Thursday, December 11, 2014

M E M O R I E S A B O U T A M O T O R C A R.

Meeting  an old friend and colleague a couple of days back rekindled in me fond  nostalgic memories about a ‘minor’ motor car owned by him for about 45 years from the late 60s;  a Morris Minor 1951 four  seater four door sedan made in England. The car is  KLE 7488 in its original  greenish shade  common for Morris Minor cars of the period. The car with a side valve engine  had its head lights mounted on the wings instead of down in the grill console  as in the earlier models. Morris Minor cars were common on  Kerala roads  in the 50s and the 60s especially in bigger towns like Kozhikode, Cochin, Trivandrum and so on.This rather slow moving car, compared to the present day cars ,  was but very convenient to drive in the crowded city roads as well as through narrow   by lanes of  residential areas owing to its compact size and easy manoeuvrability.
 I have been seeing this car of my friend ever since he bought it. In the early 70s he was  transferred to Bangaluru  and posted  in the same office in which I was working and took up a house on rent next to the house where I was staying with my family.  I still remember his arrival in Bangalore  in the Morris Minor driven all the way from a northern centre of Kerala. He stayed in this house for a few months with his family before shifting to a house near to the office. During this  period in particular and thereafter till I was transferred out of Bangaluru  in 1975, the two families had travelled in this car extensively to every nook and corner of Bangaluru  be it the Cubbon Park , the Lal Bagh, Vidhan soudha, residential colonies like JayaNgar , Rajai Nagar, Wilson Gardens , restaurants like the MTR, Brindavan, Nilgiris etc and so on. My friend, like me, was fond of  films and it was mostly in his car that the two families went for films except on those  occasions when my  1967 Standard Herald  was taken out.  Our rides through the long roads of Indira Nagar, Double Road,  M.G.Road,  walks on the Brigade Road and Commercial Street after parking the car are all still fresh in memory.

The car was well maintained  with every problem attended to promptly. Even in  the 70s spare parts were not easily available.  Once we had to go  around the whole of  Bangalore to get a set of special screw type wheel bolts. I also remember a complete overhaul  including a fresh coat of paint done to the car at  Bangalore. My friend who  wore only white clothes had always kept the car clean and tidy with the seats covered with white Turkish cloth! He drove  the car with effortless ease and we used to marvel at his ability to reverse the  car through narrow  curving  roads! During the 80s also when we were working at Thiruvananthapuram  and Ernakulam  I had travelled in the car frequently.

While I had changed my car several times by buying  ‘new’ second hand ones, my friend continued to keep the Morris Minor  and  after his retirement  towards the end of the 80s he settled down in Trivandrum. We continued our contact and the car used to come up in our conversations often. A few years after my retirement in the year 2000 I had visited him at Thiruvananthapuram  and he dropped me back at the Rly.station in his Morris Minor . Years passed by and when I went to his house again two years back the car was very much there and I had taken a couple of casual  photos on my mobile.
When I met him at Kozhikode on the 5th of this month, I enquired about the car assuming that it was still with him. To my utter surprise and disbelief he told me that he had sold it off a few months back. A sudden thought that I could have purchased it instead of it falling into some other hands entered my mind. But it vanished faster than it came when it was revealed that it was sold for a fancy price to a vintage car collector  who had been pestering my friend to sell it to him for  several years. The reasons for selling off the car which was close to his heart for so long ,  after refusing to do so for years, were strong  enough. The ophthalmologist  had declined to give a certificate for renewing the driving licence; getting the driving licence of an 85 year old renewed is next to impossible; the re-registration and insurance were falling due; practical difficulties for future maintenance are many; above all his son’s advice to sell it off for a good price  coupled with the thought  that it was going into safe hands clinched it. Yes, a vintage car collector’s  garage is the best destination an old car can hope for.  Old cars seem to be better placed than old people for whom the mythical heaven is the only, though futile, destination to hope for.

