Dil Dhoondhta Hai : Gulzar, the Humanist Poet, and his Women of Strength

Gulzar was a toddler of one when his mother, Sujaan Kaur, passed away. As there were no photographs of the lady to fall back upon, he does not even know what she looked like. That unseen face of a woman who brought him into the world is, in a very crucial way, probably the reason why the busy poet-filmmaker has never forgotten that otherwise little known, nondescript village which now lies on the Pakistani side of India’s northwestern border. It is a village that, in his mind, is associated with the mother whose visage he does not remember. So he clings on to whatever is remotely reminiscent of that tiny hamlet of his childhood.

………

His friends and associates often allude to his feminine disposition: it enables him to see relationships invariably from the standpoint of women. For a boy who attained manhood without the benison of maternal love, the feminist slant of his work is almost a dire necessity, an act of coming to terms with a chasm that has existed in the very center of his life ever since he can remember.

– Excerpts from ECHOES and ELOQUENCES, The Life and Cinema of Gulzar – By Saibal Chatterjee

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Saif Ali Khan – What a Range!

Range, thy name is Saif Ali Khan ! Arguably the most secured hindi film actor of today, he is out there in the middle to just have fun! Delicious characters, Terrific performances, Who cares what happens to the box office of the films! And one can do that only when they are absolutely sure about themselves! You go Saif!

Happy Birthday Saif !
Keep challenging the status quo!

Manisha Koirala – Dil Se

“Roz roz resham si hawa…
Aate jaate kehti hai bataa…
Resham si hawa..
kehti hai bataa…
Woh jo doodh dhuli, masoom kali…
Woh hai kahaan kahaan hai….
Woh roshani kahaan hai…
Woh jaan si kahaan hai…
Main adhoora, tu adhoori ji rahi hai….”

From Annie to Kiran, from Rajjo to Shaila, you sparkled.. And what should we say about Meghna! Truly Magical!

Happy Birthday Manisha Koirala !

Shammi Kapoor – Musically Yours

10 years today when Shammi Kapoor is no longer with us. But as long as we would continue to love one of more of these songs (my 10 personal favourites in no order), he would live on through the echoes of that music immortalized by the golden voice of Mohammad Rafi Saab…

  1. Tumne mujhe dekha – Teesri Manzil
  2. Deewana huya baadal – Kashmir ki Kali
  3. Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar – Junglee
  4. Dil ke jharokhe me tujhko bithakar – Brahmachari
  5. Raat ke humsafar – An Evening in Paris
  6. Tum mujhe yun bhula na paoge – Pagla Kahin Ka
  7. Hum aur tum aur yeh sama – Dil Deke Dekho
  8. Jawaniyan yeh mast mast – Tumsa Nahin Dekha
  9. Iss rang badalti duniya me – Rajkumar
  10. Dil usse do jo jaan de de – Andaaz

Nazia Hassan – Queen of Pop

Remembering Nazia Hassan, the peppy pop songwriter and singer from Pakistan on her 20th death anniversary today. She passed away at very young age of 35 due to lung cancer, but within her short life span and a singing career of just 15 years, she received immense popularity and was called as the “Queen of Pop” amongst the South East Asian music lovers. Her debut album, Disco Deewane (1981), charted in fourteen countries worldwide and became the best-selling Asian pop record up at the time. Boom Boom, Young Tarang and several other successful records followed, and together with brother Zoeb Hassan, she became a rage for a whole generation of youngsters growing up in the 80s.

What a talent! What a trailblazer!
Your music still haunts! You live on!

“Kya hai yeh jeena.. tere bin aye sanam…
Lekin mera dil.. mera dil ro raha hain…..”

