Monday, September 29, 2014

Another South Star Rajith Menon Makes Debut In Bollywood

After the current lot of South Indian actor trying their luck in Bollywood like and Ram Charan Teja ( ZANJEER), Prithviraj (AIYAA), Suriya (RAKHTACHARITRA), Rana Daggubati (DEPARTMENT), Siddharth (RANG DE BASANTI) and of course Dhanush (RAANJHANAA), yet another South actor, Rajith Menon, known for his hits films in Malyalam and Tamil film industry is making his Bollywood debut with HOTEL BEAUTIFOOL. 

After giving a series of hit films in South like UP AND DOWN: MUKALIL ORAALUNDU AND DAIVATHINTE SWANTHAM CLEETUS, NATHU YAARO, GOLDEN CHANCE Rajith Menon is making his foray in Bollywood. However readers would be surprised to know that prior to HOTEL BEAUTIFOOL, Rajith Menon, had been offered several Bollywood movies but he rejected as he was looking for a perfect role that can establish him in Bollywood

“I have been getting offers from Bollywood for quite some time but i didn't feel like being part of it. I almost got five scripts from Bollywood before HOTEL BEAUTIFOOL,” informs Rajith Menon.

Speaking about his role in the movie Rajith Menon said, “The movie’s director Sameer Iqbal Patel is a young man. When he contacted me for the role of a South Indian character in his movie, I was quite impressed by the role as it had shades of comedy. I immediately nodded because I was getting an opportunity to experiment with comedy.” 

Taking about the film, Ranjit informed, “The movie HOTEL BEAUTIFOOL is an excellent comedy and has comedy king Johnny Lever. The other high light of the film is comedy actor Imam Siddique, who became a household name after he appeared in BIGG BOSS.” 

Adapted from the super hit Hindi drama, BAAT BAAT MEIN BIGDEY HAALAT featuring veteran actor Rakesh Bedi, director Sameer Iqbal Patel, who directed the play is confident of its film version.

Akshay Kumar Unveils The Trailer Of The Shaukeens

Actor-producer Akshay Kumar on Saturday unveiled the trailer of THE SHAUKEENS, the remake of 1982 classic, SHAUKEEN, directed by the legendary comedy specialist Basu Chatterjee, who gave several comedies like CHHOTI SI BAAT (1976),BATON BATON MEIN (1979) KHATTA MEETHA (1977)CHAMELI KI SHAADI ( 1986). 

The much anticipated trailer launch was studded with the entire star cast, Annu Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Piyush Mishra, Anupam Kher along with the director and the dazzling beauty Lisa Haydon, who plays the lead heroine. Lisa Haydon has just come to fame with her role in the movie QUEEN. 

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The trailer depicted Akhsay Kumar in a new light, as he plays an alcoholic version of himself. Akshay Kumar, who plays a special appurtenance in the movie, dedicated the trailer to the original SHAUKEEN directed Basu Chatterjee. 

Readers may recall the original version had Bollywood veterans Ashok Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A.K.Hangal, the three lecherous old men, who go out on a trip to Goa to have fun with a club dancer Rati Agnihotri. Mithun Chakraborty was the hero, who is driver, who takes the three men to Goa. 

The new version is written by Tigmanshu Dhulia and looks promising with punchy one liners, fresh comical situations and Lisa Haydon's sizzling screen presence. 

Tigmanshu, speaking about the film said it was difficult to crack Mithun's character in the film. He informed, "I was wondering who could play the Mithun Chakraborty's character in the film, then I thought who better than Akshay Kumar. Akshay Kumar is the biggest star and is famous for comedy movies.”

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Akshay Kumar, who will be seen in a special appearance said, “I am playing a special appearance in the film. I am playing myself in the film and the only thing that was added in my character was that I am shown as an alcoholic in the movie which is different from my real life character. I had a great time shooting for this film," He added, “But it's my film and I am happy about it and I will support the film in every way.”

The movie is directed by Abhishek Sharma, he said, “I have managed to tickle the funny bone and give a new lease comedies in Bollywood.” 

