Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
If we were asked to name some prominent news anchor who presented to us with “News @ 9” there are quite few names that would come in our mind and Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai (Currently: Consulting Editor, India Today Group) obviously would be one amongst them.
Be it covering the breaking news that covers an attack to the nation or having strong political debate in the newsroom or speaking to an IIT Topper one must admire the passion and pride with Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai has been doing it brimming with confidence. What I have appreciated in this individual is not only the way he would present us with the news but also create an equal interest over the subject in the minds and hearts of the viewers. One of his biggest strengths I would say is intonation - the rise and fall in the pitch of his voice and his ability to probe questions and then later getting into the heart of the story.
Today, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai is not only India’s Top Journalists but also an author of his recently released book titled, “2014 - The Election That Changed India”. In the recent past I had the opportunity to meet this prolific news anchor over freewheeling chat.
For this week I would like to share short piece on Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai a well-known name in Indian electronic media.
They say, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. While young Rajdeep was very much found of playing cricket. His father Late Dilip Sardesai was a prominent Indian Test Cricketer in the 1960’s. His Mother Nandini Sardesai worked as a Professor of Sociology at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai.
Rajdeep always loved playing cricket and represented while playing at University level. It’s here he had close interaction with well-known right handed middle order batsman Mr. Sanjay Manjrekar. While Mr. Manjrekar went ahead in life with International Cricket whereas Rajdeep created his own identity in the field of Journalism.
Education / Career
Before getting into journalism Rajdeep aspired to become a lawyer. He first completed his Bachelor's Degree Course in Economics from St. Xavier's College. Post which he went to England to study in Oxford University and acquired the following degrees namely Master of Arts (M.A.) and Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.).
On his return from England in the year 1988 he decided to start his career as a lawyer by practicing law in India. But destiny had its own plans for Rajdeep. It was around the same time while Rajdeep was contemplating “Lawyer” as his profession he had the opportunity to meet the eminent journalist and the current editor then of “The Times of India” (TOI) Mr. Dileep Padgaonkar.
Rajdeep, being a compulsive reader and writer the thought of joining TOI appealed to him. Initially he started writing for TOI and later worked there for brief period of six years and was the city editor of its Mumbai Edition.
I was fortunate to enter into the field of journalism at a time when there were many events and happenings taking place within our country. Had there not been any major upheavals taking place in the country however any journalist may aspire to write the fact remains what is that topic the journalist would choose and amplify their thoughts that shall appeal to the voice of the readers. Rajdeep admits destiny was kind enough which allowed him come into the field of journalism at an opportune time which gave him immense opportunities to amplify on his strengths and competencies.
Rajdeep’s, parents especially his Mother who was Professor was cognizant that their son was always a good student who loved to take part in debates and dramas. He had a flair for General Knowledge and always searched for answers beyond what the textbooks could offer and that too at a very young age. One thing evident was his thirst for knowledge was always growing as he was keen to know more about the world and surroundings.
What would be the future of his chosen craft namely “Television Journalism” was something even his parents were not much aware about. All they could do at that point of time was to believe in his strengths and motivate him on his voyage of discovery.
Rajdeep Sardesai is a successful name today but there were risks he took and dare to achieve it. The point of time when he decided to leave NDTV and start his own venture “CNN IBN” his parents were apprehensive as he was already doing well in his career path. However, as Rajdeep wanted to follow his dreams his parents allowed him to take the risk and go that extra mile.
Rajdeep has also been the President of the Editors Guild of India the only Television Journalist to hold the post and was also chosen as a Global leader for tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000.
Commitment towards Craft
Rajdeep Sardesai's commitment towards his chosen craft is commendable. He is workaholic and works round-the-clock to achieve prominence and excellence. Reading relates to his mind as much as exercise relates to his body. Never complacent despite his near stardom status. He firmly believes when there is work it must be completed and there are times when Rajdeep doesn't take his weekly offs.
He believes in precision to details and in his farewell letter written to IBN 18 staff he says, "Am sorry if I would occasionally call at 3 am in the morning. Blame it on being a news junkie. And remember, every time there is a spelling mistake on the ticker, my ghost will haunt you”.
I would love to sum up my piece in his words, “I guess certain things in life are written in the stars. Editorial independence and Integrity have been articles of faith in 26 years in journalism and maybe I am too old now to change!
For all the book lover’s reading the first book “2014 - The Election That Changed India” from one of the country’s most recognized and respected journalists Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai would be indeed enlightening.
More in the “New Year”. More in the morrow . . .
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
Last week Friday (12th December 2014) the movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" completed 1000 weeks of successful running at Mumbai's Maratha Mandir theatre. The single screen that came into the limelight after it ran 'Mughal-e-Azam' for eight years and today it has broken its own record by running “Dilwale” for nineteen years continuously. A story that redefined love.
