Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘radha

Santosh Sivan to play renowned Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma in Malayalam film Magara Manju
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 04, 2009)


Even as the fate of Ketan Mehta’s Rang Rasiya, based on Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma’s love life remains uncertain, cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan has quietly signed a Malayalam film where he plays the painter. The film is titled Magara Manju (meaning winter mist) and will be dubbed in Hindi and English. The film’s shooting begins next week in Cochin and will be directed by art house director Lenin Rajendran.

 

Santosh Sivan and Karthika in the first look of Magara Manju

Santosh, whose hands are full with cinematography and direction assignments, was at first hesitant to act in the film. He says, “Director Lenin Rajendran convinced me that I was right for the part. The main attraction for turning to acting is Raja Ravi Varma himself. I empathise very closely with his art as I’ve grown up with it. When I was a kid, my grandmother illustrated her stories with Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings. I also paint a bit. I think I’ve acquired my visual aesthetics from this man. I was also Director of Photography for M F Husain’s Gaja Gamini and his son Owais’s Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities.”

Santosh’s co-star in the film is the new South sensation Karthika . He says, “Karthika is the daughter of veteran Tamil actress Radha. I sort of like the way we look together.”

The film will also be shot in Trivandrum and Goa. Incidentally, the only other occasion when Santosh Sivan has acted was in Aditya Bhattacharya’s Raakh (1989). “After my shot, Pankaj Kapur (who was also acting in the film) couldn’t stop laughing (at his bad performance),” recalls Santosh with a chuckle.

Epic story

There is a growing interest in the life of Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), who is famous for his paintings based on Indian mythology and epics. First, Ketan Mehta took it upon himself to portray the love life of Raja Ravi Varma in Rang Rasiya. Randeep Hooda plays the painter while Nandana Sen plays his muse. Then Malayalam film, Magara Manju, has Santosh Sivan playing Raja Ravi Varma. A book on the life of painter called, The Painter: A Life of Ravi Varma by Deepanjana Pal, Mumbai-based art critic is expected to hit the shelves soon.

 

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By Sunandan Lele (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 28, 2009)

Lata Mangeshkar, who turns 80 today, tells Subhash K Jha about her journey

•     How do you define the journey?

I feel God has sent me to earth to sing. I started singing when I was five, but I don’t think I’ve worked as hard as many other people.

•     Why do  you say you that?

After 1947 when I started playback singing, the work never stopped. Before that it wasn’t easy. I  used to travel by train from Grant Road to Malad and then  save money by walking instead of taking a tonga to the recording studios. I thereby saved 50  paise to Re 1 which I used to buy vegetables for my family. I was the sole bread-earner after our father passed away.

•     That must have been really tough on an adolescent girl.

I missed out on my childhood. I had to work hard, but I was immediately given a place in playback. One of the earliest composers to support me was Master Ghulam Haider. When he was told that my voice wouldn’t suit the heroine in a Dilip Kumar saab starrer Shaheed, he gave me songs in Majboor. Then other composers like Anil Biswasji, Khemchand Prakashji and Naushad saab came forward to sign me. From 1947 onwards there was no looking back.

•     There has never been a rough patch in your 65-year-long career?

I’m blessed. Nowadays I’ve almost stopped singing film songs but I enjoy singing and I continue to do the work I’m comfortable with like the recent Hamuman Chalisa and my forthcoming project with my brother. When I look back I see nothing I’d like to change.

•     What about your infamous rift with Mohd Rafi?

I’ll tell you what happened. We had a Musicians’ Association in the 1960s . Mukesh bhaiyya, Talat Mehmood saab had started a  campaign for artistes to get royalty so that they would have a comfortable old age. Main to leti thi royalty but I also wanted other artistes to get it. Rafi saab was instigated into opposing my  campaign. In a meeting among musicians he  said, ‘We get money for what we sing from producers and that’s the end of what we get.’ When he was asked his opinion Rafi saab turned to Mukesh bhaiyya and said, ‘I guess this  Maharani here will say whatever has to be said.’

•     He meant you?

Yes. I said, ‘Of course I am a Maharani. But  why are you calling me that?’ He said in front of everyone at the meeting that he won’t sing with me. I turned around and said, ‘Yeh kasht aap kyon kar rahe hain? Main hi nahin gaaongi aapke saath.’ I stormed  out of the meeting and  called  up every music director to inform them that I would thereafter not sing with Rafi saab. We didn’t sing together for almost three years.

