10 June 2019

Girish Karnad: Good film personality, not so good activist

Source: Internet

Jaywant Pandya
What one man can do in his entire life!

Some do nothing notable!

Some do so many things.

Some do many things memorable.

Girish Karnad comes in last category.

But now he is no more. When people woke up today, they shocked to hear this news.

Girish Karnad was progressive writer, director and actor. May be his family background made him so. His mother Krushnabai Mankikar was a young widow with a son, and while training to be a nurse, met Dr. Raghunath Karnad who was a doctor in the Bombay Medical Service. They could not marry for five years because at that time, society did not permit widow marriage. However, progressive Arya Samaj made them married.

Girish Karnad is another gift from Maharashtra to south Bharat and Hindi film industry. He was born in Matheran. His initial schooling was in Marathi. His family moved to Dharwad in Karnataka. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and statistics from Karnatak Arts College, Dharwad (Karnataka University), in 1958. For further studies, he went England and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Oxford.

Karnad proved his mettle as he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1963.

He worked with Oxford University Press, Chennai for seven years. But his passion was for writing. So, he resigned. Then he started working with local theatre group, The Madras Players in Chennai, then known as Madras. Then he moved to Kannada dramas.

At that time, Kannada literature was highly influenced by Western literature. But Girishjee inspired from C. Rajgopalachari’s version of Mahabharat. No wonder, his ‘Yayati’ and ‘The Fire And The Rain’ was inspired by Mahabharat. His ‘Hayavadan’ play was also based on Hindu literature ‘Yakshagan’ and ‘Kathasaritsagar’. In this play, he narrated story of a woman who feels incompleteness of his husband and exchanges his husband’s friend’s head with his husband’s head.  Reason was her husband’s body was quite thin and weak, while his friend’s body was attractive and healthy. Then with blessing of Maa Durga, she gives them life. Like original story from ‘Kathasaritsagar’, woman namely Padmini accepts his husband’s head on husband’s friend’s body as her husband. Here, original story ends, but Girishjee’s story goes further. Padmini stays with her husband’s head and his friend’s body, but body is getting unhealthy and thin day by day. She goes to the man who had her husband’s body and husband’s friend’s head. Now his body was good. Her husband follows her and sees her with his friend. Fight happens and both gets killed. Padmini also becomes Sati after her husband.

In Yayati, he tried to show sad side of woman in society. When Yayati gets curse, his wife Chitralekha commits suicide because she realized that there is no hope that she will get her married life again. In Naga-Mandala, Appanna marries to Rani but he left and locked her and went to some other woman. When he knows about her wife’s pregnancy he claims her and to tells her that to prove her chastity [14]. This is the attitude of man in many parts of country.

Thus, apparently from his mother’s pain, Girishjee tried to show women’s pain in society.

Girishjee was not those who praised rulers for personal benefit. Through his drama ‘Tughalaq’ he showed Jawaharlal Nehru’s failure of ruling.  

He started acting in 1970 with ‘Samskara’. We often pronounce wrongly some Samskrut and Hindi words. Samsakara is also one of them. But south Bharat has preserved true Hindu dharma and language. That’s why its spelling is ‘Samskara’ and not ‘Sanskara’. Anyways, he ventured in Hindi cinema with ‘Nishant’ film. This film was by Shyam Benegal, great director of parallel or say art cinema. In Nishant, Girishjee played role of school master whose beautiful wife was kidnapped by Zamindar’s sons. When no one dares to raise voice, school master gives fight and awakes villagers against misdeeds of Zamindar.

Girish Karnad had indirect Gujarat connection. He acted in Shyam Benegal’s ‘Manthan’ which was based on Gujarat’s milk co-operative movement. Girishjee played role of Verghese Kurien.

He acted in ‘Swami’ whose songs ‘Ka karu sajani’ and ‘Pal bhar mein ye kya ho gaya’ composed by Rajesh Roshan are very popular even today. He played role of husband of Shabana Azmi who is married to him without her desire. 
Girish Karnad with Master Manjunath in Malgudi days serial, source; Internet
From name ‘Swami’, we get remembrance a little Swami of ‘Malgudi Days’ serial. It was based on R. K. Narayan’s books. I am sure you must have recalled and started singing ‘Tanana Tanana na’ song of this Doordarshan golden age serial. Girishjee played strict father’s role. He acted in popular family drama ‘Khandaan’. This serial had great tv and film actors like Neena Gupta, Mohan Bhandari, Jayant Kriplani and Shekhar Kapoor, Om Puri and Tanuja. He also hosted science based show ‘Turning point’ on Doordarshan. Thus in every way he tried to put society forward.

