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Getting into the film industry is tough. But, once in the industry, one does not come alone. With him or her comes the anxiety and the insecurity. Getting in is tough, of course, but sustaining and surviving is tougher. Producers, directors and other technicians all live with the uncertainties, depending on the fate of a film they are associated with.
While the technicians could work with various film units at the same time or even with the advertising field because films were shot in phases over a couple of years, actors had little else to do besides films. The actors were burdened with a heavy load of insecurity. Their fates swung like a pendulum every Friday their film released.
Having seen the state of various stars and superstars before them only added to the insecurity of the every new lot of actors who made it to the film industry. So many big named makers and stars had died either in poverty or out of frustration after becoming irrelevant.
But, this was the norm in the film industry. Just about everybody entered with a Best Before Date; most of all, the stars.
Not going too much back into the past, imagine Rajesh Khanna. After a number of flops, finally, when he arrived, he did it with a bang and went on to give one hit after the other in a period of just about four years or so. He was the most romantic hero on screen and girls wrote love letters, not fan mail, to him in blood! Boys dressed like him and sported his haircut. Then, suddenly the trend changed. The very actor from whom he stole the show in “Anand”, returned the favour in their next film together, “Namak Haraam”. That was Amitabh Bachchan, who was destined to rule the roost displacing Rajesh Khanna.
The later generation learnt from this and decided to use the popularity to optimise earnings.
Initially, the trend was for popular playback singers like Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh and others to perform in overseas stage shows. They took their audience on a nostalgia trip, reeling out old melodies (film music was all about melody those days). The eighties saw the revival of the ghazal era with Jagjit Singh leading the pack, as new talent sprang up in the form of Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz, Penaz Masani, Hariharan, Bhupinder and few others. The fame of some of these singers spread, and they were called for stage shows and private performances not only in all corners of India but also overseas. Some drama troupes also followed.
Initially, the filmstars’ overseas jamborees started and ended with Dubai, where the underworld don Dawood was based. The stars seemed to be at his back and call; weather he wished for them to perform or to just add glamour to the cricket matches held there. You saw some of the biggest names in the film industry by his side during these cricket matches.
The stars who obliged were sent back with gifts like TV sets and video players, a priced possession back then besides a cash component of a lakh or so (a big amount in those days, for a matter of a day or two), not to mention the ‘phoren’ trip.
Sadly, a side effect of this Middle East era was prostitution. Merely a single film credit was enough to brand one as a filmstar and that meant high bucks. People there, somehow, took fancy to stars. This gave birth to a new racket. Some middleman would approach the trade papers with the picture of heavily but gaudily made-up girls posing as if on some film set! The trade papers charged to print photos. This facility was used by filmmakers to publish pictures of either shootings or song recordings. This helped the producers convey to their distributors and investors that the film was making progress. The girls used this facility to get branded as filmstars and proceed to the Middle East, prospect hunting in the oldest profession in the world.
This was an unexpected windfall. The smaller and side actors also joined the bandwagon, and would attend pre-wedding mehndi ceremonies as well as weddings for a lakh! There was actually a growing demand for actors to attend weddings and other ceremonies, as well as to cut ribbons for the inauguration of various enterprises.
Initially, if an actor inaugurated a shop, it merited some space in the media, especially the print media. Later, when these media guys wizened up and started charging, it was still worth it.
The ultimate came from Shakti Kapoor, about this side business that actors were becoming a part of. His reply was very candid: If I am paid a lakh, I will even attend a funeral!
I don’t think that was so much greed. Seemed more like insecurity. Make hay while the sun shines.
The big league was soon to follow. The superstars were willing to dance and regale your crowd at weddings if you happened to be among the Forbes list or a noted NRI. So the King and the rest danced to the tune of Sterling Pounds!
The ad world had taken a fancy to stars as brand ambassadors in place of the regular models and rampwalkers. Instead of dancing for the Middle East dons, the stars were now willing to sell everything from underwear to non-existent soda water as a surrogate ad for alcohol.
Once upon time, the Hindi film industry had only one awards function, the one instituted by the Filmfare magazine management in 1954. At this function, each year, best of the top stars performed on the stage. It was not about money, it was considered prestigious to be chosen to perform. For a newcomer, if chosen, it meant exposure to showcase his or her talent in front of the best of the who’who of the industry.
But, then came television and along came the sponsors. The sponsor wanted his money’s worth and the attendance of as many stars as possible started to matter. The outcome was that there would be an award statuette for almost all the glamour willing to attend. Not to mention, a bagful of money for those who performed. After all, the sponsor wanted an entertaining package for his money.
The sponsors also brought forth some more awards in Screen, Zee and IIFA, besides a few that started and faded.
There were some, of course, who were not the stage performer kind, as dancing and prancing around on stage was not their forte. They ended up those who could and were in demand for such shows as Bhaand, not quite flattering a term when translated in English!
But, money makes anybody dance. At one of the Ambani family weddings, they needed a world-renowned performer and the choice fell on the American singer, Beyonce, while the film stars handled the catering, serving food to the guests.
@The Box Office
The three new releases of last week, “Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas”, “Prassthanam” and “The Zoya Factor”, have all failed miserably. From the Ganesh festival till Diwali has never been considered an opportune time for release of new films. The footfalls don’t happen. The public reports of a film come much later, but after the audience comes. That did not happen with any of these films right from the opening show.
Wrong decision, especially for Sunny Deol, who launching the career of his son, Karan Deol.
* “Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas” had another drawback in that it turned out to be an old-fashioned love story and could manage to collect a meagre Rs 7.5 crore in its first week.
* “Prassthanam”, a film about a baahubali family and its internal power struggle, is a subject done and dusted with, and failed to appeal. The film ended its opening week with figures of a poor five crore.
* “The Zoya Factor” found few takers and closed it first week with a mere three crore.
* “Dream Girl” has proved to be a hit. The film has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark with ease, with its two-week total standing at about Rs 116 crore.
* “Chhichhore” is a major hit, adding Rs 22 crore in its third week, taking its three-week tally to Rs 121 crore. (IANS)
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City