Lisa Haydon, the heroine said, “I am extremely excited about ‘Shaukeen’. Working with all the veterans like Anupam Kher, Piyushji, Annu Kapoor was super fun. It was a learning experience for me and I feel blessed to be part of ‘Shaukeen’ remake.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Remembering Playback Singer Mahendra Kapoor

27 September marks the death anniversary of singing legend Mahendra Kapoor, playback singer of these peerless songs. Mahender Kapoor is better recognized as the ‘First’ among the umpteen Mohd. Rafi clones. Raaga.Com pays him humble homage. 

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An ardent Rafi fan, his drawing room adorns a king-size Mohd. Rafi portrait. Since childhood he had a passion for Rafi songs and use to imitate the proficient singer with perfection so much so that when he participated in the All India Radio Murphy play back singers contest singing a Rafi number, he won the Best Playback Singer Award judged by eminent music wizards from Bollywood like Naushad and C. Ramchandra

Mahendra Kapoor was born in the holy city of Amritsar on 9th of January 1934. He belonged to a family of cloth dealers. At an early age he came to Bombay with his family. He was very much interested in music since his childhood and character actor of Prithvi Theatres. B. M. Vyas was his first guru in the field. He was admitted to St. Xavier school of Bombay for his education. During his school days, he gave audition of Young India Company and also for All India Radio but could not succeed. He did not give up and continued his practice under Ustaad Meherji, Ustaad Niyaz Ahmad Khan, Pt. Tulsidas Sharma and Manohar Potdar. However lady luck smiled and in 1957 at Metro Murphy singing contest he was selected as a winner. 

He is best remembered for his songs for B R Chopra's films like 'DHOOL KA PHOOL', 'GUMRAH', 'WAQT', 'HAMRAAZ', 'DHUND' among others. 

Mahendra Kapoor was also the voice of Manoj 'Bharat' Kumar in movies like 'UPKAR' and 'PURAB AUR PASCHIM', especially in numbers of "Mere Desh Ki Dharti" and "Hai Preet Jahan Ki Reet Sada". Manoj Kumar on Mahendra Kapoor’s death had lamented, “I have fond memories of legendary singer Mahendra Kapoor. He sang many songs for me including National Award winning number 'Mere desh ki dharti…' in my film 'UPKAR'.

Meri Aawaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai, Gar Yaad Rahe: Lata Mangeshkar

Naam Gum Jayega, Chehra Ye Badal Jayega

My name will be lost (disappear), my face will change

Meri Aawaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai, Gar Yaad Rahe

My voice is my identity, only if You can remember

This beautiful song penned by Gulzar in the movie KINARA and sung poignantly by the ‘Queen of Melody’ Lata Mangeshkar beautifully captures the essence of the mystical voice of Lata Mangeshkar who has been ruling millions of hearts around the globe for over six decades. 

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September 28 marks the birthday of the greatest playback singer of the Millennium; Raaga.Com wishes her birthday greetings and prays she continues to regale the listeners for generations to come.

Fondly called Didi, Lata Mangeshkar will be celebrating her 85th birthday at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai. Eminent cricketer Sachin Tendulkar will be felicitating the legendary singer at a function organised by Hridayesh Arts at the Shanmukhananda Auditorium at Mumbai. Lata Mangeshkar will sing a 'Meera Bhajans' to please her innumerable fans on the ocassion. 

Lata's younger sister, Asha Bhosle and brother Hridaynath will also be present as the guest of honour at the event and several Bollywood stars will also grace the celebration. 

Speaking about her birthday she says, “I feel extremely great. It’s always a charm to age gracefully.” However she adds, “I don’t like to cut cakes. When I was young, my mother would prepare sweets and put tilak on my forehead,” she fondly remembered.

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Recalling her mentor music composer Master Ghulam Haider, Lata Mangeshkar says, “He was the first music director who had confidence in me and fought with producers to give me a chance.” She informs, “When the producers of MAJBOOR, discarded me, Ghulam sahab, asked me to accompany him to the Bombay Talkies studio in Malad where MAJBOOR was being shot. He was the music composer. He didn't say anything to me. He just made me rehearse a song. Later when we recorded, he was so happy with my voice that he said, ‘People will forget everyone, including Noorjehan, (the queen among singers in the 40’s) when they hear you.’ True indeed! Today people may have forgotten Noorjehan, but Lata Mangeshkar has become an icon for generations. 