Tail piece:-How I wish I had retained my first car, the Standard Herald 1967 Model  two door Sedan  MSQ 84 which I sold off in 1978!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


It has always been fascinating for lovers of old Hindi films and songs to marvel at the genius of Kishore Kumar, the producer, director,writer, music director, actor and, above all, singer, who ruled  the Indian film scene on his terms during about  four decades from the 1950s.Even now the young and the old adore him for the wonderful songs he had composed for himself  as well as for other singers and for the innumerable songs of different genre he rendered for all the other acclaimed music directors of the period. For me, what makes Kishore Kumar’s contribution to film music different is the fact that almost all his songs upto the middle of the 70s, were popular and there would never be a dull moment when we listen to these songs be it a melody, a semi classical, a grief filled, a hilarious or even an ‘non sensical’one. His unique voice, open throated style of singing, adaptability to the mood and situation of the song, his very successful stage shows which probably  started the trend of audience participation all made him a darling of the masses.

Enough has been written about his contribution to film music, his eccentricity, his hilarious ways at recording studios and sets, his idiosyncrasy, his playing pranks with co singers and co-stars which are all part of the folklore of Hindi film world and even after about three decades of his passing away the channels are coming up with special programs on him. But still what prompted me to throw my fingers on this old key board is a song, from Hrishikesh Mukherji’s film BUDDHA MIL GAYA(1971)  with  Navin Nischal and Archana in the lead which, to my huge delight, I heard this morning over  Radio Ceylon on my tiny old Keltron radio! The song,’Raat kali ek qwaab me aaye’, composed by R.D.Burman and  rendered by Kishore Kumar in his sweet melodious style is one of my favourite Kishore songs besides being the first I recorded on my tape recorder bought in 1971 at Bangalore! It also reminded me with nostalgia this song from Dev Aanand’s  film GAMBLER (1971-Music S.D.Burman), Viz., ‘Choodi nahin mera dil’ by Kishore which was there on the demonstration tape supplied along with the cassette recorder.
This made me remember many of the hit songs of this trio of Kishore, Dev Aanand and S.D.Burman especially of the 1950s during the first phase of Kishore’s singing career. As mentioned in my earlier posts there were a few such successful trios like Rafi, S&J and Shammi kapur, Rafi, Naushad and Dilip Kumar, KIshore, RDB and Rajesh Khanna  in the late 70s and so on. The beauty of the songs of these trios is that one can think of them only together as the thought of one necessarily brings the other two to mind. One such song of the trio of  Kishore, SDB and Dev Annand is this soft ’Mana janaab ne pukara nahi’ from film PAYING GUEST  with Nutan in the lead. Another is the one ‘Hum hai raahi pyar ki’ from film NAU DO GYARAH(1957),  a Dev Anand-Kalpana Karthik film. A rare duet of Kishore with Asha, viz.,’Aankhon mein kya ji’ is also there in the film. In film MUNIMJI(1955), a Dev Aanand Nalini Jaiwant film, the soft, flowing ‘Jeevan ki safar mein rahi’ was very popular. Film FANTOOSH (1956- Shiela Ramani) is remembered for Kishore’s sombre  ‘Dukhi man mera’.

