Monday, February 23, 2015


Farooq Sheikh was a  highly talented actor of par excellence who could portray any type of characters in a realistic and convincing manner.He presented large number of unforgettable and delightful characters during 70's and 80's for which he received wide appreciation.His unique skill of authentic presentation of characters  earned him the lead roles of many parallel cinema which choose a medium path between art cinema and commercial films.

Farooq Sheikh was born on 25th March 1948 to parents Mustafa Shaikh and Farida at Amroli in Gujarat.His father was a lawyer and they belonged to a well to do 'Zamandari' family.He graduated from St.Xavier's College Mumbai and studied law.He used to act in plays from childhood and during college days also and this paved way for his role in the film 'Garam Hawa' in 1973 while he was a law student.
In the film 'Garam Hawa' Balram Sahni was in the lead role and Farooq acted in supporting role.
In 1977 he acted in the film 'Shatranj Ke Khilari' which was directed by Satyajit Ray and acted along with the lead actors Sanjeev Kumar and Shabana Azmi.
In the year 1978 he earned accolades as the hero of the film 'Gaman' directed by Muzaffar Ali and acted opposite Smita Patil.His role was as  a migrant from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai hoping to lead an urban life where he becomes a taxi driver.
The film 'Noorie' in which Farooq Sheikh and Poonam Dhillon acted in lead roles and directed by Manmohan Krishna became a huge hit.The beautiful songs by 'Khayyam'  and the enchanting locations were much loved by the audience.
The film 'Umrao Jaan' directed by Muzaffar Ali earned him love and accolades from all corners.His role as Nawab Sultan was charismatic and he handled the role with seemingly effortless ease as natural as it could be.
Rekha performed her title role stunningly beautiful with great skill.Naseeruddin Shah,Raj Babbar and Bharat Bhushan also acted in supporting roles in this film.
'Chashme Buddoor'(81) directed by Sai Paranjpye in which Farooq and Deepti Naval acted in lead roles along with Rakesh Bedi, Ravi Baswani,Saeed Jaffrey was a silver jubilee hit.
Naseeruddin Shah,Smita Patil and Farooq Sheikh presented brilliant acting skill in the film 'Bazaar' directed by Sagar Sarhadi in 1982.
Farooq Sheikh,Deepti Naval and Utpal Dutt were the lead actors of the comedy film  'Kissi Se Na Kehna' directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in 1983.
In the hilarious comedy film 'Rang Birangi' directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in 1983, Amol Palekar,Farooq Sheikh,Parveen Babi and Deepti Naval were the leads.Utpal Dutt who portrayed a Police Inspector received Filmfare award as Best Comedian.Farooq acted as Prof.Jeet Saxena in this film.

'Biwi Ho To Aisi' was directed by J.K.Bihari in 1988 in which Rekha and Farooq were in the leads.This was the  debut film of Salman Khan who acted as younger brother of Farooq in this film.
After 1998 he took a long break of ten years from films and during this period he was busy acting in TV serials and as a TV presenter etc.

He reappeared in 2008 and continued  acting  in films till 2013.

His sterling performance in the film 'Lahore'(2009) which was directed by Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan earned Farooq Sheikh National Award as Best Supporting Actor.The film also received International acclaim and awards.
Farooq Sheikh was a successful and popular TV actor who presented large number of characters in serials.He was a talented TV presenter and host for shows like 'Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai' for which he interviewed many Bollywood celebrities.
Farooq Sheikh died of a heart attack in Dubai on 28th December 2013 at the age of 65.
Selected Filmography
Garam Hawa
Mere Saath Chal
Shatranj Ke Khilari
Umrao Jaan
Chashme Buddoor
Saath Saath
Kissi Se Na Kehna
Rang Birangi
Ab Ayegi Mazaa
Khel Mohabbat Ka
Biwi Ho To Aisi
Mera Damad
Ab Insaf Hoga
Tell me O Khuda
Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Children of War