Lata Mangeshkar has been honored with innumerable awards but the one that truly deserves a special mention is that she is the only second singer in the non-classical category (after M.S Subbulakshmi) in India to have received the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. She has received three national awards and four Filmfare awards after which she stopped accepting awards in order to promote new talent. She continues to sing every now and then for Hindi movies and perform live.

Truly a living legend, Lata Mangeshkar has a talent that is second to none.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dev Anand - Bollywood’s First Fashion Icon

Har fikar ko dhuen mein udata chala gaya 

This song from the movie HUM DONO aptly captures the essence of the life of Evergreen Actor ‘Dev Anand’, who was the most cheerful, the eternal and really the most durable romantics of our time, in fact, for five generations! His autobiography was thus appropriately titled ‘Romancing with Life’. September 26, marks the birthday of this legendary actor; Raaga.Com remembers him and takes a look at the typical Dev Anand style. 

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Dev Anand was perhaps Bollywood’s ‘First Star’ who can be rightly termed as a Fashion Icon. Be it his silky mop of hair with an Elvis-like puff on the forehead that created a craze among the youngsters of the 50’s and the 60’s or the caps, particularly the iconic, checkered print cap worn by Dev Anand in the film JEWEL THIEF or his scarves, mufflers, jacket and wearing sweaters on shoulders were all a rage among his fans. 

His typical walking style the manner of speaking, the full-sleeved shirts everything about Dev Anand was a style statement. However readers would be rather surprised to know that Dev Anand himself never developed any style as such it was the people who loved it and it became a fashion icon. 

In an interview Dev Anand had candidly confessed, “There is no Dev Anand style. I have longer arms than my coats so I pull them up and I like it. If you love yourself, when you are going to a party and you meet a lot of wonderful people, you look at yourself in a mirror and ask yourself what sort of shirt and suit you are wearing. If you like yourself, you are going to conquer. That’s self-confidence.” 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Will Geetu Mohandas’ LIAR'S DICE Break The Oscar Jinx?

Malayalam film actress turned director Geetu Mohandas is elated that her Hindi film LIAR'S DICE has been chosen as India's entry for the 2015 Oscar Awards, which, unfortunately, has been eluding India Cinema since its inception. From Classics like MOTHER INDIA, GUIDE, MADHUMATI, SAARANSH, NAYAGAN, THEVAR MAGAN, LAGAAN, RANG DE BASANTI, BARFI etc not a single Indian film has been able to fetch the prestigious Oscar Award. 

LIAR’S DICE is Geethu Mohandas’ first Hindi film and her second directorial venture. The Film Federation of India had hard time selecting the movie for Oscar. LIAR’S DICE out beat many deserving movies like SHAHID, QUEEN, MARY KOM, MARDAANI and 2 STATES, regional films FANDRY (Marathi), YELLOW (Marathi), APUR PACHALI (Bengali)and JATISHWAR (Bengali). 

Reacting at the Film Federation of India’s decision to select her film LIAR'S DICE as India's official entry for the best foreign film category at the 87th Academy Awards, Geethu Mohandas said, "I am extremely excited and happy for my entire cast and crew, and for my producers, particularly because it is purely an independent film. It's a proud moment for all of us today”. 

The movie LIAR’S DICE ever since its world premiere at Mumbai Film Festival in October 2013 has been receiving rave reviews at national and International festival circuits. 

Besides winning two National Awards it picked up this year, for best actress for Geethanjali Thapa (who played the protagonist, Kamala), and the best cinematographer for Rajeev Ravi (Geetu’s husband). It was premiered in the ‘World Cinema Dramatic Competition’ category at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Utah and screened at several major fetes across the world, including International Film Festival Rotterdam. It also fetched appreciation at Sofia International Film Festival. ‘LIAR’S DICE’ also won a special jury award there.

Starring Geetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, LIAR'S DICE is a hard hitting socio political film that discusses serious issues like migration, the state of the urban poor and the terrible unfairness suffered by unskilled labour.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shashi Kapoor Had First Forecasted That Amiatbh Bachchan Will Became Superstar!

