Monday, March 30, 2015

Meena Kumari became immortal in SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM

Waqt ne cheen lia hausla-e-zabt’e-sitam

Ab to’ her hadsaye-gham pe tarapta hai dil

(Time has snatched away my fortitude

Now my heart agitates at each advent of grief) 

This sorrow filled verse is penned by none other but the Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema - Meena Kumari, who gave Indian cinema new heights with her charming performances but lived a live of melancholy and despair. 

31st March marks her death anniversary; Raaga.Com pays her homage and recalls her career best performance in Guru Dutt’s movie SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM that made her immortal!

Listen to Meena Kumari Songs on Raaga.com

Though Meena Kumari gave number of hit films like BAIJU BAWRA, AZAAD, PARINEETA, DIL APNA AUR PREET PARAYI, KOHINOOR, DIL EK MANDIR, KAAJAL, etc. but she became immortal in Guru Dutt’s classic SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM in the emotional laden role of Chhoti Bahu, who takes to alcohol to please her hubby who ignores her and seeks entertainment with nautch girls at brothels. 

From day one when Guru Dutt read the Bengali novel Shaheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra, he was sure that the role was meant exclusively for Meena Kumari as it partially portrayed her own life and was more than symbolic about her estranged relationship with her husband filmmaker Kamal Amrohi.

However when Guru Dutt approached Meena Kumari for the role he was left disappointed as Meena Kumari was packed with many assignments hence she declined the role. But Guru Dutt was adamant hence he shot the entire film except Meena Kumar’s role as he waited for Meena Kumari to accommodate her dates to him. Eventually Meena Kumari gave her nod and even charged 25 percent more than her regular fees but Guru Dutt paid happily as he had his dream heroine playing the role. 

Kudos to Guru Dutt because his patience paid off as Meena Kumari played the role to a perfect ‘T’ pouring all the pathos and sorrows appositely into the character of Chhoti Bahu. 

The highlight of her brilliant performance was her emotive depiction though her eyes and her baritone. Since like the heroine of the film, Meena Kumari in real life too was alcoholic and miserable hence while portraying the role of Chotti Bahu she brought out her trauma and agony quite convincingly and realistically winning a lot of accolades! She won the Filmfare Best Actress Award!


MNS Chief Raj Thackeray interacts with Bollywood celebrities on Mumbai DP Plan

Eminent Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray organized a convention of renowned celebrities from Bollywood and Marathi film industry to voice out their concern regarding the New Mumbai Development Plan (DP) 2034 which has many loopholes. 

The meeting was held at Rangsharda Theater at Bandra (W) on March 28. It was attended by top film celebrities like Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Riteish Deshmukh , Javed Akhtar and his son Farhan Akhtar, writer Salim Khan, Marathi film maker and actor Mahesh Manjrekar, Bollywood filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala and others dignitaries that included distinguished architect P.K. Das


Expressing gravity at the New Mumbai DP Aamir Khan said, “The plan has many drawbacks like the mangrove land have been marked as residential area and what is most disturbing is that the Aarey milk colony belt, which is a green zone, but the DP has marked it as ‘white’ zone which denotes an economic zone.” 

“Any step regarding Aarey should be taken with great care because it is home to a lot of wildlife. We have no right to disrupt their home and they are the lungs of Mumbaikars as it provides oxygen. Hence the government must think twice before taking any action,” pleaded Aamir Khan


Agitated at the unsound DP Plan, eminent script writer and lyricist Akhtar termed the DP Plan not less than a noose around the neck of Mumbaikars. 

Appealing the citizens to unite against the Plan he said, “The DP Plan is designed in a manner to destroy the natural blessings like mangroves, saltpans and green zones of Mumbai and hand over to the builders’ lobby. Hence the citizens must think that if the life saving natural resources is throttled than how could Mumbaikars live in Mumbai? Hence it is up to you if you want to cut the rope. If the agitation has to come on the streets, we will bring it on the streets,” threatened Javed Akhtar

MNS chief Raj Thackeray through the meeting called upon the Maharashtra government to involve the people in deciding the DP Plan. He said, "If the government communicates with people about their policies, there will be no need for such gatherings.”

Anand Bakshi -The poet of masses

’Mere sapno ki rani..., Jis gali main tera ghar..., Chingari koi bhadke..., Dil aisa kisine mera toda...’ 

No doubt these songs have been super hits but they have one thing in common. All these songs are penned by the great poet Anand Bakshi, who wrote simple easy to understand poems and hence was called the poet of the masses. March 30, marks the death anniversary of the legendary lyricist; Raaga.Com pays him tribute and discovers how filmmaker Shakti Samanta tapped his talent for poetry.

Listen to Anand Bakshi Songs on Raaga.com

The friendship of Shakti Samanta and Anand Bakshi is an interesting tale. It’s reported that when Anand Bakshi came to Bombay in search of work in Bollywood, he was looked down upon for neither did he come from any family of great poets nor he had attended any mushairas. He was an army man but quit army for his passion for pen! 

Despite giving few super hit movies like JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE and MILAN, Bakshi still could not find a place for himself in tinsel town, until he met Shakti Samanta, thanks to his dear friend R. D. Burman

When Shaktida met Anand Bakshi he could sense his brilliance through his poems that he narrated. Remembering his first meeting with Bakshi, Shaktida says, “I remember the quickness with which he could write any song. For instance in my first meeting when I narrated to him, in brief, the background story of ARADHANA, within seconds he wrote the song kora kagaz tha a dil mera... After ARADHANA, we became close friends and gave a number of hits movies like ANURAG, AMAR PREM, KATI PATANG etc. In fact he became a permanent member of Shakti Films till his expired.”


Will IPL 2015 Prove Disastrous For Second Quarter In Bollywood?

Bollywood trade pundits have blamed the ICC World Cricket Cup for the disastrous failure of many Bollywood films released in the first quarter of 2015. So what is worth pondering is that if ICC World Cricket Cup has been the prime reason for distracting people from thronging cinema halls than Bollywood has reasons to worry as another cricket sensation IPL 2015 is beginning from April 8 and will played up till 24 May! 

Readers may note that the first quarter (From January to March) has witnessed not a single film that has touched the 100 crore mark. BABY (Rs 80 crore), DUM LAGA KE HAISHA (Rs 27 crore) and still seems to be going BADLAPUR (Rs.50 crore) and NH10 (Rs 27 crore) 


Eminent Bollywood analyst and film critic, Taran Adarsh blaming the ‘Cricket Fever’ among Indians said, “The first quarter has not been able to produce a single film that could reach the 100 Crore target, probably the reason could be the World Cup Cricket as Indians are known for their craze for the game as cricket is not less than a religion India.” He added, “In addition the annual examination that are held during February and March could also be the reason for the disappointing start in 2015!”

Another trade analyst Atul Mohan supporting Taran Adarsh said, “There are many factors why films haven't worked. Severe winter in North India, the World Cup, children's exams, etc. has affected the box-office performance of some of the big-name projects."

However contradicting these trade analysts another renowned Bollywood trade guru Komal Nahta believed the first half was disappointing only because the content of the movies was poor. 


He said, “I would say the first quarter has not been good at all, and that doesn't mean any film that deserves to do well, has flopped. All the films that have flopped deserved to flop. It has been a below average year.” 

Appreciating quality movies like BABY, DUM LAGA KE HAISHA, BADLAPUR and NH10, which performed well, Nahata said, “The first half has proved that it is content that matters hence movies like DUM LAGA KE HAISHA despite being made on shoe string budget is doing roaring business.”