Monday, December 26, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 93

'X' (right), with Chitra Palekar and Amrish Puri.

In the late 1950's, 'X', then an aspiring cricketer, arrived in Mumbai from Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh, with dreams of becoming a cricketer.

He, however, ended up in an entirely different field.

'X' appeared in a small role in "Deewaar" (1975), as he co-starred with Amitabh Bachchan in the dockyard scene, where he refuses to pay the "hafta".

In 1971, 'X' was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in the category of 'Direction'.

'X' won the 1978 National Film Award for Best Screenplay for Shyam Benegal's "Bhumika".

In 1980, he won the Filmfare Best Dialogue Award for Shyam Benegal's "Junoon".

In 2011, he was honoured with the "Padma Bhushan", by the Government of India.

Identify 'X', a legend in his own right !!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 92

The phrase "X" comes from an Ameer Khusrau poem. The original poem is considered to be a masterpiece and is beautifully written in Persian and Braj Bhasha simultaneously.

The poem is unique as it is composed with alternate lines in Persian and Braj Bhasha
respectively !!

The first line of the poem is in Persian, second in Braj Bhasha, third in Persian, and so on.. !!

____ ____ ____ makun taghaful (Persian)
doraaye nainaan banaye batyaan (Braj Bhasha)

ke taab-e-hijraah nadarum-e-jaan (Persian)
na laihyo kaahe lagaye chatyaan (Braj Bhasha)

Here's the full poem :

____ ____ ____ makun taghaful, duraye naina banaye batiyan;
Ki taab-e hijran nadaram ay jaan, na leho kaahe lagaye chhatiyan

Shaban-e hijran daraz chun zulf wa roz-e waslat cho umr kotah;
Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun to kaise kaatun andheri ratiyan

Yakayak az dil do chashm-e jadoo basad farebam baburd taskin;
Kise pari hai jo jaa sunaave piyare pi ko hamaari batiyan

Cho sham’a sozan cho zarra hairan hamesha giryan be ishq aan meh;
Na neend naina na ang chaina na aap aaven na bhejen patiyan

Bahaqq-e roz-e wisal-e dilbar ki daad mara gareeb Khusrau;
Sapet man ke waraaye raakhun jo jaaye paaon piya ke khatiyan

English Translation of the poem :

Do not overlook my misery by blandishing your eyes,
and weaving tales; My patience has over-brimmed,
O sweetheart, why do you not take me to your bosom.
Long like curls in the night of separation,
short like life on the day of our union;
My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.
Suddenly, using a thousand tricks, the enchanting eyes robbed me
of my tranquil mind;
Who would care to go and report this matter to my darling?
Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love;
Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.
In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusrau;
I shall keep my heart suppressed,
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.

Eminent poet and lyricist Gulzar got inspired by the first three words of the poem and used them in the mukhda of a song, later set to tune by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

The English translation of the mukhda written by Gulzar is as follows :

Notice the poor (heart), and do not look at it (heart) with enimity.
It (heart) is fresh with the wounds of separation.

Identify "X", the original Ameer Khusrau phrase that inspired Gulzar into writing a beautiful song.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 91

In which cult Hindi film will you come across the following works of fiction :

"The Guide" by R.K. Narayan

"The Whiff Of Money" by James Hadley Chase

"The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj" by Richard Neville & Julie Clarke

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 90

Agra ka Petha, Mathura ke Pede, Benaras ka Paan/Sari, Nagpur ke Santre, Dilli ki Sardi..

Different places are famous for different things.

A film starring Kishore Kumar and Madhubala gets its name from an Asian city which is famous for something.

Identify the film.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 89

Music Director Naushad recorded a song for the movie 'Dulari' (1949), in Mohd. Rafi's voice. The recording was over once Naushad was satisfied with the outcome of the song.

The next day a restless Mohd. Rafi came to Naushad and told him that he was unable to sleep the whole night, as he kept thinking about the recently recorded song. Rafi somehow felt that he had not done full justice to Naushad's wonderful composition.

Naushad tried to convince Rafi that he was satisfied with Rafi's rendering of the song and there was no need for them to re-record it. On hearing this, Mohd. Rafi started crying like a child, and requested Naushad to record the song again.

An absolutely stunned Naushad could not believe the dedication of Rafi. He had no option but to record the song again !!

Soon, Rafi's dedication paid off and the song became a runaway hit. It proved to be Mohd. Rafi's big break and his career took off with this all-time hit song from Dulari (1949).

Identify the 'Raag Pahadi' based song that catapulted Mohd. Rafi into the big league of Indian Playback Singers.

Additional Trivia :

The song is picturised on yesteryear Actor Suresh, who is shown singing with a 'Mandolin' in hand and virtually no expression on his face. Penned by Shakeel Badayuni, the lyrics wonderfully capture the feeling of a waiting man. The song is about waiting forever for one’s beloved.

However, all the endless wait seems worthwhile, when the beloved is as beautiful as Madhubala, who finally arrives towards the end of the song :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 88

"Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat.." is a wonderfully written 'nazm' by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

The song was rendered equally beautifully by Noor Jehan, who sang it under Music Director
Rashid Attre's baton, for the Pakistani film "Qaidi" (1962).