Shashi Kapoor, the ace actor, director and producer from the illustrious Kapoor Khandaan, who ruled Bollywood in the late 60’s and 70’s with super hit movies like JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE, HASEENA MAAN JAYEGI, SHARMELEE,AA GALE LAG JAA, CHORI MERA KAAM,CHOR MACHAYE SHOR, SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM, etc and produced thought provoking parallel cinema like KALYUG and JUNOON is suffering from acute chest infection.

He is being treated at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital, Andheri in Mumbai and as per Ram Narain, executive director of the hospital the actor is fast recovering. He added, “He is now on antibiotics, but is stable right now.”

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Superstar of millennium Amitabh Bachchan, who shares a very good relation with Shashi Kapoor prayed for his speedy recovery. Bachchan in his tweet wrote, “May the Almighty be by the side of one that has been ill in Hospital for a few days and make him his usual self again ..!” 

It may be noted that Shashi Kapoor is the only actor who has the privilege of acting opposite Amitabh Bachchan in as many as 16 movies. The most popular movies of Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor together are DEEWAAR, KABHIE KABHIE, TRISHUL, ROTI KAPADA AUR MAKAAN, SILSILA, SHAAN, DO AUR DO PAANCH, SUHAAG, NAMAK HALAAL, KAALA PATTHAR, SHAAN etc.

Readers would be rather shocked to know that when Amitabh Bachchan was struggling in Mumbai to become a star, Shashi Kapoor was already a busy star and it was Shashi Kapoor who had first seen glimpses of a superstar in Amitabh Bachchan. Hence he discouraged Bachchan from doing trivial roles as he had faith in Bachchchan

Amitabh Bachchan in his blog once wrote, “When Shashi ji found me doing an extra role in James Ivory-Ismail Merchant's FILMVALAS, an English movie, he told, “Don’t do such trivial roles, you are not made for it and taking me aside he helped me financially.” 

Years later Shashi Kapoor’s forecast turned true and Amitabh Bachchan got the privilege of being cast opposite Shashi Kapoor in DEEWAAR, not as a junior artist but in a lead role!

Is Narendra Modi Country's Latest Fashion Icon?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is definitely a Prime Minister with a difference! Be it his daring rhetoric skill, his innovative idea to address the students on Children’s Day and of course his stunning dressing style has left even the American media in a dizzy. The 'Modi Kurta’ with Bvlgari shades and a Movado watch is becoming as celebrated as his style sense and his controversial political past.

According to latest news three major US publications - Time, New York Times and the Washington Post are going gaga over the Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s trademark 'Modi Kurta' as Indian PM prepares to depart for much anticipated September summit with US President Barack Obama. The most revered publication of US Time described Narendra Modi as ‘India's New Prime Minister Is the Country's Latest Fashion Icon!’

To make Modi’s dressing statement more iconic for his six-day visit to the US the latest news is that the Prime Minster has hired Troy Costa, a renowned Mumbai designer, who designs for Bollywood stars, to create the outfits that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would adorn in his US visit. 

Political analyst predict that hiring fashion designer Troy Costa to design attires of PM has given rise to speculation that Modi would go for suit and tie for his US visit, since he usually favours crisp, half-sleeved kurtas, churidar pyjamas and Nehru jackets. 

When contacted Troy Costa he declined to share what he has designed for Modi but said, "I'd rather let my product speak than me personally."

Fashion experts say Modi, 64, has taken political dressing to a new level. Apart from his trademark kurtas and Nehru jackets, his use of colour makes him a fashion icon. The prime minister's power dressing is in line with his message of economic reform.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rekha To Re-Live Madhubala And Other Veteran Actresses Of 60’s

When Madhubala dazzled on the iconic Shesh Mahal sequence in K. Asif’s magnum opus MUGHAL-E-AZAM, the audience went fanatical and the movie created box office history. 

More than fifty years later ageless beauty Rekha is once again reviewing the super hit song on the silver screen draped in the royal outfit and jewelers adorned by Madhubala and recreating the same nakharaas and thumkhaas displayed by Madhubala, the Venus of Indian Cinema.

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Inder Kumar, the film’s director speaking about the song said, “Actually the song is a kind of musical parody featuring several classic songs of the golden era picturised on beautiful legendary actresses of the 60’s.”

