Categories
Revisiting History

Adieu to (S T) Parikh saheb

Shri S T (Shrish Trilokchandra) Parikh’s long, live; vigil came to an end on 31st July 2015. His own fairly chronic illness, his wife (Surkhabhabhi)’s critical ill-health and her parting the long company last year also did not affect his ever so equanimous, take-each-event-of-the-life-as-it-happens approach to his life.

Whenever I met or talked to him in last three / four years, this was one more facet of his personality that I did observe. In fact it is a plus to many qualities of his personality that I would reel off. When I talked to him last week and promised to meet soon enough, his tone and tenor were, as-ever, so balanced – without any rancor – and pleasant enough. In the hindsight now, I so much regret that I took his so strongly positive attitude towards life as as-is-usual-well signal and not took up my inner urge to visit him there and then.

In fact, I now so clearly recollect that even during our period together at Gujarat Steel Tubes (1973 to 1979), he had never complained of things that he would be involved with, things that no one in the organization would (or could handle), things that would keep life not smooth for even a short period. He would approach all such unexpected trouble-monger events with his, as-usual, cool and calm analytical approach, observe the event and the happenings under – or behind – such events minutely and formulate a decision objectively. Most of the decisions would appear to be out-of-box ones to the others. This invariably called for a great amount of convincing to all, but he would approach each discussion with same vigor and meticulousness, without any trace of exasperation, or for that matter, even frustration, which any other human being, in the similar circumstances, would (sometimes) feel.

For me, personally, the loss is quite profound. That he was one single person who made me what I professionally am can be called THE understatement of my life. When I reflect, I can so vividly see how painstaking and loving he was in those formative years of mine at Gujarat Steel Tubes.

He would give me a set of figures of allocation of steel and ask to me to tabulate them. Initially, I would invariably make some error in my totaling up. He would very gently show those mistakes while explaining the pattern of allocation among the different steel tube manufacturers as well its implications for GST in particular and the Steel Tube Industry in general. It was his way of directing me to take care of very small details while giving me the benefit of his expertise in the macro analysis of the Steel Industry.

For every new task that he would choose to entrust me, he would make sure that I certainly knew of the unspoken backing of his position in the company but also subtly made sure to the concerned outside world also would know it too that I carried his confidence, and hence his authority.

He chose to invest his confidence in me, and then went all the way. I feel happy that I have been able to repay his efforts, to some degree, in turn by helping careers of several of my colleagues.

I can fill millions of bytes to recollect such seemingly very insignificant, but so ever vital events that helped build the foundation of my career.

He was a natural network builder. This was one quality of his that just did not permeate through the filters of my own personality. Almost all these years, it was, invariably, he who would call me up at fairly regular interval, even when I inveterately failed to take the next call first.

He was always a low-key player, never played his own drum and hardly cared whether someone would take cognizance of his contribution(s).

Well everything that begins has to end. So does a great life that may never get the due that so much was deserved, in so many words. But, Parikh saheb always took such things in his stride, and still never missed a beat in the rhythm of his life.

Categories
CHANGE I Liked Innovation Revisiting History

Moore’s Law – 50 years.. and Beyond

clip_image001

clip_image003Around 19th April, 1965, Gordon E. Moore made a prediction, in his article- Cramming more components onto integrated circuits – that set the pace for modern digital revolution. Moore studied the emerging trend and conclusively extrapolated the ideas into a single organizing principle that foresaw the computing power to increase, and its cost to go down, exponentially in the years to come.

When the law has turned 50, as can be expected, there would be a range of reviews.

We have collected some of these reviews here in this post. –

Moore’s Law Turns 50Thomas L. Friedman

‘Intel’s C.E.O., Brian Krzanich summarized where Moore’s Law has taken us. If you took Intel’s first generation microchip, the 1971 4004, and the latest chip Intel has on the market today, the fifth-generation Core i5 processor, he said, you can see the power of Moore’s Law at work: Intel’s latest chip offers 3,500 times more performance, is 90,000 times more energy efficient and about 60,000 times lower cost.

‘To put that another way, Krzanich said Intel engineers did a rough calculation of what would happen had a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle improved at the same rate as microchips did under Moore’s Law: “Here are the numbers: [Today] you would be able to go with that car 300,000 miles per hour. You would get two million miles per gallon of gas, and all that for the mere cost of 4 cents! Now, you’d still be stuck on the [Highway] 101 getting here tonight, but, boy, in every opening you’d be going 300,000 miles an hour!”

‘Moore pretty much anticipated the personal computer, the cellphone, self-driving cars, the iPad, Big Data and the Apple Watch. How did he do that? (The only thing he missed, Friedman jokingly told him, was “microwave popcorn.”). But “I guess one thing I’ve learned is once you’ve made a successful prediction, avoid making another one,” Moore said. “I’ve avoided opportunities to predict the next 10 or 50 years.”

‘Given that, is there something that he wishes he had predicted — like Moore’s Law — but did not?…“The importance of the Internet surprised me,” said Moore. “It looked like it was going to be just another minor communications network that solved certain problems. I didn’t realize it was going to open up a whole universe of new opportunities, and it certainly has. I wish I had predicted that.”

‘Moore is still humble. Moore said that for the first two decades, he couldn’t utter the term “Moore’s Law” because it was so embarrassing. After that, he was eventually able to say it with a straight face, he said.

‘Asked if Moore’s Law or Murphy’s Law were more popular on Google, Moore said, “Oh, Moore’s Law beats it by a mile.”’

Fueling Innovation We Love and Depend On

Economic Impact

‘As more transistors fit into smaller spaces, processing power increased and energy efficiency improved, all at a lower cost for the end user. This development not only enhanced existing industries and increased productivity, but it has spawned whole new industries empowered by cheap and powerful computing.

Technological Impact

From the Internet itself, to social media and modern data analytics, all these innovations stem directly from Moore and his findings.

Societal Impact

The inexpensive, ubiquitous computing rapidly expanding all around us is fundamentally changing the way we work, play and communicate…..In fact, it’s quite difficult to envision what our modern world might be like without Moore’s Law.


clip_image004


SPECIAL REPORT: 50 Years of Moore’s Law : the end won’t be sudden and apocalyptic but rather gradual and complicated. Moore’s Law truly is the gift that keeps on giving—and surprising, as well.