While Dev Aanand continued his success pairing with several of the leading female artists of Hindi film world, for S.D. Burman,  Kishore remained  a favourite voice for Dev Aanand even  in the 60s , but  in a limited way, with songs like ‘Yeh dil na hota bechaara’and the duet with Lata,viz., ‘Aasman ke neeche’ from film JEWEL THIEF (1967) wth Vyjayanthimala in the lead. In TEEN DEVIAN(1965), with Simi Garewal, Nanda and Kalpana in the female lead, there is this haunting melody of Kishore,  in two versions, viz. ‘Khawab ho tum ya koi haqueeqat’ reminding us of SDB’s own superhit ‘Pyar dewaana hota hai mastana hota hai’ by Kishore from the epoch-making musical film AARADHANA. In the superhit film GUIDE(1965) the music of which had earned huge popularity for SDB, there was only one song , that too a duet with Lata, for Kishore, viz., Gaata rahe mera dil’ which is a departure from the past. In fact Rafi was given the pride of place  with two haunting melodies,’Kya se kya ho gaye’ and ‘Tere mere sapne’. Again there was no song for Kishore in film MANZIL(1960), a Dev Aanand Nutan starrer in which SDB preferred Manna Dey,  Hemant Kumar  and Rafi  instead of Dev Aanand’s usual voice Kishore. It happened in Dev Aanand’s  other musical hits like BOMBAI KA BABU(1960-Suchitra Sen) , KALA BAZAR(1960 Waheeda Rahman)  and KALA PANI(1959- Madhubala). In all of them it was Muhammed Rafi all the way. The fact that this had happened in films of Dev Aanand’s own production house, Navketan, speaks for itself. Yes, by 1960 and for the next decade Rafi had emerged as the top male voice in Hindi films. But, still, SDB used the voice of Kishore in yet another Dev Aanand film  PREM PUJARI(1970-Sharmila Tagore) for this soft melodious song,’Phoolon ke rang se dil ki kalam se’ to the utter delight of Dev-SDB-Kishore fans.
With the rise of Rajesh Khanna as the first super star of Hindi cinema with the release of the two hugely successful romantic musical hits AARADHANA(1969- S.D.B)  and KATI PATANG(1970- R.D.B) Kishore Kumar re-emerged as the No.1 play back singer and continued to be so till the end in 1987.The song ‘Roop tera mastana’  rendered in his inimitable style which won him the Filmfare Award for the best singer and the romantic song ‘Mere  sapnon ki rani’ from Aaradhana were the rage of the period especially on the campuses. The captivating songs like ‘Yeh shaam mastani’ and ‘Yeh jo mohabat hai, composed by R.D.Burman for film  Kati Patang marked the beginning of the trio of Rajesh Khanna-Kishore - RDB with a large number of hit songs to follow. In fact Rajesh Khanna’s rise to super stardom owes a lot to the music of SDB, RDB and Kishore whose voice suited best for him, the romantic hero he was! Besides, it was under SDB and RDB that Kishore gave most of his memorable songs.Two songs readily coming to mind are the super sweet, ‘Deewana leke aaya hai dil ka tarana’ and ‘Oh mere dil ki chain’ from film MERE JEEVAN SAATHI (1972- Rajesh Khanna –Tanuja). In film AMAR PREM(1972-Sharmila Tagore) there are three songs of Kishore, viz., ‘Kuch toh log kahenge’, ‘Chingari koi badke’ and the soft persuasive ‘Yeh kya hua kaise hua’. In Rajesh Khanna’s  super hit film NAMAK HARAM(1973-Rekha- Amitab Bachhan) again there are three songs of Kishore of which the one ‘Diya Jalte hain’was the most popular.
The outstanding performance of Amitab Bachhan  in film Namak Haram propelled him into stardom and two very successful films followed with S.D.Burman’s music and Kishore rendering some of his top romantic songs for Amitab Bachan. The first is film ABHIMAN(1973-Jaya Bahduri)with the song, ‘Meet na mila re man ka’ and the duet with Lata, ‘Tere mere Milan ki yeh raina’. The other film is  MILI(1975-Jaya Bahduri) with two songs by Kishore,viz., ‘Badi sooni sooni hai’ and the soulful  ‘Aaye tum yaad mujhe’. Two other notable RDB-Amitab-Kishore films are Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971-Zeenat Aman)and  Manzil(1971-Mousumi Chatterjee). The ‘rain’ song ‘Rim jim gire saaawan’ from film Manzil is remembered even today for the beauty of the composition and the picturisation of the scene. Two out of the eight Filmfare Awards for best singer were won by Kishore for his songs for Amitab, viz., for film DON (Music by Kalyanji Aanandji) ‘Khaike pan Banarasiwala’, and for NAMAK HALAL(Music Bappi Lahri-1982-Smita patil)the beautiful and one of the rare semi classical numbers of Kishore, ‘Pag ghunguroo bandh Meera  naachi thi’.That reminds me of RDB’s song for film SAAGAR(1986-Rishi Kapoor-Dimple),viz., ‘Saagar kinare’ which gave Kishoren another Filmfare Award for the best singer.
Kishore and RDB had also created a few wonderful songs, especially duets with Lata for  Sanjeev Kumar. Film AANDHI(1975) is noted for three of the best ever duets of Hindi films, viz.,’Is mod pe jaate hain’, ‘Tum aa gaye ho noor aa gaya’ and the immortal ‘Tere  bina zindagi’. There is another haunting duet in film AAP KI KASAM, viz., ‘Karvten badalte rahen’.In film ANAMIKA(1973)there is this evergreen solo ‘Mere bheegi bheegi si’ and in film PARICHAY(1972-Sanjeev-Jaya Bahduri-Jitendra)the melodious ‘Musaafir hoon na yaro’  picturised on Jitendra. I also remember a glorious O.P.Nayyar duet of Kishore and Asha  in film BAAP RE BAAP, ‘Piya piya piya mera jiya pukare’ with the typical ‘tonga beats’ making the song energetic and pleasing.
Music directors Laxmikant Pyarelal had composed some of the evergreen melodies for Kishore Kumar.In Mr.X IN BOMBAY the song. ‘Mere mehboob khayamat hogi’;for film DAAG the song , ‘Mere dil mein aaj kya hai’; in filmDO RAASTE the song ‘Mere nazeeb mere dost’ and for film HUM SUB USTAD HAI the song ‘Ajnabi tum jane pehchane se’ come readily to mind.
I also remember a few popular songs of Shankar Jaikishen for Kishore Kumar. One is ‘Nakhre wale’ from film NEW DELHI; another is ‘Hum matwale naujaawan’ from film  SHARARAT;two from film RANGOLI,’Rangoli sajaore’ and ‘Chhoti se yeh duniya’. Kishore’s ability to ‘yodel’ has been used with great effect by S&J for some of these songs. Kishore’s song ‘Zindagi ek safar ek suhana’ of  film ANDAZ(1971) was the top of the chart song  of the popular Binaca Geetmala program of Radio Ceylon in 1971.
Composer Ravindra Jain’s ‘Ghungaroo ki tarah’ (Film Chor Machaaye Shor-1974),Hermant Kumar’s ‘Woh Shaam kuch ajeeb thi’(Film-Khamoshi),and lyricist turned music director Prem Dhavan’s, ‘Teri duniya se hoke majboor chala’(Film Pavitra Papi)are some of the other songs which passed through my mind.The last named used to be heard repeatedly over the radio during early 70s but, regrettably it appears, the song has gone into oblivion.
Kishore Kumar, the eternal comedian on the screen and the best and the last ‘yodeller’of Hindi film music, had used his talent for both to great effect especially in films in which he himself had acted and composed music. Film CHALTI KA NAAM GADI ( music SDB) was a full length hilarious comedy where an old motor car was the real hero.  Film JHUMROO, for which he himself composed music has a few of the top melodious songs  in which he freely yodelled to the delight of the discerning listeners. The title song, ‘Main hoon jhoom jhoom’, ‘Thandi hawa’ and ‘Matwale hum’ are examples. The grief filled ‘Koi hum dum na raha’ is, probably,  the best song composed by Kishore in which his voice comes out in all its glory to create the mood of the song. In the famous ‘Mere samnewale kidki’ song of film PADOSAN, in the ‘zaroorat hai zaroorat hai’ song from film Manmouji( Madan Mohan), and in the ‘Priye praneswari’ song from film HUM TUM AUR WOH(Kalyanji Aanandji),’ his ability as a comedian comes to the fore. Two of the most ‘nonsensical’  but highy pleasing songs  ever were also by Kishore,viz., ‘Ina mina dika, dai dama nika’(Film-Aasha-C.Ramachandra) and ‘C. A. T. cat mane billie’ (Film Dilli ka Thug-Ravi). The muti pronged talent of Kishore could be seen in the films ‘DOOR KA RAHI and DOOR GAGAN KI CHAAON MEIN’, both films written, produced, directed and  ted by him besides composing music and singing a few songs.’ Aa chal ke tujhe’ and ‘ Koi lauta de mere’  from Door Gagan and ‘Jeevan se nahar’ and ‘Panth hoon mein is path’  from Door ka Rahi were comparable with any of the top songs he sang for SDB and RDB. Who can forget his duet with the newcomer Sulakshna Pandit,viz., ‘Bequarar dil’ for Door ka Rahi?
Kishore Kumar, the genius, always wore a mask of eccentricity probably to guard his privacy and led a life away from the limelight towards the end of his career. His tiff with the Income Tax authorities were well known  reflected in this hilarious song ‘Guni jano bhakth jano’with words coined  by the names of film stars and films and the song ending with words ‘Peeche pad gaya income taxum’!( Film Ansu aur Muskan-Kalyanji Aanandji). Many still remember the out and out comedy film CHALTI KA NAAM GADI. Who else but Kishore could direct a full length parody film BADDTHI KA NAAM DADHI?