He informed, “Besides the timeless Pyaar kiya toh darna kya… we have super hit songs from GUIDE featuring Waheeda Rehman and so on.” He added, “Each song will have a single antra and Rekha will be seen draped in the same costume dancing to the same steps as accomplished by the great actresses. In nut shell it is an ode to the classic music and dance of golden era.” 

Choreographed by Shabina Khan the song and dance sequence will take the audience into retro and give an insight to the younger generation about the kind of melody and traditional dance that Indian cinema once boosted. 

Shabina Khan briefing the media about the song said, “ It was very difficult to cajole Rekkhaji to do the song as she was initially hesitant to portray such cult and respected figures like Madhubala, Waheeda Rehman and others on onscreen. But we expressed to her that her inimitable talent will truly justify the scene and would make the legendary actresses immortal she gave the nod.” 

Super Nani is a movie that will change the traditional perspective of grandmothers in the movie. The film revolves around a grandmother who is always taken for granted by her kids and husband but her grandson Sharman Joshi helps her take charge of her life. And that's how Nani becomes Super Nani.

The movie is co-produced by Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria, deals with women empowerment. Featuring actors like Sharman Joshi, Shweta Kumar, Anupam Kher and Randhir Kapoor, the film will hit the screens Oct 24.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Singing Sensation Of The 90’s - Kumar Sanu

Whenever Indian Cinema may remember playback singers who made a place of their won in the 90’s the name that may top the list is none other but that of Singing Sensation Of the 90’s - Kumar Sanu

A look at some of the peerless numbers that he has sung during that era speaks volumes about his melody. Who can forget the super hits songs like Ab Tere Bin Jeelenge Hum…. from AASHIQUI, 1990; Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin … DIL HAI KE MANTA NAHIN (1991); Yeh Kali Kali Aankhen …. BAAZIGAR (1993), Tuje Dekha To Ye Jaana Sanam Dilwale …. DULHANIYA LE JAYEENGE (1995); Do Dil Mil Rahe Hai… PARDES (1998), Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aaisa Laga1942 LOVE STORY (1998). The list is look. 

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Born as Kedarnath Bhattacharya, Kumar Sanu's father, Pashupati Bhattacharya, was a vocalist and composer. He trained Sanu as a singer and tabla player. He began his singing career imitating Kishore Kumar songs in the late 80’s until lady luck smiled on him in 1990 with Mahesh Bhatt’s musical love story AASHIQUI becoming super duper hit. 

The highlight of the movie was music directors Nadeem-Shravan’s melodious songs sung by Kumar Sanu. The craze of the songs was such that Kumar Sanu won his First Filmfare Best Playback singer award for the song Ab Tere Bin…. from AASHIQUI out scoring able contestants like Suresh Wadkar for the song O Priya Priya… DIL. 

This award literally set the ball rolling for Kumar Sanu as he went away winning the prestigious Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for five consecutive years viz. Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai…SAAJAN (1992); Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar…( DEEWANA); Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen…BAAZIGAR ( 1994) and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha….1942: A LOVE STORY (1995)

In 2009, the Government of India awarded him Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in recognition of his achievements. 

September 22, marks the birthday of Kumar Sanu; Raaga.Com wishes him birthday greetings and a prosperous future.

Dilip Kumar Refrained Naseeruddin Shah To Join Films!

While the world goes gaga over thespian Dilip Kumar’s histrionics as an actor par excellence, readers would be aware that Dilip Kumar himself considers Naseeruddin Shah as a competent actor. However what may stun the readers is that Dilip Kumar, who admires Shah as an exceptional actor had actually recommended Naseeruddin Shah to refrain from a career in Bollywood, when Shah had run away from his hometown and wandered in streets of Mumbai seeking roles in movies. 

Few know that Naseeruddin Shah comes from a highly respected family. His father was one of the administrators of the revered Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti Dargah in Ajmer, hence when Naseer expressed his desire to join films he was very angry and this created a gulf between the father and son. 

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Recalling his early interaction with Dilip Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah in his recently released autobiography ‘AND THEN ONE DAY’, writes that when at the young age of 16 years he run away to Mumbai he had hard times surviving in Mumbai. To support himself he was compelled to become an extra in Bollywood movies for a paltry sum of Rs.7.50 and when he found life going tough he had even applied to be a bellboy at Taj Palace hotel, in Mumbai!

