Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 36

Connect :

Aurangzeb, The 6th Mughal Emperor of India.

A Hindi film released in 1958.

Shahrukh Khan, Indian Film Actor.

An image befitting the obituary of an icon..

Meena Kumari on the cover of Filmfare magazine posthumously (April 21, 1972)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 35

Here's a hauntingly beautiful Urdu poem, magically sung and wonderfully penned under the pseudonym 'Naaz'. How is the lady better known as ?

Do not stand at my grave and forever weep !!

Do not stand at my grave and forever weep
I am not there; I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn’s rain

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not stand at my grave and forever cry
I am not there
I did not die..

- A poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 34

Created by 20th Century Fox, 'X' was a lens series used to photograph widescreen movies and marked the beginning of the modern Anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.

20th Century Fox had come to India to shoot a film and after the shooting, they left the lenses at their Indian office. Their Manager in India, Mr. Prabhu, asked 'A' if he would like to try the equipment.

'A' was intrigued by the idea and he asked his technician 'B' to try some shots. The first tests were taken in A's own garden, as his wife 'C' modelled for him, sitting on a swing.

They soon saw the rushes, found the result satisfactory, and decided to go ahead with this format.

Once 'A' had obtained the necessary copyright licence from 20th Century Fox, he began a film called 'D' to be made in Bengali and starring himself alongside 'C'.

After recording two songs and shooting a few scenes around Calcutta, 'D' was shelved.

'A' after abandoning 'D', started work on a new project called 'E'.

After viewing the rushes of 'E', Art Director Mr. M R Achareker brought to A’s notice, the fact that it's framings were suitable for the standard academy ratio but not for the new format. Mr. Achareker then sat him down and taught 'A' to conceive and compose the shots keeping 'X' in mind. 'A' had to scrap all that was shot till then and re-shoot everything.

Released on 2nd October, 1959, 'E' was a box office disaster.

'B' won a lot of accolades for his work in the film.

'E' is acclaimed for it's technical brilliance and is renowned for it's Music, Lyrics and superb Song picturisation.

Identify 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E' and 'X'.

[ Pic : Jean Negulesco's 'How To Marry A Millionaire' (1953) is Twentieth Century Fox's first 'X' feature; however it wasn't released until after 'The Robe' (1953).
'How To Marry A Millionaire was released on 4th November, 1953.

Henry Koster's 'The Robe' (1953) is the second movie made in 'X', but the first to be released. It was released on 16th September, 1953. ]

Additional Trivia :

Bausch & Lomb won a 1954 Oscar for its development of the 'X' lens.

Editor and Publisher of India's first film trade magazine 'Film India', Mr. Baburao Patel, wrote in his review of 'E' : "It is a dismal incoherent funeral-paced picture which has hardly anything more remarkable about it than 'X', a process designed to provide an image that has more than twice as much width as height, and to which squint-eyed spectators can perhaps do more justice than those with normal eyes."

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Spin To Win" - The Rubicon 50p Challenge

Watch a head to head ‘Spin Off’ between Muttiah ‘Murali’ Muralitharan, Sri Lankan legend, considered the game’s greatest ever spin bowler and holder of world records for both Test and One Day Cricket and Graeme ‘Swanny’ Swann, England’s current world number 1 ranked spin bowler.

The challenge : Bowling off spin, they have to ping off a 50 pence coin balanced on the edge of a glass, itself balanced on a stump, without knocking the glass off the stump.

The film was made by Rubicon to promote their partnership of the Friends Life T20 Tournament and ‘Mango Moments’. Shot on a Phantom camera trained on the glass, it captures the feat in all its "1000 frames per second glory !!"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 33

In June 2006, a leading Indian News Magazine asked 30 leading composers, lyricists and singers to name their all-time favourite Hindi film songs.

The Jury (in Alphabetical order) comprised of :

Abhijeet, Adesh Srivastava, Alisha Chinai, Anu Malik, Ehsaan, Gulzar, Hariharan, Himesh Reshammiya, Jatin, Javed Akhtar, Kailash Kher, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Khayyam, Kumar Sanu, Lalit, Loy, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey, Prasoon Joshi, Rajesh Roshan, Sadhna Sargam, Sameer, Sandesh Shandilya, Shaan, Shankar, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, Talat Aziz.

Each jury member was asked to nominate their 10 favourite songs, in no order of preference.

The winners are ranked according to the number of votes each song got.