Tail piece:-Unbelievable that Kishore did not sing a song for composer Naushad!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Collectors of gramophone records of Hindi films find it extremely difficult to get the records of composer O.P.Nayyar . What we get are mostly overused ones with a lot of scratches. Recently I could get a LP record, in fairly good condition, of film HONGKONG(1962),starring Ashok Kumar, B.Saroja Devi,K.N.Singh and Helan for which music was composed by O.P. Nayyar. The film got the attention of film goers because of the presence of Ashok Kumar, the leading southern artist B. Saroja Devi and the music of O.P. Nayyar.  Dance music and dance scenes were popular  those days and the music of the film catered to this trend.  The song, ‘Honolulu’ and ‘Kenya Uganda Tanganika’, ‘Hong Kong China meena’ and ‘Muhabbat karne wale muft mein’ by Asha Bhosle are catchy numbers of the film. In fact out of the eight songs  seven are by Asha and the eighth a duet with Rafi. Though one of  the lesser known albums of O.P. Nayyar,  Hong Kong has still a  place of its own on the shelf of the collector.
In fact the LP record of Hongkong  is a duel album as on one side of it is the music of film  SINGAPORE (1960) starring Shammi Kapur and the Southern leading lady Padmini . The film, shot in part in Singapore, with the story about a treasure hunt was a big hit . Beautiful music by Shankar jaikishen was an added attraction. The most popular songs of the film were the rare Mukesh song for Shammi Kapur, ‘ Yeh shahar bada albela’ and the typical Helen song, ‘Dekhoji dekho’by Lata. The song ‘Rassa sayung re’ in Malay language  by Lata was also very popular on the campus.

