. She was trying to be brave but it was not easy as tears filled her eyes.

Everyone had the same question to ask: What happened and when? And nobody had the answer because nobody was with him when it happened!

It is common knowledge thatNandita and Om Puri have been separated for a while now and while Nandita lives with their son Ishaan in Om Puri’s three bedroom apartment Trishul, Om lived in a smaller flat in Oakland Park nearby.

What could have happened in the night? Had Om Purigot up to get something from the kitchen  and missed a step and collapsed on the floor ?

It could be a massive heart attack or it could even be an internal head injury one does not know till the post mortem reports arrive.

Nandita wiping her tears said, “I asked my son to come to the hospital, he refused, he said I don’t want to see him like that… His manager called me just now to say Saab is not picking up the phone, what do I tell him? What do I tell everyone when I don’t believe the news myself?”

66 is no age to go especially for an actor who internalized every character he played whether it was the cop of ArdhSatya…the rickshaw puller in City of Joy…the weaver of Susman…the customer in Mandi…the journalist in In Custody

How do you say farewell to a man who celebrated love, life and food…He was forever looking for new places to relish different cuisines so he had discovered  a favorite spot to enjoy a vegetarian thali and another to relish South Indian authentic food served on a banana leaf.

The last time I spoke to him a few months ago, he sounded disoriented; I thought he was probably unwell.

A few weeks later, a junior colleague attending a promotion of his new film told me he was awkward at the press meet and they had to cancel the conference because Om Puri was not comfortable and wanted to go home. Probably something was going on in his mind and heart that nobody knew because he had not shared it with anybody.

We don’t know if Om Puri died of heart attack or maybe heart break!

Why this cover? – Day 981

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Amitabh Bachchan was the undisputed choice on the cover of the book; the conflict was which film will best represent the actor. After a lot of deliberation everyone agreed that it has to be Amar Akbar Anthony. The explanation given was it must be an image that brings a smile on everybody’s face and who better than Anthony Gonsalves coming out of the Easter egg in Manmohan Desai’s creation.

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The idea made me revisit the song and I reproduce the lyrics for you to understand the spirit of the character/ nation and cinema in that era.

 

My name is Anthony Gonsalves
Mani duniyaa me akelaa hun
Dil bhi hai khaali ghar bhi hai khaali
Isame rahegi koi qismat vaali
Haay jise meri yaad aaye jab chaahe chali aaye
Rup nagar prem gali kholi number chaar sau bees
Excuse me me please
My name is Anthony Gonsalves
Mai duniyaa me akelaa hun

You see such experiment
Sasamstas for the extra bangle

Abhi-abhi isi jagah pe ik ladaki dekhi hai
Are dekhi hai aji dekhi hai
Abhi-abhi isi jagah pe
Ik ladaki dekhi hai
Jo mujhe ishaare karati hai par kisi se shaayad darati hai
Are darati hai aahaa darati hai uf
Pyaar karegi kyaa darnevaali
Meri banegi koi himmatvaali
Haay jise meri yaad aaye jab chaahe chali aaye
Rupa nagar prem agali kholi number chaar sau bees
Excuse me please!
My name is Anthony Gonsalves
Mai duniyaa me akelaahun

You see the quiet piscent of the lending is inject
Opposition by the glowing ermeshpiyarik
Prisoner is the country today

Bade-bade log yahaan hai lekin ye yaad rahe
Are yaad rahe aji yaad rahe
Bade-bade log yahaan hai lekin ye yaad rahe
Sachchaa pyaar garibokaa baaqi hai khel nasibo kaa
Dil ki ye baate jag se niraali
Ye kyaa samajhegi koi daulatvaali
Haay jise meri yaad aaye jab chaahe chali aaye
Rupa nagar premagali kholi number chaar saubeess
Excuse me please

My name is Anthony Gonsalves
Mai duniyaa me akelaa hun
Dil bhi hai khaali ghar bhi hai khaali
Isame rahegi koi qismat vaali
Haay jise meri yaad aaye jab chaahe chali aaye
Rupa nagar prem agali kholi number chaar saubees
Excuse me please

Oh yes…
Anthony Gonsalves…

@bhawanasomaaya

My previous posts can be visited on the following link:

http://bhawanasomaaya.blogspot.in

Why this Book? – Day 980

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India is the biggest producer of feature films and the world looks up to as for our inventive measures.Where we fail is in not preserving our heritage. Old guards say almost all the full length feature films like Raja Harishchandra or our first talkie Alam Ara and many other significant films don’t exist.

