Wednesday, 31 October 2018


Today is 13th death anniversary of prominent Punjabi Poet & Novelist Amrita Pritam!

Young romantic poet..Amrita Pritam!
Began as romantic poet.. 
Amrita Pritam's first anthology of poems 'Amrit Lehran' was published in 1936 at the age of sixteen! 

She soon shifted to 'Progressive Writers Association' which reflected in her writing 'Lok Peed' in 1944. Her poem 'Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu' was ode to great Sufi poet Waris Shah! 

Amrita Pritam's autobiography 'Rasidi Ticket'!

In a career of six decades she wrote over 100 which includes her famous autobiography 'Rasidi Ticket'! Most of her writings translated into several Indian & foreign languages..And she equally loved on both sides of the India-Pakistan border! 

In 1982 Amrita Pritam received 'Bharatiya Jnanpith' for 'Kagaz Te Canvas'! And after 'Padmashree' (1969) she received 'Padmabhushan' 
& 'Sahitya Academi Award' in 2004.

Film 'Pinjar' (2003) on Amrita Pritam's novel!

Her writings also adopted for drama and cinema. Renowned director M. S. Sathyu paid theatrical tribute 'Ek Thi Amrita' and in 2003 Chandraprakash Dwivedi made film 'Pinjar' on her novel. On the backdrop of partition it focused on the communities problems of both the sides!..Urmila Matondkar Sanjay Suri & Manoj Bajpayee played the lead roles in it! This film won 'National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration'!

Sahir Ludhiyanvi & Amrita Pritam..Romantic poem!
She also received.. 'International Vaptsarov Award' from Republic of Bulgaria in 1979 and 'Degree of Officer dens, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' by French Government in 1987. 
She was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha during 1986–92. 
And at the end she was awarded by Pakistan's Punjabi Academy too!

I still remember meeting Amrita Pritamji in Delhi during our 'B.C.J.' tour in 1988. 
In this I asked about (her romantic story with) Urdu Poet Sahir Ludhiyanvi!

Homage to this great sensitive writer-poet!!

- Manoj Kulkarni


"Kar chale hum fida jan-o-tan sathiyon
Ab tumharen hawalen vatan sathiyon.."

Homage to former Prime Minister of our India..Shrimati Indira Gandhi on 34th death anniversary!

- Manoj Kulkarni


Today is 143rd Birth Anniversary of first Deputy Prime Minister & Home Minister of our India..Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel!

Here are rare pictures of Sardar: (first) with Mahatma Gandhi!

And (second) with first Prime Minister of our India..Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru walking with 'Frontier Gandhi' Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan!

Tribute to them!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Today is 28th Death Anniversary of Actor, Director & Producer.. Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre..known as V. Shantaram! He contributed a lot in Cinema...with his meaningful, artistic & social films with message.!

Rare photo of  'Savakari Pash' (1925)..(from left)  
Gulababai, Zunjararao Pawar and V.Shantaram!
Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre started his career in 1920s with the help of great filmmaker Baburao Painter and worked in his 'Maharashtra Film Co.' at Kolhapur! There he also acted in few silent films directed by Paintersaheb! Pioneering Social genre 'Savakari Pash' (1925) was among those films!

Important scene of first Marathi talkie 'Ayodhyecha Raja' (1932)
In 1927 he became director V.Shantaram with historical film 'Netaji Palkar'. Then he with V.Damale, K. Dhaibar, S. Fattelal 
& S.B.Kulkarni founded 'Prabhat Film Company' in Kolhapur! And in 1932 they made first Marathi talkie 'Ayodhyecha Raja'!

Keshavrao Date & Gajanan Jahagirdar in 'Shejari' (1941).
Like subject..technically also filmmaker V. Shantaram's cinematic excellence highly admired! Extreme close up of eye in 'Amrit Manthan' (1934) was one of the important example of it! He used Film Medium as instrument for social reform..'Prabhat's great trilogy 'Kunkoo' (1937), 'Manoos' (1939) & 'Shejari' (1941)..proved it!

