Monthly Archives: March 2014

Osmania Medical College team wins Hyderabad round



Hyderabad :  

A team from the Osmania Medical College pipped five other short-listed teams at the regional round of Cerebrations, The Hindu Business Line Corporate Quiz 2014, held here on Tuesday.

The winning duo, brothers Syed Murtuza Hashmi and Syed Mustafa Hashmi, first and fourth-year students at the medical college, took early lead and managed to retain it, with the team from Reckitt Benckiser coming a close second and Sai Constructions at the third place. Of the 20 teams that took part in the quiz, six were short-listed after they fielded a general elimination round of 25 questions.

source: / Business Line / Home> News  / The Hindu Bureau / Hyderabad – March 18th, 2014

Films: a profile of a young star Shan Mohammed

First shot, flashback:   A dark theatre. A child weeps bitterly as Amitabh Bachchan dies one of his heroic deaths.

The first turning point came in 2000 when he got in to Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in the editing course.
The first turning point came in 2000 when he got in to Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in the editing course.

Nothing unusual, one would say, even adults sob into their handkerchiefs when something tragic happens in films. But this was one of Shan Mohammed’s early brushes with his calling at an age when ‘A’ stood for both apple and  Amitabh.

Second shot, 24 years later, sometime in last month: A dark corridor in a three-storied apartment; a man with long locks and a baritone introduces himself as the editor of Abbas Tyrewallah’s forthcoming filmJaane Tu…Ya Jaane Naa.

Meet Shan Mohammed, 29, a film editor who typifies the success of a rising tide of youngsters in the new Bollywood, more daring and professional than ever before.
Meet Shan Mohammed, 29, a film editor who typifies the success of a rising tide of youngsters in the new Bollywood, more daring and professional than ever before.

It’s a successful Shan now in deep focus. But unlike his on-screen counterparts, he doesn’t flaunt his laurels. He embodies a segment of youth that has made it big in the flourishing Hindi film industry. Bollywood has become daring. It is experimenting with themes, narrative styles, cast as well as the look and colour of films. The gamble has paid off. Young people are in demand in every department of filmmaking: writing, direction, editing, acting, costumes, set design and special effects. 

“Cut it,” snapped Shan, the editor, visibly embarrassed. “This is my story, not a film script.”

Shan wanted his story to be told without the dramatic frills.

Jaane Tu…, an Aamir Khan production that launches the actor’s nephew Imran Khan was Shan’s first exposure to a mega-bucks project.

“I met Tyrewallah through Raghav Dar, a friend who is now assisting Sanjay Leela Bhansali,” said Shan. “When I read the script, I fell in love with it. I enjoyed working with the director. He is open to ideas and quite flexible.”

Shan didn’t exactly stumble into films. This commerce graduate had gone to Chennai for his articleship when he bumped into renowned cinematographer PC Sreeram at a photo exhibition. For a guy from the Bhilai steel township, filmmaking was a mystery. “Sreeram, upon knowing my interest in films, asked me to assist someone in Mumbai. I was clueless then; didn’t know what to do, whom to approach,” he said.

After coming to Mumbai, he started staying with a school friend whose grandfather had some connections in the film world. Soon Shan was working with Pankaj Advani on a series of 10-minute films titled Bheja Fryfor Channel V.

The first turning point came in 2000 when he got in to Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in the editing course. Those were the years when he saw the best of Indian and world cinema.

In his third year at FTII, Pune, Shaan made Frozen, a black-and-white feature film, by director Shivaji Chandra Bhushan. It was shot in Ladakh during winter.
In his third year at FTII, Pune, Shaan made Frozen, a black-and-white feature film, by director Shivaji Chandra Bhushan. It was shot in Ladakh during winter.

“Even as an editing student I was trying to make forays into Bollywood,” Shan said. “I used to come to Mumbai to edit documentaries, which helped me pay my course fee.” He also got friendly with cinematographer Shankar Raman. During his second year at the film school, Raman introduced him to young filmmaker Sarthak Dasgupta, who was doing his first film called The Great Indian Butterfly. Shan edited this road movie that featured Sandhya Mridul and Aamir Bashir.

