Category Archives: Entertainment

Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)

I have no hesitation in admitting that Allahabad (ancient name Prayag) redefined my beingness.It made me down-to earth, allowing me to view life in its true shades. Although I tried my best to capture all the shades of Allahabad, I am sure I would have missed some beautiful locations. I hope  future writers would explore these untouched places in a colourful way. However, in the last part of the photo feature, I have shifted my attention from modern landscape of Allahabad to areas which still remind of the ancient times. Infrastructural bottlenecks prevented me from using state-of-the-art technology in capturing  the images and that made me bit depressed. However, now in the aftermath of the publication of photo features, I feel pretty satisfied that I still came to do some good work. These photo features are a tribute to great city Allahabad- my birthplace. A city that taught me how to emerge successful in rising above contradictions to have glimpse of the Absolute!

 

Such roads making their way through dusty colonies of Allahabad remind me of Varanasi! This road connects Anand Bhawan area with Katra.  Katra is area very ppular among middle class section of Allahabad. It's also most favourite destination of student; after all, it lies close to Allahabad University :-)

Such roads making their way through dusty colonies of Allahabad remind me of Varanasi! This road connects Anand Bhawan area with Katra. Katra is very poular among middle class section of Allahabad. It’s also most favourite destination of students; after all, it lies close to Allahabad University :-)

This area resembles Varanasi city in its style and mannerism!

Katra resembles Varanasi city in its style and mannerism!

It was  cold and foggy when I came to visit Katra but observe the rush at this place.  On ordinary days, this popular crossing at Katra is so full of  people that traffic policemen are reduced to caricature of sorts while managing them!

It was cold and foggy when I came to visit Katra but observe the rush at this place. On ordinary days, this popular crossing at Katra is so full of people that traffic policemen are reduced to caricature of sorts while managing them!

This road needs no introduction for Allahabadis :P It's University Road :-)

This road needs no introduction for Allahabadis :P It’s University Road :-)

One of the eminent hostels associated with Allahabad University. It's named after Sir Sunder Lal, who in 1906 became the  the first Indian Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University!  He was by profession an advocate, who later also served as High Court Judge.

One of the eminent hostels associated with Allahabad University. It’s named after Sir Sunder Lal, who in 1906 became the the first Indian Vice Chancellor of Allahabad University! He was by profession an advocate, who later also served as High Court Judge.

Right in front of one of the gates of Allahabad University!

Right in front of one of the gates of Allahabad University-Oxford of the East !

 

One of things which separates Allahabad University from Benaras Hindu University is the quality of roads spread in University area :P :P .. The streets adjacent to Benaras Hindu University are so much in love with potholes that all the time you have to look downwards with fear ha..ha ..ha ..That's not the case in Allahabad :P :P :P

One of the things which separates Allahabad University from Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi,  is the quality of roads spread in University area :P :P .. The streets adjacent to Benaras Hindu University are so much in love with potholes that while walking  you have to look downwards  all the time with fear ha..ha ..ha ..That’s not the case in Allahabad :P :P :P

On The Campus Of Allahabad University :-)

On The Campus Of Allahabad University :-)

Once upon a time I always ventured on these beautiful situated on the Allahabad University's Campus :-)

Once upon a time I always ventured on these beautiful  roads situated on the Allahabad University’s Campus :-)

 A beautiful park on the campus of University..Notice no love birds are present :P :P :P

A beautiful park on the campus of University..Notice no love birds are present :P :P :P

In my days it was not a Central University.  Today, it has attained the status of being a Central University!

In my days it was not a Central University. Today, it has attained the status of being a Central University!

Road adjacent to Allahabad University...When you move ahead on this road arrives Prayag Railway Station!

Road adjacent to Allahabad University…When you move ahead on this road arrives Prayag Railway Station!

Loitering on these University Roads was one of the main activities of College Days!

Loitering on these University Roads was one of the main activities during College days!

Don't be confused :P We are still inside University's Campus :P :P :P

Don’t be confused :P We are still inside University’s Campus :P :P :P

Notice the activities on main Univesrity Road.  Streets remain the same but faces of students get changed!

Notice the activities on main University Road. Streets remain the same but faces of students get changed!

Main Katra Market!

Main Katra Market!

A prominent Goddess Kaliji temple  at  Katra, Allahabad !

A prominent Goddess Kaliji temple at Katra, Allahabad!

This time Lord Hanuman Ji is resting inside the Temple : -)

This time Lord Hanuman Ji is resting inside the Temple : -)

One of the street crossings at Katra :-)

One of the street crossings at Katra :-)

A glimpse of life at Katra!

A glimpse of life at Katra!

Lonely Road in Allahabad :P

Lonely Road in Allahabad :P

 The most prominent Sports Complex in Allahabad! It's named after movie superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who hails from this city :-)

The most prominent Sports Complex in Allahabad! It’s named after movie superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who hails from this city :-)

Maharana Pratap Crossing :-)

Maharana Pratap Crossing :-)

It's getting dark :-)

It’s getting dark :-)

CMP Degree College in Allahabad- a constituent college of Allahabad Univesity.   It has produced great students in past.  And so when I hear about stories of viloence, disruption of studies on its campus, it really sadddens me!  I have been student of this college and we remember that in our batch most of the students came to score more than students of Allahabad University!

CMP Degree College in Allahabad- a constituent college of Allahabad University. It has produced great students in past. And so it really saddens me when I hear about stories of violence, disruption of studies on its campus.  I had been student of this college and we remember that in our batch most of the students came to score more than students of Allahabad University in prominent subjects like Philosophy, English Literature, Physics and etc. !

great discussions.  Long Live This Cute Tree :P :P :P

And under this great tree Philosophy and English Literature students often had great discussions. Long Live This Cute Tree :P :P :P

At this place it was so hard to control the tears..At this place I found some great teachers like Anand  Srivastava Sir, Ghatak Sir  and many others who imparted so many  values to young and fresh minds like us!  In fact, they were generous enough to give additional lectures in staff room during lunch hours!

At this place it was so hard to control the tears..At this place I found some great teachers like Anand Srivastava Sir (Philosophy), K K Ghatak Sir (English Literature), K C Srivastava (Ancient History)  and many others who imparted so many  values to young and fresh minds like us! In fact, they were generous enough to give additional lectures in staff room during lunch hours!

Road that led to English Lectures in those days :-)

Road that led to English Lectures in those days :-)

The park in which my science department friends played cricket during Chemistry hours :P

The park in which my science department friends played cricket during Chemistry hours :P

 I hope new students who become part of this great college would keep its standards high. I am happy to notice that most of my friends from this college of that batch, from both Arts and Science Wings, have done exceptionally well in their post college lives!  And I should not hesitate that I also fell in love with someone at this place :-)

I hope new students who become part of this great college would keep its standards high. I am happy to notice that most of my friends from this college of that batch, from both Arts and Science Wings, have done exceptionally well in their post college lives! And I should not hesitate to state that I also fell in love with someone at this place :-)

 

This cute Krishna Temple in Meerapur area makes me smile. That's because this area has prominent Shakti Peeths of Allahabad: Lalita Devi Temple And Kalyani Devi Temple!

This cute Krishna Temple in Meerapur area makes me smile. That’s because this area has prominent Shakti Peeths of Allahabad: Lalita Devi Temple And Kalyani Devi Temple!

Entrance gate of Krishna Pranaami Temple :P ..Name itself is so cute :P

Entrance gate of Krishna Pranami Temple :P ..Name itself is so cute :P

Goddess Lalita Devi Temple In Meerapur Area!  It's one of the Shakti Pithas in Allahabad!

Goddess Lalita Devi Temple In Meerapur Area! It’s one of the Shakti Pithas in Allahabad!

Goddess Lalita Deviji :-0

Goddess Lalita Deviji :-)

Actvities like Ved Paatha always takes place inside Lalita Devi Temple :-)  Sadly, I could not get a better image :-(

Actvities like Ved Paatha always takes place inside Lalita Devi Temple :-) Sadly, I could not get a better image :-(

Outside Kalyani Devi Temple :-) Beautiful structure :-)

Outside Kalyani Deviji Temple :-) Beautiful structure :-)

Inside View Of The Kalyani Deviji Temple :-)

Inside View Of The Kalyani Deviji Temple :-)

Another view of Kalyani Deviji's temple :-)

Another view of Kalyani Deviji’s temple :-)

And life goes on at its usual pace outside Kalyani Deviji's temple!

And life goes on at its usual pace outside Kalyani Deviji’s temple!

Road Adjacent To Ewing Christian College!

Road Adjacent To Ewing Christian College!

On the way towards Muthiganj :-)

On the way towards Muthiganj :-)

Life in another part of Allahabad away from the glamour of elite areas like Civil lines :-)

Life in another part of Allahabad away from the glamour of elite areas like Civil lines :-)

Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Allahabad. It was established by by Swami Vijnanananda in year 1908! He was a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna!

Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Allahabad. It was established by by Swami Vijnanananda in year 1908! He was a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna!