Monday, February 16, 2015


Many actors with exceptional acting skills have stated that they could manifest any type of roles and emotions effectively  well except comedy.To make others laugh is a very difficult task is a widely accepted fact.Some people think and consider comedy actors inferior  than the protagonist actors  but in reality, comedy actors who performs all kinds of foolishness,shows vague expressions,gestures and mannerisms to make us laugh are real genius people.Such actors possess a high magnitude of observation capabilities and they can judge and differentiate the qualities and faults of a person very quickly and imitate them.They would be but imitating others exaggerating their minute negative traits to make the audience laugh.
To portray comedy scenes and  characters successfully is a boon or privilege granted  only to  a few artists.One of such highly talented personality was Mala Aravindan who has portrayed Comedy and Character roles in Malayalam films for about four and a half decades.
Mala Aravindan was a Film Actor,Stage actor,Singer and an exponent of 'Tabla'.He acted in more than 400 Malayalam films and during the 80's and 90's Jagathy Sreekumar,Mala Aravindan and Kuthiravattam Pappu formed a successful trio and portrayed large number of memorable comedy characters.The three were essential part of several films which in turn worked out as a crowd puller team.
Mala Aravindan was born at Vadavumcode, in Ernakulam District on 15th January 1939.His father 'Ayyappan' was an employee in the Excise department and mother was a school music teacher.His father expired when he was studying in the  7th standard.The family shifted to 'Mala' in Trichur district where his mother was working.She was teacher at St.Antony's High School, Mala, and Aravindan joined in that school.After passing S.S.L.C. he joined for Pre-Degree course at Christ College,Irinjalakuda but dropped out due to his interest in 'Tabla' playing.
Mala Aravindan had his basic music lessons from his mother itself, and due to his interest in 'Tabla' he started learning it under the guidance of Tabla exponent 'Cochin Mohammed Ustad' and soon became an expert in Tabla playing.
He joined professional drama troupes to play Tabla for their background music and meanwhile in 1971  when he was working as a Tabla Player  with National Theatres Kottayam, one of the actors did not come in time  for the play and Mala Aravindan had to act that part on behalf of that actor.Mala Aravindan's  performance was appreciated by all and thus he became a stage actor.For twelve years he worked as stage actor and worked with prestigious troupes like' Kottayam National Theatres,Suryasoma,Perumbavoor Natakasala'etc and acted along legends like 'S.P.Pillai,Kuttiyedathi Vilasini,Nellikode Bhaskaran,Babu Nampoothiri,Kuthiravattam Pappu' etc.
He appeared  in a film 'Ente Kunju' as his first film which was not released.His second film was 'Thalirukal' but it was  a small role.His role in 'Sindooram' of 1968 directed by Dr.Balakrishnan was well noted.Then he was part of famous and successful films like 'Thokkukal Kadha Parayunnu,Velutha Kathreena,Olavum Theeravum' etc and he became an established actor of Malayalam films as well other than a stage actor.
He earned accolades and appreciation for his roles in large number of films like ' Angakuri,Sreekrishna Parunthu,Revathikkoru Pavakutty,Kottayam Kunjachan,Manthrikam,Ammavanu Pattiya Amali,Kandu Kandarinju,Mahayanam,Carnival,Keli,Uncle Bun,Pattalam,Loose Loose Arapiri Loose,Champakkulam Thachan' etc etc.
He received Kerala Sangeetha  Nataka Academy's Award for his role in Sooryasoma's play 'Nidhi'.He received Kerala state award for drama acting   and Film Critics Award for his  film acting.
He sang a song along with Mohal Lal for the film 'Kandu Kandarinju' which became very popular.He sung some other non-filmy songs also.
His last released film was 'Lal Bahadur Shastri' and lastly acted film was 'Noolpalam'.
The name of his native place 'Mala' was added to his name 'Aravindan' as a prefix which became famous because of him and gradually  he came to be known in his place name

 as 'Mala' and 'Mala Chettan' ('Chettan' means elder brother).'Mala' also was the favorite  Assembly constituency of Leader Sri.K.Karunakaran.
Mala Aravindan  was president of the 'AMMA' which is association of Malayalam film artists.
Selected Filmography
Thokkukal Kadha Parayunnu
Velutha Kathreena
Olavum Theeravum
Thaliritta Kinakkal
Arangum Aniyarayum
Dwandha Yudham
Kaliyil Alpam Karyam
Koodum Thedi
Pappan Priyapetta Pappan
Revathikkoru Pavakutty
Kalam Mari Kadha Mari
Loose Loose Arapiri Loose
Unnikrishnante Aadyathe Christmas
Pattana Pravesam
Annakutty Kodambakkam Vilikkunnu
Ammavanu Pattiya Amali
Kottayam Kunjachan
Mookilla Rajyathu
Uncle Bun
Kizhakkunarum Pakshi
Kizhakkan Pathrose
Customs Diary
Kinnam Katta Kallan
Kalyana Unnikal
Charlie Chaplin
Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal
Puthuram Puthri Unniyarcha
Twenty 20
T.D.Dasan Std VI B
Cheriya Kallnum Valia Policum
Yakshiyum Njanum
Prabhuvinte Makkal
Lal Bahadur Shastri