While listening to this album my mind strayed  towards a few films with titles of foreign locations/cities. Naming films like that was common to catch the imagination of viewers of the period fond of watching scenes from foreign locations and the films offered a rich feast of such scenes. Films Singapore and Hong Kong fell into this category. Two other films coming to mind are the Joy Mukherjee-Asha Parekh film LOVE IN TOKYO(1966) and the Shammi Kapur –Sharmila Tagore film AN EVENING IN PARIS(1967). Both films had lilting and rocking music by Shankar Jaikishen. The most popular song of the first film especially among college students  was  the sentiment filled ‘Sayonara’by Lata Mangeshkar. The semi classical number ‘Koi matwala’ by Lata was also a hit on the radio. Rafi’s  ‘Oh mere shahe -khuban (There is also a version by Lata)was a typical Rafi song. The fast and energetic Rafi number ‘Aaja re aa zara’ was a huge hit.  ‘Main tere pyar men’was also a very popular Manna Dey song.

The film AN EVENING IN PARIS  has the team of Shankar-jaikishen, Muhammed Rafi and Shammi Kapur at their sizzling best.The chemistry among this trio is as well acknowleged  and accepted by film lovers as the team of Dilip Kumar, Rafi and Naushad and/or Dev Anand,  S.D.Burman and Kishore Kumar.The fast paced and melodious title song, ‘An evening in Paris’ , the rollicking ‘ Akele akele kahan jaa rahe ho’ and ‘Aasman se aaya farista’prove the point. In fact Shammi Kapur was probably the best for song situations with his delightful antics and flexibility! Shankar-Jaikishen and O.P.Nayyar had exploited  this for  many of their songs.

That again reminds me about the Shammi kapur-Shakila- Helen film CHINA TOWN (1962) having a similar theme with  visuals of foreign locations. The film had outstanding music by Ravi. The song for Shammi Kapur’s club dance scene ‘Bar bar dekho’ was the most popular. The sweet and nostalgic title song ‘China town’ by Asha Bhosle for Helen remains as sweet as ever. There is also this song, ‘Yamma yamma yamma’ and the Rafi-Asha duet ‘Bada qatil hai’ both  typical of films in this genre like Singapore. The pleasant, breezy duet ‘Hamsena poochho hum’ by Rafi and Asha is an added attraction.

The showman Raj Kapur’s  mega film AROUND THE WORLD(1967) with Raj Kapur  and Rajshree in the lead is another film coming to my mind.The picture was shot extensively on foreign locations including London, New York, Washington, Disneyland and so on offering a visual treat to the viewers. Music by Shankar jaikishen is another attraction of the film. The long title song  ‘Duniya ki zair kar lo.....around the world in 8 Dollars’ by Mukesh and the then new singer Sharda was very popular. Sharda ,had  made her debut  as a whiff of fresh air in the Hindi film playback scene for Shankar Jaikishen,in film SURAJ (1966) with the super hit song ‘Titli udi ud jo chale’ and ‘ Dekho mera dil machal gaya’. In Around the world she rendered  two more notable songs  like ‘Chale jaana zara thehro’ and ‘Jaane bhi de sanam’ . Sharda with a distinctly soft voice and style of crooning was  heard mainly  for Shankar Jaikishens’ films like Duniya, Gumnaam and so on and soon disappeared from the scene  in spite of the huge promise she showed in the beginning. It was said that  Shankar’s preference for her voice  led to the split of the great musical duo.