In 1942 V. Shantaram left 'Prabhat Film Co.'..and he formed his 'Rajkamal Kala Mandir' in Mumbai! There 
he started making films independently with classic 'Shakuntala' (1943).

After that great 'Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani' (1946) and 'Do Aankhe Barah Hath' (1957) gave him big admiration!..And films like 'Amar Bhoopali (1951) and 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje' (1955) showed his artistic command!

Photo on right: 
Gopi Krishna and Sandhya in film 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje's (1955) song.. 
"Nain ko nain nahi milao.."

Homage to him.!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Monday, 29 October 2018


Five years over..legendary classical singer of Indian cinema..Manna Dey left this world!

Sangeetacharya K. C. Dey and Manna Dey!
Real name Prabodh Chandra Dey...inspired and influenced by his uncle Sangeetacharya K. C. Dey!..He also took lessons in Hindustani Classical Music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan!

In 1942 he came to Mumbai with uncle and assisted him & Music director S. D. Burman! He sung his first song "Jago Aayee Usha.." for film 'Tamanna' in the Music direction of his uncle K.C. Dey! 
Manna Dey singing!
After 'Tamanna' he sung "O Prem Diwani.." in the Music of Anil Biswas for film 'Kadambari' (1944). Then became popular singer Manna Dey with song "Upar Gagan Vishal.." which was written by Pradeep & in the Music of S. D. Burman he sung for..'Bombay Talkies' movie 'Mashal' (1950) directed by Nitin Bose!

Music Director Salil Choudhary and Singer Manna Dey!

By 1960 Manna Dey established his versatility in singing all kind of songs. But he was famous for his classical based film songs like.."Laga chunari mein daag.." which in the Music of Roshan he sung for film 'Dil Hi To Hai' (1963). Then he sung nice song of Gulzar in Basu Bhattacharya's classic movie 'Anubhav' (1971).."Phir kahin koi phool khila.." which was composed by Kanu Roy!
Rajesh Khanna performed Manna Dey's song "Zindagi." in 'Anand'!

Manna Dey sung for leading music directors of his time..But his association with Music Director Salil Choudhary was long..from 1953 to 1992! In this always remember "Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli..." from classic movie 'Aanand' (1971) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee! Mannada's this immortal song..on screen Rajesh Khanna performed in his immortal role!

Manna Dey won various awards for his singing in films. And Government of India honoured him with 'Padmashri' in 1971, 'Padmabhushan' in 2005..And in 2007 with 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award'!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Sunday, 28 October 2018


This is a beautiful frame from 1960's classic movie 'Kohinoor's song "Do Sitaron Ka Zameen Par Hai Milan.." which I always think like a Metaphor! Because I feel..

Two great artists of Indian cinema Dilip Kumar & Meena Kumari are meeting here..

Two great singers Mohammed Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar are singing together for them..

The great lyrics of Shakeel Badayuni..On the great music of Naushad Ali.

And Yusufsahab (Dilip Kumar) is real Kohinoor of Indian Cinema!!

A Tribute!!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Saturday, 27 October 2018


Famous Italian Actor-Filmmaker..Roberto Benigni!

Today is 66th Birthday of my most favourite actor-directors of Italian Cinema..Roberto Romigio Benigni!

Actor-Filmmaker Roberto Benigni with actress wife Nicoletta Braschi 
and Giorgio Cantarini in lovely scene of film 'Life is Beautiful' (1997).
He started acting career on experimental theatre in 1975. Then became famous with Television Serial 'Onada Libera'!

In 1983.. Benigni directed his first film 'Tu Mi Turbi' in collaboration with his actress wife Nicoletta Braschi! 

Then in 1997..his co-written, directed & acted film 'Life Is Beautiful' won 3 'Oscar' awards! I remember the reactions of this film when screened in our 'International Film Festival of India' held at Hyderabad in 1999!
Filmmaker Woody Allen & Roberto Benigni on set of 'To Rome with Love' (2012).
After 'Pinocchio' (2005) he acted in 'To Rome with Love' (2012) with it's director.. 
Woody Allen!

Roberto Benigni won many international awards and got honorary degrees from universities worldwide!

Best wishes..Mr. Benigni!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]


Eminent writer in Urdu literature..Ismat Chughtai..Old & Young!