More documentaries followed, and finally in third year, Frozen happened. Frozen, a black-and-white feature film, by director Shivaji Chandra Bhushan, was shot in Ladakh during winter.

“It was a great learning experience. About 80 per cent of the film was reconstructed on the editing table. It went on to win five jury awards at various international festivals including Toronto, London and Los Angeles. In India, at the Osean Film Festival last year, it bagged the best jury award,” said Shan, beaming with pride. This year’s MAMI festival also has Frozen on its list.

Shan today commands a six-figure monthly salary, and people are willing to oblige. Tyrewallah has only good things to say: “What’s striking about him is his temperament. He will never lose his cool even when people around him are tearing their hair out. He is also extremely self-motivated and disciplined, and that makes a director’s job easy.”

The other vital thing that Tyrewallah probably doesn’t know is Shan’s ability to keep secrets. Even after coaxing him for a good 15 minutes, all that the editor would say about his next snip job was: “It’s a bilingual period film in Hindi and Tamil; shooting will begin some time in May.”

“Time for pack-up,” said Shan. He would want eight-hours sleep to wade through the rushes the following day.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> India News> India / by Pratik Ghosh, Hindustan Times / Mumbai – March 13th, 2008

Quiet flows the romance

Nawazuddin Siddiqui speaks a subtler language of love than Bollywood is accustomed to, and is all the more effective for it.
Siddiqui’s on-screen romance is definitely of a different brand, but one that many of us can relate to
Siddiqui’s on-screen romance is definitely of a different brand, but one that many of us can relate to

In the 2011 film Dekh Indian Circus, Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of a poor, deaf villager who is exploited by his employers. His kids are unhappy because he cannot afford to give them enough money to watch acircus show.

Then in one the most underplayed scenes, Siddiqui quietly seduces his wife played by Tannishtha Chatterjee. No words are spoken, no songs play and there certainly is no loud orchestral score that pushes the audience to sense the emotions being expressed on the scene.

It is unfortunate the Busan Festival Audience Award-winning film was not released in India. Or else no would have a doubt that Siddiqui (recently referred to as an ‘average’ actor) is one of the most romantic and seductive actors of our times.

In India’s new indie cinema, Siddiqui represents a different language of romance that is quietly spoken all the time, but rarely expressed in Bollywood films that continue to insist on loud proclamation of love through musical numbers (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Siddiqui is a rare actor who has appeared in so many indie films that festivals abroad seem flooded with his work. He had two films at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 (Monsoon Shootout and The Lunchbox) and three in 2012 (Miss Lovely and Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 and 2). I am certain no other Indian actor has had that kind of success at just one film festival.

Earlier this year in January, the Sundance and the Rotterdam Film Festivals played Liar’s Dicein the competition sections, where Siddiqui plays a drifter who goes on a road trip with a woman, her child and their goat.

Hardly any conversation takes place between Siddiqui and his co-star, Geetanjali Thapa. And there is never any romance expressed in the traditional sense. But as Siddiqui starts to care for Thapa’s Kamla and her daughter, an unspoken love starts to develop, something rarely shown in Indian cinema.

In moments like this I find Siddiqui to be a deeply romantic actor. There are similar touches in Siddiqui’s subplot in The Lunchbox. Everyone seems to remember the film for its heartbreaking romance between its lead actors – Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur. But Siddiqui’s Shaikh – an orphan had eloped with the girl he is in love with. He madly cares for her, values the home that he has put together with her and will eventually marry her, and it will be the most important day of his life.

In a way The Lunchbox is the story about two colleagues – one who is young (Siddiqui), buzzing with energy, aspirations and ready to start a new life, and the other (Khan), who is facing the end of the purpose of his existence and sets out to look for the one last chance of hope.

Siddiqui, the actor does not need any introduction to those who watch Hindi films of all shades and budgets. He acted with Aamir Khan in Talaash and will be seen in Salman Khan’s Kick. And word is that he has replaced Farhan Akhtar in the Shah Rukh Khan film Raees. How many actors get a chance like this within a span of few years, while also continue to act in films such as Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, directed by one of the most experimental directors of our times, Buddhadev Dasgupta?