To commemorate 1000 weeks of romance a book was released on this occasion titled, “Aditya Chopra Relives . . . Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” published by Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. Director Aditya Chopra was just 24 years of age when “Dilwale” was released on Diwali 20th October 1995. One can only realize the creativity exhibited by this young boy then.
There are many interesting anecdotes that are given in his book and I take this opportunity to share some of them in my piece.
“Dilwale” or “DDLJ”
Well, whenever Director Aditya Chopra speaks of the movie he calls it as “Dilwale” and not “DDLJ”. Title being too long with passage of time “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” became “DDLJ” amongst the masses. Not that Aditya has any objection or gets offended with this but for him it’s like a nickname someone else has given to your child. It’s just that he has always referred to the film as “Dilwale” and continues to do so. It was Kirron Kher who suggested the movie’s title.
Come Fall In Love
Love is a singular experience being plurally felt witnessing delicate merger of two souls. Love is something one always aspires for and for some these aspirations do come true while for other’s they end up coming out of the woods of a broken heart.
It could be possible that in real life your love is forbidden to you or one may not be able to express it openly in the public or otherwise to that someone special. But on the silver screen one can experience it all. Romance in Cinema provides that dream space.
With “Dilwale” Director Aditya Chopra wanted Raj and Simran to be seen as lovers that many people would always aspire to be. Hey, I want to be like this man Shahrukh in my love or otherwise. Post watching the movie that thought has to be registered that every guy would love to have Simran in his life while every girl would aspire to have her Raj in her life. Aditya Chopra admired Raj Kapoor for his work so much that Shahrukh (Raj Malhotra) was called as Raj throughout the movie.
If we observe this romantic movie not even once did Raj or Simran said “I Love You” to each other. On the contrary it was pretty evident they both have fallen in love with each other. In the scene where Simran invites Raj for her wedding Shahrukh says, “Main Nahin Aaunga” (I won’t come for your wedding). When a girl invites you for her wedding it’s very unlikely a guy would refuse the invitation. It was in fact Raj’s style to convey it to Simran “I Love You” hence I won’t come to be part of your vibrant wedding celebration.
Palat Palat Palat
The dialogue where we see Shahrukh saying Palat Palat Palat was something Director Aditya admits to have copied the same from Clint Eastwood 1993 thriller titled In the Line of Fire. There is a scene where in Eastwood sees his love walk away and then says to himself “turn”. The idea was there in Aditya’s mind for long and while writing the scene it came back to him. He liked the idea and decided to use it in his script.
The shooting for this was scheduled at King’s Cross Station in the evening and weather was cold in there in London. So Aditya Chopra who was wearing the brown jacket lent the same to Shahrukh which can be seen in this movie in the “Palat” scene.
The Facts Remain
The entire screenplay was written in twelve days. The filming of DDLJ took place over sixty-seven non consecutive days. The whole movie was made in a budget of three crore rupees. For many years Dilwale was the most successful Indian film abroad. With the profits earned with Dilwale it allowed the Chopra’s to buy land in Andheri West where the Yash Raj Films studios stand today.
For the Director of Photography (DOP) the choice decided was Manmohan Singh (Manji). He shared close association with Yash Ji and had shot most of his films. Not even once he made Aditya Chopra the young boy of 24 years feel that he was inexperienced. Today, Manji has stopped photographing films in Mumbai and is now a leading film director in Punjabi Cinema.
The musical hit “Dilwale” was the good work from the duo Jatin Lalit who gave most unforgettable scores. The mahurat shot in this movie was Simran’s introduction. While for Amrish Puri (Baldev Singh’s) shop they wanted to do the shoot at Southhall. However, on the day of the shooting there was massive crowd gathered who had come to see the shooting making it impossible to complete the shoot. The scene was later filmed in a petrol pump station shop on some motorway. And I still remember while I first saw the movie in theatre with my dear friend people screaming Shahrukh with his entry in Dilwale.
The song "Tujhe Dekha To" fetched lyrics writer Anand Bakshi his Filmfare Award. The movie “Dilwale” set the record at its time for the most Filmfare awards won by a single film with ten in all. Aditya knew that Bakshi Saab’s words have power and was very important person out here. However, post ten days had passed and at least fifty of Bakshi Saab’s mukhdas were already rejected.
Bakshi Saab said, “Adi, I’m not able to meet your expectations. I’m not sure if I would be the right person for you. You better replace me with someone else. However, Aditya knew it was Bakshi Saab only who could get the work done here and to the final projections. There was nothing wrong with the mukhdas but they were just not apt for the girl Simran is what Aditya felt. The day Bakshi Saab came up with this line, “Ussse Kaho Jaaye Chaand Leke Aaye, Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye” the things took a different turn for both Bakshi Saab as well as Aditya.
Not that I have covered all the anecdotes in my piece but I am positive for all the fans of “Dilwale” reading this Aditya Chopra’s book full of interesting anecdotes would be indeed enlightening. Reading the anecdote and then watching the movie again would be a different experience all together. Come Fall In Love. When Raj(e) met Simran Love Was Never The Same . . .