Front View Of This Important Spiritual Center in Allahabad :-)

Front View Of This Important Spiritual Center in Allahabad :-)

It has got its own wonderful library! No wonder this Mission is so popular among students!

It has got its own wonderful library! No wonder this Mission is so popular among students!

Meditation room inside this Mission having images of Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sharda Deviji, Swami Vijnanananda ji  and Swami Vivekananda ji!

Meditation room inside this Mission having images of Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada Deviji, Swami Vijnanananda ji and Swami Vivekananda ji!

Books For Sale Inside The Temple :-)

Books For Sale Inside The Temple :-)

Close Look At The Books :-)

Close Look At The Books :-)

Havana Taking Place On Occassion Of Vivekananda's Birth Ceremony At The Mission :-)

Havana Taking Place On Occasion Of Vivekananda’s Birth Ceremony At The Mission :-)

Swami Nikhilatamanandaji, current head of this center in Allahabad, giving lecture on relevance of Swami Vivekananda's views in modern times!

Swami Nikhilatamanandaji, current head of this center in Allahabad, giving lecture on relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s views in modern times!|

Very Conscious Listeners :-)

Very Conscious Listeners :-)

 Swamijis at Ramakrishna Mission  are very well-infomed, highly educated and down-to-earth  people!

Swamijis at Ramakrishna Mission are very well-informed, highly educated and down-to-earth people!

This tea stall has photo of Anna Hazare :P :P :P

This tea stall has photo of Sri Anna Hazare :P :P :P

Sri Krishna Selling Jewellery :P :P :P

Sri Krishna Selling Jewellery :P :P :P

Khusro Bagh in Allahabad...A place that glimpse about Mughal architecture.  It has tombs of tombs of Khusrau Mirza (died 1622), eldest son of emperor Jahangir, Shah Begum, Khusrau's mother (died 1604), a Rajput princess and Jahangir's first wife, and that of Princess Sultan Nithar Begam.

Khusro Bagh in Allahabad…A place that gives glimpse of  Mughal architecture. It has “tombs of Khusrau Mirza (died 1622), eldest son of emperor Jahangir, Shah Begum, Khusrau’s mother (died 1604), a Rajput princess and Jahangir’s first wife, and that of Princess Sultan Nithar Begam.” (Text borrowed from Wiki)

 

This place cultivates best varieties of Guava. This park is about to get the status of National Eco-Knowledge Park!

This place cultivates best varieties of Guava. This park is about to get the status of National Eco-Knowledge Park!

It has been rennovated to attract tourits :-) I am happy that it is close to my house :P

It has been renovated to attract tourist :-) I am happy that it is close to my house :P

Peace  prevails here :P

Peace prevails here :P

Besides Guava trees  a large number of mango trees are found here!

Besides Guava trees a large number of mango trees are found here!

As informed earlier such parks in Allahabad are often occupied by students preparing for competitive exams...See how they are engaged in studies :-)

As informed earlier such parks in Allahabad are often occupied by students preparing for competitive exams…See how they are engaged in studies :-)

Eco friendly Hanumanji inside Khusro Bagh :P

Eco-friendly Hanumanji inside Khusro Bagh :P

One of the tombs situated inside the Khusro Bagh!

One of the tombs situated inside the Khusro Bagh!

Green house plantation inside the Khusro Bagh!

Green house plantation inside the Khusro Bagh!

Very old Banayan Trees inside Khusro Bagh...If you sit under them you are bound to engage in deep meditation :P

Very old Banayan Trees inside Khusro Bagh…If you sit under them you are bound to engage in deep meditation :P

Very Beautiful Scene Inside Khusro Bagh...Leaves Everywhere...A Very Striking Image Both Philosophically And Aesthetically :-)

Very Beautiful Scene Inside Khusro Bagh…Leaves Everywhere…A Very Striking Image Both Philosophically And Aesthetically :-)

It was a delighful sight for me to see cricket match going at such a romantic place :P

It was a delightful sight for me to see cricket match going on at such a romantic place :P

Cricketers giving  a pose :P :P :P

Cricketers giving a pose :P :P :P

I had a hard time bringing this squirrel under the lens :P :P :P

I had a hard time bringing this squirrel under the lens :P :P :P

Such Scenes Make You Fall In Great Romance With Nature :-) :-) :-)

Such Scenes Make You Fall In Great Romance With Nature :-) :-) :-)

Another Tomb Inside Khusro Bagh!

Another Tomb Inside Khusro Bagh!

A flower fallen on ground yet it  has such a bright smile :P ..We should be like this flower: Broken and dejected yet always smiling :-) :-) :-)

A flower fallen on ground yet it has such a bright smile :P ..We should be like this flower: Broken and dejected yet always smiling :-) :-) :-) Anyway, it’s called flower of Semal Tree (Bombax cieba)

Khusro Bagh Has Awesome Sight :P

Khusro Bagh Has Awesome Sight :P

PINKISH BLISS :P :P :P

PINKISH BLISS :P :P :P…

 

That's called Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba). In India it's called Semal.

That’s commonly called Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba). In India it’s called Semal and we often notice this tree along the road in Allahabad!

Noticed this depressed motor bike inside Khusro Bagh :P :P :P  "Girls don't trust me"  :P :P :P

Noticed this depressed motor bike inside Khusro Bagh :P :P :P “Girls don’t trust me” :P :P :P

May Lord Always Give Enough To Eat These Unfortunate Souls! I wonder why state-governments do nothing for these abandoned souls?  It's really sad scene!

May Lord always give such unfortunate souls enough to eat! I wonder why state-governments do nothing for these abandoned souls? It’s really a sad scene!

And these are fortumate souls, who came to take a dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela..Now they are happily returning back to their respective places!  They come from distant lands, facing all sorts of hardships!

And these are fortunate souls, who came to take a dip at Sangam during Kumbh Mela..Now they are happily returning back to their respective places! They come from distant lands, facing all sorts of hardships!

Unlike women from cities, these rural woman are quite tough both physically and mentally! The city women are usually bit lazy types :P :P :P

Unlike women from cities, these rural woman are quite tough both physically and mentally! The city women are usually bit lazy types :P :P :P

Varanasi sees foreign visitors throughout  the year but in Allahabad foreign visitors come only special occasions like Kumbh Mela, International Conferences and etc.  Here they are seen waiting for train at Allahabad Junction!

Varanasi sees foreign visitors throughout the year but in Allahabad foreign visitors come only during  special occasions like Kumbh Mela, International Conferences and etc. Here they are seen waiting for train at Allahabad Junction!

Hope they had nice experiences in Allahabad :-) :-) :-)

Hope they had nice experiences in Allahabad :-) :-) :-)

A Bird's Eye View Of My Locality From Rooftop Of My House :-) :-)

A Bird’s Eye View Of My Locality From Rooftop Of My House :-) :-)

This pic is especially for the likes of Sucheta ji, living in foreign lands :-) I hope Suchetaji, living in USA,  at least come to notice one cute activity taking place on Indian roof :P :P

This pic is especially for the likes of Sucheta ji and Carmenji living in foreign lands :-) I hope Suchetaji, living in USA,  comes to notice at least one cute activity taking place on Indian roof :P :P Kids from my family having a great time on the rooftop :-)

Allahabadis love flying kites :-) View of the beautiful sky over my roof :-)

Allahabadis love flying kites :-) View of the beautiful sky over my roof :-)

And these are students of the year :P :P :P

And these are students of the year :P :P :P

Kids engaged in serious discussion right in the middle of the street! Kids have become so serious nowadays :P :P

Kids engaged in serious discussion right in the middle of the street! Kids have become so serious nowadays :P :P

This corner at my locality remains quite busy during festivals :-) :-)

This corner at my locality remains quite busy during festivals :-) :-)

walking in the middle of the railway tracks! That's why tragedies  take place!

A Railway Over-bridge close to my locality!! And notice one guy walking in the middle of the railway tracks! That’s why tragedies take place!

Sports Stadium Belonging To Railways!

Sports Stadium Belonging To Railways!

 

And evening prevails :-)

And evening prevails :-)

On the road near Baluva Ghat!  This area is in old Allahabad!

On the road near Baluva Ghat! This area is in old Allahabad!

Activities Near Baluva Ghat. Well, ghat in India signifies that we are close to the bank of a river!

Activities Near Baluva Ghat. Well, ghat in India signifies that we are close to the bank of a river!

Lord Hanumanji in the making :P :P :P

Lord Hanumanji in the making :P :P :P

Ma Yamuna ji ..She is very dear to Lord Krishna...And I am really disappointed to see so much garbage on its banks..Let's not forget that it's a very busy place owing to religious ceremonies taking place throughout the year.

Ma Yamuna ji ..She is very dear to Lord Krishna :-)  And I am really disappointed to see so much garbage on its banks..Let’s not forget that it’s a very busy place owing to religious ceremonies taking place throughout the year.