He made his directorial debut with Vamsha Vriksha (1971), based on a Kannada novel by S. L. Bhyrappa. It won him National Film Award for Best Direction along with B. V. Karanth, who co-directed the film.

He also directed Hindi films like Godhuli and Utsav. Godhuli was based on Kannada novel Tabali neenade Magane, written by S.L. Byrappa. Here, I should mention that reader of this blog post must read S. L. Byrappa’s Aavaran. It exposes manipulation to Bharat’s history by leftist historians. Later in 2013, Girishjee said that "It was my mistake to make two films — Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane and Vamshavruksha — authored by Bhyrappa”.

Since 2015, there is much debate on cow products based science and cow protection. ‘Godhuli’ showed cow importance much earlier. ‘Utasav’ film was produced by Shashi Kapoor. Shashijee was successful hero of commercial cinema but his love was for parallel cinema and play. He established and looked after Prithvi Theatre. He produced films like ‘Junoon’, ‘Kalyug’, ’36 Chowringhee Lane’, ‘Vijeta’ and ‘Utsav’. His ‘Ajooba’ was commercial film. ‘Utsav’ and its songs are now considered as classic. It was age ahead from its time. Few filmmakers have produced or directed film based on Samskrut literature. Shashijee was one of them. ‘Utsav’ was based on ‘Mruchhakatikam’ Samskut drama by Sudraka. Actress Rekha was in full form in this film and acted beautifully as well as erotically. Laxmikant Pyarelal had composed songs based on Hindu rag-ragini. ‘Man kyun behka’, ‘Sanj dhale’, ‘Mere mann baja mrudang’, and ‘Neelam pe nabh chhaye’ were truly melodious songs. Girishjee directed it very aesthetically.

His very little appearance in ‘Meri Jung’ film directed by Subash Ghai and acted by Anil Kapoor, Meenakshi Sheshadri was also memorable. He also acted in notable films like ‘Iqbal’, ‘Door’, ‘8 X 10 Tasveer’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ and ‘Tiger Abhi Zinda Hai’. But I remember his role in ‘Sur Sangam’ which was remake of ‘Sankarabharanam’. Film was directed by K. Viswanath who used to make clean film with message. His Hindi films such as ‘Sargam’, ‘Kaamchor’, ‘Shubh Kamna’ ‘Jaag Utha Insaan’, ‘Sanjog’, ‘Eeshwar’, ‘Sangeet’ and ‘Dhanwaan’ were also memorable with great acting by Rishi Kapoor, Jaya Prada, Rakesh Roshan, Rati Agnihotri, Mithun Chakraborty, Sridevi, Anil Kapoor and Vijayashanti.

‘Sur Sangam’ was story of classical music maestro who is trying to find a successor for his rare craft. If I am not wrong, classical music singers Rajan and Sajan Mishra both sang simultaneously for Girish Karnad. This was I think this was unique experiment done by Laxmikant Pyarelal. ‘Aaye soor ke panchhee aaye’, ‘jaaun tore charan kamal par vari’ and ‘dhanya bhag seva ka avasar paya’ are memorable.

Girish Karnad in protest against mob lynching, source: Internet
However, in his later life, Girish Karnad was in news for his political views. He opposed Narendra Modi’s candidature for Prime Ministership in 2014 general elections. Girish Karnad was always opponent to BJP for her ideology. But it should be noted that he got Gnanpeeth award in 1999 when BJP’s alliance was in power. He was admirer of Tipu Sultan of Mysore Kingdom. But actual history says Tipu Sultan was cruel forcing non muslim to embrace Islam.

Mysore Gazetteer says he (Tipu Sultan) was signalized by the forcible circumcision of many thousands of Indian Christians and their deportation to Seringapatam. In January 1788 Tipu descended to Malabar, and remained there several months arranging for its effective administration and the reformation of its people, calling upon them either to give up their sinful practices or be honoured with Islam.

He with other eminent writers, and film makers opposed sentence of death penalty in Bharat.  He suggested Bengaluru air port to be renamed after Tipu Sultan. He also joined in bandwagon of 'Intolerance of Modi government' gang. He saw mob lynching only from psudo secular view. He supported ‘Tukde Gand’ leader Kanhaiya Kumar. He protested against beef (cow meat) ban in Maharashtra.