But it is the understated romantic actor in Siddiqui who continues to charm us – the shy Faizal Khan of Gangs of Wasseypur,who suddenly grabs Mohsina’s (Huma Qureshi) hand and is scolded by her. Mohsina’s harsh words bring tears to his eyes, but then she offers him a suggestion. He can hold her hands, but he should seek her permission first.

Siddiqui had told me that the incident had actually happened to him and when he narrated it to Anurag Kashyap, the filmmaker decided to include it in his five-hour long magnum opus. Siddiqui’s on-screen romance is definitely of a different brand, but one that many of us can relate to. It speaks of matters of our hearts.

source: / Mumbai Mirror / Home> Columns / Columnist Aseem Chhabra / March 23rd, 2014 (print BM March 28th, 2014)

Under his broad brood, swifts ready to fledge

With little expertise, wildlife expert Saleem is trying to give them a new lease of life

The city wildlife team is facing an unusual challenge. They have to pull off what is considered a one-in-a-thousand rescue and rehabilitation of young house swifts (Apus nipalensis), which experts term is a touch-and-go situation.

Despite lack of expertise in rehabilitating the house swifts, which are very delicate, the six young ones are being cared for round the clock with great diligence by wildlife rehabilitator Saleem Hameed.

The birds were rescued from the HAL campus on Friday. At present, Saleem feeds them 24 times in 12 hours, once every half an hour.

This is what Saleem said:

“They were eight birds when they came here. They were rescued after a fall from a hangar. The good thing is, they were rescued along with the nest. Sadly, two died soon, but six are alive.

”They are very difficult birds to raise. With a high rate of metabolism, they have to be hand-fed every half an hour and they need attention round the clock at least till they fledge. The feeding starts at 7 in the morning. They are fed an insect diet, Mazuri, shipped down from the US. They are responding well. They need great care and attention, predominantly between 7 am and 7 pm.

”Unlike most birds, these are very sociable and live in huge colonies. In most birds, we find the territorial fight and new ones are not easily accepted. But here, they are accepted soon as they are sociable. As nothing much is known about swifts, we hope these birds which are roughly about 3-4 weeks-old would take a week or two to fledge. Some birds fledge within a month. Sparrows fledge within 14-15 days.

”An interesting thing is that one of them, probably the oldest of the lot, has already started jumping and is trying to fly. He jumps about 2-3 feet. As they fledge, they have to be launched into air to ensure they can join other swifts that are in a colony.”

source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by  Chetan R,  Bangalore Mirror Bureau / March 27th, 2014

Indian scientist gets Order of Merit from German government

Hyderabad :

Eminent Indian scientist Prof Seyed E Hasnain has bagged the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Germany. He served as the founder-director of Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) and vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad.

The award has conferred on Prof Hasnain in recognition of his contribution to Indo-German relations. The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss. It is the only honour that is awarded in all fields of endeavour and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation.

German Ambassador to India, H E Michael Steiner, conferred the prestigious ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’ on Prof. Seyed Hasnain at the German Embassy in India, says a statement from the University of Hyderabad on Thursday. Prof. Hasnain is a renowned microbiologist especially acclaimed for his path-breaking research on tuberculosis. He paved the way for the office of the German Research Foundation in India, which is one of the key forums for scientific cooperation between Germany and India. During his stay at the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin and the University of Wurzburg, he produced remarkable research results in microbiology.

Prof. Hasnain has almost all major Indian Science Awards to his credit: GD Birla Award, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, FICCI Award, J.C. Bose National Fellow Award, Ranbaxy Research Award, Goyal Award, Bhasin Award and several others. He is the first Indian elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and one of the youngest to be elected Fellow of TWAS, Trieste, Italy. Internationally, Prof. Hasnain is a recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Prize, awarded by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, Germany; as well as the very exclusive Robert Koch Fellowship, of the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Hyderabad / by Syed Akbar, TNN / March 13th, 2014

Britain’s Royal Mail releases stamp on Noor Inayat Khan

Britain’s Royal Mail Monday issued a postage stamp of Noor Inayat Khan, the World War II heroine, who was a descendant of Tipu Sultan, the remarkable 19th century ruler of Mysore kingdom.