Who has allowed black beauties ( read buffaloes) to take dip in Yamunaji  :-( :-( :-(

Who has allowed black beauties (read buffaloes) to take dip in Sri Yamunaji :-( :-( :-(

Scenes around Baluva Ghat made me feel I have traveled back in time!

Scenes around Baluva Ghat made me feel I have traveled back in time!

Black Beauties Have Now Attained  Regular Moksha :P :P :P

Black Beauties Have Now Attained Regular Moksha (liberation)  :P :P :P

Myself at Khusro Bagh :-)

Myself at Khusro Bagh :-)

India is land of great rivers and great mountains. It's our duty to keep them clean. Why are we so casual in keeping them in good shape?  Hope Sri Yamunaji remains evergreen in this nation.  Just see what we have done to her in Delhi area?  Let's not the same happens to her in Allahabad. Jai Sri Yamunaji..Pranama to Everybody: Sri  Radha Krishna, Gopas, Gopikas And Cows  :P :P :P

India is land of great rivers and great mountains. It’s our duty to keep them clean. Why are we so casual in keeping them in good shape? Hope Sri Yamunaji remains evergreen in this nation. Just see what we have done to her in Delhi area!  Let’s not the same happens to her in Allahabad. Jai Sri Yamunaji..Pranama to Everybody: Sri Radha Krishna, Gopas, Gopikas And Cows :P :P :P

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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Reference:

Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One)

Allahabad: City Of True Beauty, Real Romance And Mysticism (Photo Feature Part 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allahabad: City Of True Beauty, Real Romance And Mysticism (Photo Feature Part 2)

Many find Allahabad a very tough place to live an honourable life. That’s because  even though it came to enjoy a wonderful divine legacy, it never  ensured  a desired vibrancy for average souls. It never created any scope for living a truly fun-filled life, being all the time involved in dry intellectual activities.  Lack of  proper encouragement on the part of city towards its vast pool of talented brains have now given way to brain drain sort of affair. Many great souls remained an unsung hero in this city. However, what’s amazing is that it keeps on producing great souls at a regular interval! In nutshell, it’s a city of true beauty, real romance and mysticism. The city teaches you how to remain true to life in a real way, making it very clear to any conscious soul that life is not a bed of roses and it is meant to discover new mysteries of nature. Naturally, average souls running after money, fame, beautiful girl, big house, big car and many other cosmetic affairs would always feel disappointed to be part of this city. Having said that, I hope this city learns to truly honour its exceptional souls and also learns to be bit more blissful!  

 

That's one of the major Lord Hanuman Ji's  temple situated in the heart of the city.. Anyway, it's so ironic to see love birds engaged in romantic talks at this place  :P

That’s one of the major Lord Hanuman Ji’s temples situated in the heart of the city.. Anyway, it’s so ironic to see love birds engaged in romantic talks at this place :P

The Streets Of Civil Lines Makes People Of Other Areas Jealous :P

The Streets Of Civil Lines Make People Of Other Areas Jealous :P

Hard To Forget This Guy...During university days, I came to buy so many  greta classics, costly magazines at very reasonable rates..And this person made way for all sorts of desired adjustment.  He proudly told me that someone from Times of India also came to click image of  his magazine corner...This shop is hot favourite among  students!  Although Internet has affected the sales.

Hard to forget this guy…During university days, I came to buy so many great classics, costly magazines at very reasonable rates..And this person made way for all sorts of desired adjustment. He proudly told me that someone from Times of India also came to click image of his magazine corner…This shop is hot favourite among students! Although Internet has affected the sales, it was good to anticipate the great spirit of his father, also seen in the pic, who digested the change in philosophical way. Now that’s called wisdom!

Quite a romantic place to have tea!  It's adjacent Company Garden!

Quite a romantic place to have tea! It’s adjacent Company Garden!

 

When I say it's a romantic place I really mean it too..Just close to this tea shop in Civil Lines are we have many beautiful plant nurseries.. So the air is full of fragrance :P

When I say it’s a romantic place I really mean it too..Just close to this tea shop in Civil Lines area we have many beautiful plant nurseries.. So the air is full of fragrance :P

Allahabad Museum Inside Chandra Shekhar Azad Park ( Alfred Park or Company Garden). This musuem displays the vehicle which carried the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi for immersion at Sangam and many other articles of great historical significance!

Allahabad’s museum inside Chandra Shekhar Azad Park (Alfred Park or Company Garden). This museum displays the vehicle which carried the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi for immersion at Sangam and many other articles of great historical significance!

This park established in the memory of great revolutionary  Chandra Shekhar Azad is now favourite place for morning walkers living in the heart of city.. In the noon time, one notices  new- age romance :P Anyway, it's a great place for an outsider wishing some isolated hours!

This park established in the memory of great revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad is now favourite place for morning walkers living in the heart of city.. In the noon time, one notices new- age romance :P Anyway, it’s a great place for an outsider wishing some isolated hours!

At such places, like this old man, one gets lost in deepest memories hidden in subconsciousness!

At such places, like this old man, one gets lost in deepest memories hidden in subconsciousness!

Company Garden has the honour of having this wonderful  Government Public Library.  This majestic building built in Gothic style was designed by R. Roskell Bayne.  This building is of immense significance since here only Legislative Council for the North Western Province and Oudh held its first meeting on January 8, 1887.  Let's not forget it was capital city from of United Provinces from 1902 to 1920! Anyway, I am happy that in my college days and even now I am the most frequent visitor!

Company Garden has the honour of having this wonderful Government Public Library. This majestic building built in Gothic style was designed by R. Roskell Bayne. This building is of immense significance since here only Legislative Council for the North Western Province and Oudh held its first meeting on January 8, 1887. Let’s not forget that Allahabad was capital city  of United Provinces from 1902 to 1920! Anyway, I am happy that in my college days I was the most frequent visitor! Even now also I can be seen here :P

It's not that one notices only romance in parks..Here most of such parks are occupied by serious students preparing for competitive examinations!

It’s not that one notices only romance in parks..In Allahabad most of such parks are occupied by serious students preparing for competitive examinations!

And those students who are not studying inside Company Park are seen ferociousely involved in Cricket match :P ..This is the biggest park of Allahabad.

And those students who are not studying inside Company Park are seen ferociously involved in Cricket match :P ..This is the biggest park of Allahabad.

Just see the vastness of the park that many teams are playing at the same time :P :P :P

Just see the vastness of the park that many teams are playing at the same time :P :P :P

Saint Joseph's College View Which Lies Adjacent To Company Garden :P

Saint Joseph’s college  which lies adjacent to Company Garden :P

That's the road which connects Company Garden To Civil Lines-the heart of  city dominated by glamour and modernity!

That’s the road which connects Company Garden with  Civil Lines-the heart of city dominated by glamour and modernity!

The Mall Culture In Civil Lines!

The Mall Culture In Civil Lines!

Well, this new age glamour does attract me but not for long!

Well, this new age glamour does attract me but not for long!

Statue of Subhas Chandra Bose Amidst Mall Culture :P

Statue of Subhas Chandra Bose Amidst Mall Culture :P

Laxmi Book House Is First Choice Of Any Journalist! By the way, how many times do you notice cinema hall and prominent magazine/newspaper corner close to each other :P :P :P

Laxmi Book House is first choice of any journalist! By the way, how many times do you notice cinema hall and prominent magazine/newspaper corner close to each other :P :P :P

Palace Theatre enjoys a great place in the memories of all good cinema lovers. It's one of the oldest theaters in the city. However, it's old charm has given way to this new modern appearance ! My choice also witnessed drastic changes  from "Thodi Se Bewafai" (1980) to " Ship of Thesus" (2012)  at this Palace :P :P :P

Palace Theater enjoys a great place in the memories of all good cinema lovers. It’s one of the oldest theaters in the city. However, its old charm has given way to this new modern appearance ! My choice also witnessed drastic changes from “Thodi Se Bewafai” (1980) to ” Ship of Thesus” (2012) at this Palace Theater :P :P :P

However, this historic cinema hall in old Allahbad, Niranjan, failed to start again.  This hall needs to be rennovated at the earliest.  Two prominet movies which I came to see when they got realeasd were Richard Attenborough's Gandhi(1982) and Steven Spielber's Jurassic Park (1993).

However, this historic cinema hall in old Allahbad, Niranjan, failed to start again. This hall needs to be renovated at the earliest. Two prominent movies which I came to see here when they got released were Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi(1982) and Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993).

Indian Coffee House enjoys a special place in hearts of all literary class.  It has witnessed many great literary and political figures carving a niche for themselves at global level since late 50s!

Indian Coffee House enjoys a special place in hearts of all literary class. It has witnessed many great literary and political figures carving a niche for themselves at global level since late 50s!