The Multiple Lives of Moore’s Law By Chris Mack

In 1959 and 1960s, Jean Hoerni of Fairchild invented the planar transistor—a form of transistor that was constructed in the plane of the silicon wafer instead of on a raised plateau, or mesa, of silicon. … With this configuration, engineers could build wires above the transistors to connect them and so make an “integrated circuit” in one fell swoop on the same chip. ..Robert Noyce showed that planar transistors could be used to make an integrated circuit as a solid block, by coating the transistors with an insulating layer of oxide and then adding aluminum to connect the devices. Fairchild used this new architecture to build the first silicon integrated circuit, which was announced in 1961 and contained a whopping four transistors. By 1965, the company was getting ready to release a chip with roughly 64 components…. Armed with this knowledge, Moore opened his 1965 paper with a bold statement: “The future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself.” ….. Moore’s prediction was about the number of electronic components—not just transistors but also devices such as resistors, capacitors, and diodes. Many early integrated circuits actually had more resistors than transistors. Later, metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) circuitry, which relied less on nontransistor components, emerged, and the digital age began. Transistors dominated, and their number became the more useful measure of integrated circuit complexity.

Ten years later, Moore revisited his prediction and revised it. …. For a while at least, shrinking transistors offered something that rarely happens in the world of engineering: no trade-offs. Thanks to a scaling rule named for IBM engineer Robert Dennard, every successive transistor generation was better than the last. A shrinking transistor not only allowed more components to be crammed onto an integrated circuit but also made those transistors faster and less power hungry…..This single factor has been responsible for much of the staying power of Moore’s Law, and it’s lasted through two very different incarnations. In the early days, Moore’s Law 1.0, progress came by “scaling up”—adding more components to a chip. The microprocessor, which emerged in the early 1970s, exemplifies this phase…. But over the last few decades, progress in the semiconductor industry became dominated by Moore’s Law 2.0. This era is all about “scaling down,” driving down the size and cost of transistors even if the number of transistors per chip does not go up… In the 1980s and early 1990s, the technology generations, or “nodes,” that define progress in the industry were named after dynamic RAM generations: In 1989, for example, we had the 4-megabyte DRAM node; in 1992, the 16-MB node. Each generation meant greater capability within a single chip as more and more transistors were added without raising the cost….. Moore’s Law 1.0 is still alive today in the highest-end graphics processing units, field-programmable gate arrays, and perhaps a handful of the microprocessors aimed at supercomputers. But for everything else, Moore’s Law 2.0 dominates. And now it’s in the process of changing again.

This change is happening because the benefits of miniaturization are progressively falling away… for the last decade or so, Moore’s Law has been more about cost than performance; we make transistors smaller in order to make them cheaper…. The three factors—improved yields, larger wafers, and rising equipment productivity—have allowed chipmakers to make chips denser and denser for decades while keeping the cost per area nearly the same and reducing the cost per transistor. But now, this trend may be ending. And it’s largely because lithography has gotten more expensive.

Going forward, innovations in semiconductors will continue, but they won’t systematically lower transistor costs. Instead, progress will be defined by new forms of integration: gathering together disparate capabilities on a single chip to lower the system cost. ..we’re not looking at combining different pieces of logic into one, bigger chip. Rather, we’re talking about uniting the non-logic functions that have historically stayed separate from our silicon chips….. Chip designers have just begun exploring how to integrate microelectromechanical systems, which can be used to make tiny accelerometers, gyroscopes, and even relay logic. The same goes for microfluidic sensors, which can be used to perform biological assays and environmental tests… But this new phase of Moore’s Law—what I call Moore’s Law 3.0 and what others in the semiconductor industry call “more than Moore”—may not make economic sense. Integrating nonstandard components onto a chip offers many exciting opportunities for new products and capabilities. What it doesn’t offer is the regular, predictable road map for continued success.


clip_image006


Moore’s Curse – By Vaclav Smil

There is a dark side to the revolution in electronics: unjustified technological expectations.. We are assured that rapid progress will soon bring self-driving electric cars, hypersonic airplanes, individually tailored cancer cures, and instant three-dimensional printing of hearts and kidneys. We are even told it will pave the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies….. But the doubling time for transistor density is no guide to technical progress generally. Modern life depends on many processes that improve rather slowly, not least the production of food and energy and the transportation of people and goods. There is no shortage of historical data to illustrate this reality,…. Outside the microchip-dominated world, innovation simply does not obey Moore’s Law, proceeding at rates that are lower by an order of magnitude.


The End of Moore’s Law? – By Charles C. Mann on May 1, 2000

The current economic boom is likely due to increases in computing speed and decreases in price. The article discusses some good reasons to think that the party may be ending.


Life Beyond Moore’s Law – Michael Feldman, Intersect360 Research – may lie in a number of technological developments that are already emerging. These developments – new architectures, processor integration, and 3D chip stacking – are all ways to use transistor real estate more effectively, and are being employed today to improve power and performance profiles beyond what can be delivered by Moore’s Law alone. Given that, it’s reasonable to expect that once transistor sizes become static, these strategies will become even more appealing.


The End Of Moore’s Law? Or The End Of The American Entrepreneurial Spirit?Gil Press

I predict that Moore’s Law will endure as long as the (American) entrepreneurial spirit will endure


Moore’s Law is dead, long live Moore’s LawBy Joel Hruska on April 16, 2015

After 50 years, Moore’s Law has become cultural shorthand for innovation itself. When Intel, or Nvidia, or Samsung refer to Moore’s Law in this context, they’re referring to the continuous application of decades of knowledge and ingenuity across hundreds of products. It’s a way of acknowledging the tremendous collaboration that continues to occur from the fab line to the living room, the result of painstaking research aimed to bring a platform’s capabilities a little more in line with what users want. Is that marketing? You bet. But it’s not just marketing.

Moore’s Law is dead. Long live Moore’s Law.


All images are adapted from net. The inherent rights to these images and the articles remain vested with the originators.

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 4 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first three of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow,  First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema and Marriage and Life with Saira Banu – on  5 February. 19 February and 5 March 2015, respectively.  We carry on to the concluding part….


Reminiscences

image

Dilip Kumar did not speak about his achievements and social service, as his wont, while narrating this autobiography. Hence this section explores insights into the man and his working style, through the personal and professional experiences of actors, directors, eminent friends, relatives and others who have had occasions to come into contact with him.

We glance through the representative ones of these here:

Raihan Ahmed – Saira Banu’s brother Sultan’s son

‘Travelling with Yousuf Uncle is guaranteed fun and adventure…Road trips were the best as he would make us try all kinds of street food…He has the ability of blending with any age group… Kite flying with Yousuf Unlce is an experience only a few lucky people can mention… Few people know that he is a great magician and has a box full of tricks..

Shabana Azmi

The first image that comes to mind.. is dignity.. He has entertained without ever having to resort to crudity…Dilip Kumar showed us how the subtext can be revealed, how to play against the emotion, how less is more and how simulated spontaneity can be as effective as real thing…

V. Babasaheb – A cinematographer by profession, who filmed Gunga Jumna

I knew it would be a great achievement in my track record if a sequence came alive on the way Dilip Saheb had visualized….He had calculated the speed of the train and the galloping of horses precisely..Saheb then explained to me he wanted the camera to be tied beneath door of the compartment to capture the hooves of the galloping horses raising dust as they advanced parallel to the running train. He strapped me to the floor of the doorway of the compartment in such a manner that I could operate it from that position and get the shots……..The scene I can never forget is Ganga’s death scene

He was going to take several rounds of the studio..running…in order to be out of breath… when he entered the house and gave the climax shot….I missed the initial timing..he was angry.. but he complied with.. a retake. He went through the whole gamut gain and with more intensity the second time and we canned the shot.