4. Thirteen songs tied for the fourth position.

Ai qaatib-e-taqdeer mujhe itna bata de…
Singer: K.L. Saigal
Film: My Sister (1944)
Music: Pankaj Mullick
Lyrics: Pandit Bhushan

Ayega, ayega, ayega ayega aane wala...
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Film: Mahal (1949)
Music: Khemchand Prakash
Lyrics: Nakshab Jarachavi

Piya tose naina lage re…
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Film: Guide (1965)
Music: S.D. Burman
Lyrics: Shailendra

Main ye sochkar uske dar se…
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Film: Haqeeqat (1964)
Music: Madan Mohan
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

O sajna, barkha bahar aayee…
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Film: Parakh (1960)
Music: Salil Chowdhury
Lyrics: Shailendra

Kuch dil ne kaha, kuch bhi nahin...
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Film: Anupama (1966)
Music: Hemant Kumar
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Zindagi ke safar me guzar jaate hain jo maqaam…
Singer: Kishore Kumar
Film: Aap ki kasam (1974)
Music: R.D. Burman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

Tum jo mil gaye ho to ye lagta hai, ke jahaan mil gaya…
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Film: Hanste zakhm (1973)
Music: Madan Mohan
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiye…
Singer: Asha Bhonsle
Film: Umrao Jaan (1981)
Music: Khayyam Lyrics Shahryar

Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko…
Singers: Asha Bhonsle-Mohammed Rafi
Film: Yaadon ki baraat (1973)
Music: R.D. Burman
Lyrics: Majrooh

Tum pukar lo…
Singer: Hemant Kumar
Film: Khamoshi (1969)
Music: Hemant Kumar Lyrics Gulzar

Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi…
Singer: Sonu Nigam
Film: Kal ho naa ho (2003)
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

Poocho na kaise maine rain bitayi…
Singer: Manna Dey
Film: Meri soorat teri aankhen (1963)
Music: S.D. Burman
Lyrics: Shailendra

3. Three songs tied for the third position.

Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam…
Singer: Geeta Dutt
Film: Kaagaz ke phool (1959)
Music: S.D. Burman
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padega…
Singers: Rafi-Lata
Film: Taj Mahal (1963)
Music: Roshan
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi

Pyar kiya to darna kya…
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
Film: Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
Music: Naushad
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni

2. Three songs tied for the second position
Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain…
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Film: Guide (1965)
Music: S.D. Burman
Lyrics: Shailendra

Din dhal jaaye, hai raat na jaaye…
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Film: Guide (1965)
Music: S.D. Burman
Lyrics Shailendra

Kuch to log kahenge logon ka kaam hai kehna…
Singer: Kishore Kumar
Film: Amar Prem (1971)
Music: R.D. Burman
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

There was only one song on Number 1. It was a unanimous favourite of everyone.

Name the song that won the poll and was named the 'Best Hindi Film Song Ever'.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 32

This 1983 film has a soundtrack that makes extensive use of lyrics by Mir Taqi Mir, Bahadurshah Zafar, Insha, Makhdoom Mohiyuddin, Talwar Danda and Ila Arun.
It is based on a Ghulam Abbas' Urdu short story 'Anandi'.

Music Composer : Vanraj Bhatia

Soundtrack :

1. Zabane Badalte Hain - Asha Bhosle (3:42)

2. Ishq Ke Sholay Ko Bhadkao - Asha Bhosle (4:21)

3. Chubti Hai - Asha Bhosle (3:08)

4. Kitti Bar Bola Na - Shabana Azmi (1:40)

5. Alaap In Raga Todi - Asha Bhosle (1:48)

6. Shamsheer Baraina - Preeti Sagar (5:27)

7. Har Mein Har Ko Dekha - Aziz Ahmed Warsi (9:01)

8. Alaap In Raga Malhar - Asha Bhosle (1:44)

9. Lehra (Instrumental) - Not Applicable (1:03)

It also makes a bow in the direction of the Dolly Parton starrer "The Best Little
Whorehouse in Texas".

Which film ?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 31

The film 'XY', released in 1952, is the story of lovers 'X' (a Ballet Dancer, played by Actress Rehana) and 'Y' (a Bandit, played by Actor Ranjan).

The film XY's plot revolves around 'X' (Rehana) who dreams of killing a man called Taishi, who had killed her parents. When the villain dies, she transfers her vengeful energies on to the man’s son. The story involves a fortune­teller, Chiang, who only surfaces publicly one day per year. The other key figure is her lover, the Bandit 'Y' (Ranjan), who eventually falls in with her plans.

The story was by Ramanand Sagar and C. Ramchandra composed the music.