The stamp – part of a set of 10 stamps in their ‘Remarkable Lives’ series — honours Noor on her centenary year of birth. Others honoured in the set include actor Sir Alec Guinness and the poet Dylan Thomas.

“I am delighted that Royal Mail has commemorated Noor with a stamp,” said Shrabani Basu, author of “Spy Princess, The Life of Noor Inayat Khan”, and the chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust. “It will ensure that her sacrifice and bravery will not be forgotten. ”

Basu campaigned for a memorial for Noor which was unveiled in November 2012 by Princess Anne.

Noor Inayat Khan was born in Moscow in January 1914 to an Indian father, Hazrat Inayat Khan, and an American mother, Ora Ray Baker. The couple had met in the Ramakrishna Mission ashram in America. Hazrat Inayat Khan was a Sufi preacher and musician and travelled the world taking Sufism to the West.

Noor was brought up in Paris and the family moved to London when the city was occupied by the Germans in 1940 during the Second World War. In London, Noor joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and was later recruited for the Special Operations Executive, a secret organisation started by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

She was the first woman radio operator to be flown undercover to Paris and worked from there for three months under the code name Madeleine. However she was betrayed, arrested and finally executed in Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. Though she was tortured and interrogated, she revealed nothing, not even her real name. Her last word as they shot her was “Liberte”! She was only 30.

Noor was posthumously awarded the highest honour, the George Cross, by Britain. France awarded her the Croix de Guerre.

In 2006, President Pranab Mukherjee, then the defence minister of India, paid an official visit to Noor’s family house outside Paris and described her bravery and sacrifice as “inspirational”.

source: / Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India / Home> Media Centre> Articles> Articles in Foreign Media / Malaysia Sun / March 25th, 2014

Your STATION has arrived

Drumming up interestSaad Khan; on the film set, at a railway station (left) / photo: BHagya Prakash K. / The Hindu
Drumming up interestSaad Khan; on the film set, at a railway station (left) / photo: BHagya Prakash K. / The Hindu

Bangalore boy Saad Khan’s Hindi thriller Station, features city locations, cast and crew. He has also given a new meaning to ‘direct marketing’, thinks BHUMIKA K. as he goes to malls to talk to possible audiences

A director uses his gift of the gab to market his Indie film — he stands in a mall talking to passersby, telling them about his film and urging them to watch it. “I’ve been doing this for the last three days and I must have met about 300 people already. About 20 of them bought their ticket online, standing with me, from their phones!,” says filmmaker Saad Khan. That, now, is his station in life.

Khan’s debut feature film Station , which he claims is the first Hindi movie to come out of Bangalore, releases this Friday with the PVR Director’s Rare label attached to it. Khan expresses the same fears and apprehensions any independent filmmaker today, disadvantaged in the sea of marketing gimmicks that bigger films with A-list stars have. “It’s harrowing, seeing independent films being taken off screens because there are only 10 or 15 people at each show,” says the Bangalore-boy. “Mine is an independent film. We don’t have stars, we don’t have Sunny Leone. I think in my next film, I will have six item numbers…the audience is conditioned to having known faces bring them to a film,” he says evidently frustrated.

A mechanical engineer from M.S. Ramaiah College and with no film background, Khan studied filmmaking in the U.S.A. His short film Another Kind of Black was screened at the 2008 Cannes short film category. While still in college here in India, he got interested in theatre, and wrote and directed plays.

He returned from America to land the enviable position of associate director with Bollywood’s Ashutosh Gowariker on Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se . When he came home to Bangalore on a break, everyone he spoke to, kept telling him about the vast talent pool in Bangalore. He never returned to Mumbai, and instead decided to set up CenterStage in 2011 that started off holding film acting workshops. Today they’ve expanded to create, among other things, the improvisational comedy show, The Improv.

Station has been long in the making — the cast of the film is drawn from CenterStage, with the training module for the actors starting in 2011. “Every actor in my film has done theatre. Many of them have acted in commercials. We in fact did elaborate rehearsals before the shoot,” says Saad. The film took almost two years to make.