Amitabh Bachchan

…No art in the entire universe can ever exist, flourish or even take birth without an ‘unconscious assimilation’ of influence that eventually propels it to its creation… I believe that what (Mr. Dilip Kumar) is what was and is, correct, right and the best…The history of Indian Cinema shall.. be ‘before Dilip Sahab’ and ‘after Dilip Sahab’.

Jaya Bachchan

Dilip Sahab has expertly used the eloquence of silence in some of his iconic performances in a way no actor before him had.

Chandrashekhar

…(Dilip Kumar) would be equally concerned to raise funds for the needy artistes and workers; the first cheque always came from him. The Film Industry Welfare Trust and superannuation schemes for old, retired artistes were his initiatives..

Yash Chopra

Dilip Sahab is not a method actor as many artistes think. He is a spontaneous actor who draws from inner emotional reserves when he performs .. marvellous dramatic sense…He was extremely serious about his work; emotions just surfaced naturally when he was before the camera. In the final take, therefore, he invariably did what he felt was best..

Sitara Devi

Dilip Bhai was, and still is, a shy man. The only time I felt he was drawn to a co-star was when worked with Kamini Kushal… The only reason why Dilip Bhai did not attend the premiere of Mughal-e-Azam and even refused to see the movie at trial show was because (K.) Asif had betrayed his trust (when [his younger sister] Akhtar chose to marry a much-married [first marriage with Sitara Devi and second one with Nigar Sultana], man twice her age).

Subhash Ghai

I had a subject…After hearing me out, he said nothing… on the fourth day..he smiled and told me the story had potential and he would consider working in it…people started asking me questions if what they heard was true.. the look on their faces would convey:”This is the end of your career.”.. he will make you sit somewhere outside the set and direct the film himself.. and by the time the movie is completed, you will have aged because he takes years to complete a film…. All through the making of Vidhaata (1982), Dilip Sahab paid great attention to my visualization of shots and cooperated to such an extent that the film was completed a month ahead of schedule…. I feel proud that I made three films (Vidhaata, Karma and Saudagar) with Dilip Sahab in the central role.

Dr. Shrikant Gokhale – personal physician (and a friend as well) for four decades

I have always seen the respect he gives to his admirers…It pains him when he sees street urchins and little girls who come and press their smiling faces against the car window at the traffic signals.. he gives generously… but they don’t know he is concerned and disturbed about their hapless condition.

Kamal Haasan

…I was able to appreciate the Western actors and the refinement of their acting after I watched (Dilip Kumar’s) films. It began to crystallize in my understanding of the eloquence of the medium that a mere look or sheer silence can convey so much and so powerfully…

imageI am and always will be amazed by the layers of emotion he evoked in the viewer when, he, as Price Salim (in Mughal-e-Azam) simply sat in the royal durbar, saying nothing, and doing nothing as Anarkali performed the provocative Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya number.

Anil Kapoor

…My father (Surinder Kapoor)..told me that Dilip Sahab never wasted his time in frivolous gossips.. he spent his time with writers and intellectually advanced people with whom he can make intelligent conversation and exchange meaningful thoughts… that Dulip Shab had more friends outside the industry than within because he disliked talking shop and never encouraged hangers-on….

Rishi Kapoor

Yousuf Uncle and papa (Raj Kapoor) shared an eternal fraternal relationship, which nobody could fathom or believe. They were in competition with each other as stars and yet they loved each other as though they were born to same parents…..We were filming Prem Rog(1982).I had to bring an intense expression of a despondent lover, and hard as I was trying, Raj Kapoor, the director, was not getting..what he wanted…he shouted at me..”Mujhe Yousf Chahiye”…When Yosuf Uncle was facing the brunt of Balasaheb Thackeray’s… objection to his receiving the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Pakistan Government. Yousuf Unlce said in an interview, “I miss my friend Raj today more than on any occasion. He could not let this agitation about me or any other artiste go unanswered.”

Manoj Kumar

The greatest quality Dilip Sahab possesses is his ungrudging admiration for the achievements of others in the profession. In an interview [during the shooting of Kranti (1981)], he was giving the example of Raj Kapoor as an inspiration for the generations of film aspirants to look up to.

Lata Mangeshkar

…When (Dilip Bhai) found out that I am a Maharshtrian is something that I cherish because it made me seek the perfection I then lacked in my Hindi and Urdu diction, he very truthfully said that singers who were not conversant with Urdu language invariably tripped in pronunciation of the words derived from the language and spoiled the listening pleasure of those who enjoyed the lyric as much as the melody….So, in the first meeting, Yousuf Bhai gave a gift unknowingly and unhesitantly…Salil Chuadhary gave an opportunity to sing a duet with Yousuf Bhai for Musafir (1947) – Lagi Nahi Chhute – and it was a memorable experience to observe the pains he took to sing faultlessly.

Ram Mukherjee – Director of the film Leader

Dilip Sahab’s love for his fans is something no star of his time or later could match. He says : “When an unfamiliar had claps mine and I feel the warmth of genuine adulation that clasp I feel a deep sense of reward for all the hard work I put in for a performance which no award can give me….”..If you watch Leader today you will find some of the lines spoken by Dilip Sahab so relevant to the present political climate.

Veera Rao – a well-known social service personality

When Dilip Sahab took over as the chairman of NAB, the great challenge was to generate funds…It did not take Dilip Sahab more than a minute to welcome the idea ..of NAB train in which people would travel with Dilip Kumar… for the ten years the train ran.. Dilip Sahab never let (the project) down…..At one large event for school children at the Brabourne Stadium … Dilip Sahab was alone was not without sunglasses… (when asked) why he never shielded his eyes from the sun, to which he said : “I like to talk to people without hiding my eyes.”

Waheeda Rehman

It was a mystery to me why Dilip Sahab did not give his name as director in the film credits when all the hard work behind the camera was being done by him…There have been two regrets…he could not work with Satyajit Ray as we as in Pyaasa (1957).

