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Om Puri: An actor for all seasons with remarkable range of expressions

The true tribute to any actor is in remembering some of their performances and for Om Puri, who succumbed to a sudden heart attack on Friday, there is no shortage of roles, big or small, heroic, comic or villainous, in masala or art films to recall his skill.



His craggy, pockmarked but distinctive face may have kept him from becoming a leading man in films, but Om Puri used the remarkable range of expressions he could convey, from impotent rage to blazing menace to comic exasperation, along with his trademark baritone, to play some immortal roles on the big and small screen in India and abroad.

The true tribute to any actor is in remembering some of their performances and for Om Puri, who succumbed to a sudden heart attack on Friday, there is no shortage of roles, big or small, heroic, comic or villainous, in masala or art films to recall his skill.

Will we remember him for his depiction of the victimised tribal of “Aakrosh” (1980), conveying his anguished helplessness by facial expressions till the very last shocking scene when he finally opens his mouth in a loud protest, the hapless policeman in “Ardh Satya” (1982), the enthusiastic poetry-lover in “In Custody/Muhafiz” (1993) or sinister terrorist Sanatan in “Maachis” (1996).

Or will we prefer to remember him in another light, as suspicious secretary Banwari Lal in “Chachi 420” (1998), the jovial and kind but dutiful Inspector Khan in “Pyar To Hona Hi Tha” (1997) or determined Inspector Udham Singh in “Gupt” (1997). Then there is also his portrayal of British-Pakistani George Khan, who is loving but can be authoritarian and abusive towards his mixed family in “East Is East” (1999).

Any list of his most memorable performances is bound to be most subjective, but lets try to list six of them, from a wide swathe of his work.

“Ardh Satya” – This was the movie that made his name, and fetched him the National Award for Best Actor. As Sub Inspector Anant Velankar, Om Puri well conveyed the helplessness of a low-ranking police inspector who soon realises the limits of his uniform’s power, the shameless manipulation of power by the elite and how justice is only a word.

“Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” (1983) – As Ahuja, the dipsomaniac and corrupt Punjabi builder who wears sun-glasses round the clock, Om Puri held his own against a powerhouse of abundant talent in this cult classic. He also grabbed some of the best scenes — especially the one in which he comes across Satish Shah propped in his coffin, thinks his car has broken down and tries to help him. He also pops up as a sun-glass sporting Duryodhana in the epic climax scene and has one of the film’s most-remembered dialogues, when he storms out of a meeting with his rival (Pankaj Kapoor): “Tarneja, tena main dekh lunga, D’Mello, tu te gaya.”

“Tamas” (1987) – In this disturbing story of the circumstances in which India and Pakistan were born as independent nations, Om Puri plays low-caste labourer Nathu, who is cynically manipulated into an act which leads to riots and eventually his own death.

“Bharat Ek Khoj” (1988) – Om Puri was the mainstay of Shyam Bengal’s epic journey around Indian history, popping up in most episodes in key roles as Duryodhana, Angulimala, Ashoka, Allaudin Khilji, Krishna Deva Raya, a rebel soldier in 1857, J.C. Nigam, the District Magistrate of rebellious Ballia in 1942, and so on. But his best was as Aurangzeb, especially when he faces a resentful Shivaji (Nasseruddin Shah), who does not mellow despite all his attempts at conciliation and ultimately puts gets Emperor into a towering rage.

“Kakkaji Kahin” (1988) – Based on writer Manohar Shyam Joshi’s political satire, this TV comedy saw Om Puri in the eponymous role of a thick-skinned, typical cow-belt wheeling-dealing politician who can solve any problem brought before him. Apart from his trademark guffaw, he was remembered for his literal translation from Hindi to English (eg. “Heart putting Kaushalpur king” for “Hriday rakhi Kaushalpur raja”).

“Mr Yogi” (1989) – Om Puri was the mysterious “sutradhar”, who confuses NRI Y.I. Patel (Mohan Gokhale) in India to find a bride and having to meet a dozen prospects from all the zodiac signs. In the final episode, Patel turns the tables and the sutradhar must turn into “Superman” to locate him (but being an Indian super hero, suffers due to weak batteries which see him tangled in a tree as he tries to fly and finally limp to his destination).

And let us end with two cameos where he well marked his presence – Nahari, the unrepentant rioter in Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” (1982), and as Gen Zia ul-Haq in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007), which shows how the Americans began their slide into the Afghan quagmire.


Culture and Heritage sites major attraction among Tourists



Culture and Heritage sites

Culture and Heritage has always been a major object of travel for several years. Even today most traveler look at exploring the Cultural and heritage of aspect of the place they visit. The Traveler’s like to understand a country or regions’ culture, lifestyle of people, history of the country, art & architecture and any other elements that are important part of day to day life.

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Thailand’s best cultural World Heritage Sites

Cultural tourism as defined by the World Tourism -“trips, whose main or concomitant goal is visiting the sites and events whose cultural and historical value has turn them being a part of the cultural heritage of a community”.

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Taj Mahal Agra

In recent years, ‘culture’ has been rediscovered as an important marketing tool to attract travellers who have special interests in heritage and arts. As we see the growth pattern in the travel industry, Culture and Heritage tourism has always played a major role and is one of the most important segments of the tourism industry. Cultural tourism forms a base for most travel planners.

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World Heritage Sites of Nepal

Cultural tourism has a positive economic and social impact. This segment also helps in preservation of cultural heritage and monuments. Also facilitates tourism in rural areas and helps in boosting their economic and social growth.

Culture can be split into two circles:

Inner Circle – represents the more traditional or basic elements of Cultural tourism and can be split into Tourism of art heritage – which relates to cultural assets and products of the past and tourism of art which relates to Presentation of visual arts, modern architecture, literature etc.