The film, a Hindi thriller, centres around three psychotic assassins at a waiting room in a deserted railway station. “I love the psychology of a criminal’s perspective…the unravelling of the plot is as enjoyable. We had three editors on board and did nearly 40 cuts so that the narrative won’t be slack,” says Saad. “My actors didn’t shave or bathe for days to get the feel of their character right. They walked empty roads at night, sat at small local bars to observe people around them…they came to rehearsal in a dark state of mind.” He chose to make the film in Hindi “because the film’s visual language and narrative could be driven by it. I didn’t think three assassins could talk English, and I don’t speak Kannada fluently. Moreover Hindi appeals to most of the movie-going audience.” None of his actors spoke Hindi fluently either so they were language coached before dubbing for themselves!


On board Station are actors Siddhanth K. Sundar, model Sameer Kevin Roy, Hardik Sha an actor who’s also the co-producer, and produced by venture capitalist Sumit Ghosh. The film also has a 19-year-old associate producer Neal Bafna, a student of Christ University, who dealt with the everyday logistics of payment of the crew etc. The director however won’t disclose at which railway station they shot. Neither will he reveal the budget.

The film was shot at various locations in Bangalore including Bull Temple Road, Frazer Town, V.V. Puram, Rajajinagar “and wherever the Metro construction is taking place” says Saad.

Bangalore is a place with a heart, he says, recalling how on one of the nights, when the shoot went well into 3 a.m., and they were all craving tea. “We didn’t have caterers because that would be an additional cost. All we would have at that time of the shoot would be chai and biscuit. So a kind lady in the neighbourhood where we shot made us tea at that hour in the morning!”

Station releases March 28 in PVR in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Ranchi, and Ahmedabad.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Bhumika K / March 26th, 2014

Fareed Zakaria : Acclaimed Journalist


Fareed Zakaria is a prominent Indian-American journalist and author.

Early life
Zakaria was born in Mumbai on the 20th of January  1964 to parents Rafiq Zakaria, a politician and  Islamic scholar, and Fatima Zakaria, who was the editor of the Sunday Times of India at that time. In his younger days, he was enrolled in Mumbai’s Cathedral and John Connon School.

Zakarai also enrolled into Yale University, where he participated actively in numerous unions and societies. He was the President of the Yale Political Union, the editor-in-chief of the Yale Political Monthly, and a member of the Scroll and Key society and Party of the Right.

Zakarai graduated from Yale University with Bachelor in Arts. In 1993, he also obtained a P.hD from Harvard University in Political Science.

At the young age of 28, Zakaria became the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine. He held this post for 8 years, before he became the editor of Newsweek International in 2000. During his stint at Newsweek, he wrote his award winning article, Why They Hate Us, which appeared as a headline story on the cover of the October 2001 issue.

Since 2008, Zakaria has also been hosting Fareed Zakaria GPS, which airs worldwide on CNN. He has interviewed numerous high profile leaders and personalities on his show like Barack Obama, King Abdullah II, Dmitry Medvedev, Muammar Gaddafi and the Dalai Lama.

Fareed Zakaria GPS is broadcasted in approximately 200 million homes across the globe and received an Emmy nomination in its first year.

Zakaria has written best-selling books like From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World RoleThe Future of Freedom, and The Post-American World. He was also the co-editor of The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World.

The Anti-Defamation League awarded Zakaria with a Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize in 2005. However, he returned the award to the ADL as a sign of protest after the organisation opposed the building of an Islamic centre  two blocks away from Ground Zero.

In 2010, Zakaria received the the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, by the Government of India. In the same year, he was named as one of the top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy. Zakaria also received a National Magazine Award that year.

Personal life
Zakaria is married to Paula Throckmorton Zakaria, with whom he has one son, Omar and two daughters, Lila and Sofia. Zakaria, a naturalised American citizen, lives with his family in New York.

This biography will be updated regularly.


Fareed Zakaria Website

source: / Home> Author, People / by Jaclyn / August 02nd, 2012

Rare View Mirror

Sharla Bazliel reviews conversation with Waheeda Rehman by Nasreen Munni Kabir.

