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The C Ramchandra Life Story Continued

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This is the third in the series written by Arunkumar Deshmukh ji from CR's autobiography. Thanks to him for doing the translations for everyone's benefit.

 

The relations of Lata and CR were not always one sided and painful.There were occasions when the brighter,softer and kinder side of Lata was seen too. CR has described such incidents also in his book.

The first incident is actually very touching and has some Historical value also.

C Ramchandra and Lata had gone to Amritsar for the launch of Jhanjhar. From the hotel room, Lata made a call to Noorjahan in Lahore. C Ramchandra describes this event thus-

“They spoke for atleast an hour or so. They exchanged not only stories but also sang songs on phone. I was stunned and overwhelmed. I had never seen Lata so happy. Their friendship had crossed caste, creed ,religion and countries. After the phone call was over Lata said excitedly,” Ram we have to go to meet Noorjahan.”

To avoid passport formalities they had decided to meet in the “NO MAN’s LAND” which was about 35 miles from Amritsar. Next day we drove to that place.

Noorjahan came running and the two embraced each others like long lost friends. Both were weeping. All of us who were witness to this divine meet were overwhelmed and tears came to our eyes. Even the soldiers on both sides were weeping. After some time they sat chatting. We had food. They had brought specialities from Lahore and we from India. Noorjahan’s husband was also there. I shall never forget this scene in my life. A great testimony to the fact that Music can break any barrier. After few hours we returned with wet eyes but with a divine and Unique experience indeed !”…………………

When they were together with harmony,Lata used to have lot of faith and confidence in CR.He,ofcourse never took undue advantage of this,but inadvertantly,for once,

Lata and CR both came in trouble because of CR's carelessness.It so happened that....

One day a fair, good looking gentleman came to C Ramchandra, introducing himself as P.R.Bhide. He had floated a plan of filming and recording the classical songs of eminent singers for sale. He invited C Ramchandra to be a partner in it. C Ramchandra was impressed. Not only did he give Rs.1000, he mad Lata and Omprakash also to give 1000 each. So, a company was floated with Lata as the president and C Ramchandra and Bhide as secretaries.

Bhide left and C Ramchandra busied himself in his work. From time to time Bhide used to come in a hurry ,take C Ramchandra’s signature on papers which he said were company meeting minutes. As C Ramchandra had signed, even Lata used to sign without reading.

After few months, Bhide came to C Ramchandra’s house with a court Beliff and a legal notice stating that C Ramchandra and Lata owed him 2 Lakh rupees. In those days 2 lakh was a very big amount. This he claimed was for the films purchased by Lata and C Ramchandra from him. He had their signatures on sale deeds.

C Ramchandra was shocked. He felt bad because due to his insistence Lata was unnecessarily involved in court case. Later the case went to the court and court acquitted C Ramchandra and Lata is a different issue, but it all happened because of the carelessness of C Ramchandra.

CR decided from that day not to sign without reading and not to believe anyone blindly.The third incident happened about CR's mother...

C Ramchandra and his mother had very strained relations. She stayed with his elder brother in Poona. Once Lata and C Ramchandra had been to Poona for some work. Lata asked him,” Your mother stays here,isnt it ?”

” May be”

” What do you mean may be. Afterall she is your mother. You ought to know.”

” but we do not see eye to eye”

” Nothing doing. We will meet her”

C Ramchandra says” we found out their house and met them. I had become emotional. We embraced each others. After that I started sending money to her every month.

It was only because of Lata that this had happened.

 

Hindi film industry has given rise to several controversies, some of them are settled, some are forever a question mark and some controversies come up again and again with the slightest of provocation. The worst thing in a controversy is that even if statements of clarification are given by the concerned people involved with it, it is viewed with suspicion of a personal bias.

When none of the persons concerned are alive, film enthusiasts and historians dig up information from books, newspaper cuttings, interviews, Biographies, auto-biographies etc. Still nothing can satisfy 100% of the fans from both the warring sides.

Controversies like “who sang the famous song- Bharat ki ek sannari-from Ramrajya-1943″ or whether the Rajkumar of Sautela Bhai is Rajkumar Gupta or Rajkumar Pandey are still to be resolved as solutions available are not acceptable to all.

The ever raging controversy about the song ” Aye mere watan ke logon” is always discussed hotly despite the persons concerned having given their clarifications several times.

The persons connected with this are Lata, Asha, C Ramchandra and Kavi Pradeep. Several interviews of these people are available on record.

I have with me versions by Raju Bharatan through his book on Lata Mangeshkar, C Ramchandra’s interviews to him as well as to Shirish Kanekar and Pradeep’s interview given to Subhashchandra Jadhav in “Vo bhooli Dastaan” ,And now I have got the Autobiography version from C Ramchandra too.

Read more: The C Ramchandra Life Story Continued
 

C Ramchandra and Seeta - From His Autobiography

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Written By Arunkumar Deshmukh ji. Thanks a lot Sir for writing this exclusively for Anmol Fankaar.