Harish Salve

God gave His children memory

That in life’s garden there might be

June roses in December……

Sharmila Tagore

Seven decades after his first film Jwar Bhata, and sixteen years after he acted in his last production, he continues to the final word in screen acting, someone who inspires awe and respect….Actors like Motilal and Ashok Kumar had already begun weeding out the theatrical elements from the film acting by late 1940s, but it was with Dilip Kumar that it became the norm…He demonstrated that it was not necessary to raise one’s voice to be heard….He introduced novel innovations such as acting crucial scenes with his back to the camera, using only his voice…He gave film acting a kind of layered edge, which was marked by self-conscious histrionics till that point of time. Many actors have tried to copy his style over the years and rightfully so, as I feel there is much to learn from his school of acting…

Vyjayantimala

I must describe the first scene I enacted with Dilip Sahab on the sets of Devdas. The scene had a very simple dialogue – Aur Mat Piyo, Devdas – for me. I had to say the line when Devdas would stagger in completely inebriated, the camera was to capture Devdas and then follow him and turn its focus on me when I spoke that line with an expression of anguish and helplessness… As the technicians announce their readiness to shoot and Bimalda looked at me to know if I was ready, I realized that Dilip Sahab was not on the sets…One assistant whispered that he was taking brisk rounds of the studio to get that tired, weary look.. he had instructed cameraman to be ready to start the camera when would stagger in….When the camera started and I saw the incredible perfection to Dilip Sahab’s performance, all I could do was to speak helplessly the line: Aur Mat Piyo, Devdas. The helpless look on my face was what Bimalda wanted, and it came quite naturally…..

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 3 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first  two of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow  and First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema – on  5 February and 19 February 2015, respectively.  We carry on to the third part….


Marriage and Life with Saira Banu

imageimage

Dilip Kumar has devoted five chapters of the book to passionately narrate his marriage and life with her wife, Saira Banu. The chapters The Woman In My Life, The Big Day, Celebrations Galore, Taking Care Of Saira, The Husband And Wife Team respectively present his intimate narration of his proposal to marriage, festive atmosphere, the marriage ceremony, life with Saira Banu and his four-film stint with her.

Naseem Banu, Saira’s mother, would always be invited by Dilip Kumar’s sister Akhtar. On one such evening, Saira, who was on a visit to India during her school days, had accompanied her mother to Khan Residence. Apparently, Saira had seen Aan and brewing a storm of liking Dilip Kumar. Possibly as result, she took upon to learn pristine Urdu and Persian. In this initial phase Dilip Kumar did not give “any importance” to this crush.

When discussions for casting for Dil Diya Dard Liya (eventually released in 1966) was on, Dilip Kumar dodged the idea of her working with him because he was ‘so much older’ to her. After her maiden venture Junglee (1961), in due course of her career, she was paired to all successful leading men of the time – Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Joy Mukherjee, Manoj Kumar. Since she was still not paired with Dilip Kumar, there was huge demand for such a film. One such project was Mehboob Khan’s Habba Khatoon. Dilip Kumar ultimately withdrew from Habba Khatoom as he could not foresee himself doing Yousuf Chak’s (Habba Khatoon’s husband) character, which had some slants of negativity. He did have a special subject in his mind where pairing would be ideal and perfect. However, as the wait went to become rather lengthy, Saira did get ‘very annoyed’ with Dilip Kumar. ‘The polite, gracious and well-bred young lady was turning into an angry tigress..’

She was also suggested for a role in Ram Aur Shyam, against the character of timid among the two twin brothers. Dilip Kuamr had voiced his opinion to the producer of ram Aur Shyam that she was too delicate and innocent in appearance for a character that had to have loads of seductive appeal and a bold, buxom appearance. The role ultimately went in favour of Mumtaz.

imageIt was when Ram Aur Shyam was progressing hectically, that Dilip Kumar received an invitation form Naseem Banu, Saira’s mother, to join in the celebrations of Saira’s birthday. When he entered the beautiful garden of the Naseem Banu’s house, his eyes fell on a ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ looking Saira Banu. He was taken aback; because she no longer looked the young girl he had consciously avoided to be his heroine. She had indeed grown to full womanhood and was more beautiful in reality. He simply stepped forward and shook her hand, and time stood still. It did not take an instant for Dilip Kumar to realize that “she was the one Destiny had been knowingly reserving as his real-life partner while he refused to pair with her on screen. He found her to be intrinsically very Indian and rooted to her native culture.

During the filming of Azaad, Dilip Kumar happened to meet an astrologer. He predicted that ‘Dilip Kumar would marry in his forties; his bride would be half his age, as fair and beautiful as moon, would be from same profession. Soon after the marriage, she would take blow of his ‘karmas’ with a prolonged and near-fatal illness to absolve me, and that she would go through it ungrudgingly.’ The first part of the prediction had rang true, would then second part also come home?

To cut the long story short, Dilip Kumar formally proposed to Saira Banu. Obviously, the news spread like wild fire thereafter.

imageThey were married on 11 October, 1966. Having remained a confirmed, eligible bachelor for so long, did Dilip Kumar have any trepidation or any qualms as he walked into the married life? Dilip Kumar states No quite firmly. Instead, what he felt was a serene calm and tranquillity, as though having reached a safe Heaven of Peace, for he now had the person who would share his life and would be his very own.

The marriage was a surprise to all those who knew him. Naushad was the only one who had forthrightly asked if he wasn’t making a mistake. However, Dilip Kumar was firm in his conviction that he had considered the step with serious introspection. The nikah was beautiful – all his loved and dear ones (including Raj Kapoor who had made good his wow to walk in to the house on his knees without a moment’s hesitation) chipping in the mood of boisterous joy.

During their honeymoon at Bhutan Saira Banu had taken suddenly ill – being asphyxiated by the carbon monoxide in a small cabin of a log-house. Were that astrologer’s predictions going to ring true?

In the initial period of their marriage, the domestic life of the family was quite tough on Saira Banu. The stress had begun to tell on her health and she was taken quite ill with ulcerative colitis. She was taken to ‘one of the largest hospitals of UK’ and was put ‘under the the expert supervision of world-famous gastroenterologist…’. Saira recovered almost miraculously, and after a moth’s rest at the clinic resumed her shooting for Purab Aur Paschim (1970). Manoj Kumar had, admirably, waited for full recovery of Saira Banu. Years later, Dilip Kumar had “agreed to work in Kranti (1981)….to pay back (this) debt”.

On their return to India, they shifted to Saira Banu’s own bungalow at Pali Hill because ‘she needed special caretaking and also a specific diet. Soon, thereafter, “Saira adapted to (his) lifestyle and (his) pace.” ‘A marriage that is for keeps, even with all the good intentions of the couple, is not easy to sustain for either partner.’ They had their shares of ups and downs, but apart from (their) outwardly contrasting personalities, they shared the joy of living (together). The glamorous girl who took an hour for putting on her makeup, suddenly, changed totally. What Dilip Kumar has got to love and appreciate about Saira Banu down the years is her innate simplicity and softness of heart.

As The Husband-Wife Team, Dilip Kumar ‘began to discover the capacity (his) wife had for hard work and the pursuit of flawless work. She was receptive to sound advice and was quick to absorb the guidance (he) gave her in the scenes (they) came together. She co-starred with him in four films – Gopi (1970), Sagina (1970 in Bengali as Sagina Mahato and 1974 in Hindi), Bairag (1976) and Duniya (1984) – and (he) saw her tenacity and determination to get the nuances and emotional curves of the performances right.