Shah reminisces, “While I was struggling to survive in Mumbai my father contacted the only person he knew in Mumbai and that was actor Dilip Kumar's sister, who was an avid devotee of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti and visited Ajmer Sharif dargah often.”

“Fortunately she spotted me on a pavement and took to me to Dilip Kumar's Pali Hill house. Here I first met Dilip Kumar but instead of encouraging me to join films he gave me a brief sermon advising that boys from cultured film must not join film and recommended me to return hometown.” 

Interestingly years later the two great actors shared screen together in Subhash Ghai’s super hit film KARMA and created magic.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Which Filmmakers Have Influenced Mahesh Bhatt As A Film Maker?

The name Mahesh Bhatt brings alive some of the thought provoking movies that Indian cinema had never dared to make. While on one hand Mahesh Bhatt has made movies that have made the best possible statements on his behalf like as ARTH, SAARANSH, DADDY, ZAKHM etc. On the contrarily he has also proved his mettle in the typical commercial potboilers making hits films like NAAM, SADAK, AASHIQUI, HUM HAIN RAHI PYAR KE

September 20 marks the birthday of Mahesh Bhatt, the genius filmmaker of contemporary cinema; Raaga.Com wishes him birthday greeting and takes a look at the filmmakers that have influenced Bhatt as a film maker. 

Speaking about the film makers who have influenced him Mahesh Bhatt in an interview said, “Indian cinema can be classified in to the commercial format - the one made by Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, K Asif, Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt. The other form of cinema being the - ‘Art Cinema’ which was introduced by Satyajit Ray. He dared and captured the complex realities of rural India in his own distinguished way. Following his foot step we had Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani and M.S. Sathyu. It gave birth to middle-of-the-road cinema.” 

He added, “However I have been hugely impressed by eminent filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who exceptionally bridged the gap between commercial cinema and the art cinema. Thus making movies that touched the core of film buffs. Movies that had substance and a dose of wholesome entertainment films like ANAND, AASHIRWAD, BAWARCHI, SATYAKAM, CHUPKE CHUPKE, ANUPAMA, ABHIMAAN, GUDDI, GOL MAAL.”

He concludes, “Thus I have been groomed by the cinema of the 1960s and some part of the 1950s. Even Ray impacted my psyche. The best of Indian cinema was responsible for pushing a man like me to make heart-breaking narratives with ARTH, NAAM, SAARANSH”

Music World Mourns 'Mandolin Srinivas' Demise

Celebrated Carnatic music legend and pioneer in the use of the mandolin in Indian classical music, U. Srinivas, also popularly recognized as 'Mandolin Srinivas' passed away at the young age of 45 in a Chennai hospital.

Mourning his death Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in his condolence message said, “Mandolin maestro's U. Srinivas dedication and long-standing contribution towards music will always be remembered for generations”. 

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The tragic news of U. Srinivas sent shock waves in the music world. Bharat Ratna and Nightingale of Indian Music, Lata Mangeshkar tweeted, “I was deeply grieved listening the death of Mandolin maestro's U. Srinivas’s death. He was a child prodigy.” She added, “I had the privilege of listening him play mandolin when he was merely 13 or 14 year old on TV. He was truly gifted because playing mandolin so brilliantly at such a tender age is no child’s play. May his soul rest in peace.” 

Courteous, soft-spoken, unassuming, Srinivas was a simply man and let his mandolin do the talking. Music wizard A. R. Rahman stunned at the demise of mandolin genius in his tweet wrote, "Emotionally shaken to hear of Carnatic shining star Mandolin Shrinivasji's demise... May God bless him with happiness in the next world..."

Yet another music maestro Zakir Hussain, famed Tabla player pained at the loss of Srinivas tweeted, "Today mother India cries, today a part of Indian music died and we are orphaned, RIP my dear brother Mandolin Srinivas."

Born on Feb 28, 1969 in Palakolu, Andhra Pradesh, Srinivas was a child prodigy. He picked up his father's mandolin at the age of six and started playing it. He made his first public performance at the age of 9 when he played at the Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival in Gudivada. Since then, he performed at several music festivals, both nationally and internationally.