The autobiography of C.Ramchandra( Majhya Jeevana chi Sargam-copyright by Yeshwant Ramchandra Chitalkar) is somewhat disappointing.Its major part is spent on describing various exploits of CR with different women.Normally one expectes that the writer would focus on his worldly achievements and creations,which gave him name and fame,but on this count this book is a failure.Not that it is totally bereft of such things,but considering his musical successes during the Golden Era,one feels deprived of more discussions on music related topics.

Same case with CR's association with Lata.There are so many anecdotes and stories going around,so one expects to get First hand details of it.To this end I was disappointed.Actually nowhere in the book he specifically names Lata as his companion for few years in clear words,but there are some incidents described in the book, which unmistakably disclose this.

Many writers in last few years have written about it.Raju Bharatan being a major name in this connection.I do not give any weightage to what Raju Bharatan(RB) has been writing about CR-Lata in many of his books and articles.He has lost  credibility(with me atleast) completely.Surprisingly nowhere else you would find so much written about this episode as much as  you find in RB's writings.

Shirish Kanekar is a journalist and writer on film related subjects.He has been quite close to Lata and her family.He was very close to CR too in his last few years.He has written about this matter in some articles,which I find more informative,objective and credible too.

I will however restrict my article to CR's Autobiography.

During the Golden Era of HFM,important contribution was from CR-Lata combination.From 1949 to 1958, this pair has given us heavenly melodies. The place of Lata in CR's music can not be separated.Together,they ruled over music as if it was their slave.

He first met Lata Mangeshkar at the time of recording a song (Jawani ki Rail...) for Shehnai-47.He was very much impressed with her voice.Someone introduced them "This is Lata Mangeshkar"

Read more: C Ramchandra and Seeta - From His Autobiography
 

Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

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Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema, made the first indigenous film. His magnum opus Raja Harishchandra, starring D D Dabke in the title role and an effeminate looking Salunkhe as Taramati, released to rave reviews in Bombay’s Coronation Theatre on May 3, 1913. That heralded the Silent Era in films. And the sound of silence dominated for about two decades.

 

The Thirties

The world economic crisis and the Great Depression of the late 20s fostered another new marvel. Ardeshir Irani, the pioneer of Indian Talkie, made Alam Ara, the first full length Indian talkie film. The film inaugurated a new chapter at the Majestic Cinema on March 14, 1931. Ergo, the ‘Sound’ Era began and the idea of synchronising recorded sound with running pictures clicked.

 

The film had seven songs and only three instruments viz. Harmonium, Tabla and Violin were used in their recording. Wazir Mohammed Khan sang the beautifully worded minstrel song :

 

De de Khuda ke naam pe pyaare, taaqat ho gar dene ki,

Kuch chaahe agar to maangle mujhse, himmat ho gar lene ki.

 

Since then, music lovers haven’t stopped begging for more songs and are reveling in the feast of the flow of good songs, ad infinitum.

Read more: Golden Era of Hindi Film Music
 

Raju Bharatan's Interview with Abhay Exclusively on Anmol Fankaar

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 Raju Bharatan and his wife Girija ji with Abhay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 While growing up and reading Illustrated Weekly of India, I had known about Raju Bharatan who was a pillar of strength for the magazine. But like any other fan of Hindi films staying out of Bombay, film related personalities were only to be seen on screen or to be read about in magazines/newspapers. In 2001, my dear friend late Satish Kalra gave me a book Lata Mangeshkar A Biography by Raju Bharatan. It was my first book on Hindi film music – till then my film related reading had been limited to reading articles in various magazines. It was a very fascinating book with so much inside information not only about Lata but also about inner workings of the film industry. One thing was obvious that the book could have used more editing. It later turned out that  385 page book was written in merely 26 days. In the interview, Rajuji talks in detail about the genesis of the book.

Read more: Raju Bharatan's Interview with Abhay Exclusively on Anmol Fankaar
 

Jaidev

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Jaidev - The Jinxed Genius

(A Heartfelt Tribute on the Maestro’s 26th Death Anniversary)

By Manohar Iyer

 

Chhote se jeevan mein kitna pyar karun, piloon haala,

Aane ke hi saath jagat mein, kehlaya jaanewala;

Swagat ke hi saath vida ki hoti dekhi tayyaari,

Bandd lagi hone khulti hi meri jeevan ‘Madhushala

 

The couplet of Harivanshrai Bachchan from his most famous lyrical works “Madhushala” sums up the excruciating saga of Jaidev, one of the greatest but unsung and unwept composers of yore. It has been 25 years since Jaidev left this cruel world; he left the world when he had just ‘arrived’, his going was as imminent as his ‘coming’, his adieu was forgone in the ‘welcome’ and the closure pre-empted the opening in the bachhanal tavern of his life.

Having endured the fierce onslaught of fate right from the dawn of his sensibilities, what more could he ‘long’ for in life and what more could he ‘crave’ for from the ruthless world.

 

Jag mein jis roz se aaya, badi ruswayee hai,

Jism paaya hai to jeene ki sazaa paayi hai,

 

True to the quote of great maestro Naushad, Jaidev lived to suffer and he suffered to live. Life had been unreasonably unkind to him but death was more than gracious to emancipate him from the catastrophes of life.

Read more: Jaidev
 

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