December 2010

Guru Dutt

By |December 21st, 2010|

Suffused with the dark poetry of the death wish, Dutt’s classics were nihilistic, self-portraits of the artiste as a depressed, disturbed and deluded young man.

Surprisingly, Guru Dutt Padukone’s childhood could have hardly been more normal. Born near Bangalore, of middle-class but intellectual parents, he […]

October 2010

Munawwar Sultana – Profile

By |October 2nd, 2010|

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Munawwar Sultana (not to be confused with Pakistani playback singer from the same time period) was a Bollywood actress who was popular in the late 40s. She started her career probably around early 40’s under the filmi name […]

September 2010

Shakeela – Profile

By |September 26th, 2010|

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At a filmi function, the evergreen Dev Anand politely greeted a lady and then went right back to socializing with others. The lady approached him, smiled warmly and this time introduced herself as Shakila, his leading lady in his […]

Swaranlata (1924 – 2008)

By |September 18th, 2010|

Swaranlata, known to the world as the ‘tragedy queen’ of her time, was born into a Sikh Syal family in Rawalpindi as the youngest of many siblings. She lost her mother at the time of birth and was brought up by her eldest brother, […]

Kishore Sahu (1915 – 1980)

By |September 6th, 2010|

Hindi actor, writer, director and producer born in Durg, MP. Son of the Raja of Raigarh’s chief minister. Degree in literature from the University of Nagpur (1937). Wrote many short stories. Started as actor in Bombay Talkies playing ineffectual lover opposite Devika Rani in […]

Sitara Devi (B. 1919)

By |September 6th, 2010|

Actress born in Calcutta. One of the foremost exponents of classical Kathak dance, with notable appearances as a dancer in early Mehboob films. Daughter of Sukhdev Maharaj of Benares, former court musician at Nepal, she was trained by her father and by Achan Maharaj […]

Master Vithal (d. 1969)

By |September 4th, 2010|

Master Vithal was an actor who happened to be on the path of the juggernaut of Hindi cinema history. As the hero of the first Indian talkie, Alam Ara, Vithal witnessed the same force that elevated him to a permanent place in film annals, […]

Himanshu Rai (1896 – 1940)

By |September 4th, 2010|

If Phalke is credited with pioneering the production of films in India, Himanshu Rai is generally lauded for lending sophistication to the nascent craft. The founder of Bombay Talkies was indeed a true visionary with ideas forever fermenting in his head.

The westward-leaning Rai became […]

Gope (1914 – 1957)

By |September 4th, 2010|

Beginning his career in the early 1930s, Gope Kamlani went on to become one of Hindi cinemas most popular comedians. Such was his appeal that at the height of his career, he shared credits with the films lead actors.

One of nine children, Gope completed […]

July 2010

Simple Kapadia

By |July 21st, 2010|

Born on August 15, 1958, Simple was the younger sister of actress Dimple Kapadia. She started her career at the early age of 18 and made her debut with Rajesh Khanna in Anurodh in 1977. However, she failed to establish herself as a prominent […]