Once upon a time, a voice echoed from the radio set and was known in every household~ This was Devki Nandan Pandey, a well-known news reader of his time.
Devki Nandan Pandey is known as the “Father of News Broadcasting in India”. He was a personality whose newsreading motivated the whole generation of broadcasters. Whenever one recalls his name even today, one only remembers him as a great exponent of the art of communication. Besides being a newsreader, Pandey also acted in films and television serials. Devki Nandan Pandey ji was also conferred with ‘Padam Shree’ Award for All time great Hindi announcer in AIR (All India Radio).
In his lifetime, Pandey became an institution of news reading. His style of reading the news, the correctness of his pronunciation, the seriousness of his tone and the fluctuations in the pitch and context was enough to bring the listener to a thrill.
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Devki Nandan was born in Kanpur. His father Shivdutt Pandey was a well-known doctor of his field. His father was a very kind hearted man who was available for patients 24X7 and was ready to treat any patient for free. Originally the Pandey family belonged to Kumaon. Perhaps this is the reason why Devki Nandan had a “pahadi” touch in his voice.
Devki Nandan was never a bright student during his school days but he never failed in his class. He had a keen interest in traveling, playing and sports. He never liked textbooks but books, novels, stories, biographies and history books always attracted him. He got his early education in Almora, Uttarakhand. Almora is a city located above the Himalayan mountain ranges. Pandey’s father was an avid lover of books. Due to this, there was a good collection of books in their home which made Pandey interested in reading.
The Time When Pandey Realised His Passion
During his college life, Pandey’s English teacher Vishambhar Dutt Bhatt had great affection for him. He first recognized and appreciated the uniqueness of Pandey’s voice. He made his student feel his talent. Bhatt started encouraging Pandey for theater. In Almora Pandey participated in several dozen plays which strengthened his confidence.
In the 60s, there were only two radios in a small place like Almora. One was in the house of Joshi ji, a school teacher, and the other was in the house of a businessman, Shah ji. The young Devkinandan Pandey would be thrilled to hear the news of the Second World War. He would leave all work everyday and go to listen to the news.
During those days, the two broadcasters of Germany radio were Lord Ho Ho and Dr. Farooqui. Both were excellent broadcasters. His voice always dominated Pandey’s heart and mind. In 1971, Pandey went to Allahabad to pursue his Undergraduate degree in B.A from Allahabad University, which was famous all over the Country.
In 1973, Pandey took up a government job in Lucknow and was selected as a radio artist for Announcer and Drama Artist on Radio Lucknow. This station was dominated by Urdu broadcasters. Pandey always believed that he got the study of this specific language and practice the nuances of correct pronunciation from Radio Lucknow itself. It can be clearly said that it was due to broadcasters like Devki Nandan Pandey that Hindi started to get respect in an English-oriented platform like Akashvani.
Journey of Becoming The “Voice of Akashvani”
Hindi News Division was established in All India Radio in the year 1949. It starred Alle Hassan (who was later considered the world-renowned broadcaster of the BBC Urdu service) Suresh Awasthi, Brijendra, Saeeda Bano and Chand Krishna Kaul. It was natural that the news readers of that time were required to come both in Hindi and Urdu. Alle Hassan’s Hindi reading was amazing. He was a very capable investigator and news reader. Initially, the original news was written in English, which the reader had to translate. Ashok Vajpayee, Vinod Kashyap and Ramanuj Pratap Singh were also forced to translate, but after a lot of struggle, they got rid of this problem and Hindi news began to be written in Hindi. It is also worth mentioning here that the role of Devki Nandan Pandey cannot be ignored in those who made him believe that Hindi broadcasting was in front of such English broadcasters like Melvin Dimelo and Chakrapani.
Devki Nandan Pandey used to merge himself with events at the time of the news broadcast and this was the reason why his reading style touched the hearts of millions of listeners. There was a magical touch in his voice. Sometimes it seemed that the radio set started trembling with Pandey’s voice.
Today, when TV channels are flooded and FM radio stations are encroaching life through their own live broadcasts, to remember Devki Nandan Pandey in itself is a Blissful feeling. Amid lack of technology during that time, Pandey made himself a household name on the basis of his unique voice.
The news of the death of Sardar Patel, Liaquat Ali Khan, Maulana Azad, Govind Vallabh Pant, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Jayaprakash Narayan reached the whole country in the voice of Pandey. In-spite of being retired, Pandey was specially invited to the Delhi station of All India Radio to read the news of the sudden demise of Sanjay Gandhi.
Leaving Behind a Legacy
Devki Nandan Pandey got offers from international broadcasting organizations like Voice of America due to recognition of his outstanding work in India, but his love for his beloved land India stopped him from doing so. Pandey realized the popularity of his personality on the day when Mrs. Indira Gandhi once invited the staff of All India Radio to her residence to hear her problem.
When Mrs. Gandhi was introduced to Pandey, she smiled and said, “OK, So you are our nation’s news voice?”. Former Information Broadcasting Minister Vidyacharan Shukla once embraced Pandey after hearing Pandey’s name.
