NasbandiEmergency was imposed on India on this day 42 years ago, on June 25, 1975, and it lasted for about 21 months. During the emergency, Kishore Kumar was banned by Ministry of I&B on All India Radio & Doordarshan for his non-participation in one of the major public events organised by the people in power then.

When Emergency was finally revoked in 1977, India opted to form a new Government, the country saw a big turn around and supported Janta Party coalition.  With Janta Party in power, Kishore Kumar sang a protest song for the film Nasbandi (1978) and scored an interesting musical revenge.  The film was produced & directed by IS Johar.

The film version of the song was censored and curtailed for a stanza featuring names of some politicians.  The antagonistic lyrics were penned by Indeevar and the song was composed by Kalyanji-Anandji.   An unusual musical documentation of an important event in modern history.

 

 

Full Lyrics :

जनता की आवाज़ है ये
सुन ले ओ बापू गांधी
ये कैसा हाहाकार देश मे
ये कैसी आग की आंधी

कहां गयी वो तेरी अहिंसा, कहां गया वो प्यार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार
बापू तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

इक भारत में बन गये जलियांवाले बाग़ हज़ार
बापू तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

तूने जब आवाज़ लगाई, सारा हिंदुस्तान उठा
अंग्रेज़ों के दिल भी दहले, ऐसा इक तूफ़ान उठा
खुशी-खुशी तेरे कहने पर भारतवासी जेल गये
सीने पे गोली झेल गये, अपने प्राणों पर खेल गये
नाम पे तेरे लाखों जवां, दुनिया के सब सुख भूल गये
दुल्हन का घूंघट बिन खोले ही फांसी पर झूल गये
तू स्वराज ले आया, हम तो फिर भी रहे लाचार
गांधी तेरे देश में ये कैसा अत्याचार

आज़ादी की जंग लड़ा था क्या इसीलिये ये हिन्दुस्तां
अरे न्याय मांगने न्यायालय मे जा ना सके कोई इंसान
कितने ही निर्दोष यहां ’मीसा’ के अन्दर बन्द हुए
अंधे कुएं में कितने ही आज़ाद समंदर बंद हुए
इस्मत लूटा करते हैं जो बन कर लाज के पहरेदार
अपनी सत्ता रखने को जो छीने जनता के अधिकार
सौंप गया है ऐसे के हाथ मे देश की क्यों पतवार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

देखी कहीं कलमबन्दी, देखी कहीं ज़ुबांबन्दी
डर की हुकुमत हर दिल पर थी, सारा हिन्दुस्तां बन्दी
नसबन्दी के नाम पे जुल्म हुए वो दुखियो दीनों पर
लगता था लटका हो जैसे प्रजातन्त्र संगीनों पर
तुर्कमान वो आस्मां टूटा जहां ज़मीनों पर
चढ़ा दिये जब बुलडोज़र जब बेबस लोगों के सीनों पर
अपनो के हाथों ही अपनों पर गोली की बौछार
गांधी तेरे देश मे ये कैसा अत्याचार

सारे देश पर ज़ुल्मो-सितम के घोर अन्धेरे जब छाए
तब प्रकाश की किरणें लेकर जय प्रकाश आगे आए
विजय लक्ष्मी पंडित ने जनता का मनोबल बढ़ा दिया
राज नारायण ने नामुमकिन, मुमकिन करके दिखा दिया
मज़हब से कम नहीं मुल्क, बोले जामा मस्जिद के इमाम
प्रजातन्त्र को नव-जीवन देने आये जगजीवन राम
जॉर्ज फ़र्नांडिस तोड के आये इल्ज़ामों की जन्ज़ीरें
श्रीमोरारजी के आने से चमक उठी फिर तकदीरें
चरन सिंह और चन्द्रशेखर ने लोगों के दिलों को जीता
वापस ले आई जनता अपनी आज़ादी की सीता
अटलबिहारी, आडवानी, नाना ने किया उद्धार
गांधी तेरे नाम की अब होगी जय-जयकार

अरे जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार
जो भी हुकुमत ज़ुल्म करेगी उसकी होगी हार


फ़िल्म : नसबन्दी -1978
गायक : किशोर कुमार & कोरस
गीतकार : इंदीवर
संगीतकार : कल्याणजी-आनंद्जी