Sunday, February 8, 2015


N.L.Balakrishnan was a still photographer in Malayalam films who also acted in more than 180 films in comedy and character roles.For many  years he worked as Photo journalist for 'Kerala Kaumudi Daily'.He associated with great directors like G.Aravindan,Adoor Gopalakrishnan,Bharatha,P.Padmarajan,Lenin Rajendran,K.P.Kumaran,John Abraham,K.G.George,M.T.Vasudevan Nair  etc as a still photographer.
N.L.Balakrishnan was born on 17th April 1943 at Powdikonam, near Sreekaryam in Thiruvananthapuram.He passed a Diploma course in Painting and Drawing from Maharajas School of Arts in 1965.Since he had a flair in photography he studied all aspects of photography in detail  by working in studios  like'Sivans,Roopalekha,Kalalaya and Metro'  of Thiruvanathapuram.He was introduced to film producer Sobhana Parameswaran Nair by the owner of Roopalekha Studio.Thus he worked as still photographer for  the film 'Kallichellamma' in 1969.The film was directed by P.Bhaskaran which was based on a novel by G.Vivekanandan.The film in which Prem Nazir,Sheela,Madhu acted in main roles was a big hit.Later he was  associated with award winning directors like G.Aravindan,Adoor Gopalakrishnan,John Abraham,K.G.George,K.P.Kumaran,Lenin Rajendran,Bharathan and others in many films.He was still photographer of 11 films which was directed by G.Aravindan like 'Thampu,Kanchana Seetha,Pokku Veyil,Vasthuhara,Chidambaram' etc.He was still photographer of 'Swayamvaram,Kodiyettam,Mukhamukham,Elipathayam and a documentary film 'Prathisandhi' which were directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan.He was still photographer of several films directed by P.Padmarajan such as 'Peruvazhy Ambalam,Novemberinte Nashtam,Oridathoru Phayalwan,Innale,Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal' etc.
Some other films out of the more than 300 films which he worked as a still photographer includes 'Abhayam,Poojakkedukkatha Pookkal,Gandharvam,Pavithram,Kalipattam,Ayitham,Padamudra' etc.
Director Bhadran's 'Sphadikam' was the last film he worked as a still photographer.
N.L.Balakrishnan's style was to catch the still shot while the scene were being taken by the movie camera.The other still photographers used to ask the actors to pose for them to take still pictures after the scenes were shot.Since he had training in painting and drawing , always his still pictures had an artistic touch which were marvelous which received much acclaim.He had not the practice of using flash which made his pictures more natural.He also proved that 35 mm camera can be used to take nice pictures like a 120 mm camera.
N.L.Balakrishnan had the knack to make friendship  and to maintain them  for ever.Directors like 'G.Aravindan,P.Padmarajan and Bharathan' included him in their  daily discussions used to be  held at Hotel Nikujnjam in Thiruvanthapuram.He was in friendship with many literary writers of Malayalam.

N.L.Balakrishnan debuted as an actor in the film 'Ammanam Kili' directed by 'Rajiv Anchal' in which he handled one of the main roles as a gypsy selling birds.He acted that role with much perfection and he was offered roles by other directors thereafter  which suited his body size.
His role in 'Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal' in which he acted as a man who was jogging around his house who runs non stop saying there is nothing in the house to send back the beggars aroused much laughter.N.L.Balakrishnan along with Paravoor Bharathan acted as scientists and bird watchers and  were suspected as smugglers by CiD Ramdas and CID Vijayan in the film 'Pattana Pravesham' was very much liked by the audience.His role in Dr.Pasupathy was also acclaimed and thereafter he became a popular actor in many films either in comedy roles  or in  character roles.
The last film he acted was 'Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus' in 2013.
He wrote a book about his memories of cinema and photography career titled 'Black and White'.
He received Film Critics Association Award 'Chalachitra Pratibha Puraskaram' in 2012 and an Award from 'Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademy' in 2014.
N.L.Balakrishnan passedaway on 25th December 2014.
Selected Filmography
As an Actor


Kakkothikavile Appooppan Thadikal
Pattana Pravesam
David David Mr.David
Kouthuka Varthakal
Nanma Niranjavan Sreenivasan
Kallanum Policum