The concluding part on  19 March, 2015…………….

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 2 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow – on  5 February 2015.  We carry on to the second part….


First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema

image

The narrative of Dilip Kumar’s life and times at the Hindi Cinema World spans another 8 chapters. Some of the reviews written when the book was originally released do lament about somewhat sketchy treatment to the subjects like his co-stars or his highly gossiped love affairs or his own views on some of his landmark films. However, as Udayatara Nayar has noted in the book, (at this stage and age) Dilip Kumar has certainly been selective in choosing to open up on topics in his long career, spanning over six decades and around 60 films on the silver screen. So, be it.

Bombay Talkies was the best thing that happened to the young Yousuf Khan at a juncture when he had no clue to what acting in front of camera was. Ashok Kumar taught him to “do what you would do in the situation if you were really in it. If you act, it will be acting and it will look very silly.” Devika Rani conferred him with a screen name by which he would be better known, appropriate enough for his audience to relate to, one that would be in tune with the romantic image he was destined to acquire through his screen presence. That set him to be launched with his maiden film Jwar Bhataimage (1944) directed by Amiya Chakraborthy. It was the beginning of the journey into the world of Lights, Camera, Action that even as passed on without much impact, Dilip Kumar had realized that it would a difficult job, where he would have to find his own way to continue. An actor has to ‘strengthen his instincts because the duality of real and unreal cannot be sorted out by mind, which is more concerned with truth and logic in any normal situation’.

The new identity of Dilip Kumar had liberating impact, in that what had no need to see or study, Dilip surely needed to acquire and accumulate New Aspirations, New Experiences, in terms of reproducing the emotions, speech and behaviour of fictitious characters in front of the camera. By the time Dilip Kumar had completed his work in Jugnu, he was still not noticed when he would be walking on the pavement near Churchagte (a station on Western Railway, in Mumbai), despite having acted in three films, Jwar Bhata (1944), Pratima (1945) and Milan (1946). But the release of Jugnu (1947) brought him in the acclaim due to a (film) star, even within his own family. His father also had come to terms with the reality that his son had (finally) chosen a profession he had least expected him to enter.

Then followed a period Between The Personal And The Professional lives when Yousuf Khan had endure the loss of brother so close to him, Ayub Sahab, who succumbed to his chronic lung ailment and his mother, Amma, passed away, on 27 August, 1948, ‘peacefully from the turmoil of life to eternal tranquillity’. It took all his ‘strength and will power to supress the pain and deep sense of loss to stand up manfully before his brothers and sisters, giving them implicit understanding of being both mother and father to them’. On the professional front, Dilip Kumar’s contract with Bombay Talkies was coming to an end. As it was, by that time studio employment system was being replaced by actors and technicians working on a freelance basis. Dilip Kumar opted for S. Mukherjee’s Filmistan for Shaheed (1948). There he had ‘an understanding and facile co-actor in Kamini Kuashal (real name Uma Kashyap), who was very attentive to the demands of the director and had the intelligence to grasp the intrinsic sensitivity of more poignant situations in the script.’ The success of Shaheed had the pair teaming up for two more films at Filmistan – Nadiya Ke Paar (1948) – based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story Nauka Dubi- and Shabnam (1949). Being in twenties at that time, he was no super human being and did ‘prefer company of colleagues who were educated and well informed. Stardom bothered more than’ it pleased him. Possibly, he was drawn more intellectually than emotionally to Kamini Kaushal. “if that was love, may be it was.” Dilip Kumar has always been asked somewhat ‘intrusive question as to whether it makes a difference to the potency of emotions drawn from within one self in an intimate love scene if the actors are emotionally involved in their real lives’. An answer that is Yes and No, draws up Dilip Kumar to scenes as Prince Salim with Anarkali (Madhubal on the screen) for Mughal-e-Azam(1960), described in greater details in the later chapter “Madhubala“. It was also in this period that he met Mehboob Khan and Nuashad Miyan, relationships with whom blossomed into two enduring friendships and professional relationships. The meeting with Naushad led to Mela (1948). Dilip Kumar notes that among the major lessons that he learned while working with Directors like Nitin Bose or senior artist like Devika Rani was that even as it is not easy for an actor to rise above the script, if the collaboration among the writer, actor and the director worked well it was not impossible either. A director may be satisfied with the given shot, it is also for the actor to discern for himself whether he had really given his best. The actor would be within his (or her) rights for another shot if he (she) felt he (she) could do better.

Mela evokes some wonderful memories of the past in Reel Life versus Real Life. Firstly, this was the film that Dilip Kumar’s father watched in a cinema house. Secondly, it established enduringimage friendship between him and Naushad and between him and Nargis. Raj Kapoor and Nargis shared a chemistry that made a good equation for their scenes together. With Nargis, Dilip Kumar shared a different equation in front of the camera. He could attain similar ease with Madhubala in Tarana (1951), which has remained, for many reasons, one of the films that Dilip Kumar counts as the memorable one, from among the ones of his early part of the career. During early 1950s, Dilip Kumar was advised to switch over to comedy roles by an English psychiatrist. The doctor was certain that Dilip Kumar took his work home in his subconscious and turned the spoken lines and the scenes over and over in his mind to review the work done during the day. It was not as if he did not realize that whatever he was doing in the fimageilms was unreal and diametrically opposite to his real life and real self. That led Dilip Kumar to take up Azaad (1955), a remake of Malaikallan (1954), featuring M G Ramchandran (MGR) as hero. This also was a pleasant experience working with Meena Kumari. Dilip Kumar had presented himself with his first car after the success of Shabnam (1949) and his own residence in Mumbai after Azaad. Dilip Kumar does accept here that he was attracted to Madhubala as a fine co-star and as person who had some attributes he hoped to find in a woman at that age and time. Because of the rumours of this emotional involvement, their pairing in Mughal-e-Azam made sensational news in early 1950s. However matters began to sour between them when her father attempted to make the proposed marriage a business venture. The outcome was that halfway through the production, they were not even on talking terms. The classic scene with the feather coming between their lips was shot when they had completely stopped even greeting each other – one of the rarest examples of Reel Life versus Real Life.

