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Ameen Sayani

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs Appearing out of nowhere, Parveen Babi made her screen debut with the film Charitra, acting opposite cricketer Salim Durani, in 1973. That was not the first film she had signed, which credit goes to Dhuen Ki Lakeer, released the following year. Her career really took off with Majboor (1974, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan) and she was seen in some 58 films totally, the last one releasing in 1991, years after she had given up a...

Book Review: The Master at Work, by Rahul Rawail, a Masterly Work

Book Review: The Master at Work, by Rahul Rawail, a Masterly Work How many 15 somethings would be offered chances to work as assistants to legendary directors like Raj Kapoor (RK)? Rahul Rawail was 15 going on 16 when he came on board with the master, who was then making Mera Naam Joker, and stayed on to assist him in Bobby. Over the next few years, Rahul earned his spurs the hard way, for RK was a genius who did not use conventional teaching methods, did not suffer fools and was not easy to ...

Music Forever: Long performing music duo L-P, alias Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Music Forever: Long performing music duo L-P, alias Laxmikant-Pyarelal Ajay Poundarik is neither a writer nor a journalist. But if he is anything, he is a fanatic admirer of the work of the music composer duo of Hindi films, Laxmikant and Pyarelal, better known as L-P. LP, which, in music parlance, is an acronym for Long Playing Record, is a term that fits them like the proverbial glove. They were indeed a long-playing pair, to be sure. As a tribute to his ‘deities’, Poundarik ...

IFFI 51, 51: My ‘golden peacock’ moment and the denial of recognition to IFFI Veterans

IFFI 51, 51: My ‘golden peacock’ moment and the denial of recognition to IFFI Veterans It’s not the real thing, only a memento. Nevertheless it is not the lesser for me, in terms of value. How did I come about getting a replica of the much coveted Golden Peacock, which is the main prize at the International Film Festival of India? I was not part of any film shown at IFFI, nor had I contributed in any way, other than writing 51 articles on IFFI 51, attending some 30 film sho...

Nina Mehta’s 6th Death Anniversary (12th April 1942-26th April 2014)

Nina Mehta’s 6th Death Anniversary (12th April 1942-26th April 2014) They were the earliest ghazal-singing couple I knew, Nina and Rajendra Mehta. Ladies come first, was the rule back in the late 60s. Born into a Baroda-rooted Gujarati business family, Nina Shah studied at Wilson College, Mumbai, where the family had settled. Winning the Inter-Collegiate Singing Competition four times in a row, she made her radio debut in Ovaltine Phulwari, which was a singing talent weekly show anchore...

The Promise of Heaven, Play review: The buffoon as philosopher

The Promise of Heaven, Play review: The buffoon as philosopher Viagra in heaven, virgins, virgin-swapping, deflowered virgins re-virginating, really long-lasting erections, homosexuality, masturbation with a prop, sexually stimulating deodorants…what is this play about? (Kashmiri/IS) Suicide bombers. Yes, you read that right. But it is equally about all of the above, and in good measure. Having restricted entry to adults, writer-director Kamlesh Acharya has a field day playing with the...

Farouque Shaikh: Memories and musings on his 70th birth anniversary

Farouque Shaikh: Memories and musings on his 70th birth anniversary My earliest memories of the fresh and confident Farouque date back to the time when he was a senior at the elitist St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and I was a junior at the then humble National College, circa 1970-72. Among his contemporaries were Shabana Azmi, Satish Shah (Farouque was rather close to Satish), Pankaj Udhas, Anuradha (Paudwal) and Sharada (Kavita) Krishnamurthy, all celebrities in waiting. The college had...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 9

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 9 To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his middle na...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 7

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 7 To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his middle na...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 6

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 6 To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his middle na...

Ameen Sayani and the film Geetmala: Standing tall

Ameen Sayani and the film Geetmala: Standing tall "Every stage singer is a mimic,” said Ameen Sayani ‘clone’ Sagar Sayani to me, in the green room, “and imitates legendary film song singers, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle or Geeta Dutt. So what’s wrong if I imitate the compère, the very man who introduced us to these original singers, on radio and on stage, for 65 years?” Lead singer and ad-libber Gaurav Ba...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 3

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 3 To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his middle na...

IFFI Goa 2015, Festival Diary, I

It began, like Ameen Sayani’s legendary film music popularity countdown show, Binaca Geetmala, in 1952, a few months after I was born. The first International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was held in 1952, in Bombay, which was at that time, a state in itself. It was a non-competitive festival and ran for a fortnight. Twenty three countries, including host India, participated, along with the United Nations Organisation. 52 feature films and 115 documentaries, scientific films, cartoons, ...

Indian film-writer, lyricist, Akhtar Romani no more

Indian film-writer, lyricist, Akhtar Romani no more A rare film-writer and lyricist from the Dawoodi Bohra community, Akhtar Romani (nom de plume) passed away today in Mumbai, his home for almost all his life. He was in his early eighties. His contemporaries at the Saint Xavier’s College, Bombay, included Vijay Anand (who was to direct classic films like Guide, Jewel Thief and Johnny Mera Naam), Mahendra Kapoor (one of India’s best known playback song singers) and Ameen Sayani (ra...

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