In his long career, he played with Indian greats artists such as Hariprasad Chaurasia and Zakir Hussain, while also collaborating with world music greats like John McLaughlin, Michael Brook, Trey Gunn, Nigel Kennedy, Nana Vasconcelos, and Michael Nyman.

In 1998, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award. He was also nominated for the Padma Bhushan but "grumbled" to his friends that he was not at all interested in the award race. Later in 2010, he was honoured with Sangeet Natak Academy Award.

Few may know that Srinivas was a favourite of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister, MG Ramachandran, who had first heard him perform at a wedding. "When MGR entered, someone told Srinivas to stop playing. But MGR came to the stage and told Srinivas to continue. He then instructed his attendants to make sure Srinivas played at all AIADMK party functions

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whose Expression Amitabh Bachchan Cannot Replicate?

Amitabh Bachchan, Star of Millennium has portrayed every emotions on the screen be it the famous angry man in DEEWAAR, the tragic doctor in ANAND, the fulfilled English Professor in CHUPKE CHUPKE, the happy go lucky street man in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, as village bumpkin in Don, as a don in AGNEEPATH, the mentally retarded yet witty 12-year-old boy with an extremely rare genetic disorder called progeria in PAA or the Alzheimer's disease infected ex teacher of Rani Mukerjee in BLACK. In nutshell, Bachchan is an all round actor which even the thespian Dilip Kumar concurs as he quotes, ‘Amitabh Bachchan is truly a complete actor.”

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However readers would be surprised to read that the actor in his blog has recently acknowledged that there is one person whose facial expression he is unable to replicate. He says the expression of the person has left him distressed as it is impossible to imitate his expression. Readers may wonder who the person in question is? 

Well, Bachchan, in his blog informs that he happened to encounter a poor boy at the traffic signal. He writes, “I was once driving home when I saw a boy lying on the pavement looking desperately hungry and weary. I felt pity. I got down from my car and shook the boy from his sleep and gave him a packet to eat and a hundred rupee note! The boy just seized the food packet form me and the note without caring who gave him. The expression on the face of the boy left me astounded. If ever I were to be capable of recreating that expression on the face of the little one, shaken up from his drowse, I would consider myself the greatest actor in the world!”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rajinikanth Protest Against His 'Personality Rights' And Infringement!

For the first in the history of Indian cinema an actor has protested against 'personality rights' and infringement. The actor is none other but the Demi God of Southern Cinema and the iconic superstar of Indian cinema, Rajinikanth

Superstar Rajinikanth on Wednesday filed a petitioned in the Madras High Court against Mumbai based Varsha Production House seeking a stay on the release of its forthcoming Bollywood film MAIN HOON RAJINIKANTH.

The petition has been filed against the movie’s directed Faisal Saif and its producer Mrs.Saroj who have made a Bollywood film MAIN HOON RAJINIKANTH to bank on the popularity of national heartthrob Rajnikanth

A furious Rajnikanth in his petition has lambasted that he has ‘never endorsed’ any film or product using his name as it might ‘mislead his loyal fans’. Rajini also contended that a film based on his “name or image” is a violation of his “privacy” and accused the producer of cashing on his “super hero image”. 

The Tamil superstar also said that neither the film’s producer nor director had approached him seeking ‘written’ or ‘oral’ permission to use his name in the film. Rajnikanth further said the film might defame him and upset his huge devoted fan base.

Another serious allegation against the movie according to Rajinikanth is that the producer had shamelessly lifted several iconic scenes from Rajinikanth’s various hit movies by including in his forthcoming feature film without seeking permission from him or the concerned filmmakers, alleging it to be immoral and unethical. 

It may be noted in the film MAIN HOON RAJINIKANTH, South Indian actor Adithya Menon makes his debut as a hero in Bollywood. He portrays a C.B.I Officer-cum-Contract Killer named Rajinikanth Rao and bluntly copies the caricatured style of Rajnikanth from Rajinikanth's indisputable acting ability, charisma, mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogues. 

Justice S Tamilvanan who is looking into the case granted interim injunction restraining Varsha Productions from releasing the film with that title and content. The court said as per Article 21 of the Constitution, everyone is entitled to lead a dignified life and no one can cause damage to the fame or reputation to any person against law. It further said available material placed before the court and arguments of Rajnikanth’s counsel showed that film degrades the reputation of a popular cine field personality.