I think political activism caused loss to creative actor and writer Girish Karnad. He is survived by his wife Saraswathi, son Raghu and daughter Shalmali Radha Karnad. May Ishwar bless his soul peace!

05 November 2015

Three reasons behind Shahrukh Khan's intolerance gimmick

On his 50th birthday, Shahrukh Khan, so called superstar (because as per earning of the films, real superstar is Salman Khan) gave a series of interviews to 'secular' journalists Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt. He told that yes, intolerance is increasing in country. And people started reacting against and favour of him.

So, why Shahrukh suddenly jumped in bandwagon of intolerant movement?

There are three reasons. Lets take one by one.

1. Publicity stunt for his upcoming film 'Dilwale':

Shahrukh Khan is said to be very insecure person. Nowadays Salman Khan,  Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgan have gone far ahead in terms of earning and giving hit films. So at this point Shahrukh's reputation is at stake. He is in pressure to give hit film to continue in race of superstar.

His immediately next film will be Dilwale. It will be released on 18th December 2015. It will have to face tough competition with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani. Shahrukh and Sanjay's -not so good relations- are well known in film industry. At time of Shahrukh's  Om Shanti Om release, Bhansali's Saavaria also released. Bhansali's film didn't perform well on box office. But since then, Bhansali has got stronger. His film has new and -lucky for success-pair of stars i.e. Ranvir Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. In this case, Shahrukh had to do a publicity stunt because his film has he himeself and Kajol in lead role which would be not liked so much in comparison to new age hRanvir and Deepika.

Shahrukh Khan's showing insecure was evident in past many times. When Akshay Kumar was giving successive hit films with director Priyadarshan, Shahrukh Khan snatched him on his side and produced a film called Billu Barber. But Saloon and beauty parlour associations protested against title and 'Barber' word had to be removed from title.

After then Shahrukh Khan didn't like hit pair of actor Ajay Devgan and director Rohit Shetty. So he brought Shetty on his side and produced film 'Chennai Express'. Upcoming film Dilwale is also directed by Shetty. Shahrukh's film Jab Tak Hai Jaan directed by late Yash Chopda was to be released on Diwali 2012 with Ajay Devgan home production's Son Of Sardaar. At that time Ajay Devgan complained to Competition Appellat Tribunal for not getting enough single screen theatres. Shahrukh Khan apparently always tries to make Ajay jealous by showing physical proximity with his actor wife Kajol.

2. KKR case with Ed
It is well known fact that Enforcement Directorate (ED) has once again summoned on 28th October 2015 actor Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, in connection with the ongoing investigations into irregularities in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Khan had been summoned in last May too, but he had sought time to appear before the investigating agency. Neither Khan nor any KKR official could be reached for comment. The actor was at that time out of town shooting for Rohit Shetty’s movie, Dilwale.

The ED is investigating two separate sales of shares by the KKR in 2009 and 2010 to Sea Island Investment Ltd, a Mauritius-based company.

The agency has alleged that the shares were undervalued. The allegations are based on a report submitted by chartered accountancy firm, Chokshi & Chokshi LLP.

As per Indian Express report, according sources, Chokshi & Chokshi was appointed to audit the value of the equity shares of certain IPL franchises to arrive at the correct valuation of the sales of shares.

A major contention of some of the IPL franchises is that sale of shares in the early days of the IPL was at a time when there was little in terms of valuations, with controversy surrounding the league.

So obviously Shahrukh had not liked this legal procedure which was not in place in UPA government to which Shahrukh Khan believed to have warm relations.

3. Closeness to Sonia G, Rahul G:
It is well known fact that Shahrukh Khan is very close to Sonia Gandhi family. It was publicly evident from the visuals/images/pictures of Shahrukh Khan-Gauri enjoying IPL cricket match with Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra. So Shahrukh Khan has jumped in present ongoing movement of trying to create image of Bharat (India) as intolerant under Narendra Modi's government, on apparently behest of Congress and Sonia Gandhi. 