The book has a full chapter on Madhubala. Contrary to the popular notions, her father Ataullah Khan, was not opposed her marrying with Dilip Kumar. He had his own film production company and two of the most popular stars under the same roof in his company, singing duets in his productions till the end of their careers was what he would have wanted. However, Dilip Kumar had his own way of functioning wherein he would not permitted any laxity even if it were his own production house. Madhubala persisted that these details can easily be sorted out once they were married. In the circumstances, it seemed best that they did not decide to marry or even give each other a chance to rethink of a union that would not be good for either of them. The parting of ways did not affect him. He categorically states that he chose to remain bachelor because he had young sisters to be married off, and for me the taking care of, and ensuring happiness of his brothers and sisters were paramount. Madhubala’s father got her entangled in a lawsuit with producer-director B R Chopra over the outdoor shooting work for Naya Daur (eventually released in 1957). Madhubala was replaced with Vyjayantimala, when ‘all sincere and genuine’ efforts on Dilip Kumar’s part became futile. The announcement of the renewal of the project of fresh shooting for Naya Daur created a stir in the media. It was made to appear that Dilip Kumar ‘had got Madhu out of the film, while the truth was that her father pulled her out of the project to demonstrate his authority.

imageThe professional relationship with Vyjayantimala finds a special place in the book, in the form a full-fledged chapter: Devdas, Naya Daur and Beyond. Dilip Kumar was in two minds to take up Devdas (1955), the first of the seven-films that Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala did together. On one hand, it troubled him ‘initially to experiment with the rendering of a character who carried a heavy measure of pain and despondency under the skin and could mislead the more vulnerable youth to believe that alcoholism offered the best escape from the pain of losing in love. On the imageother hand, the subject was already successfully filmed with K L Saigal in the title role and Dilip Kumar had that opportunity to match his histrionic prowess with that benchmark and etch his name in the annals of Hindi Film history. Some of the dialogues from the film, penned by one of the very known literary names, Rajinder Singh Bedi, have become legendary and have lasted out the tests of time. (In fact, dialogue delivery was one of the very predominant weapons the armoury of Dilip Kumar’s histrionics. Here are five iconic dialogues from among many.) After Devdas, when they paired for Madhumati (1958), Vyjayantimala certainly draws a very fond word of praise from Dilip Kumar. Even as the film had tale of three incarnations of the heroin (played by Vyjayantimala), the story gets unfolded through the narrative of hero’s character (played by Dilip Kumar). He has fond memories of being able to score one-man-up-ship over her, while filming the fourth of their films, Paigham (1959), when during a visit to the sets by none less than the them Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he gets a personal mention from Panditji, when it was Vyjayantimala who was expected to score on this front. However, it was during the making of Naya Daur, that Dilip Kumar noticed Vyjayantimala’s ‘ability to feign a rustic character’s mannerisms with conviction. So she was her first choice as the co-lead star for his home production, Gunga Jumna (1961).

At this stage, as he looks back On The Domestic Front, by the time his father passed away (on 5 March, 1950), Dilip Kumar did feel a sense of achievement that he could live up to his expectations.

imageGunga Jumna, expectedly, has very important personal space in the career so far as Dilip Kumar is concerned, and the making of the films is quite vividly captured in The Travails of Film Making: “Gunga Jumna And After. Dilip Kumar’s character had a very powerful script, in that his character Gunga takes the refuge in the lawlessness of the dacoits to get back to the society what was rightfully his. The story had a built-in conflict between the elder brother who flees the society, ‘where law favours the rich and the powerful and unjustly discriminates the poor and defenceless’ and the younger brother who has to uphold the law of the nation as a police officer. Dilip Kumar had done two other films where he had played negative ‘anti-hero’ roles, in Amar (1954) and Footpath (1953). This role was , however, closer to a the then social reality. IN any case, “life’s surprises never cease”. Ram Aur Shyam (1967), which was going to turn out to be a very special film to Dilip Kumar, started with a bit of turbulence. Vyjayantimala, slated to play the lead, was upset with the producer on some matter and was peremptorily replaced with Waheeda Rehman. That ended seven-film association on a sour note.

While taking up narrative of of A New Role: Taking Up Noble Causes in the public life, Dilip Kumar wonders – “I do not know if it is in my genes or if it is something that I have assimilated from the environment I was brought up in”. Quite vivid and lively discussions relating to his campaigning for V K Krishna Menon against Achrya J B Kriplani, for one of the most memorable Lok Sabha contests in 1962 or being the Sherrif of Bombay (1980) or his active participation @ National Association of the Blind (NAB), or (nominated) member of Rajya Sabha (2000 – 2006).

After Bairag (1976), Dilip Kumar found himself at the cross roads, once again after he had found himself in a similar predicament after Ram Aur Shyam, whether to take up retirement from the active humdrum of the film world. At that time it was Saira Banu who persuaded him to prospects of perusing the scripts of the films. However, after Bairag, Dilip Kumar got embroiled in a lawsuit slapped on him by A R Kardar. It was during the fag end of this trying phase that Manoj Kumar came to him the idea of Kranti (1981) that marked The Second Innings of his career. Then came (Subhash Ghai’s) Vidhaata (1982) in which he plays an earthy character of a railway engine driver.

image

He went on to do Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991) too for Subhash Ghai. If his pairing with equally established Raaj Kumar in Saudagar had caused many a ripples, his pairing with just branded Angry Young Men Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti (1982) or his portrayal of veteran upright journalist – editor in Mashaal (1984) evoked fair degree of laurels form the public as well as critics. He credits the extremely involved acting in the famous sequence in Mashaal, in which Vinod Kumar (the character played by him) tries to stop his dying wife, to the deeply etched memories of his own father wailing to get the medical help for asthmatically gasping His mother.

 


Filmography:

Filmography Dilip Kumar – The Substance and The Shadow


The third of the fourth part of the article – Marriage and Life with Saira Banu – on 5 March, 2015…………………….

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 1 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India

In a very technical sense, this is the third book on Dilip Kumar, the previous two being Dilip Kumar: Star Legend of Indian Cinema by Bunny Rueben and Nehru’s Hero: Dilip Kumar In The Life Of India by Lord Meghnad Desai.

In fact, the very genesis of the present autobiography is that whatever has been written earlier about Dilip Kumar is considered to be ‘full of distortions and misinformation’. So less is known about Yousuf Khan, the substance, and it is so natural to get myths floating around a towering figure of the stature of Dilp Kumar, the shadow, that “an authentic, heartfelt and compelling narrative”, in the form of an ‘autobiography’ would invariably whip up the appetite for the various ‘aspects of life and times of THE titan of Indian Cinema.

This is not a review of the book, but a fairly selective, critical appraisal that would provide a reasonable insight into the contents of the book, and thereby in the principal protagonist, Dilip Kumar, born on 11th December, 1922 as Mohammad Yousuf Khan, the fourth among eleven children of nice, gentle and pious Pathan couple – Mohammad Sarwar Han and Ayesha Bibi.

The contents of the book is spread over four phases – The Personal Life of Yousuf Khan; First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema; Marriage and Life with Saira Banu and Reminiscences by actors, directors, friends and relatives.

We would take up each section every week, starting with –

The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance,  To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow

image

The book opens with a Foreword by Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu. She extols ‘widely known admiration’ in an ardently pride narrative and in the process, presents some quite interesting facets of the persona of Dilip Kumar: image

§ Dilip Kumar is a fanatically voracious reader. The range of the subjects he reads is as much varied as is his range of histrionics. Dilip Kumar is also very keenly fond of good poetry, classical music and dance.