Her name means “the unique one” and few actors have had a career, and life, quite like Waheeda Rehman. From being discovered by Guru Dutt by sheer accident at the age of 17 to becoming a successful star in Bollywood, to giving it all up one day and moving-toddlers in tow-to a derelict farm on the outskirts of Bangalore with husband, sometime actor Shashi Rekhi, Rehman has done it all. In Conversations With Waheeda Rehman, the actor tells the entire story in her own words, with insightful prompts by filmmaker and writer Nasreen Munni Kabir that prevent the book from turning into a rambling mess.
Conversation with Waheeda Rehman by Nasreen Munni Kabir
Conversation with Waheeda Rehman by Nasreen Munni Kabir



Rehman speaks with honesty and humour and Conversations is filled with interesting anecdotes about her experience of working with artistes such as Satyajit Ray (who first brought up the subject of wanting to make Guide), Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand (who was perpetually late), her friendship with stars such as Nargis, Sunil Dutt and Nanda and her adventures living off the land. Bollywood buffs and collectors of film trivia can look forward to her insights into the craft of filmmaking and an entertaining behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of the key films in Indian cinema.

Although her personal story is fascinating, the heart of the book lies in a few pages about Guru Dutt. With her natural talent and  haunting beauty, Rehman brought to life some of Indian cinema’s most iconic characters-Gulaabo, Shanti and Rosie-but no story about the actor is considered complete without reference to the doomed director who committed suicide in 1964. Although Rehman acknowledges this curiosity, her answers sixty years later remain shrouded in layers.

Waheeda Rehman. / Pic by Rohit Chawla
Waheeda Rehman. / Pic by Rohit Chawla
Guruduttji was sitting in a distributor’s office (in Hyderabad) when they heard a commotion outside. Guruduttji asked him if there was some trouble on the street and he was told the stars of a popular Telugu film were passing by and excited fans were making the commotion. The distributor then added: ‘A new girl has performed a song in the film. It has caused a sensation. When the stars go on to the stage, the audience demands to see this young girl. Her name is Waheeda Rehman.’ Guruduttji was surprised: ‘Waheeda Rehman? That’s a Muslim name. Does she speak Urdu?’ ‘I hear she also speaks Telugu and Tamil.’… That’s when Guruduttji told the distributor he would like to meet me because he was looking for new actors to cast in his next production. The distributor then called Mr Prasad to set up a meeting. Mr Prasad had not heard of Guruduttji. Very few people in the south had heard of him in the mid-fifties. I think there weren’t many film magazines at the time and in any case no one in my family read them, so we were unaware of his name. The distributor explained to Mr Prasad that his friend was a well-known Bombay director and had made a number of successful films. Then Mr Prasad called my mother and told us that Guruduttji wanted to meet me. My mother and I made our way to the distributor’s office the next day. I think the meeting lasted about half an hour. Guruduttji hardly spoke. He asked us a few questions in Hindi: Such as where we were from. That was it.
We went back to the hotel where we were staying. When Mr Prasad asked about the meeting, my mother commented that Guruduttji said very little. Mr Prasad said some people were just made like that. We returned home to Madras a few days later.

He hadn’t seen the film. He had no idea what I looked like on camera. He heard my name and asked to meet me without having seen me at all. There was no reason why the distributor had to mention me in the first place. So how could I not believe it was destiny?
After our first meeting in Hyderabad, three months went by and then someone came to see us at our home in Madras. He said he was from Bombay. I think he was a film distributor. He said he had come on behalf of the director whom we had met in Hyderabad. Of course, by that time, we had even forgotten Guruduttji’s name, to which our visitor said: ‘Well, Guru Dutt has asked me to take you to Bombay. He wants to sign you.’ My mother was most surprised and decided to discuss the idea with her friends. They advised her to say Bismillah and go. She was very reluctant. Bombay was like a foreign country to us. As usual she asked Mr Prasad for his advice and he said: ‘Go, Mrs Rehman. There’s no harm if she works in Bombay, but remember she is not a slave. Don’t agree to all their demands. If you don’t agree to something, say it. If you don’t like living there, come back. Just don’t get intimidated.’ So the three of us-my mother, a family friend who was called Mr Lingam and I-landed in Bombay at the end of 1955. We stayed at the Ritz Hotel in Churchgate.
It was finally agreed at the next meeting that I could keep my own name. They asked my mother to go ahead and sign the contract… as I was under eighteen. Just before she could put pen to paper, I said: ‘I’d like to add something to the contract.’ (Director) Raj Khosla was surprised: ‘Newcomers don’t usually make demands. Just sign.’ Guruduttji kept silent. Then I told them if I did not like any costumes, I would not wear them. Guruduttji sat up. Then he said in his quiet voice: ‘I don’t make films of that kind. Have you seen any of my films?’

