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Few actors in Bollywood have had as many clones as Dilip Kumar. The assertion would seem like the greatest note of flattery in a film industry that survives and thrives on being 'inspired', more than superlatives such as star, superstar, megastar, thespian -- even legend, for the word, is often loosely used in Bollywood.
Dilip Kumar, who passed away on Wednesday in Mumbai at the age of 98, was always the benchmark. He had a direct impact on many actors who worked in his time, from the forties to the nineties. He continues to indirectly impact actors post-nineties too, for those who fashioned their acting after he continues to influence many rank newcomers of today.
Perhaps that is the mark of a legend -- when the trademark style of your art continues to outlive you and find new ways to reinvent itself through budding talents who started long after you quit.
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For the record, Dilip Kumar quit acting in 1998. That was the year Yusuf Saab -- as he was widely known to friends and fans alike -- last faced the camera for Umesh Mehra's "Qila". If the actor was never seen on-screen over the past two decades since its release, the rest of the film's primary cast including Rekha, Mukul Dev, and Mamta Kulkarni has also all but vanished, and director Mehra stopped making films nearly two decades ago. "Qila", an otherwise forgotten attempt, will continue to garner recall value because it was the last film of one of Bollywood's greatest.
Dilip Kumar in Devdas.Wikimedia Commons
Flawed and over the top as the film was, "Qila" gave Dilip Kumar a dual role as protagonist and antagonist (or 'hero' and 'villain' as masala filmdom loves classifying). Somewhere in those portrayals lay the key to why he was hailed as the phenomenon back in the day when they showered him with epithets as Tragedy King, and the Great Method Actor of Bollywood.
There are tales about Dilip Kumar's method of acting. The most widely-known pertains to the self-produced "Gunga-Jumna", the Nitin Bose directorial of 1961 that, many whispers, was ghost-directed by the actor himself. Coming immediately after his 1961 superhit "Mughal-e-Azam", Dilip Kumar is said to have run all around the studio premise, to the point of collapsing, to get the right look and feel for his death scene in the film. The performance is counted among one of the finest by any male actor in mainstream Bollywood, and the plot of the film would find resonance in many subsequent Hindi hits, notably "Deewar".
If the subject of method acting largely defines Dilip Kumar's oeuvre, the actor himself tried to deconstruct it in his autobiography "Dilip Kumar: The Substance And The Shadow", released in 2015.
"I am an actor who evolved a method, which stood me in good stead," he says.
That alone explains the consummate acting we saw in all his films, right from his debut effort "Jwar Bhata" (1944), as well as other notable early roles in "Milan " (1946) and "Jugnu" (1947).
A picture of Indian film actors Madhubala and Dilip Kumar talking to each other. It was taken on the sets of Mughal-e-Azam (1960).Wikimedia Commons
By 1948, only four years into the industry, Dilip Kumar was a busy star. He had as many as five releases that year -- "Ghar Ki Izzat", "Shaheed", "Mela", "Anokha Pyar" and "Nadiya Ke Paar". By the time the last film of the year was released and went on to become the biggest hit of 1948, Dilip Kumar was one of Bollywood's exciting new sensations along with two others -- Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.
The trio would go on to define Hindi cinema in the next decade and be called Bollywood's Triumvirate. Together, they continue to shine the brightest at the mention of the Golden Fifties of Hindi cinema. While each of them carved a niche to ensure greatness, somewhere their individual images as stars summed up the essence of an era that continues to be regarded as the classiest that Hindi cinema has seen.
Dilip Kumar would collaborate with Raj Kapoor, incidentally said to be his childhood friend from Peshawar, on Mehboob Khan's 1949 love triangle "Andaz" that co-starred the inimitable Nargis. The film was a superhit upon release and, for the second consecutive year, Dilip Kumar would be part of the year's highest-grossing film with "Andaz".