More than 25 years eminent Indian writer in Urdu literature.. Ismat Chughtai left this world!

Poster of film 'Garm Hava' (1975).

Film 'Fire' (1996) based on Ismat Chughta's story 'Lihaaf'!
Her short stories are full with cultural elements & deals with social issues in the India! She is considered a path breaker for women writers in the subcontinent! Her writings like 'Angarey' & 'Lihaaf' famous for reformist & feminist content!

Ismat Chughtai became an inspiration for the younger generation of writers, readers and intellectuals!

Ismat Chughtai also wrote dramas & films. 
In 1974 she won 'Ghalib Award' for her Urdu drama 'Terhi Lakeer' and in 1975 got Filmfare Award for the story of film 'Garm Hava'! 

Ismat Chughtai also received 'Soviet Land Nehru Award' in 1982 and 'Iqbal Samman' in 1990!

Homage to this great writer!

- Manoj Kulkarni


On 'World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage'..remembering renowned film archivist, historian & founder of 'NFAI'..our most respected (late) P. K. Nair!

Above photo was taken on the occasion of publication ceremony of my film magazine 'Chitrasrushti' in 2002 at 'NFAI', Pune!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Tuesday, 23 October 2018


Beautiful Actress..Vimi!

Vimi with Sunil Dutt & Raj Kumar in 'Hamraaz' (1967).
"Neele gagan ke tale..
dharati ka pyar pale.."

This classic romantic song and the beautiful face of Vimi is lingering in mind!

Almost forty years over..she left the world; but can not forget this yesteryear's pretty gorgeous star of our popular Indian cinema..Vimi!

This Punjabi actress was already married when she introduced to filmmaker B. R. music director Ravi! And she appeared in 'BR Films' romantic thriller 'Hamraaz' (1967) with Sunil Dutt & Raj Kumar! This film became super hit and Vimi's innocent beauty won hearts!
Vimi with Shashi Kapoor in 'Patanga' (1971).
After that, hit movies like with Shashi Kapoor 'Patanga' (1971) & 'Vachan' (1974)..her latter films not received that kind of success! She also acted in Punjabi films!

Then her film career saw bad days and tragic end of this beautiful star touched the hearts!

Pretty gorgeous star..Vimi!
Just remembered the song from her film 'Aabroo' (1968)..

"Jinhe hum bhulana chahe..
 Woh aksar yaad aate hai..!"

It's a tribute to her memory!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Friday, 19 October 2018


It's great coincidence that when the mission like 'MeToo' is going strong.. the novel raising the issue of woman harassment.. 'Milkman' won this year's 'Man Booker Prize'!

'Milkman' is about a young woman harassed by powerful older man. And it's author 
Ms. Anna Burns has become the first Northern Irish to win this prestigious award!

Congrats to her and more power to such writers!!

- Manoj Kulkarni

Thursday, 18 October 2018


Legendary Actress of Serbia and Yugoslavia..Milena Dravic!

One of the greatest actresses of Serbia & entire Yugoslavia..Milena Dravic passed away recently!

Young pretty..Milena Dravic.
Born in Belgrade..since childhood Milena Dravic started performing on stage..and became classical ballet dancer! During 1959 director Frantisek Cap saw her and asked to act in his film 'Vrata Ostaju Otvorena'! With that screen debut she appeared in few films and to become a professional artist she entered in 'Belgrade Dramatic Arts Academy'!
Milena Dravic in film 'Prekobrojna' (1962).

Then in 1962 Milena Dravic's role in Branko Bauer's film 'Prekobrojna' earned her 'Golden Arena for Best Actress'..And with this she soon became Yugoslav's first big female filmstar! 

Then she acted in films mostly with war and socio-political backdrop like same year 'Kozara' the partisan film, Dusan Makavejev's first 'Man is not a Bird' (1965) & 'Battle of Neretva' (1969). 

Milena Dravic in 'Special Treatment' (1980).
Milena Dravic also co-hosted popular television program 'Obraz uz obraz' in 1970s with her third husband (Serbian actor) Dragan Nikolic!