Resting place of capitalist forces :P

Resting place of capitalist forces :P

Worried about your future :P Consult him in Civil Lines under this tree :P

Worried about your future :P Consult this astrologer  at Civil Lines under this tree :P

A Tree taken aback by pomp and show at Civil Lines :-(

A Tree taken aback by pomp and show at Civil Lines :-(

Public Service Commission - an office where my father worked as an officer. And we lived in the residence situated on the huge campus of this office. Later, we shifted to Lucknow branch of the same office! Allahabad is city devoted to prominent government offices in Uttar Pradesh. Civil Lines area is mainly occupied by such government institutions.

Public Service Commission – an office where my father worked as an officer. And we lived in the residence situated on the huge campus of this office. Later, we shifted to Lucknow branch of the same office! Allahabad is city devoted to prominent government offices in Uttar Pradesh. Civil Lines area is mainly occupied by such government institutions.

Allahabad is also known for coaching institutes!!

Allahabad is also known for coaching institutes!!

And that's the place where I work:  Allahabad High Court :P

And that’s the place where I work: Allahabad High Court :P

Greenery is in abundance at Allahabad High Court :P :P :P

Greenery is in abundance at Allahabad High Court :P :P :P

Nearly all newspapers have their offices in Civil Lines area. However, Northern India Patrika's  office holds a special place in my heart.  This is one of the oldest newspapers in India which started in year 1868. It was then named Amrita Bazar Patrika.  Today, all good news editors and journalists are by-products of this newspaper.  Today it's not that financially successful but editors like V.S. Datta have kept its standards high.  V.S Datta, seniormost jourmalist from Allahabad, is its editor since early 60s. And when my first article appeared in print in this newspaper he was the one responsible for its publication. I owe a lot to him for all my accomplishments to him as a writer/journalist. May Lord give him long life and good health!

Nearly all newspapers have their offices in Civil Lines area. However, Northern India Patrika’s office holds a special place in my heart. This is one of the oldest newspapers in India which started in year 1868. It was then named Amrita Bazar Patrika. Today, all good news editors and journalists are by-products of this newspaper. Today it’s  financially not that successful but editors like V.S. Datta have kept its standards high. V.S Datta, senior-most journalist from Allahabad, is its editor since early 60s. And when my first article appeared in print in this newspaper in year 1995 he was the one responsible for its publication. I owe a lot to him for all my accomplishments  as a writer/journalist. May Lord give him long life and good health!

A Journalistic road..The road running parallel to Patrika House!

A Journalistic road..The road running parallel to Patrika House!

Lawyer's Hanuman Temple :P :P :P It's situated close to Allahabad High Court.  Most of the lawyers firts have Hanumanji's blessing and then proceed towards their respective chambers :P :P :P ...Well, it's time for now to take a litle break before I come back with Part three of photo feature related with Allahabad :-)

Lawyer’s Hanuman Temple :P :P :P It’s situated close to Allahabad High Court. Most of the lawyers first have Hanumanji’s blessing and then proceed towards their respective chambers :P :P :P

Geeta Niketan Temple In Tula Ram Bagh!

Geeta Niketan Temple In Tula Ram Bagh!

 

These areas are so over-crowded that one thinks twice before paying a vist ! This place is called Kotha Parcha. Courtesy telphone department that I have to come here to buy phone related instruments quite often :-(

These areas are so over-crowded that one thinks twice before paying a visit ! This place is called Kotha Parcha. Courtesy Telephone Department that I have to come here quiet often to buy phone related instruments  :-(

One of the busiest rail bridge!

One of the busiest rail bridge!

Pathar Chatti Ramleela Committee's Venue which hosts many programmes related with cause of Hindus! It's situated in Ram Bagh area of Allahabad.

Pathar Chatti Ramleela Committee’s Venue which hosts many programmes related with cause of Hindus! It’s situated in Ram Bagh area of Allahabad.

This Hanumanji's temple in Rambagh is also quite well-known temple in Allahabad :-) Hanumanji rocks in Allahabad :P

This Hanumanji’s temple in Rambagh is also quite well-known temple in Allahabad :-) Hanumanji rocks in Allahabad :P

Cute Street At Rambagh!

Cute Street At Rambagh!

It's a place which gives rise to new doctors :P :P :P

It’s a place which gives rise to new doctors :P :P :P

Allahabad has proper roads, any doubt?  :P :P

Allahabad has proper roads, any doubt? :P :P

Theosophical Society in Allahabad. " Blavatsky portrayed the Theosophical Society as being part of one of many attempts throughout the millennia by this hidden Hierarchy to guide humanity – in concert with the overall Intelligent Cosmic Evolutionary scheme – towards its ultimate, immutable evolutionary objective: the attainment of perfection and the conscious, willing participation in the evolutionary process."

Theosophical Society in Allahabad. ” Blavatsky portrayed the Theosophical Society as being part of one of many attempts throughout the millennia by this hidden Hierarchy to guide humanity – in concert with the overall Intelligent Cosmic Evolutionary scheme – towards its ultimate, immutable evolutionary objective: the attainment of perfection and the conscious, willing participation in the evolutionary process.”

 

Roads teach you a lot!

Roads teach you a lot!

This place bears testimony to meeting of Rishi Bharadwaj with Lord Rama...However, this park is nowadays chosen spot of lovers :P ..Anyway, meeting of Sri Rama, Sri Vishnu's incarnation,  would always remain one of the most significant moment in the history of Prayag!

This place bears testimony to meeting of Rishi Bharadwaja with Lord Rama…However, this park is nowadays chosen spot of lovers :P ..Anyway, meeting of Sri Rama, Sri Vishnu’s incarnation, with Rishi Bharadwaja would always remain one of the most significant moments in the history of Prayag!

 

Sometimes some places in Allahabad give you the feeling that you are moving in Kashi :-)

Sometimes some places in Allahabad give you the feeling that you are moving in Kashi :-)

That's the ancestral home of India's first prime minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru which Indians know as Anand Bhawan. It played a significant role in Indian freedom movement. That's why visitors never miss this place :-)

That’s the ancestral home of India’s first prime minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru which Indians know as Anand Bhawan. It played a significant role in Indian freedom movement. That’s why visitors never miss this place :-)

Hope new generation gets right message from being at such places. This place also has a  famous planetarium.

Hope new generation gets right message from being at such places. This place also has a famous planetarium.

Places like Anand Bhawan are not picnic spots but these places are now best remembered for spending few hours in fun-filled way..Anyway, historical legacy  has ensured survival of these small shopkeepers selling eatables!

Places like Anand Bhawan are not picnic spots but these places are now best remembered for spending few hours in fun-filled way..Anyway, historical legacy has ensured survival of these small shopkeepers selling eatables!

P.S. :- The copyright of these images rests with the author of this post. Anybody making use of them without prior permission of the author, or without giving due credit to the author, could be penalized as per legal norms.

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Reference:

Allahabad: A City Wedded To Realism (Photo Feature Part One)

Allahabad: A City Wherein Global Salutes The Local (Photo Feature Part 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

आमिर खान: गम्भीर समस्याओ को समोसा चटनी न बनाये तो बेहतर होगा!

देश की फिक्र के लिए क्या बस ऐसे ही लोग मिले थें?

देश की फिक्र के लिए क्या बस ऐसे ही लोग मिले थें?

मुझे सत्यमेव जयते कार्यक्रम के फॉर्मेट से बेहद आपत्ति है. इस तरह के कार्यक्रम जटिल समस्यायों को सिर्फ समोसा -चटनी के सामान चटपटा बनाकर पेश करने का माध्यम बन गए है. इस से गम्भीर समस्या के और जटिल संस्करण उभर के आते है. आमिर टाइप के कलाकारो का क्या नुक्सान हुआ? कुछ नहीं: महँगी फीस बटोरो और तथाकथित जागरूक इंसान का अपने ऊपर ठप्पा लगवाकर चलते बनो और जा पहुचो देश की फिक्र करने किसी कोक-शोक की दूकान पर. ठेस और चोट उनको पहुचती है जिनकी संवेदनशीलता का भद्दा मजाक बनाकर इस तरह के कार्यक्रम सफलता के पायदान चढ़ते है. आमिर टाइप के लोग कलाकारी अगर बड़े परदे पर करे वही उनको शोभा देता है. गम्भीरता का पुतला बनने की कोशिश छोड़ दे. कम से कम आमिर टाइप के कलाकार ये कोशिश ना ही करे तो बेहतर होगा.

संवेदनशील मुद्दो की या देश की फिक्र करने के लिए इस देश में वास्तविक गम्भीर दिमागो की कोई कमी नहीं. फिर ये समझ से परे है कि दूरदर्शन जैसे सम्मानित सरकारी माध्यम क्यों इस तरह के सतही लोगो को गम्भीर मुद्दो पर विचार विमर्श करने के लिए बुलवाते है? एक बात और समझना बेहद जरूरी है: क्या गम्भीर समस्याओ को ग्लैमरस रूप देना जरूरी है? क्या यही एक सार्थक तरीका बचा है गम्भीर मुद्दो के साथ न्याय करने का? कुल मिला कर इस बात को महसूस करना बेहद जरूरी है कि अगर आप वाकई देश की फिक्र करते है तो उनका सम्मान करे जो सम्मान के योग्य है. इनको बुलाये और ये आपको बताएँगे कि किसी संवेदनशील मुद्दे पर क्या रूख रखना चाहिए. और अगर सही लोगो को बुलाकर चीज़ो को सही सन्दर्भ में समझने का धैर्य नहीं है तो कम से कम आमिर जैसे लोगो को बुलाकर गम्भीरता का मज़ाक ना बनवाये. इतना तो किया जा सकता है कि नहीं?