That was just the start of a dream run. The fifties saw him deliver innumerable superhits including "Jogan" and Babul (1950), "Tarana" and "Deedar" (1951), "Aan" (1952), "Footpath" (1953), "Amar" and "Daag" (1954). "Devdas", "Azaad" and Uran Khatola" followed in 1955, "Musafir" and "Naya Daur" were released in 1957. The spate of memorable roles continued with "Yahudi" and "Madhumati" in 1958, and Dilip Kumar ended the decade with "Paigham" in 1959.
If the decade that ended established the method about Dilip Kumar's stardom in its versatility, it also prepared fans for the one role that continues to draw automatic recall when you think Dilip Kumar. The decade started with K. Asif's s epic "Mughal-e-Azam" for Dilip Kumar, after the successful "Kohinoor" the same year. The film became the highest-grossing Hindi film of all time upon release.
Nargis, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in scene from Andaz.Wikimedia Commons
After the success of "Gunga Jumna" in 1961, Dilip Kumar would again essay a dual role of a very different mood in "Ram Aur Shyam" (1967). His other memorable roles in the decade were "Aadmi" and "Sunghursh" (1968).
He started in the seventies with "Gopi" (1970). The sixties and the seventies, however, saw the actor slow down in terms of solo releases. The advent of Rajesh Khanna's brand of romance in the late sixties, and Amitabh Bachchan's Angry Young Man in the mid-seventies, changed Bollywood trends. The great socials of the fifties and the sixties seemed to be on the wane. Dilip Kumar decided to take a break in 1976, after "Bairag".
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He would come back, of course, in Manoj Kumar's 1981 release "Kranti". The film was a multistarrer, Bollywood's chosen genre of the eighties, and Dilip Kumar found ready takers in such lavishly-mounted productions that needed multiple heroes across age groups. He was notably seen in the Subhash Ghai multitaskers "Vidhaata" (1982) and "Karma" (1986) as well as "Saudagar" in 1991. Two-hero or multi-hero projects as "Shakti" (1982), "Mazdoor" (1983), "Mashaal" (1984), and "Duniya" (1984) mark his last phase as an actor, one that culminated with "Qila" in 1998.
Meena Kumari with co-actor Dilip Kumar in a scene from 1958 film Yahudi.Wikimedia Commons
The five decades of acting are balanced by the irony that Dilip Kumar never released a film as director. In his lifetime, he is said to have been involved with direction twice. He is said to have directed the 1966 drama "Dil Diya Dard Liya" along with the officially-mentioned helmer, Abdul Rashid Kardar, though he isn't credited as a director for the project. Decades later, he would launch the self-starring "Kalinga", with Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri, and Amitoj Mann. Some say the film was shot, though it never saw the light of day.
For a man known to take an active interest in all departments of some of the biggest projects of his heydays, it remains a mystery why Dilip Kumar lost interest in releasing "Kalinga". Perhaps the phenomenon, one of 12 children born to a Peshawari fruit merchant, knew when to go cold on a bad business prospect. (IANS/KB)
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
By- Digital Hub
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Also read: Gemstones: Fashion Statements
In today's society, the wearing of a hair wig has become more common. A hair wig is an easy method to alter your appearance at any time you wish quickly. Women are more drawn to these wigs since they can change their hairstyle with ease. Wigs are usually worn by those who have shed their hair or those who wish to alter their hairstyle to be fashionable.
Human hair wigs on display at a store Image source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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If you are purchasing a human hair wig, make sure you know the origin of the hair. If you're looking to invest a few hundreds of dollars on a wig, it's recommended to purchase one of European hair. However, if the wig's label reads "human hair wig" without stating the origin for the hair, it's most likely made of Asian hair.
Also read: Latest Monsoon Fashion Trends
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While you can find numerous styles of synthetic wigs, but there aren't all fibers produced in the same way; for example, wigs that are costume-related for Halloween are typically made of lower quality fibers, which are expensive and appear to be the hair wig. For Halloween parties, this is okay, but for everyday use, you'll need a wig that looks like it's been growing around your head. On the other hand, contemporary synthetic materials utilized in top-quality designer wigs look highly practical for those who want to look realistic.
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