 

Video  —  Posted: June 25, 2017 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, Event, Lyrics, music, video, Xclusive
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Abhishek Verma’s 12-minute long animated film Maacher Jhol (The Fish Curry) has won the “City Of Annecy” Award at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The award was started last year and was set up to support new filmmakers or films from emerging film markets, collaborative films or films that offer unique perspectives on the world we live in or the state of animation. It was selected in the “Perspectives” section of the fest. It also bagged the best short film award at the 8th Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

Here’s the fest synopsis of the film –

Lalit, 28, decides to come out to his parents. In order to reveal his sexuality, seeking acceptance, he cooks his father’s favourite fish curry. Will his dad love the delicious dish?

Click here to read an interview of the filmmaker. And here’s the film’s trailer –

 

 

 

 

The World of Shutu

It’s always difficult to write about a film when it comes back home with you as a very palpable emotion. The conflict is between whether to talk about the film (like a semi-review, talking about the great crew and cast, plot, motifs etc.) or the memories & insights it triggered. Since it’s a quick & short piece written in the middle of a very tight schedule, mainly to excite the reader enough to go and watch the film, I will stay somewhere in between – a bit clumsy but functional.

We all have been Shutu at some point of time in our lives. I know I have been, for many years. Bullied, ridiculed, misunderstood, misfit and still trying to smile lest I should be seen as ‘sissy’. Fitting into this world of men is a constant struggle for men even. It’s a game whose rules we laid on our own and still laid them so tough that now we are having a hard time catching up. Why did we do this to ourselves? Why we continue to do this – trying to check items off a laundry list to pretend that we have grown up (from a male perspective only)? Why do we want to grow up? Due to social pressure or survival mechanism – like preys turning into predator?

Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A Death In The Gunj takes one to such places – beautiful and uncomfortable – places where innocent nostalgia meets the darkest memories. Set in 1979, it’s about a Bengali family with a severe Raj-era hangover on a quaint holiday in Bihar’s (now Jharkhand’s) McCluskieganj – a place with an equally severe Raj-era hangover. The family has many people and egos, a bunch of well-adjusted, seemingly non-threatening abnormals. And the family has Shutu (Vikrant Massey in a role of a lifetime) – the younger brother broadly seen as a silent-introvert type. The constant clash between the two worlds – one inhabited by the family with its bikes & muttons & drinks & pranks & love-games, and another in which Shutu sits by the window sketching frogs in an old diary – scrapes the paints off both of them. The delicate locking mechanism that had kept them together starts wearing off and the moment of truth, or whatever the grown-up version of that is, comes closer and closer.

The only bridge between the two worlds is Shutu’s teenaged niece Tani – already bored of the games adults play & constantly fascinated by Shutu’s scientific-poetic lonely view of the world. It’s not a coincidence that the bridge is a female ‘cos this is a film deeply aware of its gender politics (and at a couple of places, class politics too). Men behave like boys-behaving-like-men, women behave like women-seen-through-men’s-eyes, as two conflicted souls (Shutu and Tani) clutch at straws while drowning in the waters of such rigid definitions.

As a fat teenaged kid in the 90s, I loved watching cricket and I wasn’t bad at playing it too but nobody would select me in the team. My fatness and my academic bent (the tag of “padhaaku”) were a liability nobody was willing to carry. Even if selected in the team (the last to be picked), I’d not get a chance to bat or bowl. So I’d put all my efforts into fielding well. I’d kill myself to get that throw from the boundary right.

But still, just to show I am cool with this treatment, I would offer to play the umpire. That way, I’d get to be on the field at least, get to hold the ball at the end of every over (just for a few seconds before I toss it to the next bowler), and be treated with respect by both the teams. I’d apply myself to the task & be the most unbiased, observant umpire. Sometimes, I’d get to play a few balls or bowl an over – and I believe that became possible only because of the bridges I made as an umpire. But in the process, I lost something precious too. I lost my courage to openly cry in public. I lost my feminine side, or at least suppressed it for the longest time, to fit into this world of men.

And that’s why, when in one scene Shutu is the last to be picked for a game of kabaddi, his state of mind was so relatable that I felt like crying. I did not, yet again.