She worked as eccentric protagonist of experimental arthouse films like 'WR: Mysteries of the Organism' (1971). Then she received 'Best Supporting Actress' award in 'Cannes Film Festival' for her role in Goran Paskaljevic's film 'Special Treatment' (1980).  
Apart from such films, as a versatile actress she did various kind of roles in her film in Serbian romantic comedy 'Ljubav i drugi zlocini' ('Love and other crimes'/2008).
Milena Dravic in 'WR: Mysteries of the Organism' (1971)

Milena Dravic was honoured with 'Pavle Vujisic' award in 1994 for her contribution to domestic cinematography..And in 2017 with prestigious 'Dobricin prsten lifetime achievement award' in Belgrade!

Homage to this legendary actress!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
    [Pune, India]

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Happy 70th Birthday to first female superstar of Bollywood and..
Dreamgirl of yesteryears..graceful Hema Maliniji!


Remembering nice meeting her!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
Sympathy and support to Ms.Tanushree and all such suffered!

They should get justice!! 

 - Manoj Kulkarni


Real brothers Ashok Kumar & Kishore Kumar in reel roles as-in 'Bhai-Bhai' (1956).

Recently happened 13th October..birth anniversary of one of the great actors of our Indian cinema..Ashok Kumar and..also death anniversary of his brother singer-actor Kishore Kumar!

Nirupa Roy & Kumar brothers in 'Bhai-Bhai' (1956).

They acted brothers in 'AVM's M.V. Raman directed film 'Bhai-Bhai' (1956) completed 60 years!

In this film actress Nirupa Roy acted with them and that's her death anniversary too! (Other actresses in it were Nimmi & Shyama!).

One more important thing about this is the song "Apna hai phir bhee.." which written by Rajendra Krishna and in the music of Madan Mohan sung by..great Mohammed Rafi and picturised on two brothers!

It's a tribute..and homage!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]


Great Cinematographer of our India...Subrata Mitra!

Birth anniversary of renowned cinematographer of our India...Subrata Mitra recently happened!

Mitra cinematographed famous train sequence of Ray's 'Pather Panchali' (1955)
In 1955 he began his career as a cinematographer with renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray for 'Pather Panchali' and cinematographed next two films of it's 'The Apu Trilogy'.. 'Aparajito' (1956) & 'Apur Sansar' (1959). After that his camera became the inseparable part of Ray's cinema!
Close up of Aparna..Sharmila Tagore 
in Satyajit Ray's 'Apur Sansar' (1959).

Subrata Mitra known for pioneering the technique of bounce lighting and especially I admire him for the excellent camera movement whether long shots like famous train sequence Or close ups of Apu or Aparna!.His camera talked a lot!

Subrata Mitra & Satyajit Ray shooting film!

He also cinematographed other filmmakers movies like..James Ivory's 'The House Holder' (1963), 'Basu Bhattacharya's 'Teesari Kasam' (1966) 
& Romesh Sharma's 'New Delhi Times' (1985). 
I am with great Subrata Mitraji in film festival!

Subrata Mitra won many awards including national & international!

I still remember meeting Subrata Mitraji!

Tribute to this great cinematographer!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune]







Beautiful Kseniya Ryabinkina in 'RK's film 'Mera Naam Joker' (1970).

Recently saw the news of Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin's visit to our India..and remembered the traditional friendship between these two countries!..And also India-Soviet/Russia co-produced films!

We all know our Indian films are very much popular in Russia! People there still sings Bollywood songs like RK's "Aawaaraa hoon.." and Mithun's film song "Jimi Jimi Jimi aaja aaja.." But that is not sufficient, there were several films jointly made by Indian & Soviet/Russian filmmakers!
Nargis, Oleg Strizhenov & Balraj Sahni in 'Pardesi' (1957)