Regarding the new news readers, what Pandey had to say was doing something with reverence, honesty and hard work and always being aware of the current events.
He believed that the more you listen and read the better you will be able to speak. Never copy a style. If you tell any mistake, accept it by bowing it and have a feeling of favor towards the person.
Make the habit of reading innocent and thoughtful; Confidence will come and identity will be created.
“I want to Entertain people but with some substance….”
This is what had been the motive of one of the finest actors of all time~ the great Irrfan Khan who is unfortunately not amongst us anymore.
Irrfan Khan, who recently left for heavenly abode after battling with prolonged illness has left behind such a rich and exquisite cinematic legacy which is unmatchable and impossible to define. Over the course of his 30-year career in the field of cinema, this gem of an actor did everything~ from big Bollywood hits to Oscar Winners, from grand Hollywood blockbusters to even dramas and thus, the actor will always remain versatile in his own aesthetic.
Beyond the impeccable skills he had, Irrfan’s face was one of cinema’s most expressive one’s, where many people have actually acclaimed that the guy could act with his eyes! The very famous Hollywood Actor Tom Hanks has also termed him as “the coolest guy in the room”.
Here I present to you 10 Key performances of Irrfan Khan which you must watch in order to experience his everlasting magic!
1. EK DOCTOR KI MAUT (1990)
Director: Tapan Sinha
Coming out as the Masterpiece by the director, Ek Doctor Ki Maut is a must watch if you want to know why and where India lags behind in the field of medical research, why the one who is on the verge of developing leprosy vaccine is frustrated fighting the conundrums of the bureaucratic system. People who are interested in the field of scientific research should definitely watch this film. It was this film from where Irrfan started gaining fame. In this film, Irrfan played the role of a sympathetic science reporter.
2. MAQBOOL (2003)
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Maqbool is an outstanding crime drama film by Vishal Bhardwaj. It is based on the famous play “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare. Maqbool isn’t a literal adaptation of Macbeth, it has its own tone and culture. The movie is not just a piece of content you see to enjoy your time, you live through it. Irrfan has done a tremendous job as a lead. This film is indeed a cinematic masterpiece.
3. QISSA (2013)
Director: Anup Singh
Qissa is an exquisite masterpiece, which tells the story of a Sikh trapped in his desire for eternity. This film is an excellent portrayal of the traditional mindset of a Punjabi family where a father aspires for a male child after successive female children. Here again, Irrfan has played the role of the lead. This film will make you get swayed in its situation, life of characters, their individual psychology and dignity of life. It is beautifully scripted but is surprisingly horrifying.
4. THE LUNCHBOX (2013)
Director: Ritesh Batra
Have you ever seen a movie and after watching it you just need some time to process what you are feeling or what do you exactly want from life? The Lunchbox will make you do that! It is just a simple story of how we as humans need to connect with people,how we constantly need someone to hold us and tell us that everything will be alright. The nuances and subtle human nature is captured with so much perfection that it feels like too good to be true~ all thanks to Irrfan! This critically acclaimed film featured yet another subtle, poignant performance from Irrfan. You should definitely watch it.
5. PAN SINGH TOMAR (2012)
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Here’s Irrfan, who covered oceans and scaled mountains. You simply can’t keep your eyes off him in this marvelous creation. Paan Singh Tomar is like a boon for every die-hard fan of Indian Cinema. The director Tigmanshu Dhulia is successfully able to tell the biopic how a former national champion athlete turned into a Dacoit in a cricket obsessed country. The interesting plot builds on it and takes you to a whirlwind journey of his life, which tickles you, inspires you, and ultimately asks you some very uncomfortable questions. For this very film, Irrfan was also felicitated with the National Award. This should be in your must watch!
6. PIKU (2015)
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Piku is a beautiful and soothing story with a less drama yet endearing characters. The 3 characters in this film have their own distinct flavour~ Deepika as a flake,irritating,independent yet alluring daughter “Piku’, Amitabh with freaky,obsessive,constipated father and Irrfan with his natural acting charm, sandwiched between the eccentric father and daughter!! Overall a refreshing story and a very different genre. You should definitely give it a watch!
7. MADAARI (2016)
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Madaari is a must-watch for many reasons. First and foremost is Irrfan Khan. Second, it is meant for family audiences. Third, it has a powerful story conveying a strong message against the system. Irrfan Khan’s acting is a big compliment for Madaari. This film is well-crafted and made with a refined direction. Madaari is about a man Nirmal suffering a big disaster and then fighting back with all his energy and vigor to question the system in place.
8. TALVAR (2015)
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Talvar is one of those refreshers who never fails to give audiences a reality check on the weak and fragile system of the country. It is based on Arushi Talwar murder case. This film is just a clever interpretation of how things might have gone and not a real story. Irrfan has played the role of an investigating office in this film.
9. HINDI MEDIUM (2017)
Director: Saket Chaudhary
Hindi Medium isn’t really a movie. This is a real story of today’s elite parents who think studying in an English Medium school can promise a good life for their children. The film hasn’t gone stereotype and rather looks very different than all those movies you see these days. Hindi medium is enormously charming; light hearted comedy and a socio-political satire on the education system and the elite class’s charm for English Medium Schools. Through this film, Irrfan The film does a great commentary on India’s obsession with English, and how class and opportunity intermingle.