 अगर सही लोगो को बुलाकर चीज़ो को सही सन्दर्भ में समझने का धैर्य नहीं है तो कम से कम आमिर जैसे लोगो को बुलाकर गम्भीरता का मज़ाक ना बनवाये। इतना तो किया जा सकता है कि नहीं?

अगर सही लोगो को बुलाकर चीज़ो को सही सन्दर्भ में समझने का धैर्य नहीं है तो कम से कम आमिर जैसे लोगो को बुलाकर गम्भीरता का मज़ाक ना बनवाये। इतना तो किया जा सकता है कि नहीं?

पिक्स क्रेडिट:

तस्वीर प्रथम

Vishal Bhardwaj: A Genuine Music Composer In Times When Indian Music Directors Have Become Copycats

Vishal Bhardwaj: The Really Talented Filmmaker And Music Composer

Vishal Bhardwaj: A Truly Talented Filmmaker And Music Composer


( Also published in  Northern India Patrika, December 08, 2013 ) 

One needs a great musical mind to appreciate the music of Vishal Bhardwaj. We are well aware of his directorial skills, having seen his ability to deal with complex themes in movies like Omkara, Maqbool, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf, to name a few. In my eyes he is a music director par excellence, who still have guts to introduce original compositions in Bollywood given way to borrowed tunes. If we analyze deeply the happenings inside Bollywood’s musical landscape what prevails is recycling of works of others in most blatant manner with no credits to original composers who composed these compositions in the first place.  

Very recently I watched “Ek Thi Daayan” which dealt with supernatural elements. It was a theme which had not much scope for a romantic number. However, Vishal managed to create magic with his “Yaaram” song. Gulzar after demise of his best friend RD Burman felt a great sense of loneliness. He wasn’t all wrong in feeling that way. Only RD Burman had that capability to lend perfect musical notes to newsy type lyrics penned by Gulzar. Thanks to the arrival of Vishal Bhardwaj, which allowed Gulzar to breathe a sigh of relief. Vishal didn’t disappoint Gulzar. The chartbusters like ” Yaaram”, “Naina Thag Lenge”,  “Darling”, “Chod Aaye Hum Wo Galiyan”, “O Saathi Re”,  “Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji”, “Raat Ke Dhai Baje”, “Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola” and “Sapney Me Milti Hai” etc. are the ones which bear testimony to the fact he knows what treatment very sensitive verses of Gulzar actually need.

This very highly conscious music director, dealing in experimentation and improvisation in unorthodox manner, loves to introduce best of the literary works, which until now remained unexplored by Indian movie-makers. The cinematic versions of Shakespeare’s Othello, Macbeth and Hamlet really impressed all film-goers. At the same time, movie versions of Ruskin Bond’s “Susanna’s Seven Husbands” and “The Blue Umbrella’ also left the lovers of cinema spellbound. In fact, even in movie meant for kids like Makdee you can notice the variation he introduced in his music. He has received National Award for his music in Ishkiya and Godmother. Today Bollywood is dominated by musicians who first don’t know what music really means, and second, they are not musicians but technocrats depending on arrangement of music done by the computers. A reason why film music sounds so mechanical and jarring to the ears. Worse, it’s so humiliating when foreign composers make allegations that Indian music makers totally copied their compositions in the name of inspiration!

Happy That This Man Has Got So Many Awards!

Happy That This Man Has Got So Many Awards!

Against this backdrop, this genuine music composer evokes a sense of self pride within with his creativity. Let’s hope his fabulous compositions which make wonderful use of various instruments like Piano and Guitar keep enthralling music lovers. One is not against Western music and use of latest technology but against ignorance of richness present in Indian music. There is calculated attempts on part of movie makers to diminish the aura of Indian classical music. Vishal Bhardwaj is the best example of how to blend western notes with Indian classical music. This art needs to be learnt by new age Indian music directors, who, sadly, are more interested in making money instead of truly enriching the world of film music. Anyway, Vishal Bhardwaj needs to be complimented for keeping the roots of Indian classical music green and fresh.

Some of the songs composed by him: 

1. Chod Aaye Hum Wo Galiyan

2. Naina Thag Lenge

3. Maine To Maanga Tha 

4. Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji 

5. Raat Ke Dhai Baje 

6. Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola

Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

Pic Two

विश्व फ़िल्म इतिहास की दो बेहद शानदार फिल्मे है आवारा और शोले!

 

 

आवारा : एक युवा मन के जिद और संकल्प से उपजी शानदार कृति.

आवारा : एक युवा मन के जिद और संकल्प से उपजी शानदार कृति.

भारतीय फिल्मो ने मई २०१३ में १०० वर्ष पूरे कर लिए. ये एक लम्बी अवधि होती है किसी भी मीडियम के गुण दोष को परखने के लिए. हमारी फिल्मो ने कई मंजिलो को तय किया लेकिन फिर भी गुणवत्ता की दृष्टि से इसकी रफ्तार बहुत धीमी है. हमारी अधिकांश फिल्मे एक ढर्रे पे बनती है जिनमे प्रयोगवादी फिल्मकारों के लिए बहुत कम स्पेस बचता है कुछ नया करने के लिए. ऐसा नहीं कि उल्लेखनीय काम नहीं हुआ पर इनकी संख्या कम है. आज भी आप देखे कि  सालाना  लगभग 800-900  फिल्मे बालीवूड में बनती है पर उनमे से कितनी याद रख भर पाने के लायक होती है?  इसी तरह फिल्मी संगीत भी खासकर वर्तमान समय में बेसुरें ताल में है कुछ एक अपवाद को छोड़कर. उस पर भी अगर विदेशी स्टैंडर्ड्स से गौर करे तो भारतीय फिल्मे अभी बहुत पीछे है. क्षेत्रीय भाषाओ जैसे बंगाली, मलयाली, इत्यादि में अच्छा काम हुआ लेकिन जिस तरह हिंदी फिल्मो में उतार आया वैसे इन भाषाओ की फिल्मो में भी गुणवत्ता के लिहाज सें गिरावट दर्ज की गयी. खैर इस लेख में मै आवारा और शोले इन दो फिल्मो का जिक्र करना चाहूँगा.

राजकपूर और गुरुदत्त मेरे पसंदीदा फिल्मकार रहे है. जिस संवेदनशीलता से इन्होने फिल्मे बनायीं उसकी मिसाल ढूंढ पाना मुश्किल है. राजकपूर जो कि ज्यादा पढ़ लिख नहीं पाए ने जब आवारा बनाने का निर्णय लिया तो वो एक बोल्ड निर्णय था. फ़िल्म की कहानी ख्वाजा अहमद अब्बास ने लिखी थी जो प्रोग्रेसिव लेखको की जमात से आते थें. फ़िल्म का शीर्षक ही विवादित था लेकिन जिद के पक्के राजकपूर ने शीर्षक बदलने से मना कर दिया. ये यकीन कर पाना मुश्किल है कि इस कम पढ़े शख्स ने भारतीय फ़िल्म इतिहास को उसकी सबसे भव्य फिल्मे दी, सबसे बेहतरीन फिल्मे दी. राजकपूर  की ये विलक्षण निशानी थी कि फ़िल्म के हर पहलू चाहे वो गीत हो या संगीत हो या एडिटिंग हो सब पे पैनी निगाह रखते थे और जितने भी संशोधन वो करते थें वे सब फ़िल्म को नयी उंचाई दे जाते थे. आवारा भी इन्ही सब प्रयोगों से लैस थी.

इतनी कम उम्र में आवारा या आग जैसी फिल्मो का बनाना ये साबित कर देता है कि बुजुर्गो की तोहमत झेलते ये ” कल के लौंडे” ही अंत में अपवाद काम करके जाते है. ये किसी भारी भरकम इंस्टिट्यूट से नहीं निकलते बल्कि जिंदगी की पाठशाला में तप कर निकलते है और ये सिद्ध कर देते है कि “कुछ लोग जो ज्यादा जानते है वो इंसान को कम पहचानते है”. आवारा में नर्गिस के बोल्ड दृश्य थें लेकिन किसी को भी मना लेने का हुनर रखने वाले राजकपूर  ने उस दृश्य को हकीकत में बदल दिया लेकिन इस प्रक्रिया में क्रिएटिविटी के उच्चतम शिखर पे हम राजकपूर को पाते है। आवारा में भारतीय फिल्मो का पहला ड्रीम सीक्वेंस भी है. जब इस पर कई लाख रुपये खर्च करने की बात आई तो सब ने राजकपूर को सनकी कहा क्योकि पूरी फ़िल्म का बजट एक तरफ और इस ड्रीम सीक्वेंस का खर्च एक तरफ रख दे तो इतना बजट काफी होता है एक अन्य फ़िल्म के निर्माण के लिए. लेकिन राजकपूर ने ड्रीम सीक्वेंस के बजट में कोई कटौती नहीं की. आज टाइम मैगज़ीन राजकपूर के आवारा में किये गए अभिनय को 10 सर्वश्रेष्ठ अभिनय कौशल जो फ़िल्म के सुनहरे परदे पे अवतरित हुई उनमे से एक मानती है और आवारा फ़िल्म इतिहास की सौ सर्वश्रेष्ठ फिल्मो में से एक है.