While typing these lines memories of two highly successful adventure films passed through my mind. One is PANIC IN BANKOK(1966) starring  Kevin Mathews and Robert Hossen. The other is THAT MAN IN ISTAMBUL(1965) starring Horst Bucholz and Sylvia Koscina. My record player is playing the sweet nostalgic song “Mere piya gaye Rangoon’ by Shamshad Begum in her inimitable voice along with Chitalkar from film PATANGA with music by C.Ramachandra.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I just finished reading Sri Natwar Singh’s recently published book, ONE LIFE IS NOT ENOUGH  which had stirred up a lot of political controversies, arguments and debates especially on the English news channels. These discussions had, regrettably,  centred mainly on those portions of the book dealing with Smt Sonia Gandhi’s role in Indian politics and her stranglehold on the UPA 1 and UPA 2. The reasons as exposed by Sri Natwar Singh for her not accepting the country’s prime ministership which was offered to her on a platter  received more attention than anything else. 

Sri Natwar Singh a well known editor, author, successful bureaucrat and influential diplomat  entered politics at his option and went on to become the Minister of  External Affairs of the country. An ardent admirer and friend of British writer and author E.M.Forster , Sri Natwar Singh gives interesting details of his association and meetings with the author.  So also about his association with R.K. Narayan, Kenneth Kaunda the first President of Zambia,  rulers, diplomats and world leaders. Closely associated with the Nehru-Indira Gandhi family right from the days of India’s independence as revealed by him in his book he was privy to and had first hand information on  several of the course changing decisions taken by successive Congress governments at the Centre.The partition of India, invasion of Kashmir by Pakistan, the handing over of the issue to the U.N.,  the Indo-Chinese engagements and the war with China in which India was defeated, the nationalisation of banks, Operation Blue star, the two wars with Pakistan and the forming of Bangladesh, declaration of emergency, the Sri Lankan expedition of the IPKF, Shah Banu case,the deeds and misdeeds of UPA 1 and UPA 2 and so on have all been discussed from a diplomat’s point of view as well as that of an insider who had a ring side view of the happenings. In fact the book helps the reader to know how the country’s foreign policy evolved over the years, its nuances, its high as well as low points, how the foreign offices worked and so on  coming as it is from the author who was an officer of the foreign service, a diplomat and a minister of external affairs. Sadly these aspects did not  find a place in the discussions on the book.

The book is interestingly written, is easy  on the reader and succeeds in giving the impression that the author is nearer to the actual than otherwise.   He does not seem to allow his closeness to the ruling family to cloud his vision. He does not mince words while pointing out the blunders of Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi at the same time highlighting the contributions of the first three. He is highly critical of the UPA1 and UPA 2 regimes, Sonia Gandhi  and the former Prime Minister Manmohan  Singh. It is in this context that the reader gets the impression that the  frustration and bitterness, in connection with the circumstances that made him  resign from the cabinet and the Congress party, get the better of him. But he had the last laugh when the people of  India gave a resounding slap to the UPA and the Congress  when the results of the parliamentary elections were announced on the 16th May 2014. 

The book also contains a number of nostalgic photographs  including  a photo of Natwar Singh and wife with Lata Mangheshkar and another showing Natwar Singh with the pet lion of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethopia.

EP Record
One paragraph  on page 35 of the book touched a chord somewhere. The picture of a young Natwar Singh visiting a movie house in Bharatpur with his parents to see the  Bombay  Talkies film Achhut Kanya, an Ashok Kumar-Devika Rani  film, evoked memories of my going to see films with my parents though the circumstances were not comparable. It also made me take out and play the EP record of the film’s songs rendered by Ashok  kumar and Devika Rani! The 1936 film directed by Franz Osten and produced by Himanshu Rai was one of the first super hit movies of Hindi films and one of the earliest Indian movies with a social reformist theme. I also liked a sentence in another part of the book, “I knew too well the fate of the retired officers- the doers of yesteryears become the drifters of today.”