04 November 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo Music: Full Of Surprises

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo film by Sooraj Badjatya will be releasing on this Diwali. I could not resist my self from writing on its music album which is melodious and it is full of surprises.
First of all, in present age when most of films have only three or four songs, it has, like all previous films of Sooraj, 10 sons!
Second surprise is that it has not Raam-Laxman as music director who has given three musical hit films with Sooraj. Sooraj had tried Anu Malik in Main Prem Ki Deewani Hun but film music was not up to mark. It was more like Anu Malik type of music then Sooraj type of music.
Then Sooraj returned to Ravindra Jain who had long association with Rajashree banner. Sooraj and Jain gave good musical album of Vivah. Now Sooraj has brought in Himesh Reshmiya which seems because of Salman Khan. Salman Khan is god father of Reshmiya as well as Sajid-Wajid.
Another surprise is Palak Muchhal.
 Palak Muchal voice in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo is so similar to Shreya Ghoshal.
 Vineet Singh who participated in Saregamapa is so sweet giving rememberance of Mohd Rafi (ofcourse he can not match his level) or Sonu Nigam.
 Very surprising fact is Himesh Reshmmiya who doesnt sing in his high pitch and nosal voice for this film. His song's lyrics will be remembered for ever because it is about childhood. Song is well written.
Shaan song aaj unse milna hai will give first remembarance of Kishore Kumar's song Aaj unse mulakat hogi but it is quite.
 Jab tum chaho song is wife or girlfriend special. All wives would like it.
Overall, this music album is full of surprises.

09 October 2015

Great Loss To Music! Music Director And Lyricist Ravindra Jain no more!

Raj Kapoor with Ravindra Jain

Sad news! Ravindra Jain passed away! He was not just music director but lyricist also. He was blind from vision, but had great inner sight.

Gave so many melodious films.Starting from 1973 to 2006, for almost 33 years he contributed to hindi film music. He worked mainly for low budge films but gave highly melodious songs. He mainly worked with not so famous singers at that time such as Yesudas, Hemlata, Jaspal Singh, Shailendra Singh etc.

Great actor, director and specially known for melodious music, Raj Kapoor tried Ravindra Jain after Shankar Jaikishan and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Pair worked fine and gave best music in Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Henna. Director Sooraj Badjatya also turned to Ravindra Jain after working with Ram-Laxman for three films. Actually Jain had worked for Rajshree production which belongs to Sooraj Badjatya. Sooraj and Jain worked for two films 'Vivah' and 'Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi'. However, 'Ek Vivah..' was not directed by Sooraj. Vivah music was very melodious.

His some of the best songs as per my choice are:
Sajna hai mujhe (Saudagar),

Le jayenge dilwale duhaniya le jayenge (Chor Machaye Shor)

Ghunghroo kee tarah,(Chor Machaye Shor),

Gori tera gaon bada pyara, (Chitchor)

Aaj se pahle, (Chitchor)

Jab deep jale aana, (Chitchor)

Tu jo mere sur mein (Chitchor),

Ankhiyon ke jharokho se (Ankhiyon ke jharokho se)

Kai din se mujhe, (Ankhiyon ke jharokho se)

Bade badai na kare (Ankhiyon ke jharokho se)

Le to aaye ho humka (Dulhan wohi jo piya man bhaye),

O Goriya re (Naiyya)

Thande thande paani se (Pati Patni Aur Woh),

In ankho ko tum dekho (Sunayna),

Geet Gaata chal (Geet Gaata Chal),

Shyam teri bansi (Geet Gaata Chal),

Mangal bhawan amangal hari (Geet Gaata Chal),

Kon disa mein leke chala hai (Nadiya Ke Paar),

Ram Teri Ganga Mailee (All songs),

Chhale pade baalo mein (Ye Aag Kab Bujhegi),

Henna (All songs),


Vivah (Do anjane ajnabi).

He also gave music in television serials such as 'Dada dadi ki kahaniyan',  'Ramayan', 'Alif Laila', 'Shree Krishna'.

12 July 2015

Holi Aayee and Jambhul Pikalya Zadakhali- Two Great Songs

Some songs are really great. One such song is Holi Aayee Holi Aayee Dekho Holi Aayee re. We remember and hum this song on every Holi festival. As many know, this song is from Mashaal movie starring Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman, Anil Kapoor, Rati Agnihotri and Amrish Puri. This film worked for Anil Kapoor as it came in his very early period of career and he faced Dilip Kumar with great efforts and succeeded. This was Yash Chopra movie as well. Music was composed by Hridaynath Mangeshkar, brother of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. He has worked very little for Hindi films but given gem songs. Before I take you to another song enjoy this song. lyrics are given below.