‘All right. Mr & Mrs ’55 is running in town. Go and see it. We’ll talk about the costumes later.’
A shot from Waheeda Rehman's first hindi film C.I.D., with Dev Anand
A shot from Waheeda Rehman’s first hindi film C.I.D., with Dev Anand
We were given cinema tickets and we went to see Mr & Mrs ’55. The following day we returned to the office. We said there was nothing wrong with the costumes…But I said I still wanted the clause about costumes added. Raj Khosla looked at Guruduttji and said: ‘This is amazing, Guru. You’re listening to this girl and not saying anything. The choice of costumes depends on the scene and not on the actress.’ I can’t believe I was so outspoken, but I insisted: ‘When I am older, I might decide to wear a swimsuit. I won’t now because I am very shy.’ Raj Khosla retorted: ‘If you’re so shy, why do you want to work in films?’ I said calmly: ‘I haven’t come here of my own accord. You called us.’ No decision was made. We were driven back to the Ritz Hotel. The next day we went back to the office. The clause about my costumes was added and my mother signed my three-year contract with Guru Dutt Films.



Everyone makes films that don’t work. His sister Lalli [the artist Lalitha Lajmi] told me once that Guruduttji suffered from depression. In the last years of his life he was very confused. We could all see that. He was unhappy. But no one realised just how depressed he was. He started a film called Raaz in which I starred opposite Sunil Dutt… I shot many good scenes, but Guruduttji shelved the film. When we asked why, he said: ‘Nahin jam raha hai.’ [It isnt working.] Then he started Gauri with Geeta (his wife) who wanted to act. He shelved that too.

My husband suffered from depression as well and we didn’t realise it. He started losing interest in everything. He didn’t want to meet people and basically didnt feel like doing anything. In the same way, no one knew how Guruduttji was really feeling.

Waheeda Rehman with Guru Dutt in Pyaasa
Waheeda Rehman with Guru Dutt in Pyaasa
His death was a mystery-no one knew for sure whether it was a suicide or an accident-there was much curiosity. His death was such a shock to us all. He was only thirty-nine. He was young. The question everyone asked was: ‘Why did he have to die like that?’ None of my film colleagues have ever asked me personal question about our relationship. It was always other people and the press who were curious, and still are, almost sixty years later. I know we are public figures, but I strongly believe my private life should remain private. What ultimately matters and concerns the world is the work we leave behind.
To read more, get your copy of India Today here.

source: / / Home> Archives> Leisure / by Sharla Bazliel / March 21st, 2014

India-born British ‘curry queen’ hunts for new backers

London :

An India-born British ‘curry queen’ who made her name supplying ready-made Indian meals to supermarkets and pubs in the UK is looking for new backers for her food empire.

Perween Warsi, who moved to the UK from India in the 1970s, wants to expand her S&A Foods firm with an injection of fresh funds.

Advisers from PriceWaterhouseCoopers firm have been hired to lead the search for the company, she set up nearly 30 years ago, from her kitchen, according to the Sunday Times.

The Derby-based caterer, which has 600 staff, makes Indian curry dishes for UK supermarkets including the chain Asda, its biggest customer.

Sales last year were 51 million pounds with pre-tax profits of almost £700,000.

Warsi was famously inspired to start the company after being appalled by the quality of a samosa she had bought from a supermarket.

She founded S&A Foods in 1986 by supplying her local Indian takeaway and the following year had her big break after persuading several large grocery chains to include her food in a series of taste tests.

Warsi was producing the curries from home but, after beating several established food manufacturers in the tests, was persuaded to open a factory.

She was honoured with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002.

S&A Foods confirmed it was “seeking partners” to fund future expansion and new production facilities.

source: / The Times of India / Home> NRI> Other News / by PTI / March 09th, 2014