Dec 30, 2009
Dec 13, 2009
Dec 5, 2009
Nov 26, 2009
Bhagwan, following on suggestion by Raj Kapoor made a film called Albela - staring himself and Geeta Bali. The film had music by C Ramachandra. The songs are still popular and the dance step used by Bhagwan was so popular that it became the default dance step of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Bhagwan did try to duplicate the success of the movie with the same cast, but failed two times - the movies were called Jhamela and La'Bela.
He fell on really bad times. He had to sell his bungalow in Juhu and seven cars (one for each day of the week) and move to a chawl. Most of his associates left him in his time of need - except for C Ramchandra, Om Prakash, and Rajinder Krishan who used to pay him visit in his chawl apartment. Sadly, Bhagwan outlived them and died a sad man in 2002 at the age of 89.
Mario Miranda is a native of Goa, but he spent time working in Mumbai and capturing city's spirit. He depicted citizens of the city as bug-eyed cosmopolitan community suffering under lazy, ignorant, and self absorbed politicians. He packed people very closely with traffic, shops, and stray dogs. Policeman with protruding tummy and chicken legs, crying babies, pickpocket - the whole Mumbai on a page for you. Then there was a buxom secretary Miss Fonseca, office clerk Godbole (Marathi Manoos) who was bullied by his boss, and a film actress Rajni Nimbupani. They all shared the potholed roads - just like the Mumbai we know.
Nov 25, 2009
Nov 13, 2009
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, Talaj 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.
Q: Like yourself, there seems to be no limit to Tendulkar's genius too. The entire country is celebrating his 20th year in international cricket. How do you look at this monumental achievement?
Oct 11, 2009
I had sincerely believed then, that we had resolved all issues, and come to an amicable settlement that would create two of India's most dynamic business groups, bring peace and harmony to our family, and generate substantial wealth for millions of shareholders of the Reliance family.
Over the past 4 years, some parts of that promise have been realised.
Unfortunately, the joy of that achievement has been tempered by the sorrow, pain and anguish of continuing disagreement and acrimony with my elder brother, Mukeshbhai.
Over these past 4 years, I have persevered with utmost sincerity, humility and good faith, and left no stone unturned to try and resolve our differences.
To my lasting regret, despite all my well-meaning efforts, I have failed - pushing us even to the extreme step of recourse to litigation to protect the interests of over 11 million shareholders of our Group.
Over the past few weeks, many elder statesmen, trusted family members, and long-standing friends of my father, Dhirubhai Ambani, who have always had the best interests of the nation and the Ambani family at heart, have talked of the need to break the current impasse, and to find a solution that puts an end to this bitterness and rancor; and paves the way for substantial future growth and value creation for the country and millions of our shareholders.
I agree with each one of them. This has been a time of deep sadness and pain for me personally.
Yet, throughout this very trying period, I have maintained the greatest of love, affection and respect for Mukeshbhai - as I have done since my birth.
In that spirit, I have made this pilgrimage today to the holy shrines of Kedarnath and Badrinath, in the hope of seeking divine inspiration and blessings, in trying to heal the wounds, and in making a renewed effort to resolve, reconcile and reciprocate.
I sincerely believe that Mukeshbhai and I can, even at this late stage, sort out all our disagreements, in a constructive, cordial and conciliatory manner, if we both commit to getting this done.
The issues are only a handful, and the facts are well known. My judgement says that they can all be resolved in a matter of weeks, and will not require several months of discussions.
Accordingly, with the blessings of my mother, and invoking the power of Lord Shiva from this most sacred of holy places, I am once again reaching out to Mukeshbhai - and hope and pray that my feelings will be reciprocated, and we will arrive at a solution to all outstanding issues, with a generous heart, a willing mind, and an accommodating spirit.
There can be no better gift to my mother, Kokilaben Ambani in her 75th year, and to the legacy of our beloved father, Dhirubhai Ambani, the proud creator of the Reliance Group.
Sep 7, 2009
Aug 16, 2009
Jul 4, 2009
Jun 14, 2009
Apr 2, 2009
Mar 28, 2009
Mar 25, 2009
Feb 11, 2009
Feb 10, 2009
Feb 8, 2009
Feb 4, 2009
Feb 1, 2009
Here's a photograph of Ambani family when Mukesh and Anil were boys - quite likely when their place of residence was this modest apartment.
Jan 31, 2009
Jan 30, 2009
Here's an updated chart of Mumbai real-estate prices tabulated by region. Compared to the October 2007, the rates have come down noticeably. Perhaps, this is time to get into the real estate market. However, it is always about location, location, location.
Jan 29, 2009
Jan 24, 2009
Jan 19, 2009
Jan 18, 2009
Jan 15, 2009
Jan 7, 2009
Jan 4, 2009