So many of our classics have been destroyed in fire, floods and out of negligence and in fact whenever actors/ filmmakers have been invited for retrospectives to international film festivals they have discovered that the required print is either scratched, damaged beyond repair or simply missing. How depressing is that.

Unfortunately none of our old writers and lyricists have preserved their jottings, we have no unused tunes preserved by music directors except perhaps Madan Mohan whose son Sanjeev Kohli gathered the scratches and inspired Yash Chopra to use them all in Veer Zaara.

I was reading Dilip Kumar’s autobiography and learnt that the actor made significant contributions in all his scripts and had a very methodical way of sketching his characters be it a period film or a mainstream masala or homework on the dialogue sheets, music directors have not preserved their rejected tunes most of the time deleted instantly and producers have not preserved film costumes as most of them were utilized as wedding trousseau of the family members.

Hopefully our present generation of actors and filmmakers are learning from their senior’s mistakes and preserving if not all, at least their better films. Our old filmmakers did not have the facilities of modern technology, our youngsters do and if they fail they will not be forgiven.

For the next few weeks I will travel you through the 100 years of cinema as I celebrate my new book

Once Upon A Time in India – A century of Indian cinema.

@bhawanasomaaya

My previous posts can be visited on the following link:

http://bhawanasomaaya.blogspot.in

 

The Legend of Twinkle Khanna – Day 966

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Pic credit Rubina A Khan (Getty Images)

Pic credit Rubina A Khan (Getty Images)

On Monday Twinkle Khanna released her second book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad already a best seller on Amazon. Her first book Mrs Funny Bones a compilation of her columns for a newspaper is a best seller too and Khanna, a serious author to watch out. The glamorous launch at Mumbai’s JW Marriot Hotel was attended by prominent film personalities and the book passages ably read by Shabana Azmi, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. Karan Johar conducted a brief conversation with the actor on her experience of writing.

Twinkle dazzled on the stage recounting amusing anecdotes about her grandmother Betty Kapadia, paid fitting tribute to her mother, husband and son Aarav and was showered with praises by her erstwhile publisher Chiki Sarcar who described Khanna as a delightful and effortless writer.

As I watched a teary eyed Dimple Kapadia and a visibly emotional Akshay Kumar in the audience, my mind traveled back to the first time I set my eyes on her many, many moons ago…

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Photo credit: Rubina A Khan (Getty images)

( For the complete article visit The Quint- click on link below)

https://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2016/11/16/twinkle-khanna-book-launch-akshay-kumar-karan-johar-aarav-the-legend-of-lakshmi-prasad-koffee-mrs-funnybones

@bhawanasomaaya

Farewell Jaywantiben – Day 960

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Of the many who mourn the passing away of BJP loyalist Jaywantiben Mehta, our Shaina NC is most heartbroken. She shares that Jaywantiben was truly a mother to her in politics, always hand holding and giving the perfect advice.  Shaina recalls that during every National Executive meeting they would share the same room and she would narrate stories of the emergency and her entire career in politics to her. “They were fascinating stories and as a young woman politician of this city, I was enchanted. Whenever I was with her and even when I was not, she was referred to as the ‘paaniwalibai” by the public.  She was a lady of integrity and commitment and I’m proud to have known her.”

@bhawanasomaaya

My previous posts can be visited on the following link:

http://bhawanasomaaya.blogspot.in