Lyrics of the song:
O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re - (2)
 Khelo khelo rang hai, koi apne sang hai bhiga bhiga ang hai
 O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re - (2)
 Behaki behaki chal hai, chehra neela lal hai, divane kya hal hai
 Ho masto par hai mastee chhayee dekho holi aayee re
 O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re
 Jo laye rang jivan me, use holi me paya hai - (2)
 Batau kya tumhe yaaro kise maine bulaya hai
 Ya mat bula ya bata dil kee baate
 Naa chhupa duneeya se choree hai kya
 Yeh ladakee hai ya kalee, mayee dekho holi aayee re
 O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re
 Yehi din tha yehi mausam, juban jab hamane kholi thee - (2)
 Kahan abb kho gaye woh din kee jab apani bhee holi thee
 Tum ho toh har rat diwali, har din meree holi hai - (3)
 Are yeh kya chakkar hai bhai dekho holi aayee re
 O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re
 Hamara kaun duneeya me, yahan jo hai paraya hai - (2)
 Magar apna laga koi yeh aisa kaun aaya hai
 Itana kya majbur hai, dil kyon gum se chur hai, too hee sabase dur hai
 Dilon ko pas bahut le aayee dekho holi aayee re
 (O holi aayee holi aayee dekho holi aayee re)
 Aa han han holi aayee re, dekho jee holi aayee re, aayee jee holi aayee re
 O holi aayee, holi aayee dekho holi aayee re - (2)

Now listen this song. 
जांभुळ पिकल्या झाडाखाली, ढोल कुणाचा वाजं जी
ढोल वाजं जी, वाजं जी ढोल वाजं जी, ढोल कुणाचा वाजं जी

येंधळ येडं पाय कुनाचं, झिम्मा फुगडी झालं जी
झिम्मा झालं जी, फुगडी फुगडी झालं जी,  झिम्मा फुगडी झालं जी

समिंदराचं भरलं गाणं, उधानवारं आलं जी
येड्यापिश्या भगतासाठी पुरतं लागिरं झालं जी
लागिरं झालं जी, लागिरं लागिरं झालं जी, पुरतं लागिरं झालं जी

मोडून गेल्या जुनाट वाटा, हा बोभाटा झाला जी
चोचीमंदी चोच टाकुनी, दाणं उष्ट झालं जी
उष्ट झालं जी, उष्ट उष्ट झालं जी, दाणं उष्ट झालं जी

जांभळीच्या झाडाखाली, कोयडं बोल बोलं जी
जांभळीचं बन थोडं, पिकूनं पिवळं झालं जी
ढोल वाजं जी, वाजं जी ढोल वाजं जी, ढोल कुणाचा वाजं जी

Found both songs having similar tunes? Are you thinking Hindi song copied? You are half right. Both songs having similar tunes. While Hridaynath made elder sister Lata Mangeshkar singing first song (i.e. Holi Aayee) with Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor, he made Ashatai singing later song. Later song is from Marathi film Jait Re Jait, which means win-win. Mohan Agashe and Smita Patil acted in it. It was produced by one of the great Mangeshkar sisters-Usha tai. It was directed by Dr. Jabbar Patel. It won President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Marathi at National Film Awards. 

Jait Re Jait was released in 1977 while Mashaal in 1984. So it is obvious that later film song was totally converted to Hindi song. Both have its own flavour or mood. 

04 June 2015

Hum Bhukhe Nango Ka Raj Zaroor Ayega!

What a dialogue! On Tuesday night (in fact Wednesday morning) I rewatched Mera Naam Joker and Shree 420 back to back on Zee Classic. Yesterday was Raj Kapoor's death anniversary. In the initial scenes of Shree 420 when Raj wants to sleep on footpath, his friend staying on footpath says satirically: मैं न कहता था, हम भूखे नंगो का राज एक दिन जरूर आयेगा। 

When you rewatch a film every time, you find a new thing which you may not have marked earlier. When in club Maya (Nadira) asks Raj to pretend as Rajkumar. ‪#‎Raj_Kapoor‬ scrolls his hand on face. Upper face shows cute, innocent, honest and joker Raj but after hand is passed his face changes to very smart and cunning Raj. (In background tune of Kisi Ki Muskurahato pe ho nissar plays. The song was taken in Anadi, four years after Shree 420 released . This was another speciality of Raj Kapoor. He used to use tune as background music which was later used in his films).

 Hats off to Raj Kapoor!