सन 1951 में रिलीज़ आवारा कायदे से देखा जाए तो  पहली वो फ़िल्म मानी जायेगी जिसने असल अन्तराष्ट्रीय ख्याति प्राप्त की. चीन, सोवियत संघ, टर्की, रोमानिया, मिडिल ईस्ट और अन्य जगह ये ख़ासा लोकप्रिय रही. इसका गीत संगीत भी इतना लोकप्रिय हुआ कि  “आवारा हूँ” गीत विदेशो के उन हिस्सों में भी बजता था जहा भारतीय फिल्मो की पहुच कुछ नहीं थी. आवारा मैंने पहले पहल 1988 में देखी जब दूरदर्शन ने एक विशेष प्रसारण के तहत इन फिल्मो को दिखाया। राजकपूर जो मशहूर कपूर खानदान से होते हुए भी ने फिल्मी सफ़र की शुरुआत क्लैप बॉय से किया उस ने दिखाया कि हुनर जन्मजात ही आता है. ये किसी स्कूल की देन नहीं होती. ये फ़िल्म चाहे शंकर जयकिशन का संगीत हो, राज-नर्गिस की रूमानी केमिस्ट्री हो, शैलेन्द्र-हसरत के हृदयस्पर्शी गीत हो या राधू कर्माकर का  बेहतरीन छायांकन हो हर लिहाज़ से सर्वोत्तम थी. आवारा इस बात का प्रतीक है कि बदलाव युवा वर्ग ही लाता है अपनी सोच से और अपनी जिद से.

शोले: जिसकी आंच एवरग्रीन हो! गयी

शोले: जिसकी आंच एवरग्रीन हो! गयी!

 

शोले का भी जिक्र हो जाए. जहा आवारा बनते समय एक हलचल महसूस की गयी वही शोले के निर्माण के समय ऐसा कुछ नहीं था. बल्कि हैरान करने वाली बात ये है कि भारतीय फिल्मो के इतिहास में अनोखे आयाम जोड़ने वाली ये फ़िल्म जब प्रदर्शित हुई तो सब तरफ फीका फीका सा माहौल था. ये वो फ़िल्म थी जिसे आज विदेशी आलोचक भी मानते है कि निर्देशन, अभिनय और कैमरा वर्क के हिसाब से ये फ़िल्म बेजोड़ है. शोले की दहक को अजर अमर सरीखा बना देने वाले गब्बर सिंह का रोल पहले डैनी के हिस्से में आया था लेकिन उनके मना कर देने के बाद ये हलकी आवाज़ वाले अमजद खान के हिस्से आया. इससे बहुत से लोगो को इसके निर्माण के दौरान ये महसूस होने लगा कही ये एक वजह ना हो जाए इस फ़िल्म के ना चल पाने का . लेकिन अमजद खान ने जो संवाद अदायगी की वो इतनी बेजोड़ है कि उसके बारे में भारत का हर बच्चा भी जानता है.

आज लगभग 35 सालो बाद भी इस फ़िल्म के किरदारों का जिक्र होता है. रेडियो या टेलीविज़न खोल के देखे आपको जय-वीरू, बसंती और गब्बर के दर्शन होना तय है. मेरा रेडियो जब भी मुंह खोलता है मतलब “चालु”  होता है तो गब्बर की आवाज़ की नक़ल में कोई शख्स जरूर थोड़ी देर में कहता है ” इस घंटे का पैसा कौन दिया है रें”. यहाँ तक कि एक भारतीय बैंक के विज्ञापन में भी  “बसंती” ने ख़ासा योगदान दिया. मुझे याद आते है अपने कॉलेज के दिन. खाली वक्त में हमारे कालेज के कई प्रतिभाशाली कलाकारों से अगर कुछ परफार्म करने को कहा जाता था तो ये लगभग तय होता था कि उनमे से कोई शोले के डायलोग की मिमिक्री जरूर करेगा.  इस फ़िल्म की विलक्षण बात ये है कि इस फ़िल्म के हर किरदार ने शानदार अभिनय किया और जिसका सीधा सम्बन्ध कहानी को नया मोड़ देने सा था. इसका नतीजा ये हुआ कि एक बहुत सामान्य सा दर्शक भी अच्छी तरह याद रखता है कि किस किरदार ने किस वक्त पे क्या संवाद बोला है. सो इस फ़िल्म के मशहूर चरित्र तो लोगो ने याद रखे ही रखे लेकिन इसके गौड़ चरित्र भी उतने ही यादगार साबित हुए. अब जैसे ए के हंगल का बोल हुआ ये संवाद भी लोग बड़ी गंभीरता से याद रखते है ” इतना सन्नाटा क्यों है भाई?”  

महबूब खान दुबारा फिर ना  कभी “मदर इंडिया” जैसी कोई फ़िल्म बना पाए और ना रमेश सिप्पी “शोले” जैसी  कोई और यादगार फ़िल्म दे पाए.  कही ना कही प्रकति में चीज़े अव्यक्त भाव से छुपी रहती है और वक्त आने पे कोई ना कोई उनका माध्यम बन जाता है उनको यथार्थ के धरातल पे लाने का. कम से कम “शोले” जैसी फिल्मे इसी रहस्यमय बात की साक्षी है. शोले चाहे अपने ट्रीटमेंट में विदेशी गुणों से ओतप्रोत रही हो, संगीत भी पाश्चात्य धुनों से प्रभावित था लेकिन ये अन्तत: भारतीय परंपरा के बुराई पर अच्छाई की जीत को दर्शाती है, पवित्र  प्रेम को दर्शाती है और मित्रता के महत्व को प्रक्षेपित करती है.

 

क्यों पूछने की हिम्मत है किसी की: अब तेरा क्या होगा कालिया :P :P :P

क्यों पूछने की हिम्मत है किसी की: अब तेरा क्या होगा कालिया :P :P :P

रेफरेन्सेस:

शोले 

शोले 

आवारा 

आवारा 

पिक्स क्रेडिट:

Pic One 

Pic Two

Pic Three

Ship Of Theseus: Moving Swiftly In The Ocean Of Perspectives (Movie Review)

Ship Of Theseus: A Nice Take On Perspectives!

Ship Of Theseus: A Nice Take On Perspectives!


I curiously awaited the screening of the movie Ship of Theseus, which had managed to elicit great remarks from leading directors of Indian cinema landscape. The film festival in Allahabad, organised by Dainik Jagran, provided me an opportunity to watch this movie. In eyes of Shekhar Kapoor, the movie marked the arrival of “a brilliant new filmmaker” while Shyam Benegal could not resist himself from stating that it’s a “rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating”. The movie was inspired from the dilemma whether or not the object remains  same if its components undergo total replacement. In this movie the promising young director, Anand Gandhi, has interconnected three different short stories, each dealing with a different issue, but underlying theme remains the same. The first one dealt with visually impaired photographer, who lost her intuitive ability to capture striking images after a successful cornea transplant operation. The second story depicted an ailing monk, questioning life and death via his ongoing fight for rights of animals meant for conducting experiments during preparation of medicines. The third and the final story highlighted corrupt practices prevalent in medical world, wherein a stockbroker tries to place in dock persons involved in organ trade racket.

I am not the sort of person to go entirely by the rave reviews by big names from the world of cinema. In fact, even the sentiments of well-known directors fail to impress me. “Seeing is believing” has always been the principle which defined my approach, especially while anticipating the worth of a movie. And thus, contrary to the general consensus, I found the acting of  Aida El-Kashef ( Aliya in movie as visually impaired photographer) and Farza Khan (Aliya’s live-in-boyfriend in the movie) absolutely horrible. The exhibition of emotions was synthetic and loud. Great movies do not begin that way. The agony that should have hit her, in the aftermath of loss of her intuitive abilities, never got reflected in her mannerism. The saving grace came in the form of crispy thought provoking dialogues: “Does reality exist when no one is looking?” It’s the deep concerns which the characters portray compensates the poor acting.


