Politics, News,

Sharing some ‘nostalgic’ memories on Christmas…

Merry Christmas to all of you in advance! Just a few more hours to go when Lord Jesus will be born to Mother Merry and Father Joseph in a manger in Bethlehem. Christmas has been a very special ‘Day’ for all of us. I am sharing the photographs (taken by me from my roof) of St. Stephen’s Church situated at Church Mission Road, Fatehpuri (Old Delhi).

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This church holds very special memories rather ‘nostalgic memories’ as we used to live in this area and from my roof I used to watch the beauty of this church especially during Christmas when the church would be painted and lights fitted, it would be decked up in the festive look. I would stand till late night watching at the church and decorations (getting good scolding from my parents being cold) but I would still on some ploy or the other would go to roof.

As the clock would stuck midnight, the church bell would start ringing and I would run to the balcony or roof beating the biting cold to watch the bell. With the ringing of the bell, the king is born who had come as a savior of mankind. The King called Jesus Christ as he called himself a good shepherd who had come to protect the lives of people.

As if I can still hear the ringing of Bell at midnight. Now, part of ‘nostalgic’ memories. On this day, I always miss these ‘nostalgic’ moments…

This church holds immense significance for me which I will subsequently share…

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Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi…Shashi Kapoor dies at 79…

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Shashi Kapoor dies, an era has ended with him – era of Prithwiraj Kapoor, the doyen of Kapoor Khandan as fondly called while referring to this iconic family also called the first cine family of Bollywood. The legacy that was passed on from Prithwiraj Kapoor to their sons Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor which they had passed on subsequently to the next generation of Kapoors but I am not going into the family tree or their contributions which is immense and still the process in on.
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I recall first watching Shashi Kapoor on TV as we in our childhood was not much exposed to films like today’s generation but we had a great companion (if I may call so) and that was the television which was the ultimate platform for entertainment and many of us I am sure will agree that our schooling to cinema (whatever we have learnt or developed within) had began with this iconic “idiot box’ in early 80’s. Watching this actor on Chitrahaar, Sunday cinema and so on…I recall hearing him during the Film Festival when he had shared so many personal memories about his family, brothers and the cine industry. It was during one such interview Shashi Kapoor had said for him, the ultimate romantic hero was elder brother Shammi Kapoor with his westernized looks and acting. He had also said that “now watching my acting on screen, I feel ashamed as they look so childish” a confession from a real actor who was whimsical of his characters and perhaps this why Shashi Kapoor did not stay obsessed with the cult Commercial Cinema but acted in many parallel cinema and few experimental cinema (a wave that took cinema by its stride during early 70’s and late 80’s).
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Shashi Kapoor and English films especially in British and American films, under the iconic Merchant Ivory productions run by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory that had been his second family as their association had grown stronger. Shashi Kapoor acted in numerous films under the banner like The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965) (opposite his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1982) in which he co-starred with his wife Jennifer Kendal, The Deceivers (1988) and Side Streets (1998). Apart from Ivory productions, he had acted in other British and American films like ‘Matter Of Innocence’ (1967)), ‘Siddhartha’ (1972), ‘Sammy and Rosie Get Laid’ (1987), and Muhafiz (1994). James Ivory directed Kapoor in the first Merchant Ivory production The Householder, then in Shakespeare-Wallah, Bombay Talkie and Heat and Dust while Ismail Merchant directed him in In Custody (1993).
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It was during late 50’s Shashi Kapoor met English actress Jennifer Kendal in then Calcutta now Kolkata. in 1956 while both were working for their respective theatre groups. Shashi was both assistant stage manager as well as an actor for his father’s theatre group, Prithvi Theatre. Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespearean group was also present at the same time in Calcutta and Jennifer was Geoffrey’s daughter. They fell in love and after facing initial opposition from the Kendals got married to Jenifer in July 1958. Both of them had acted in a number of films together. In 1984, Jenifer Kendal died due to cancer. Shashi Kapoor loved Jenifer immensely and did not re-marry.
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Both of them were blessed with three children – Kunal Kapoor (who had acted in Vijeta), Karan Kapoor (he too had acted in a few films like Loha and Saltanat but he is most remember for his modelling with Bombay Dying in 80’s) and daughter Sanjana (she too has acted in a few films like Hero Hiralal. She took charge of the Prithvi Theatre which was established on 5 November 1978 in Mumbai.
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Being a true actor he showed guts and courage to criticize the typical Hindi cinema which had been showing things that had nothing to do with reality rather many impractical and abnormal things. It was this quest for good cinema Shashi Kapoor acted in films like – ‘Muhafiz’ (1994), ‘In Custody’ (1993), ‘Junoon’ (1978), ‘Utsav’ (1984) to name a few. Also he had produced many of these. He also produced 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) directed by Aparna Sen. His wife Jenifer Kendal had done a wonderful acting in this film which revolves around a lonely Anglo lady residing in Kolkata who teaches conversation English in a reputed convent school in the city and subsequently gets cheated by her two ex-students whom she had trusted immensely. However, Aparna Sen bagged National Award for the film but Jenifer did not receive any award which had made him upset and he had shared his feelings in one of his interview on Doordarshan.
 