§ His persona transcends lands, religions and castes. He sternly refuses to see negative side of anyone or any situation.

§ His secular beliefs spring straight from his heart and his respect for all religions, castes, communities and creeds. His closet friends are Parsis.

§ He is very fond of his family.

§ He would never want to miss out on enjoying any of the splendour of nature’s beauty.

§ Flying kites, with the whole family in the toe, is great love. He maintains his treasure of his kites and manja with as much care and as much detail as he maintains his personal wardrobe.

imageUdaytara Nayar, a veteran journalist and writer on her own, is also a very close friend of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu. In Introduction (A Dream Come True), while presenting the challenge of drawing out Dilip Kumar from his dislike of talking about himself, has been quite painstaking in documenting the frequent use of chaste Urdu in a fairly flowing English narrative. Of particular interest are the accounts of Dilip Kumar’s grasp of management skills as a complete professional and awareness of social responsibilities as a star and a role model. His uncanny choice of Premnath in a negative role in Aan (1952) as a key driver of the publicity or “He never faked anything, be it his appreciation..or his concern for a colleague” or meticulously studying the script and character and then to draw upon from his keen sense of observation are typical takeaways for a professional in any field of activities.

The first eight chapters vividly describes the built up of base of Yousuf Khan’s metamorphosis into Dilip Kumar takes place.image

Yousuf Khan’s date of Birth, in the Kissa Khwani Bazaar of a famous city of Peshawar in the then undivided India’s North West Frontier Province itself would find a mention in the chronicles, because a huge fire had gutted the goldsmiths’ workshops in that area. Yousuf’s Dadi’s opinion of her grandson’s arrival on this earth amidst blizzard and fire was further bolstered by fakir’s prophecy that the child was “made for great fame and unparalleled achievements.” Dadi’s extra efforts to protect her grandson form the evil eyes of the world seemed to transform Yousuf into an ‘loner at school, getting lost in the make-believe world of pictorial books.’

The pain of The Matriarch and Her Brood giving infant Yousuf a very ugly look to protect him from the evil of the world was to surface from the subconscious of Dilip Kumar while playing early tragic roles in career of the soon to be titled tragedy king. The isolation at the school did not seem to affect young Yousuf’s activities at home, but the mental agony of the characters that Dilip Kumar portrayed on the screen did lead him to seek help of psychotherapy.

The Escapades and Adventures of childhood years of Yousuf certainly seem to have ignited Dilip Kumar’s sense of storytelling. Young Yousuf would walk to the city square every day, in the toes of his father, Aghaji, to listen to unfolding of a narrative by one of the maulanas. He would not only enjoy the narrative but also let his fertile imagination conjure up characters and situations in his mind so graphically that back home he would try enacting the characters with the lines spoken by maulana. Several years later these embedded experiences were to unfold in the storytelling exercises for the cinema! Dadi was the first censor Yousuf came across in his life. She would abruptly curtail a story being told at the congregation of the family members around a bon fire of a sigdi on winter night, if she felt it was it was not good enough to be told in the presence of women and children. In his solitudes Child Yousuf also indulged in the pastime of imitating ladies and men who came visiting his parents. Among these visitors was the elder son of Yousuf’s father’s Hindu friend Basheshwarnath Kapoor, who would stun the ladies with his handsome appearance. That was Raj Kapoor’s father, Prithviraj Kapoor.

Off To Bombay: A New Chapter Begins when Yousuf’s father shifted to Bombay to explore the business potential in the wake of the news of impending world war. During the journey to Bombay by Frontier Mail, family friends would come to meet them with refreshments at some of the stations. Some of them were Hindus. When the trains stopped at stations, the vendors would sell ‘Hindu Chai, Hindu Paani, Muslim Chai, Muslim Panni. The travelling Khan family did take little notice of the difference. Adolescent Yousuf grew up in an atmosphere of warmth and affection. He was extremely shy, but not unhappy. There was no more shaving of his pate now (in the year 1937). The growth of thick black hair elicited compliments form all ladies, which would yield into a ritual by his mother for shooing away the evil eye. ‘Today, in (his) ninety-second year, (Saira Banu) performs the same ritual every time a visitor says something about,, looks or good health or when… dozens of people come for (autographs) and praise.. work!’

In The Growing Up Years, the family had shifted to Deolali (a hill station in Maharashtra, located about 180 km form Mumbai). Yousuf learnt English to a quite proficient degree. He also started taking keen interest in soccer. In fact, at that stage he had a desire to become a soccer champion and his father desired an OBE attached to his name. He met Raj Kapoor after many years at Khalsa College. In fact, theirs was not merely a friendship of two individuals in the same profession but a bonding that grew from well-placed trust and respect. Even as Yousuf was always trying to help his father, a destiny was being cared for him by the Almighty.

The Poona Interlude helped teenaged Yousuf find his own bearings, gain some valuable experience. That taste of a little bit of ‘freedom’ also made him unsure whether he would be able to continue to submit to the will of his father, and take over his mantle.

At that point of time, inevitable changes led to The Return of The Prodigal to Bombay, pining for warm, indescribable security of family and familiar surroundings.

Whilst in Bombay, Yousuf was now keenly searching for a meaningful occupation. One morning he happens to meet his father’s acquaintances. Dr. Masani. One thing led to another. Yousuf met Devika Rani and landed up with a job of Rs 1250 per month. This was The Turning Point. He also met Ashok Kumar, marking the beginning of a friendship that was to last and entire lifetime.

In addition to these chapters on his-pre-film life, Dilip Kumar has chosen to end the book with Family Matters to present his reply to persistent question asked to him: Whether there is anything at all that (he regrets) and wish(es) to obliterate from the canvas of (his) life. One such episode is his getting involved, under pressure, with lady named Asma Rehman. That mischievously perpetuated ‘second marriage’ was an error of judgement by a fallible human being. Saira Banu, despite the hurt caused to her pride and because of her intense faith in him, stood solidly by him. The whole episode strengthened their closeness and emotional dependence on each other. During the episode it was wrongly represented that Saira could not bear a child. The truth is she did conceive a child (in 1972), but was lost in the eighth month of the pregnancy because of several medical complications. Dilip Kumar also goes into a deep retrospective when he passionately narrates his attempts to give each of his brother and sister to scale the heights that he dreamt for them. He felt a moment of proud and that lump in the throat when Lata Mangeshakar, whom he fondly calls his ‘younger sister’, sang for him Allah Tero Naam on the eve of her soulful rendering of Ae Mere watan Ke Logo at a function in the presence of the then Prime Minister Jawhar Lal Nehru in Delhi.