P.L. Santoshi (Raj Kumar Santoshi's father), Produced and Directed, and also wrote the Dialogues and Lyrics for the movie. Sadhona Bose, the fusion danseuse, performed in a lead role.

The film was based on the modern dance ballet's that Sadhona Bose had been associated with on stage. 'XY' was one of the first films experimenting with jazz and Latin American rhythms by P.L. Santoshi’s regular composer, C. Ramchandra.

The movie's soundtrack is famous for what some consider to be one of Lata ji’s greatest song : “Tum kya jaano tumhari yaad mein hum kitna roye.”

Other Classic songs include 'Yeh khilti kali koi lai… Haan dai taka lai' (Lata and C. Ramchandra), in a kind of question-answer mode using a fast-paced chorus, Y’s number 'Aae baba yeh hansi baba, yeh khushi baba' (Lata) and her duet with 'Y', 'Itne mein parde se kahin jo chham se tera aana ho' (Lata and Kishore Kumar).

This film was the first victim of the Central Government's power to overrule the Censor Board - an action enabled by the Indian Cinematograph Act passed that year. The film, initially given a U (Universal Viewing) certificate, was subsequently banned on account of its "low moral tone" and also because it "throws the glamour of romance and heroism over criminal characters, treats sacred subjects irreverently and is, in consequence, opposed to the interests of public decency and morality". The ban was later revoked, but the controversy predictably spelt doom for the film's commercial prospects.

The temporary ban on this film sent Rehana’s career (one of the top heroines of late 40's and early 50's) on a sharp decline. She was reduced to B-grade films like Hazaar Raatein (1953), Samrat (1954) etc. and then as a second lead in films like Dhola Maru (1956) and Delhi Darbaar (1956). She migrated to Pakistan in 1955, but wasn’t able to make her mark even there.

Additional Trivia :

* Legend has it that Lyricist/Director P. L. Santoshi, who Directed this film, was so infatuated with Rehana, that one cold night he spent the entire night outside her door. Rehana did not reciprocate his feelings. The disheartened and dishevelled Santoshi went home and penned one of his most memorable songs based on this experience – “Tum kya jaano, tumhari yaad mein hum kitna roye, hum kitna roye” , one of the finest Thumri's sung by Lata ji.

* The movie title is mentioned in the song ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi' from K. Balachander's 'Ek Duje Ke Liye' (1981).

Identify 'XY', an orientalist fantasy with one of the most peculiar film titles ever used in Hindi Cinema.

( Pic : Rehana, in a poster of 'XY' )

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 30

'Y' derives its name from a place called 'Diraval' which is now in Pakistan.
'Y' is a warrior clan found in Punjab. They were known to be brave and great fighters. The 'Y' clan was heavily involved in the army as well as in the Second World War.

'X' belongs to the 'Y' clan.
'X' is popular in places as far as Nigeria, where he is referred to as 'Sarkin Karfi'
(King of Strength) by the ethnic Hausa community.

His first job was with an American Drilling Company boring water tubewells.

In 1958, 'X' left his village as he took the Frontier Mail for another city, where he got work for a salary of Rs 51 and a daily breakfast that was to contain strictly of tea, two toasts and butter but no jam !!

The comic book character Sagar of 'Sagar-Salim', illustrated by Hussain Zaamin for Manoj Comics, is inspired by 'X'.

Thespian Dilip Kumar once said about 'X' : “Allah miya ne mujhe aisa kyon nahin banaya.."

'X' loves poetry and he too writes very good Urdu poetry.
Here's a poem written by 'X' :

Mannaton ki muraad
Duaon ki den
Maalik ki meher ka ik vardaan hoon main

Mahaan maa ki mamta
Azeem baap ki shafqat ka
Azeem o shaan ik ehsaan hoon main

Insaaniyat ka pujari
Chhoton ka laad-pyaar
Badon ka aadar sam-maan hoon main

Duniya saari ban jaa ek tu kunbaa
Ektaa ki hasraton ka armaan hoon main

Mohabbat hai khuda, aur khuda hai mohabbat
Khuda ki mohabbat ka ik farmaan hoon main

Pyaar mohabbat duayein aapki
Sejti hai jazbaat ko mere,
Shayad isliye aaj bhi jawaan hoon main..

Karta hoon gar, ho jaaye baksh dena yaaron
Galtiyon ka putla, aakhir ik insaan hoon main..

- 'X'

Everyone adores 'X' and personally speaking, he is my absolute favourite :)

Identify 'X' and 'Y'.

( Pic : A 'Sagar-Salim' series comic book )