Varun Grover

*********************

For those looking for a quick list of reasons to watch (and watch you MUST):

  1. Konkona Sen Sharma’s assured, sensitive debut as a Director. Ace!
  2. Konkona Sen Sharma’s screenplay co-written with Disha Rindani (based on a short story by Mukul Sharma) is full of delightful dialogue & an eerie sense of impending doom.
  3. Rich texture and detailing. Made on a small budget but NEVER looks like it. Sirsha Ray (DOP) and Sidhharth Sirohi (Production Design) bring their A-game to the table.
  4. McCluskieganj’s wild charm has been captured so ethereally that you can smell the air, touch the greenery.
  5. The film has four languages (English, Hindi, Bangla, and Chhota Nagpuri) and all spoken with a natural effortlessness rare to find in Indian cinema.
  6. The brilliant original score and music by Sagar Desai (disclosure: I worked with him in ‘Ankhon Dekhi’) elevates and layers the film with great precision.
  7. One of the best ensemble casts in recent memory – Ranvir Shorey, Kalki  Koechlin, Tilottama Shome, Gulshan Devaiah, Jim Sarbh, Arya Sharma, Tanuja, and Om Puri (one of his last roles and what a delight he is!).
  8. Such well-etched and distinct characters – right from Ranvir Shorey’s Vikram to Kalki’s Mimi to Tilottama’s Bonnie to Gulshan Devaiah’s Nandu – constantly chattering, surprising and layering the film with their brilliant mannerisms.
  9. Vikrant Massey got the kind of role actors crave for and he hits it out of the park. Shutu is beautiful and heartbreaking.
  10. Every department has delivered and the best thing is – the sum is way greater than the parts. Do not miss this film.

QALANDAR

Qalandar* – A 35 year old man from a village in Punjab (India) has to learn riding a Bicycle to get closer to his fleeting dream. A dabbler by nature. Music, cinema and books interest him, and thus, make him a complete misfit in his village and family.

His age and intellect becomes his biggest roadblock in learning cycling and such a trivial pursuit becomes the chase of his life.

To live up to his name, he has to find his way or his way would find him.

(*Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes)

_____________________________________________________

What does it takes to shoot a Short Film? A device, which is in your hand most of the times. In my case, it is my first independent film, (Director/Producer) so its pure courage. And sometimes, courage is more important than talent.

The thought of Qalandar has been living inside me for quite a few years. There’s a whole charm of riding a bicycle and why it seems like magic, when you balance a bicycle. You are actually defeating gravity in a way. I myself learnt it quite late in my life. I remember my Uncle reacted to this story idea by quoting Albert Einstein. “Life is just like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

The whole genesis of this film originated from a thought of someone not being able to do something very basic and is too old to even attempt that. Something, which can define your existence and masculinity. For the milieu, it was always a friend’s, (Kulwinder Harshaai)  home in Punjab, which came to my mind. I wanted to treat it like a feature film or my first step towards making a feature length film. One thing I was sure about that it has to be in the countryside, or it was my own aversion to cityscape which was also responsible for my location choice.

My friend Kulwinder Harshai, Creative Producer, apart from being my link to this village named Guruharsahai (in Ferozepur District of Punjab) is also the one on whom the protagonist of my story is based.  This film wouldn’t have been possible without him. He just opened the doors of his home and heart, and let us all in! From locations, sets, actors, accommodation, food & country made liquor to music, vocals and the dialogues of the film.

Though an independent film but I approached every department from the feature’s perspective. I was lucky the first technician who I shared the script with, came on board as the cinematographer, and Mihir Desai also ended up becoming my Co-Producer. This has been the best casting of the film!

Now our main objective was how we are going to tell the story on screen. I wanted to explore Punjab beyond the clichés of pop culture like mustard fields, hospitality, handsome men, bhangra, food & flamboyance. The Punjab etched up in my mind did have all this but primarily it had a serene and placid feel to it, which I’ve attempted to capture in the visual narrative.