Mookilla Rajyathu
Manathe Kottaram
Three Men Army
Vridhanmare Sookshikkuka
Kudumba Kodathy
The Gang
Made in U.S.A.
The Mother Earth
2 Harihar Nagar
Bhoomi Malayalam
Da Thadiya
Bhoopadathil Illatha Oridam
Kanyaka Talkies
Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Kidar Nath Sharma  was a well acclaimed Film Director.Lyricist,Screen writer, Editor,Producer and also was the Director-in-Chief of the Children's Film Society of India.
Kidar Sharma introduced Raj Kapoor,Madhubala,Bharat Bhushan,Mala Sinha,Geeta Bali and Tanuja into films.He was director and or writer of large number of Children's films made for Children's Film society of India.
Kidar Sharma was born in Narowal,Punjab in 1910.He was interested in films from childhood and tried to get in to  this field after completion of Schooling, in Mumbai but that attempt was in vain and again continued his education.He passed M.A. in English Literature and he was a student at Khalsa College,Amritsar.While as a student he was interested and indulged in photography,painting etc also  and he used to write plays as well.He founded Dramatic Society at his college and directed plays.After completion of post graduation he tried to get employment in film field and went to Calcutta to try his luck at New Theatres.He made friendship with Pritviraj Kapoor and K.L.Saigal and his ambition to meet famous director Debaki Bose was fulfilled by their help.Debaki Bose utilized him initially as Screen Painter,Poster designer, Movie still photographer etc and later helped him to become a film director.He worked as set painter for the film 'Inquilab'(35) and was Assistant Manager for the film 'Dhoop Chhaon' and acted in it.He acted in the film 'Pujarin' and in the film 'Karodpati'(36) for which he wrote lyrics.He acted in the film 'Vidyapati'(37) and in the film 'Badi Didi'(39).He was the  writer of film 'Ananth Ashram'(37),Badi Didi, and Zindagi(40).
He wrote dialogues and lyrics for the film 'Devdas' which became a super duper hit all over India and this helped him to become an Independent director.He directed films 'Tumhar Jeet' and 'Aulad' in 1940.'Chitralekha' was a super hit film he directed in 1941.Monica Desai,Mehtab,Bharat Bhushan,Nandrekar,A.S.Gyani etc acted in it.
He made Raj Kapoor and Madhubala the main pair of a super hit film 'Neel Kamal'.Begum Para,Nazira,Kumar Sahu etc also acted in it.
Chandra Mohan,Madhubala,Khurshid Begum,Yakub etc were the main actors of "Mumtaz Mahal' a hit film of 1944.
Bharat Bhushan and Geeta Bali were the main pair of 'Sohag Raat'(48) in which Begum Para also acted.Nargis and Dilip Kumar were the main pair of 'Jogan'(50) in which Rajendra Kumar,Pratima Devi,Tabassum,Purnima etc acted.
"Bawre Nain' was a super hit film produced and directed by Kidar Sharma in 1950 in which Raj Kapoor,Geeta Bali,Vijayalakshmi,Nazira,Jaswant etc acted.
Ashok  Kumar,Meena Kumari,Pradeep Kumar,Bela Rose,Minoo Mumtaz,Zeb Rehman,Mehmood etc acted in the film 'Chitralekha' in the year 1964.
He was asked to become the Director -in-Chief of the Children's film Society of India by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself.The children's film 'Jaideep' directed by him received International acclaim.It received Best Children's Film Award at Int'l Film Festival at Venice in 1957.
He was writer and director of Children's films like 'Jaideep (56),Ganga Ki Lahren(57),Bachchon se Bate(57),Gulab Ka Phool(58),26 January(59),Ekta(59)Chetak(60),Meera Ka Chitra(60),Mahateertha(61)Khuda Hafiz' etc.He was writer of several other Children's Films also.He received National Award for Best Children's Film for 'Jaideep' in 1956.
He traveled to England and Hollywood as part of the Indian Delegation in 1945 and could meet 'Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney' etc.
He received  Award from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982 for his contributions to Indian Cinema.
Kidar Nath Sharma  Passed away on 29th April 1999 in Mumbai.
Selected Filmography
As a Director

Tumair Jeet
Mumtaz Mahal
Dhanna Bhagat
Chand Chakori
Neel Kamal
Sohag Raat
Bawre Nain
Neki aur Badi
Duniya Ek Sarai
Chora Chori
Rangeen Raatein
Hamari Yaad Ayegi