•     What about the alleged differences between you and your sister Asha Bhosle?

We’re sisters. The fights were because of her husband who was against me.

•     Composers gave all the heroines’ songs to you and all the supporting actresses’ songs to Ashaji…

Not always. What about so many films where only Asha sang all the songs?  In fact OP Nayyarji worked only with her.  Even some of Burman dada’s scores had only Asha’s vocals.

•     That’s because you and SD Burman had a fight.

I didn’t sing for him for 14 years. Someone had caused mischief. Burman dada said, “I won’t have Lata sing my songs.’ I said, ‘I won’t  sing for you.’ Asha sang all the songs for Burman dada during that period, even for Waheeda Rehman who insisted on me singing for her. Then one day out of the blue, Burman dada phoned me and said he wanted me to sing Mora gora rang lai le and Jogi jab se aaya tu aaya mere dware in Bandini. It was his son RD who  brought us together. I remember Burman dada   specifically told me that Mora gora rang was written by a promising new poet, Gulzar.

•     Who was your favourite composer?

I liked singing for Salilda (Salil Chowdhury) because his compositions were very challenging. I also loved singing for Sajjad Husain saab, then definitely SD Burman dada and  RD. But  in my opinion the biggest achievement was by Shankar-Jaikishan. With Raj  Kapoor’s Barsaat they changed the way we looked at playback singing.

•     At one time you were accused of indulging in a melodious monopoly?

Once I was even asked if I tampered with the equipment during other singers’ recordings. Bataiye main kyon aisa karun? I never bothered with what other singers were doing. When Runa Laila came to India for the first time, I went to her first recording and everybody said I was just indulging in dikhawa, that in fact I had gone to see how she sang. Runa Laila met me with lots of affection. Later she too was poisoned against me. Even some male singers accused me of trying to stop them from singing.

•     Which heroines did you enjoy singing for?

Nargis, Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nutan. I’d modulate my voice according to their personality.

•     Among today’s actresses for whom do you enjoy singing for?

I like Rani Mukerji and Kajol but I miss the camaraderie that I shared with the earlier heroines. I miss that mahaul. I really miss Kishore Kumar, also Rafi saab, Mukesh bhaiyya, Shankar-Jaikishan and Madan bhaiyya who fought with me when I couldn’t be with him  for raksha bandhan. That sense of apnapan is gone.

•     Any unfulfilled dreams?

I wish I had  given more  time to learning classical singing. Lekin jo hua woh bahut hi achcha hua. What I want is that future generations of Mangeshkars keep my father’s legacy alive. My niece Radha and nephew Baijanth are singing well. I wish they make a name for themselves.

•     Do you miss having your own children?

Not at all. My siblings’ children are mine.

Sunil Gavaskar on Lata Mangeshkar

Sunil Gavaskar says, “All of us know that Lata didi is a cricket fan. In the same way cricketers adore Lata Mangeshkar. That is why when a major cricket tournament is happening here in South Africa I would like to wish her happy birthday. I have had many opportunities to meet her. I admire her so much that once I told her, ‘Lata didi, we as a batsman go through a bad patch. We get out on zero too. But in your case you are so perfect that you always score a century and double century in each and every song. You never face a bad patch like us. That is why we respect you so much’. And she was embarrassed to hear that.”

Sunil relates another anecdote. “In 1982, at the end of our Pakistan tour, our team manager Maharaja Fateh Singh Gaekwad decided to organise a thanksgiving party in Lahore. Maharaj and yours truly were there at the gate to welcome guests and dignitaries. When Lataji walked in, Maharaj introduced me to Lataji by saying, “Aayiye… aayiye inko to aap jante hoge, ye hamare kaptan saab hai…’ To that Lataji replied in jest, ‘Nahi jee hum to sirf Imran Khan aur Zaheer Abbas ko jante hai…’ Then I was formally introduced to Lataji as the Indian team captain.

Then Maharaj turned to me and said, ‘I hope there is no need to introduce Malika-e-Tarannum Noorjahan to you’, that’s when I immediately retorted, ‘Nahi jee… hum to sirf Lata Mangeshkar ko jante hai’,” recalls Sunil with a chuckle.


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