First time in 1957 joint venture happened between Soviet Union's 'Mosfilm Studio' and India's K. A. Abbas's 'Naya Sansar International Production House'..And title of that film was 'Pardesi'! That was based on the travelogues of Afanasy Nikitin..named 'Journey Beyond Three Seas' which was also English title of that film! It tells story of 15th century Russian trader who travelled to India and falls in love with an Indian girl Champa! Abbas wrote it with Mariya Smirnova and himself directed with Soviet cinematographer Vasili Pronin. It was in two versions..Hindi & Russian and artists from both the sides acted..from here Nargis, Balraj Sahni, Padmini & Prithviraj Kapoor..and from there Iva Arepina, Vitali Belyakov, Stepan Kayukov & Oleg Strizhenov as Nikitin! Ali Sardar Jafri & Prem Dhawan wrote the songs of it and music composed by Anil Biswas & Boris Chaikovsky. It's Meena Kapoor sung '"Rasiya re man basiya re.." was memorable! This film won Best Art Direction Award (for M. R. Acharekar)..and was shown in 'Cannes Film Festival'!

Zeenat Aman, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Prem Chopra 
& Rolan Bykov in 'Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor' (1980).
Then there were different genre of films jointly made. In 1971 our renowned filmmaker M. S. Sathyu made film 'Black Mountain' 
on the story by Aleksandr Zguridi who also co-directed it! That was on heart trending friendship of young boy with elephant! Artists in it were Reshama Pasha & Prince Pradeep! Like this there was short children film 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi' (1975). 

And in 1980 popular film 'Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor' (Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves') was an India-USSR join production. Basically the folk tale from Arabian Nights..for film screenplay was written by Shanti Prakash Bakshi & Boris Saakov. This film produced by F. C. Mehra and jointly directed by Latif Faiziyev & Umeash Mehra. In this Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman & Rolan Bykov were in the main roles! R. D. Burman composed music and P. L. Raj choreographed the dances of this hit film! 

Poonam Dhillon, Sunny Deol and others in film 'Sohni Mahiwal' (1984)
Again in 1984 same writer-producer-directors made film on immortal lovers.. 'Sohni Mahiwal' for which Javed Siddiqui wrote dialogues! Handsome Sunny Deol 
and pretty gorgeous Poonam Dhillon were in the romantic lead with Indian & Russian artists in it! This hit film's songs written by Anand Bakshi & Anu Malik composed music! This film won 3 Filmfare awards which includes Best Female Playback Singer for Anupama Deshpande for song "Sohni Chinab di.."  

Then same directors jointly made film 'Shikari' (1991) under the banners of 'Eagle Films' (India) & 'Shak Film' (USSR). This film co-written by Roskov, Nikolai, Ulmas Umberbekov & Vinay Shukla..And also co-cinematographed by L. Travitsky and  
S. Pappu! In this Mithun Chakraborty, Varsha Usgaonkar & Russian Irina Kushnareva were in the main roles!
Mithun Chakraborty and Russian 
Irina Kushnareva in 'Shikari' (1991).

In 1991 our famous actor Shashi Kapoor produced film 'Ajooba' which he co-directed with Soviet filmmaker Gennadi Vasilyev. Inspired from Arabian mythology..this fantasy film co-written by Yu Avetikov, Bharat Bhalla, Valentin Ezhov, Brij Katyal & Prayag Raj. Also co-cinematographed by Sergei Anufriyev, Aleksandr Kovalchuk & Peter Pereira..And co-edited by Bhanudas Divakar & Tatyana Malyavina! This big budget film was produced in association with famous 'Gorky Studios' in Moscow. Amitabh Bachchan was in the lead of this film with (first time) Dimple Kapadia, Rishi Kapoor, Sonam & Amrish Puri. With them there were several Russian artists, but their speech not matched with Hindi dialogues! This film released in the Soviet Union with Russian title 'Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora'!

Shashi Kapoor with Shammi Kapoor & Russian artists 
during the shooting of his 'Ajooba' (1991).
Apart from co-productions, Russian artists always comes India to work in our Bollywood. Like Kseniya Ryabinkina who acted in 'RK's 'Mera Naam Joker' (1970) and got popularity!..Now more such beautiful artists & talented people from Russia can work creatively here!

At the end I just modified the old song of 'RK's film 'Sangam'..

"Mere man ki Ganga aur tere man ki Volga ka
Bol sangaam hoga ke nahin.."

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]