Monthly Archives

August 2020

Remembering Shailendra – day 1865

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Remembering Shailendra

Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen… Yeh mera diwanapan hai…Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai…

Yesterday, 30th August was Hindi cinema’s celebrated lyricist Shailendra’s 97th birth anniversary.

Born in Rawalpindi and reared in Mathura, it is said that as a child Shailendra was forever scribbling in his note book.

When he got older, he started reciting at mushairas and it was here that filmmaker Raj Kapoor spotted him.

Kapoor was so moved by his fiery poem ‘Jalta Hai Punjab’ that he offered to buy it instantly for his debut film Aag.

But Shailendra, a member of the left wing IPTA declined and so Kapoor smiled and said, “If you change your mind, knock on my door”.

A fictionalized version of the moment was years later represented in Kapoor’s film Mera Naam Joker.

Ganesha without Rishi Kapoor – day 1865

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A home I have been visiting since the 90s is Neetu and Rishi Kapoor. The first time they brought home Ganpati, Ranbir and Riddhima were little kids, over the years they moved into their new bungalow and since last two years, their temporary apartment but the deity home remained consistent, a silver temple dressed in fineries and served with sugar free sweets.
Two years ago, it was during the festival (when above picture was clicked) that Rishi Kapoor went through his tests and and last year, for the first time the family wasn’t home to welcome the deity. Will the deity come home to Neetu Kapoor this year, I don’t know, will I visit the family nevertheless, I think so, will it ever be the same without Rishi Kapoor, I don’t think so!

Bappa comes home – day 1864

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A film I cannot get out of mind is Marathi film Ventilator where the opening credits portray all the sounds and images associated with the festival in all its colours and splendour! The end credits repeat the grandeur when the patriarch recovers and the family is ready to bring the deity home.
Talking of hosting the idol, so many of our film folks have for years, brought the deity home. Some, to their work place, some to their abode, some, quietly and some in all its glory. Singer Nitin Mukesh has all the celebs visiting him and it is a home filled with music, food and colour.
Anil Kapoor’s wife Sunita makes it a special evening with fragrance and lights( above pic at her home) Sanjay Leela Bhansali prefers a Gujarati lunch that carries forward to teatime and sometimes dinner. There is a special costume and special design for Bhansali Ganesha and it is personally supervised by Sanjay’s mother Leelaben.
To be continued

The deity and the filmmakers – Day 1863

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For director Mukul Anand the final day visarjan was a premise for a dramatic climax in the 1990 Agneepath whereAmitabh Bachchan is stabbed amidst huge crowds bidding farewell to the deity at the seashore. For Ram Gopal Varma, it was exposing the hero as a criminal in Satya/ 1998 as he is dragged on a noisy street and his beloved Urmila Matondkar looks on shell shocked!

For Aditya Chopra the deity was a trigger for romance in Dil Toh Pagal Hai /1997. Madhuri’s dance teacher Aroona Irani notices attraction between the lead pair and senses their hesitation to confess it and therefore gifts identical Ganesha idols to both Shah Rukh and Madhuri Dixit separately telling them that he will guide them to love and he does.

While animation film My Friend Ganesha celebrates bonding between the deity and a child, for filmmakers Farhan Akhtar and Karan Johar, the festival was an occasion to include a song featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan in the remakes of Don and Agneepath.

To be continued

Ganpati Bappa- on screen – Day 1861

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Every year, come Ganesh Chaturthi and all the pandals begin to play Ganpati songs. This year is different because of the pandemic but that does not stop us from remembering Ganpati songs in our movies. For all the celebrations associated with the deity strangely there are not as many significant songs / scenes projecting the God of wisdom on screen and which explains why we are still playing the same old songs like ‘Deva ho deva’ from the 1980 release Humse Badhkar Kaun or ‘Murti Ganesh ki, andar daulat desh ki’  from Takkar where Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar and Vinod Mehra  expose  the villains who have hidden the temple treasures inside the idols placed inside the truck.

In 1981 Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug was the first film to portray the immersion procession in all its glory where in hero Shashi Kapoor is caught in the festival traffic. The chaos on the street reflects the turbulence in his heart.

Sunil Dutt’s Dard Ka Rishta in 1983, inspired from his personal life was about battling cancer where Baby Khushboo while on the hospital senses the Lord coming home. The father brings the idol to her hospital bed and Khushboo dies in peace.

To be continued

Day 1861 – Krishna Abhinaya Part 1

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When the gopikas bathe in the pond, Lord Krishna and his friends steal their clothes and then climb on top of a tree to watch the show.
Is Krishna really that shameless or are we missing a deeper message?