A tribute to Guru Dutt on his birthday!

Born Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone in Bangalore in 1925, he was renamed Guru Dutt after an early childhood accident. It is also rumored that he was supposed to have dropped the latter part of his name because of his love for all things Bengali. Continue reading


Yeh Duniya Agar vs. Duniya – from Sahir Ludhianvi to Piyush Mishra!

The story goes that Director Anurag Kashyap was depressed over not being able to release his film Paanch and was watching Pyaasa! Let me add that there is no better state than a depressed one for watching Pyaasa, just as there is no better state to get drunk in as one of disappointment in love! Out of this state emerged a film called Gulaal. I am a huge fan of Gulaal, but I particularly the music in the film. For me the music makes the film, and the lyrics make the music of Gulaal! In the film there is a track called Duniya – which of course owes inspiration directly to Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye to Kya Hai. One is written by the noted Shayar Sahir Ludhiyanvi and composed by the maestro SD Burman, the derivation is written by fledgling (Comparatively speaking) poets Swaanand Kirkire and Piyush Mishra, and composed and sung by Piyush Mishra – his first stint at composing/singing. So are the two songs directly comparable and is the derivation at all distinguishable from the original? I decided to revisit both and listen to them more carefully:
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On-screen chemistry – what’s that? Part 2 (Hindi cinema in the 50s, and 60s)

The Chaplinesque Raj Kapoor perfected the role of the naïve simpleton and his lady-love was more often than not played by the graceful, ethereally beautiful Nargis. The duo was the number one romantic couple of their time, worked in 16 films, and gave hit after hit in Andaaz, Barsaat, Awaara, Shree 420, Chori Chori. Rumors of a real life liaison between them were rife and alive even after Nargis married Sunil Dutt. Nargis’ often well-grounded, educated and poised character was the perfect foil for Raj’s tramp and simpleton with a big heart.

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