Outer Circle – Is the way of life or style of living of the population in a particular place and can be split into life style – elements such as cuisines, traditions, folklore etc and creativity – fashion, graphic design, cinema, entertainment etc.

In some places both these aspects form an offering which are mutually complementing each of the them.
Based on above, following are some subcategories of cultural tourism which are able to contribute to and motivate visitors:

– Heritage Tourism
– Art Tourism
– Urban Culture Tourism
– Rural Culture Tourism
– Contemporary Tourism

Jay Kantawala from WIYO Travel feels that Indians should also explore the Cultural tourism aspect of India apart from the International trips. Indian states of Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh also have a lot to offer to clients with interest in Cultural tourism.

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Govinda, Sridevi and Mahira steal limelight at awards show in Dubai, See Pics



Sridevi govinda masala awards 2017

Dubai, Dec 14: Bollywood veterans Govinda and Sridevi stole the limelight at the Masala! Awards 2017 here, where Pakistani actresses Mahira Khan and Saba Qamar too were present.

Govinda was given the Dancing Legend of Bollywood honour, and he justified the title with a lively performance at the event here on Wednesday night.

Actor Arjun Rampal bagged an award for Contribution to Cinema at the extravaganza, held at the Bollywood Parks, Dubai Parks and Resort. There were also celebrities like Manish Malhotra, Celina Jaitley, Ankita Lokhande, Daisy Shah and other prominent Asian celebrities attended the red carpet event.

#mawrahocane #arjunrampal #masalaawards

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The jury for the awards consisted of eminent names from the business, lifestyle and hospitality industry including Manish Malhotra, Yogesh Mehta, Sara Belhasa and Celina Jaitly.

Sridevi donned an exquisite sequinned creation by Malhotra, and she looked evergreen as she picked up the Best Actress Award.

Mahira made a style statement in a wine coloured strapless gown with a diamond necklace, and had her hair pulled back with minimal make-up. She walked away with the Asian Woman of substance Award.

#MahiraKhan shining on the red carpet at #MasalaAwards last night in Dubai 😍 . Via: @selfietv1

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At the red carpet, Mahira spoke about being a fan of Sridevi, and said that just a few days ago, she was with her friends and they were dancing to the Indian actress’ hit song “Hawaa hawaai”.


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Lata Mangeshkar on her association with Raj Kapoor




By Lata Mangeshkar 

It was sometime in 1948 I was recording a song at the Famous recording studio for music director Anil Biswas. At that time, Raj Kapoor had a very small office on the second floor in the same building. Anil Biswas contacted him and asked him to come down to the studio and listen to my voice. I sang and he listened. There was no reaction. He listened and left! Next day, Anil Biswas called and said that Raj Kapoor has called you at the Mahalaxmi office.

In Kohlapur, I had seen Prithviraj Kapoor’s film “Sikandar” fifteen times. I was a great fan of his. He was tall and so handsome. I thought it might be a good opportunity to meet my favourite star’s son, Raj Kapoor. I accepted the invite and went. Raj Kapoor was sitting on his desk in his office. I sat across the table. He said ‘I want you to sing for my film,’ and asked me what that would cost him. I responded by saying any amount that he gave me would be acceptable. He replied by offering me rupees 500 for the same. At this time, Ram Ganguly was the music director and both Shankar and Jaikishen were music arrangers. They all worked together at Prithvi Theatres.

Shankar was on the tabla and Jaikishen on the harmonium. They sang and taught me the song ‘Jiya bekarar hai’ for the film “Barsaat.”

It was after this recording that Raj Kapoor took the decision that the music director for the film would be Shakar-Jaikishen and not Ram Ganguly. This was the historic decision, with Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri handling the lyrics, that created the evergreen music of R.K. Films.

I also recall Raj-ji cautioning Jaikishen. He was concerned about my ability to sing commercial film songs, being a classical singer. Hearing this I was naturally very upset. I was new and had not worked in the film industry. I sang all the songs in Barsaat. It was very gratifying for me to hear of a request from Raj saab for a bhairavi alaap in a certain song in Barsaat. I sang it and he loved it and was very happy. The music of this film was very successful.

Later, for the following films, he would leave the details of the melody to me. But he always wanted an alaap which would touch the hearts of millions of people.

I recall a time when we were recording the famous song in Awara, ‘Ghar aaya mera pardesi’, with Manna Dey accompanying me. We reached the recording theatre. Shankar and Jaikishen made us learn the lyrics and the melody of the song, but Raj saab, who came later, rejected our entire day’s work. He said to Jaikishen, ‘I don’t want a popatiya song!’ He changed the whole song. He also added an alaap to the song! All this went on till 3 a.m. and only after it was done did he say, ‘Now let us eat!’ He had arranged food for the entire unit. I remember the entire team sat in the middle of the road and ate. There was almost no traffic those days, particularly at 3 a.m. A sheet was spread on the road where we all ate and left for home.

This was his way of working…

I was also bad tempered. I used to fight. I was recording with his son Randhir Kapoor for his film “Kal Aaj Aur Kal”. Raj-ji had come for the recording. There, he told me that he was soon starting his next film called “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” for which he wanted my brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar to score the music. I replied to him saying that I would ask my brother. I managed to persuade my brother who was not really interested in scoring scores for films…

I left for my US trip where I was shocked to hear from Mukesh, ‘Hridaynath ki picture gayi (Hridaynath has lost the film)!’ Hridaynath called and said that he had accepted the film because of me but the newspapers were writing otherwise. He was offended and embarrassed. I was very angry with Raj-ji. On my return, I called him and said, ‘why did you do this?’ I had persuaded him because you had asked me to!’


(Extracted from “Raj Kapoor: The One And Only Showman” presented by his daughter Ritu Nanda, with permission from Harper Collins India)

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