Needless to say, the song became a sensational hit.

"Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat"

Mujhse pehli si mohabbat, mere mehboob na maang

Maine samjha tha ke tu hai to darakhshaan hai hayaat
Tera gham hai to gham-e-dehar ka jhagra kya hai
Teri soorat se hai aalam mein baharon ko sabaat
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Tu jo mil jaaye to taqdeer nigoon ho jaye
Yun na tha maine faqat chaha tha yun ho jaaye

Mujhse pehli si mohabbat, mere mehboob na maang..

English Translation of the song :

Don’t ask me for the love I once gave you, my beloved

I had thought if I had you, life would shine eternally on me
If I had your sorrows, those of the universe would mean nothing
Your face would bring permanence to every spring
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Were you to be mine, fate would bow low before me.
This was not how it was, it was merely how I wished it to be

Don’t ask me for the love I once gave you, my beloved..

** The song has another wonderful line "Aur bhi dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke siva.."
( There are other pains in the world than those of love.. )

Legend has it that Faiz Ahmed Faiz never recited his poem again, once he heard Noor Jehan sing it, saying that he could never compete with her rendition of it !!

A particular phrase from the song "Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat.." inspired Majrooh Sultanpuri so much, that he went on to write an entire song based on that one particular line.

Composed by Madan Mohan, the song featured in a Hindi film released in 1969. In the film, the song featured in two versions. One is a solo Lata Mangeshkar version and the other is a Rafi-Lata version, where Mohd. Rafi sings almost the entire song, except for one stanza.

Fill in the blanks and identify the immensely romantic song written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Additional Trivia :

According to Faiz Ahmed Faiz's daughter Moneeza Hashmi, "Mujhse pehli si mohabbat" and "Hum dekhenge" are two works of her father, that capture the "Essence of the world."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 87

"Hare Rama Hare Krishna" (1971), is the first Hindi film in which Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman worked together.

Before signing Zeenat Aman for "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" (1971), Dev saab had her cast in an American film in which he was starring at that moment, along with Kieu Chinh, a leading lady from Vietnam.

Dev Anand with his Vietnamese Leading Lady Kieu Chinh, in a still from the film.

This Hollywood film was also dubbed and released in Philippines and Vietnam. The lesser known film is also known as "Passport To Danger".

Released in 1970, this 20th Century Fox Production was Produced by Rolf Bayer and Directed by Lamberto V. Avellana.

Fali Mistry, who worked with Dev Anand on a number of Hindi films during the 1970's, was the Cinematographer of this film.

Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman appeared together on screen for the first time, in this Hollywood film.

Name the film.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 86

X's wife on the cover of 'Filmfare' magazine.

'X' protested the emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, and in 1977, he plunged into politics by launching the 'National Party of India' (NPI).

The 'National Party Of India' held its first rally at the historic Shivaji Park. It was packed to capacity with a very responsive crowd, ready to vote for X's ideology. Besides 'X', people like Nani Palkhivala, F.C. Mehra and G.P. Sippy too addressed the crowds.

Mrs. Indira Gandhi was in Bombay, the day the rally took place, and she tried to send a message to 'X', to join hands with her. 'X' felt that the die was cast and was confident of winning hands down. He rejected Mrs. Gandhi's offer as he did not want to join hands with an autocrat.

The party's next plan was to hold a rally at the Ram Lila grounds in Delhi. However, the initial momentum slackened, and with the elections just six weeks away, the National Party of India was not ready to fight the elections in such a short time.

The idea of launching a political party was short-lived, as 'X' soon disbanded the party. That was the end of the 'National Party of India.'

X' decided to canvas for Atal Bihari Vajpayee and went to address his rally at the Ram Lila grounds in Delhi. Vajpayee was perhaps the only winner in Delhi where the Indira Congress came to power with a thumping majority.

Identify 'X'.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 85

Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre’s book ‘Freedom At Midnight’, mentions a story on a World War II veteran.

Gurdaas Maan read the story and got so impressed, that he decided to make a film on it.

He thus produced the movie "Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh“. Unfortunately, the movie, despite being watchable, sank without a trace.

However, another person saw some potential in it, and decided to revive it into another project.

What resulted ?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Trivial Pursuit 84

'X' started his career as a junior visualiser at the British-run advertising agency D.J. Keymer, and by his own admission, he held his profession as a 'Graphic Artist' very close to his heart.

Although on one hand, visual design was something close to X's heart and for the most part, he was treated well; there was palpable tension between the British and Indian employees of the firm as the former were paid much better. 'X', at that time, was earning just eighty rupees a month.

It was in 1943 that he was invited by a senior colleague from D.J. Keymer to work with Signet Press, a new publishing house started by Mr. D. K. Gupta. Mr. Gupta asked 'X' to create cover designs for books published by Signet Press, and gave him complete artistic freedom.

( Pic : X's cover design for Nehru's 'The Discovery of India', published by the Signet Press. )

'X' designed covers for many books, including Jawaharlal Nehru's "Discovery of India", and Jim Corbett's "Man-Eaters of Kumaon".

Some years later, 'X' went on to make his mark in a different field.

Identify 'X'.