I myself a product of pop-culture but my biggest grouse with it is that it never exercises its power to propagate the hidden gems of any culture; and is only interested in ‘selling’ culture as commodity. The land of five rivers, including the part in Pakistan, has given us poets like Shiv Kumar Batalavi, Paash, Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhanvi to name a few. And, if we delve deeper into the history Baba Farid, Bulleh Shah and Guru Nanak. I’ve seen Batalwi & Paash’s books being sold at popular places like bus stations in Punjab but the pop-culture chooses not to mention it at all!

Film making is a collaborative art, I knew and had seen it in the best of professional set ups in Bombay. And it’s ‘magic’ too, I saw this happening every day. The way one by one whole village came together to make sure Qalandar moves! Dev Verma, my associate, ushered them all from our side incredibly – from recording sync sound to making sure we cover everything on time.

The villagers never said ‘no’! The most beautiful example of this collaboration is the scene, when Qalandar is pushing the bicycle uphill. This hill, which we all called “Dali’s Hill” was made accessible by villagers. I guess the ‘Spirit’ scored over logistics or it was simply Punjabiyat, as we all say back home!

Since the story idea was based on Kulwinder’s life I had decided to cast him only as Qalandar…But as I got into the pre-production I realized, thankfully, I could either burden his gentle shoulders as an actor or a creative producer, not both, and I chose the latter.

Siddharth Sen, a professional actor based in Bombay, came on board as Qalandar. Siddharth transformed into Qalandar effortlessly and his quiet charm warmed up all of Kulwinder’s family, who were part of the film’s main cast. Siddharth, a keen observer just absorbed everything around him and that reflects in the subtler nuances of the film. The reason for casting Kulwinder’s family was essentially budget and equally the fact that raw actors bring certain truth to their performances which technically correct ones may not be able to!

Working with all of them was absolute pleasure. I just had to share the gist of moment with them and often capture the magic, or was it truth? This film is a combination of good accidents also. Qalandar’s Chacha, who works in the fields as a supervisor is an 80 year old man. He was one actor who improvised and was cracking jokes off camera! A real Qalandar!

Somi, who plays Qalandar’s nephew and confidante in the film is a trained Physiotherapist in Faridkot, Punjab. His love for Alia Bhatt and social media has become a part of my narrative as well. How Somi came up with his own lines, which became dialogues of the film is also memorable!

We finally managed to finish Qalandar’s shoot in five days. The film was edited on my personal laptop “Macbook Pro” with the help of my editor, John Joseph, and it took me six months of post-production to finish the film, since, I was working on Aamir Khan’s Secret Superstar simultaneously as a Script Supervisor. Indirectly it was my assignment with Aamir Khan Productions, which made Qalandar see light of the day!

We had a 35 minute long first cut, which was brought to 26 minutes. Now we decided to abandon editing the film and finalizing it. Mandar Kamalapurkar (Sound Designer) brought a certain kind of finesse and texture to the film. Mandar’s expertise took the film to another level! He was patient and professional at the same time.

Finally there are few names, which still helped this film but I cannot define their role. Pallavi Pethkar (Poster Design), Collin D’cunha (Talent Sourcing), Mohit Sharma (Ambal Productions), Shipan Vyas (Vfx), Mahak Gupta (DI), Priyarth Mukherjee, Kedar Sonar and Kasbah Digital. My apologies to those who are in my heart but my brain fails to recall!

To live up to his name he has to find his way or his way would find him: We too are on our way, it seems!

– Rohit Sharma

Qalandar premieres for the world on 3rd May, 2017 at the New York Indian Film Festival, New York. So if you are in NY, do catch it.

Screening info:
3rd May 6:15pm
Village East Cinema, New York, New York.

(Qalandar was also Shortlisted in MAMI Film Festival, 2016 (Mumbai) under Large Shorts Category. Winner of Best Screenplay- Jury in Indian World Film Festival, 2017 (Hyderabad, India), Official Selection, New York Indian Film Festival 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cannes Film Festival has announced the official selection of shorts for the 70th edition of the festival. Payal Kapadia’s short film, Afternoon Clouds, has been selected for the Cinéfondation forum.

Payal is a third-year student of direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. Her 13-minute short film is among 16 films chosen, from among 2,600 works submitted this year.