Sridevi – Masterclass Performer

“Meera… Kevin… This marriage is a beautiful thing. It is a most special friendship, friendship of two people who are equal. Life is a long journey, Meera, sometimes… you will feel you are less, Kevin sometimes, you will also feel that you are less than Meera. Try to help each other, to feel equal, it will be nice. Sometimes, married couple don’t even know how the other is feeling. So, how they will help the other? Does it mean marriage is over? No. That is the time you have to help yourself. Nobody can help you better than you, if you do that, you will return back feeling equal, your friendship will return back, your life will be beautiful.
Meera… Kevin… Maybe you all very busy, but, have family, son, daughter. In this big world, your small little world, it will make you feel so good. Family… family can never be… never be, umm.. never be judgmental, family will never put you down, will never make you feel… small. Family is the only one who will never laugh at your weaknesses, family is the only place, where you always get love and respect. That’s all Meera and Kevin, I wish you all the best. Thank you.”

  • Shashi Godbole, English Vinglish

A masterclass performance by Sridevi in a brilliantly conceptualized scene!
A rare moment on Indian screen where true power, elegance and empathy came out winners together!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SRI! WE MISS YOU… EVERYDAY!

The Best Performances of Fahadh Faasil – Ranked

Fahadh Faasil is the name that resonates pan India now as the Best Lead Actor working in Indian cinema today, and that coming from a place where Fahadh has still not worked in a single Hindi film (the language of films which has had the most pan India acceptance to date) makes it extra sweet. It is however not so suprising since the Malayalam film industry now makes the best cinema in the country for a while, and its realistic, lived in, matter of fact world perfectly complements the natural, understated and layered performance competency of Fahadh Faasil. The actor excels in non physical communication since he has the best expressive eyes in the country today, and wonderfully uses them and his charming persona to infuse all his characters with shades of grey, quirk, and natural believability with an effortless conviction, never coming across as trying too hard or ‘act’.

Continue reading “The Best Performances of Fahadh Faasil – Ranked”

KALYUG : Good Cinema

Monday memories…

Earlier this month, Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug completed 40 years of release.

A riveting drama that takes inspirations from Mahabharata and adapts it to modern day living rooms, Kalyug excels in diving deep into complex human psychologies of love and hate, rivalry and compassion, the urge to kill and the zest to survive. A stellar ensemble cast with everyone at the top of their game, Kalyug is possibly a benchmark in ensemble performance. In that ecosystem of overall goodness, the performances of Shashi Kapoor, Anant Nag and Rekha stand out, while Victor Banerjee, Vijaya Mehta and Supriya Pathak (in a strikingly different role) are very very good as well.

Kalyug is what good cinema is all about.

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Mukesh – Soul Personified

Soulful singing personified – That’s the brilliance of Mukesh Saab!

There are songs you can’t just imagine anyone else even attempting them. There are films with lot of great singers singing the more popular songs, but it is the Mukesh number that feels closest to the heart even after so many years.

Top of the mind then, 10 favourite songs of Mukesh Saab would be:

  • Woh subah kabhi to aayegi
  • Jis gali me tera ghar na ho
  • Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye
  • Kisi ki muskurahaton pe
  • Koi jab tumhara hridaye tod de
  • Kai baar yun bhi dekha hain
  • Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar
  • Jaane kahaan gaye woh din
  • Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon
  • Ek pyaar ka nagma hai
    … All this and counting !

Remembering the legend today on his 98th Birth Anniversary! And throwing back a picture with too much of greatness in one frame!

Anand Bakshi – Simple Words, Profound Impact

Man of simple words, but profound impact – that was Anand Bakshi and his prolific body of work!

What gems throughout the career, 10 top of the mind favourites recall are:

  • Yeh kya huya, kaise huya
  • Zindagi ke safar me guzar jaate hain
  • Mere naina saawan bhado
  • Dard e dil dard e jigar
  • Jis gali me tera ghar na ho balma
  • Yeh duniya waale poochhenge
  • Bade achhe lagte hain
  • Diye jalte hain phool khilte hain
  • Bahut door mujhe chale jaana hain
  • Yeh jeevan hain
    …. And there are so so many more of them!

Happy Birthday Bakshi Saab! Thank you for bringing simplicity in our lives!