We will take up next part of the article – First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema – on 19 February, 2015

Categories
I Liked Photo Story Revisiting History

Rajendra Nath – Then…..and….. Now

1960s /70s Hindi Film goer generation does not require any introduction of Rajendra Nath.

 

Rajendra Nath …..Then rajindernath..... thenRajendra Nath…. Now (He passed away in 2008)

rajindernath....now

Curtsey:  ‘Meri Lottery Lag Jaane Waali Hai’ : Rajinder Nath

Categories
Revisiting History

‘S T Parikh Saheb’s Family Celebrates His Turning 75

The occasion was momentous – certainly because both ‘Parikh Saheb’ and Surekhabhabhi have fought back very critical illnesses in the last couple of years; because they have maintained same conviviality, grace and equanimity, and certainly because we had had opportunity to meet many of Gujarat Steel Tubes (GST) colleagues.

When I joined GST (1973), he had already made his place in the (India’s the then) steel tube industry’s steel procurement space. He had laid foundation for meeting demands of the raw materials that GST ‘s major capacity addition was poised to need by 1974-75 period., within 5 years of taking over this role – from a core civial engineer’s mantle that he donned previously.

Shri ST Parikh was my mentor in the truest sense of mentorship, when management lexicon had not ‘known’ the concept of mentoring. He not only made possible all the opportunities for me to learn the ropes , but also showed several opportunities of new areas of learning in that short period of six years. He also had foresight to identify talent in the organization which was not fully used by their existing jobs. He drafted such persons in different capacities under his umbrella and paved way for their growth and provided the organization the much needed depth of expertise in an area (steel procurement) which he could have continued to operate as his ole domain. He never hesitated in training this team in all possible tricks of the trade. He was laying the foundation of of building a team in area which could have merrily remained his one-man-playground.

Moreover, he was always ready to extend helping hand to the weaker players of the industry without affecting the interests of GST.  This showed his skills of balancing two totally divergent activities. This, also, was building up of wide area network of those days.

He knew which relationships to build and ensured that once built, the relationship did not whither out, as long as he so desired. It should be no one’s surprise that all these bridges that he assiduously built have kept serving him even now.

And the bonus of attending today’s function – we met Apoorvabhai (Shah) and Karunaben, Pradip Desai, K M Shah, M N Shah, Manibhai Patel, Jyotindra Buch and KP Shah, after a good 30 years!

Categories
I Liked Revisiting History

Mansoor Ali Khan – Nawab of Pataudi – (the) Tiger – Person and Personality

I just completed translating the inaugural MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture, delivered by Sunil Gavaskar at Chennai on 16th February, 2013.
While searching for a similar lecture delivered by Imran Khan, I landed upon some more interesting video clips of interviews of him, or about him.
Here they are:
Imran Khan – Delivering The Inagural Tiger Pataudi Memorial Lecture

Never knew how to address Pataudi: Gavaskar

Former Indian cricket captain and the last Nawab of Pataudi, Mansur Ali Khan, in “FaceToFace” with Karan Thapar, broadcast on BBC on 12 July, 2000.

Devil’s Advocate :: ” Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi” :: Don’t Adore Cricketers So Quickly
:: 1/5 –

:: 2/5

:: 3/5

:: 4/5

:: 5/5

Writer Jeffrey Archer on Tiger Pataudi’s charisma –

Nawab of Pataudi – Documentary:

Categories
I Liked Revisiting History The Books I read

“Between the Assassinations” by Aravind Adiga

Between Assassinations- Aravind Adiga

The moment you notice title ‘Between the Assassinations’ and the author as ‘Aravind Adiga’ on a bookshelf, you are most likely to pick that book. And, then as you flip through its inside front cover or the back cover to glance at what the book is all about, you are going to give it a go for the reading.

The teaser page has tourist promo of Kittur, a fictional village located somewhere between Goa and Calicut on the coast of South India. The place is considered worth visiting for seven days.

That gives the structure to the book’s cartographer like precision – “the arches of the railway station frame your first view of Kittur as you arrive as a passenger on the Madras Mail” – and a novelist’s humanity – “The problem is here.. there is a beast inside us”- through the chronologically arranged stories of important landmarks in the history of locations. History and fiction are so well knit in a realistic manner with first and third person narration, providing vintage view to the ‘everyman’ society of an ‘everytown’ Kittur, between the two great assassinations on 31 October 1984 and 21 May 1991. The seven years in between these tragedies are punctuated by several other fictionalized events in the stories narrated.

Stories in the collection are of diverse nature, having protagonists, portraying various shades of characters in our multicultural, ethnic and religious ambience. Adiga’s great theme is power relations—between rich and poor, master and servant, high caste and low caste, majority and minority, corrupt bureaucracy and hard-working citizens —and, the obvious tensions such relationships cause.

The stories could have have been no more than a series of serious-minded tableaux about poverty and disenfranchisement, worthy like a Booker-winner, but not all that enjoyable to read. But by using the earthy native flavor of the language, Adiga has ensured that the stories retain the subtleties of the day-to-day ground realities of a typical Indian town.

Here are a few examples:

“Taking the glasses one at a time to the tables, he delighted the roughman who came to the teashop, by interrupting their conversation with shouts of ‘One-a! Two-a! Three-a!’ while slamming the glasses down in front of them.” {“DAY ONE: THE TRAIN STATION”}

“He bent his head low, rolled his spittle into a ball and prepared to drop it into one of his glasses… He sucked in the spittle. Unzipping his cotton trousers in three gestures, he let them slide down. Bundling the first two fingers of his right hand together, he stuck them deep into his butt; he brought two fingers out, dipped them into one of the glasses of whiskey, and stirred vigorously.” {“DAY TWO: THE BUNDER”}

“For many years this educational institution had spoken to him – spoken rudely; teachers had caned him, headmaster had suspended and threatened to expel him..” {“DAY TWO (CONTINUED) OUR SCHOOL”}

“He spoke of other things that made his head boil. Once, India had been ruled by three foreigners: England, France and Portugal. Now their place has been taken by three native-born thugs: Betrayal, Bungling and Backstabbing.” {“DAY TWO (EVENING): LIGHTHOUSE HILL (THE BASE OF THE HILL”}

“The man and boy got off the bus together. He stood on the main road and waited, while the boy blew his nose and shook off phlegm to the ground.. “ {“DAY SIX: THE SULTAN’S BATTERY”}

And what the protagonists have in common outside of Kittur is a rage both devastatingly funny and heart-breakingly human makes the book well worth a read.

Here are some other interesting reviews published when the book was originally published:

And, one can read more on Araving Adiga on his own site @ http://www.aravindadiga.com/ .  The site does seem to be maintained and updated, hence does not seem to contain his more recent works or articles.

[Between the Assassinations ǁ Author: Aravind Adiga ǁ Publisher   Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan Ltd. – www.panmacmillan.com ǁ 2008 ǁ ISBN 978 – 0 – 330 – 45054 – 6]