10. ANGREZI MEDIUM (2020)
Director: Homi Adajania
Unfortunately, being Irrfan’s last film~ Angrezi Medium is again a must watch. In this film, Irrfan flits effortlessly from the emotional to the ecstatic to the zany, creating some endearing moments in concerts with the story. Dedicated to all the sacrificing & wonderful fathers, it is a hilarious film backed by actors who have impeccable comic time to make you naturally go laughing! The story about father Daughter just touches you deep inside and also teaches you some beautiful things which will keep you connected to the core of every emotion. You must definitely watch it.
During his career of close to five decades that has been predominantly defined by a loverboy image, Rishi Kapoor has romanced over 45 actresses on screen. He struck magic with each romantic shot, and managed to weave a dream with each song, opposite each of his leading ladies.
Yet, there are the ones who have seemed a little more special than the others, facing the camera with him.
Rishi Kapoor’s first role as a hero in Bollywood was in “Bobby” opposite Dimple Kapadia and he nailed it at the first chance. He proved he could be the lover boy every girl craves for! His rocking chemistry with 16-year-old Dimple Kapadia in the film remains etched in the songs and romantic scenes.
They would carry their romance onto real life, but not before delivering films like “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Khel Khel Mein”, “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Zehreela Insaan” among others. Their sizzling on-screen chemistry transpired into off-screen romance and Neetu Singh eventually quit acting to become Rishi Kapoor’s wife Neetu Kapoor. Their song “Ek main aur ek tu” in “Khel Khel Mein” continues to be a favourite across generations.
Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi will perhaps go down in Bollywood as one of the best looking pairs! Although “Nagina”, “Chandni” and “Banjaran” were heroine-centric films with Sridevi in title roles, their chemistry was worth applauding. Their song “Chandni o meri chandni” – incidentally the only song Sridevi sang — is a timeless hit.
She was a frequent co-star. Jaya. like Dimple Kapadia, made her Bollywood debut opposite Rishi Kapoor. Their first film together was in 1979, titled “Sargam”. Rishi and Jaya Prada have together appeared in several movies including “Sindoor”, “Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani”, “Gharana” and “Dhartiputra”. The song “Dafaliwale dafali baja” in “Sargam” was a huge .
“Karz” cast Rishi Kapoor opposite Tina Munim. Each song of the film is a superhit. And the film itself emerged a blockbuster. Movies featuring this pair include “Yeh Vaada Raha”, “Bade Dil Wala” and “Aap Ke Deewane” among others.
Some of the popular movies featuring the Rishi Kapoor-Moushumi Chatterjee pair include “Zehreela Insaan”, “Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan” and “Do Premee”. “Zehreela Insaan” also starred Neetu Singh. The Kishore Kumar track “O hansini” featuring Rishi and Moushumi became an instant hit and is still counted among one of Bollywood’s best romantic numbers. Moushumi Chatterjee later in her career has also worked in Rishi Kapoor’s one and only directorial flick “Aa Ab Laut Chalen”.
Poonam Dhillon and Rishi Kapoor made another very popular pair of the eighties. They starred together in movies like “Sitamgar”, “Yeh Vaada Raha”, “Zamana”, “Biwi O Biwi”, “Ek Chadar Maili Si”, and “Tawaif”.
Apart from the multiple award-winning “Damini”, Rishi Kapoor and Meenakshi Seshadri have together appeared in movies like “Ghayal”, “Hero”, “Shahenshah” and “Ghatak”. The actress, who currently resides in the US, paid a surprise visit to Rishi Kapoor a few years ago. The actor took to Twitter to admit that he could not recognize his Damini co-star for a moment! The songs “Jab se tumko dekha hai sanam” and “Gawah hain chand taare” in “Damini” featuring this jodi remain evergreen.
Madhuri Dixit and Rishi Kapoor have appeared in movies like “Sahibaan”, “Yaraana” and “Prem Granth”. The song “Dil dene ki ruth ayee” from “Prem Granth” enjoys a huge number of views on YouTube even today. Last year when Madhuri Dixit tweeted wishing Rishi Kapoor on his birthday, the actor had replied: “Thank you Madhuri. I have to make a super hit film with you that’s my mission. Love to the family.”
Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla have featured together in several movies like “Bol Radha Bol”, “Rishta To Ho Aisa”, “Ghar Ki Izzat” and “Saajan Ka Ghar” among others. This jodi deserves a special mention because Rishi Kapoor was shooting the last film of his life with Juhi, which he could not complete. The film titled “Sharmaji Namkeen” was being directed by Hitesh Bhatia. The actor fell sick while shooting for the movie in Delhi recently.
Rishi Kapoor has worked with many other popular actresses including Rakhee, Rekha, Hema Malini, Shabana Azmi, Raveena Tandon, Divya Bharti, Manisha Koirala and Tabu. The actor with his looks and divine smile won the hearts of ladies from eight to eighty. (IANS)