The movie gained substance with the arrival of crazy monk Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi). Not only humour element got elevated but even the thematic shortcomings got balanced due to superb acting skills demonstrated by Neeraj Kabi and Vinay Shukla ( Carvaka in the movie). This part of the movie successfully conveyed that contradictions rules the lives and a perfect life is healthy assimilation of contradictions. A person should not be too rigid while pursuing noble cause since it comes in the way of fulfillment of goals. It might also limit one’s ability to make better choices. The rigidity displayed by Maitreya is in the eyes of Carvaka- the lawyer who believed in learning arguments of both the sides- was not very different than fundamentalism exhibited by a suicide bomber! This lawyer, follower of  Pastafarianism, induces great deal of pragmatism when he tries to create a fitting place for the contradictions. Anyway, Maitreya does impress us all when he places reasons above crude sentimentality!

Ship of Theseus: The First Story Marred By Poor Acting!

Ship of Theseus: The First Story Marred By Poor Acting!

Well, it’s crude sentimentality which always makes its presence felt in Indian movies. It’s not always the case that movies devoid of melodramatic elements manage to evoke mass attention. The average Indian cinema lover’s connection with melodrama is so intense that a director’s take on critical issue without this element is akin to self-goal in football! Anand Gandhi, at least, need to be credited for the fact that he manages to tell the story for Indians without being in awe of sentimentality! The last scene of the story showing the monk’s decision to live the life fully proves one thing quite well that healthy compromises for an elevated cause is not a bad thing. Well, the monk didn’t talk of Krishna’s Bhagvad Geeta but I feel the realization of monk is on par with view of Lord Krishna who in Bhagvad Gita stated that “every profession is world is tainted by some flaw”. So the summum bonum is: Healthy compromise should not prick the conscience!

The stockbroker’s case in the movie is pretty interesting but I need to differ from the reviews which have appeared in mainstream media and elsewhere that humour element in this part delight us. That’s not true. The humour appears as some sort of forced entry into a well structured plot. It also baffles me that reviewers have ignored some greater aspects related with this part of the movie wherein an young stockbroker trails the missing recipient of the stolen kidney! The reviewers failed to remember the heated conversation between stockbroker and his maternal grandmother, who happens to be progressive thinker, confined to ideological orientations spread in progressive literature churned out by the leftist. The impression she generates, and which irritates this guy working for American companies, is that one can pursue a noble cause only when one is in tune with such literature. The young stockbroker hits hard at her this “fallacious notion” when he tries to ensure justice for the poor labourer. The another myth which gets shattered ( and I really found it pretty interesting) is that fight for greater cause leads to its perfect attainment. Ask a real life hero and you would realize that he/she often feels cheated. The people for whom he/she comes to fight often leave their saviour in the lurch. The stockbroker wanted justice in real terms for this unfortunate labourer whose kidney got stolen for a rich foreigner ( the recipient). The labourer retracts from his promises after his petty interests get fulfilled. The protagonist has to remain contend with limited achievement.

In real life also we find that similar dilemma occurs. For instance, the moment one tries to make the purpose of education an extension of values, one has to face stiff resistance for all quarters of society, which feels that only purpose of education is to earn huge money, no matter if it means adoption of unethical means. The film does not end with a specific message but it does symbolically shows via the passage through the cave that life is full of immense possibilities, which allows nurturing of different perspectives. Hope we come to choose the one which best serves the cause of not only humanity but also our own personal causes close to heart!

The Crazy Monk Who Added New Dimensions In The Philosophical Paradoxes!

The Crazy Monk Who Added New Dimensions In The Philosophical Paradoxes!

References: 

DNA

Ship Of Theseus IMDB

Friday Times

Firstpost 

Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

Pic Three

Shyam Benegal: A Filmmaker Of Substance

Shyam Benegal: The director who defied stereotypes!

Shyam Benegal: The director who defied stereotypes!

(The article was first published in Dash Magazine, New Delhi, October, 2007) 

Shyam Benegal has dared to enrich cinematic landscape by making movies loaded with radical ideas. For example, in his movie Ankur he was successful in giving the impression that it’s not impossible to to turn the tables in society dominated by feudalistic perceptions. The movie successfully portrayed that awakening among the common people would alone bring revolutionary changes. His movies mainly centered around social and political dilemmas. His movie Manthan, which went on to win National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1977 was based on White Revolution of India (Operation Flood). Interestingly, the story was penned by none other than Dr. Verghese Kurien, hailed as the Father of the White Revolution in India.

One can notice that Shyam Benegal was a sensitive filmmaker moved by the plight of the underprivileged. His movies dealt with the power of common man and his ability to emerge successful in society governed by anti-human tendencies. In movie Manthan we find that poor farmers  in Gujarat, learn to rise above individualistic tendencies to form the Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union. The film highlights the impact of caste-politics found in Indian villages. 

Smita Patil In Bhumika!

Smita Patil In Bhumika!

This maker of New or Alternate Cinema chose to flirt with complex themes in a masterly way. His movie Bhumika dealt with trials and tribulations of a woman in search of suitable place for herself in society dotted with so many prejudices. Smita Patil  once again played her part perfectly to highlight the various shades of Usha, the movie actress in love with various men, even with a married person much older than her age! One of the best things about Shyam Benegal is that he not only explores bold themes but also at the same time keeps experimenting with the style which sometimes makes us remind of Satyajit Ray. Nishant, Mandi and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1993) prove that point quite well. Interestingly, Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda is a novel penned by well known Hindi writer Dharmavir Bharati, who hailed from Allahabad. 

As a matter of fact, he tried to force viewers to don the thinking cap by bringing to the fore various shades of problems plaguing the society. He helped many actors, including Smita Patil and Naseruddin Shah, to name a few, to carve a niche for themselves in the world of realistic cinema. However, having said that, let me state that directors of Parallel cinema are responsible for failing to interpret the mood of viewers with the changing times. Though it’s an uphill task to project complex themes in lighter vein, the art to present complex themes in a palatable way has to be learnt by the movie-makers. This has been learnt quite well by directors like Shekhar Kapoor and Kundan Shah but most of them have struggled to give way to flexibility. 

It’s a harsh reality that satellite channels and Doordarshan have been held hostage to a variety of cheap entertainment- all in the name of catering to the taste of new generation. To bring a change, it’s necessary that art filmmakers learn to blend their serious themes with interesting styles. Needles to state that  Shyam Benegal has the capacity to set a good precedent in this regard as well. 

A Movie Based On Novel Of The Same Name Written By A Writer From Allahabad!

A Movie Based On Novel Of The Same Name Written By A Writer From Allahabad!

Suggested Reading:

Shyam Benegal: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/index.html

Pics Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

Pic Three

 

In Conversation With A Great Writer: Discussion On Impact Of Movies With Sunanda K.Datta-Ray

 

Sunanda K.Datta-Ray: One of the writers who impressed me!

Sunanda K.Datta-Ray: One of the writers who impressed me!


The Indian cinema would complete 100 years of its glorious existence this year. It’s a fitting occasion to discuss the impact of movies on average cinema-goers. The Indian movies have always created deep impact in shaping the psyche of a large section of people. Sometimes back I had an interesting discussion with Sunanda K.Datta-Ray-the Editor of The Statesman (Calcutta and New Delhi) and contributor for the International Herald Tribune and Time Magazine-
about the impact of movies.
In fact, he was so impressed with my views that he asked me as to why I did not send it to The Telegraph ( Kolkata Edition) for publication for whom I was a regular letter contributor in those days. The discussion is of paramount importance in wake of  centenary milestone achieved by the Indian cinema this year.  

The discussion, which took place in year 2006, was centered around movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai, directed by Rajkumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The character played by Sanjay Dutt in this movie had the capability to interact with spirit of Gandhiji. The movie turned out to be a blockbuster besides restoring the faith of common people in simple gestures conveying heartfelt emotions. What an irony that the actor who taught us Gandhigiri is now about to face imprisonment after being convicted  in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case! 

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My Viewpoint: 

This has reference to the articleFollowing Fashion published in The Telegraph (Oct.07,2006).  Though Lage Raho Munnabhai, due to pompous and pretentious treatment of its theme does no justice to Gandhian ideology, it can be safely stated that such movies come to stir the hearts and minds of an average person. After all, parallel cinema with complex presentation fails to strike a chord with man on street. What’s important is that inherent message must reach to the masses. 

No doubt, well made commercial movies do not respect sense of proportion yet they leave an indelible impression on inert souls. Vidhu Vinod Chopra should be complimented for defying stereotypes with interesting version of serious issue, which provoke us to do some soul-searching. Regarding Gandhism it can be safely stated that the country which has not been able to showcase Gandhi’s ideals in real perspective does not deserve the right to probe their utility in such a casual manner. It’s better that we learn to anticipate Gandhism with the right bent of mindset instead of mirroring it in our prejudices.