Shashi Kapoor had produced and directed a fantasy film titled Ajooba which was a Indo-Russian project and starred his fequent co-star Amitabh Bachchan and nephew Rishi Kapoor in the lead. The film however could not make money on the box-office.
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Shashi Kappor shared a wonderful relationship with Great Master Satyajit Ray who had also penned a couple of scripts of Ivory films.
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It was this fondness for Shashi Kapoor, Satyajit Ray had taken him in Satyajit Ray Presents (directed by Sandip Ray for Doordarshan in 1985), “Kissa Kathmandu Ka” which was based on his Feluda adventure story – “Joto Kelenkari Kathmandu Te” and Shahsi Kapoor played Feluda.
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He was not keeping well since long and bid adieu to films in late 90’s with Side Streets being his last film. On 20 July 2012, Shashi Kapoor underwent a cataract surgery at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai. Shashi Kapoor was admitted in Kokilaben Hospital on December 3, 2017 reportedly for chest infection. On December 4, 2017, he breathed his last at around 5:30 pm.
Remembering song from his film ‘Kaala Patthar’ (1979) – “Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi Jo Tham Gaye To Kuch Nahin…”
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Recalling Satyajit Ray inaugurating Film Festival in late 80’s

Today, the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival was inaugurated. I missed the event though, being down with Slip Disk fell asleep with hot water bag. After waking up, saw the news and heard the speech of Mamata Banerjee doing same old rhetoric praising Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan . Also heard other two but sorry to say did not get the kick…

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I thought of sharing a sharing a ‘nostalgic’ pic of inauguration of festival at Nazrul Mancha in late 80’s. Great Master Satyajit Ray was the chief guest of the evening while Debosree Roy was the Thali Girl.

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The festival was iconic simply because it was inaugurated by none other Great Master Satyajit Ray, no festival can ever equate the moment people witnessed on that day, truely, ‘iconic’ moment. It was Ray who took a pick at then West Bengal state government and from the dias, Ray said, “there are more potholes in the street, more telephones that don’t work, more traffic jams ‘but’ …..warmth, this is why we work here or live here…”

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On that day then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu was also present on the dias and did not show any hard feelings (may not have been able to eschew) not showing anger or flexing facial muscles…On the contrary chief minister Mamata Banerjee who talks so high of CInema and artistic values had put stalwarts like Mrinal Sen (the only living legends out of the trio – Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen) in blacklist for calling festival a ‘circus’ in protest against Banerjee shifting opening and closing of KIFF to Netaji Indoor Stadium…

 

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RC Dalal – Farewell my friend…

I had written this on the day Rc Dalal had passed away, I remember I had seen the news on one of the facebook platform of one JD Institute of Fashion Technology. I immediately wrote my tributes on the facebook and twitter…Today sharing as a blog, it was very hard to key-in these lines…

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It was very hard to believe the news since RC (as fondly called) was always a friend. I would not hesitate even a bit to call or message him whenever I required a slightest assistance from him. Another reason why the news shook me deep within is because since 1993 when I first met him at the JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Lokayata, Hauz Khas Village, never ever saw him gloom faced or depressed, he was always so full of warmth with a smile.

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I had shared many moments even after passing out from JD. There had been so many ‘special’ moments (from fashion shows to casual chat over tea at his office). In this regard, I recall a rain-dance fashion show held at GK Club. While introducing me to other journalists he said JDiiian turned media man. I can never forget him saying “perhaps the only journalist here who don’t take alcohol, a totally teetotaler…” and offered me a class of Pepsi. It was so full of warmth, there are so many ‘nostalgic’ memories that today bring tears to my eyes. Whenever I visited Hauz Khas Village, I would drop to say him hello.

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A few month back I met him at his office in Hauz Khas (the new one and I called him up to confirm the location) RC not only explained in details but had come to the staircase to welcome me. I am really loss of words. All I can say is RC was a great friend (so many moments taking me down memory lane…) We had also discussed over his new initiative – association with cinema, though he said old classics are not be included and I had difference of views on that being a cine love but not the time to talk about that at this moment.

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RC always was full of ideas of how to promote ‘fashions’, he was always open to embrace the ‘new’ since he always believed that ‘fashion’ needs a revamp for which ‘new’ will have to welcomed (we had a long chat on trends and changes), a huge loss to the fashion industry.

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Its a personal loss to me, I really have no one to look upto when I need any assistance in fashion – from trends to market and even designing. I will always miss his smile, so full of warmth. May his soul rest in peace.

 

 

 

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Childhood memories on Guru Nanak Jayanti

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Greetings on the auspicious occasion of Prakash Parv on birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev JI also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti.

Just a few words that I want to share with you all…Having brought up in Old Delhi (Fatehpuri Church Mission Road), I have fond memories rather ‘nostalgic’ memories of Guru Nanak Jayanti. In those days (late 70’s) during my childhood the procession used to go in front of our house. Since morning, entire road would be decked up and amplifiers would play the iconic martial song “bole so nihal, satsriakal…”

Later, the procession was driveled to a different route and stopped going in front of our house but still today, even after so many years, I can feel the ‘nostalgia’ which takes me to the childhood days.

As I grew up, I realized the depth and classical music background that all the Gurbani songs carry…I still get turned on whenever I hear the martial song ‘bole sonihal, satsriakal…’

I thank my parents for bringing me up in truly secular atmosphere and always encourage in whatever I have done from celebrating Gurupurab to Eid to Christmas and even Budhha Jayanti (nothing big just observe these days play fully) but now I understand all these are so important to develop a different ‘perspective’ that helps to develop a secular outlook towards all religion…

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