Interestingly director Faisal Saif defending himself said the film is a comedy and a tribute to the living superstar and cultural icon of Tamil cinema Rajinikanth.

Bollywood Celebrities Wish PM Narendra Modi On His Birthday

The entire film fraternity came out in full force to wish birthday greetings to the dynamic Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 64 on Wednesday. On the occasion, the prime minister met his mother in Gandhinagar and sought her blessings. 

Further he called upon his party men and the citizens not to spent money on his birthday but instead contribute wholeheartedly for the victims of Jammu and Kashir who are struggling for survival after the worst hit floods. 

Ajay Devgn was the first to tweet. In his tweet he prayed Almighty bestow health and strength to Modi so that he could meet the expectations of millions of people of India looking up to him. 

Actor Shreyas Talpade, who came to fame with his role in IQBAL quite innocently tweeted, “For the first time in my life I've felt like wishing a prime minister of our country a very very happy birthday.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar in his wish hoped under able leadership of Modi a progressive India beckons. While eminent national and international film maker Shekhar Kapur, who made great films like MR.INDIA and BANDIT QUEEN tweeted, “Not sure you will get time to celebrate Sir, but happy birthday. Hope you stay healthy and strong.”

Sex siren Mallika Sherawat, who last year seductively sang birthday song to Narendra Modi, this year, wished him on Twitter.

Others who wished Modi were actor Anupam Kher, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor, Randeep Hooda and others. 

It may be remembered that just a few days back Salman Khan had appreciated Narendra Modi for his tremendous role in his 100 days in the house. Salman Khan had criticized the people who had doubted his ability saying “it has been just 100 days now; let's give him some more time - everyone deserves it. He is working from morning to night along with his team,"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hasrat Jaipuri - Monarch of Romantic Numbers.

Yeh Mera Prem Patra Padh Kar….. SANGAM); Jiya Bekarar Hai Chayi Bahar Hai… (BARSAT); Mohabbat Aisi Dhadkan Hai….(ANARKALI); Nain So Nain Naahi Milao…( JHANAK JHANAK PAYAL BAAJE); Rasik Balma Haay Dil Kyon Lagaya Tose…(CHORI CHORI) These are some of the evergreen melodies that takes in to a mood of solace and tranquility. 

Listen to Hasrat Jaipuri Songs on

However what is painful is that while we hear these hit songs, we tend to forget the lyricist who has poured his heart out in the beautiful songs. Does anybody remember who has written these peerless songs? Well, he is none other but Hasrat Jaipuri, also termed by Bollywood as Monarch of romantic numbers. A careful reading of the song would reveal that all the songs I have mentioned a super romantic numbers, which was the specialty of Hasrat Jaipuri and till his death he was vibrant and wrote romantic numbers till 2004. 

September 17 marks the death anniversary of the great film lyricist; Raaga.Com pays him homage. 

Born on 15th April, 1922 in Jaipur, as Iqbal Husain, he studied till tenth standard and then acquired education in Urdu and Persian from his learned grandfather, Fida Husain. He began writing poems at around his teens when he first fell in love with a neighborhood girl called Radha. He was a silent lover; hence he connived his love via a poem, Yeh mera prem patra padh kar, ke tum naaraaz na hona. But the 'letter' never got delivered to Radha, instead Raj Kapoor delivered it to the world as the everlasting tune for lovers of all generations in his movie SANGAM (1964). 

Hasrat Jaipuri landed in Mumbai in 1939 and got himself a job of a Bus conductor with a monthly salary of Rs. 11/- per month. A romanticist by nature his poems usually catered to beauty and nature best remembered Teri pyari pyari surat ko kisi ki…

Hasrat’s destiny smiled when one of his poem’s published in a newspaper got attention of film-legend Raj Kapoor who called upon the editor and asked for the ‘poet’ to meet him. Hasraat’s first song was jeeya bekarar hain (Barsaat) and was an instant hit. His relationship with Raj Kapoor lasted from 1949-1971 and he came back in 1985 with Raj Saab’s RAM TERI GANGA MAILI with a super duper hit Sun saiba sun….