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I too interacted with him at the Global Village :-)

I too interacted with him at the Global Village :-)

Viewpoint of Sunanda K. Datta-Ray:

Thank you for your message. I greatly appreciate your comment but wish you had sent it instead to The Telegraph for publication so that there could have been a wider discussion. Such examination and analysis are necessary. No one could be happier than I if the film do have the effect you mention. My fear is that while no one will actually act on the principle of the dharna outside the Lucky’s house, lots of people will repeat catch phrases and that Gandhigiri will be exploited in many commercial ways. My internet already has a pop up about Shabana Azmi practicing Gandhigiri years ago! 

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About Sunanda K. Datta-Ray:

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray has been a leading Indian newspaperman and journalist for half a century. He has been Editor of The Statesman (Calcutta and New Delhi) and has also written for the International Herald Tribune and Time Magazine. He was Editor-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He was Editorial Consultant to Singapore’s The Straits Times newspaper. Datta-Ray also worked in Singapore in the mid-1970s with S.R. Nathan. After The Straits Times, Datta-Ray was a supernumerary fellow ofCorpus Christi College, Oxford.

Datta-Ray returned to Singapore in 2007 to work on book with Lee Kuan Yew at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies[7] based on a series of one-on-one conversations and a host of classified documents. The book was published in 2009 as Looking East to Look West: Lee Kuan Yew’s Mission India and won that year’s Vodafone Crossword Book Award.

Source: Wikipedia 

*********************

Suggested Reading: 

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray: Following Fashion- An Article Published In The Telegraph, October 07, 2006. 

********************************

The movie that introduced Gandhigiri!

The movie that introduced Gandhigiri!

Pics Credit: 

Pic One 

Pic Two 

Pic Three

दीप्ति नवल को हम हमेशा, रैकेट चलाने वाली के रूप में नही, वरन एक बेहद प्रतिभाशाली अभिनेत्री के रूप में याद रखेंगे।

हम आपको हमेशा एक बेहद प्रतिभाशाली अभिनेत्री के रूप में याद रखेंगे।

हम आपको हमेशा एक बेहद प्रतिभाशाली अभिनेत्री के रूप में याद रखेंगे।

दीप्ति नवल प्रकरण से मुझे काफी झुंझलाहट हुई। ये समझ में आने लगा है कि मीडिया का स्तर ना सिर्फ रसातल में चला गया है बल्कि ये अब किसी के साफ़ सुथरे दामन में कीचड पोतने का सबसे कारगर तरीका बन गया है। नहीं तो मीडिया को क्या जरुरत थी कि इस बात को प्रचारित करने कि दीप्ति को  आख़िरकार “प्रोष्टिट्यूशन डेन” से मुक्ति मिली।  जबकि मामला सिर्फ ये था कि उसने अपना पुराना घर कालोनी की सोसिएटी के कर्ता-धर्ता लोगो की बदसलूकी की वजह से छोड़ा जो उसकी निजता का सम्मान नहीं कर रहे थें।

दीप्ति नवल ने शायद बातो ही बातो में अपना दुखड़ा किसी पत्रकार सें क्या शेयर किया कि उसकी बाते तोड़ मरोड़कर मीडिया की सुर्खियाँ बन गयी। आप कह सकते है कि ऐसी बात  चश्मे-बद्दूर के दौरान होने का सीधा सा मतलब ये है कि फ़िल्म को प्रमोट करने का ये स्टंट  भर था। इस सरलीकरण के पीछे तर्क सिर्फ ये हो सकता है कि पब्लिसिटी कैसी भी हो फलदायी होती है। तो क्या एक समर्थ अदाकारा के इतने बुरे दिन आ गए कि चाहे सही में या झूठ में उसे अपने अस्तित्व के लिए ऐसे खबरों के दम पर निर्भर रहना पड़े?

माना कि ये भी एक कडवी सच्चाई है कि फ़िल्म एक्ट्रेस या एक्टर्स को बुरे दिनों में हर तरह के समझौते करने पड़ते है लेकिन ये स्वीकारने में बेहद तकलीफ है कि नियति ने दीप्ति को भी गलत राहो पर धकेल दिया। दीप्ति की कठोर प्रतिक्रिया मिलने के बाद ये समझ  में आ रहा है कि ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं जैसा मीडिया दर्शा रहा है। ये मीडिया का सुर्खिया बटोरने की  कला का नमूना भर था। दीप्ति नवल हमेशा साफ़ सुथरी फिल्मो  में बहुत शशक्त अभिनय के लिए ही याद रखी जायेंगी। ये वाकई कलियुग है कि कोई किसी के उजले चरित्र से कुछ सीखता तो नहीं लेकिन उसके उजले दामन में कालिख पॊतने के सौ  बहाने ढूंढ लेता है। ऐसे पत्रकार  जो दूसरों की बदनामी पर पलते है ऐसे लोगो को पत्रकारिता जगत से बाहर कर देना चाहिए। इनसे पत्रकार नाम से उपजने वाले समस्त सरोकारों से कोई सम्बन्ध  ना रखने दिया जाए। अगर मार्कंडेय काटजू कि बात माने तो ऐसे लोगो से उनके पत्रकार सम्बन्धी लाइसेंस को खारिज कर देना चहिये। बहरहाल पत्रकारिता के नाम पर  जो तमाशे हो रहे है वो दुखद है।

Pic Credit:

Pic One

Kundal Lal Saigal: A Singer Who Sang Like A Divine Being

 

K.L. Saigal:  Invoking Sound Of Heaven

K.L. Saigal: Invoking Sound Of Heaven


Some souls are reflection of divinity. The great singer Kundal Lal Saigal was one such soul, who manifested divinity in a great way. In fact, true artists are never devoid of divine touch. Creativity cannot emerge from mental landscape not submerged in ocean of divinity. I belong to a generation, which believes in worshiping new icons of modernity. For them these legendary creative artists of yesteryear might not seem that appealing but anyone who have had glimpse of their creativity would certainly stand amazed. 

The noticeable thing about K. L. Saigal  was that he managed to sing straight from the heart. This phrase seems so commonplace but not many realize that how difficult it is to demonstrate it in practical terms. That’s because shades of ego block our ability to exhibit true colour of simplicity. The complex persona creates blockade. One reason why K. L. Saigal could stir the emotions was that deeper emotions were so naturally rendered by him without compromising with the raga and raginis.

It’s really surprising that at a time when Indian film music was still in its nascent stage of growth, it traced such a sensational singer, which set high standards in world of popular music, hard to emulate by future singers. The influence of his voice can be understood by the fact that even likes of Amitabh Bachchan came to praise him. The singers like Lata,  Rafi and Kishore, all treated him like demigod. Mukesh, was, in fact,  very sincere follower of his style of singing, who found it difficult to develop his own style. After mesmerizing everybody with his “Dil jalta hai to jalne de”, sung in Saigal style, Mukesh went on to develop his own style of singing.

His impact can also be felt in crude way in modern times when someone made caricature of his voice to sell a particular brand of toothpaste! Of late, I found one singer paying tribute to him in infamous movie Delhi Belly! Not many remember that Kishore Kumar treated K L Saigal as his Guru (The Master). He always practiced singing his songs and when he first met Saigal, he was asked by the legendary Saigal to sing a song. He sang one of his songs ” Man moorakh kyo deewana hai, aaj rahe kal jaana hai”. Saigal was very impressed by his singing but he suggested him that he should remove “Anga Dosha” (defects associated with body). Kishore used to sing with vigorous body movements also in action! Though Kishore Kumar did not strictly followed his advise but he managed to keep his body still while singing songs of Saigal in later days! 

Coming to myself, I have nearly heard all his popular numbers. His songs instill deep peace within me. His amazing range and soulful rendering enabled me to get above the harsh episodes of life in effortless manner. His song sung during the fag end of his career, “Gham Diye Mustaqil” (Shahjahaan, 1946), always brings tears in the eyes. The superb rendering, which also reflected his own personal sufferings, makes one attain trance like state. Another song, which left an everlasting influence on me is from movie Tansen (1943): Kahe Guman Kare. Every time I hear it, the simplistic approach adopted by Saigal in this song makes me smile. After all, the singer is trying hard to convince a beautiful woman not to take pride in her  beauty!

I still remember the day when I found a very rare album of Saigal in one lesser heard music shop of my city. That shop was not frequently visited by the buyers since the shopkeeper was not customer-friendly, who always had heated argument over the price of cassettes. The fight also started with me when he priced this cassette three times the original price on a pretext that it was a rare album. Though I had not sufficient money, I still managed to buy this album! After all, it had a soothing devotional song associated with Lord Krishna: Suno Suno Hey Krishan Kala ( Chandidas, 1934). One can notice in this song that Saigal has sung high notes in effortless manner, without compromising with the depth of the emotions.

It’s a peculiar phenomenon that souls, governed by divine instincts, often leave the earthly plane of existence in an young age. K L Saigal also proved to be no exception when he died at the age of 42. The lesser souls speak about his habit of  heavy drinking but that’s the way how worldly people treat exceptional souls. For me and others, he shall always be remembered for making songs a mean to invoke divinity.


Reference:

K. L. Saigal

Pics Credit:

Pic One

 

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