Afternoon Clouds depicts a 60-year old widow, who lives with her Nepali maid, Malati. The entire movie revolves around a single afternoon in their house. This film features Usha Naik and Trimala Adhikari.

A jury presided over by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu will decide the winners. The three Cinéfondation prizes will be awarded at a ceremony preceding the screening of the prize-winning films on Friday 26th May in the Buñuel Theatre.

The Film And Television Institute of India, Pune has introduced a new short course for television fiction. See the attached picture for all the basic details. And click here for more.

Remembering Kishori Amonkar

Posted: April 7, 2017 by moifightclub in music, RIP
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Kishori Amonkar passed away this week. I have a failing (as against passing) knowledge of Hindustani classical music. I have what they call a good ear for music. I can discern a few ragas based on years of listening to few favorite compositions by classical vocalists. And, my one-time obsession of doing well in movie/music quizzes meant I had to know the answer to ‘which raga is this famous Hindi film song based on’ kind of questions that usually came my way. Within this limited repertoire of my classical Hindustani musical knowledge, however, I can safely say I must have listened to Kishori Amonkar for a couple of thousand hours over the years.

How it started is a story by itself.

I must have been about 11 years old when a boy named Kishore, who was about 3 years older, entered our friend circle. Or, to be more precise, our circles merged. Over months of playing cricket, football and generally wasting time together, some of the older boys in the group started calling him Kishori. I duly followed suit. On enquiring about reasons for this strange name (I had never come across a girl named Kishori), one of the older boys told me about a singer named Kishori Amonkar who occasionally featured on DD. I filed that away in my memory and went on with life. A few years later I was old enough to start buying blank T Series cassettes (Rs 12 for 60 minutes tape) and using the old Philips recorder to tape anything that caught my fancy – songs from Chitrahar, ad jingles and title tracks of TV serials. The idea of recording something was immensely fascinating. And, soon it got out of control. I’d use the same cassette to record things over and over again – news, cricket commentary, Meryl Streep’s Race to Save the Planet and everything in between.

One late Monday evening I sat with the recorder while the weekly staple – Sangeet Ka Akhil Bhartiya Karyakram – came on. Normally, I would switch off at this time and go to bed. But then the announcer mentioned the name of the artist for that evening – Kishori Amonkar. Well, I stayed back and decided to record it. I didn’t care much about what was played that evening but I recorded about 25 minutes of her signing. My summer vacations soon began and on afternoons when there was no one to play I would listen to the tapes. Since I was being indiscriminate in listening to anything that was there on them, I didn’t forward any tracks. And, so I heard Kishori Amonkar many a times over that month. In May that year, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. The state mourning that followed meant there was nothing on DD except classical music. And, there again was Kishori Amonkar. I watched her sing and what impressed me more was her persona. She had a presence; a certain magnetism that reached out to you despite your complete ignorance of her craft.

Over the next decade I kept that cassette and heard those tracks many times over especially during late evenings in solitude. There was almost a pattern in a certain year in the 90s where I would play Maya Memsaab, Libaas and Kishori Amonkar in that order before going to sleep. One fine day (or evening) the cassette gave away; the tape came out of the cassette while the song was playing and was completely mangled. From then on I listened to her sporadically. I never got myself to buy a CD of her songs. I attended a SPIC MACAY event in late 90s where I heard her sing and I came away with a sense of satisfaction of having heard a legend. That was it.

Only a few years back while scouring through Youtube, I came across a whole treasure trove of Kishori Amonkar songs. In them I found the two compositions that I had on my cassette. They weren’t the exact recordings but it was the same composition. I also learnt why one of those songs felt so right listening to them in the evening. It was Raag Bhoop – a raag to be played in the first ‘pahar’ of the night. I heard them on Wednesday evening when I heard she was no more. I have linked them here.

I was happy to note the next day she was given a state funeral by the Maharashtra Government. Maybe she deserved a bigger honour. But I’m happy that a city like Mumbai still maintains its respect for its true legends. In times when we seem ever so keen on reviving our cultural identity and nationalism, I’d think Kishori Amonkar and her legacy are true representation of what’s great about our culture. That’s what needs protection and nurturing. And, keeping that alive wouldn’t need any vigilantism. It would only need a keen ear and an open heart.

Subrat Mohanty