Easy come, easy go? Nah
Neha Walia

For the Gen-New Bollywood aspiring Punjabi puttars and kudis, success comes on a platter

Harish Verma

Glamour, arc lights, instant fame, signing autographs and fan following (we are not talking about Twitter here). A star status tag is not so difficult to get, might take a little longer than expected time but not impossible. And trust us when we say this — struggle seems to be an easy job for youngsters today. Why? Well, because they know the method to their means and their dreams. Smart, well-prepared and well connected, they’ve got it all and the rest (read glamour, arc lights, instant fame, autographs and fans) follow.

Hear it from Jaspinder Cheema, a student of the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, who is awaiting the release of her debut movie, Ek Kudi Punjab Di. Playing the lead opposite actor-singer Amrinder Gill, Jaspinder found her calling, thanks to her alma mater. "Manmohan Singh and Amrinder attended one of my stage plays based on Mirza-Saheba. They were shooting for a movie in the campus and asked me to come for the auditions. I got the lead role."

Jaspinder Cheema

She always knew she belonged to the glamour world and so her job became easy. "I participated in Miss PTC Punjabi in 2008 and came out a winner. Then I joined the Department of Indian Theatre, as I knew that theatre is the best learning experience for an actor." And that was proved once again. "The confidence and stage presence gained through one year of stage experience helped me with my performance on screen. I was at ease, learning lines and adapting to different script wasn’t tough."

Similar for Purva Arora from Kalka, another young actor in the making. Encouragement came from close quarters, "I always wanted to become an actor but didn’t know how to go about it. I was a budding singer and participated at various national-level competitions. But my ultimate goal was acting. So, I joined an acting course at ITFT and there onwards began theatre."

Her two plays Siayan Bhaye Kotwal and First Take honed her skill and she started her career by doing a serial, Chandigarh Campus, on Just TV Punjabi. What followed was a role in the movie London Dreams and West is West along with Om Puri and Ila Arun. "I play the role of a Pakistani airhostess in the BBC production."

Ask her if it was not all that easy and she nods, "I did face tough time shooting for my latest telefilm, Amritsar Balle Balle, where we had to shoot in the interiors of the city." Well, we thought the answer would be like, I had to really struggle to make a place for myself or I had to distribute my portfolio to a number of people before getting a blink-and-miss role in a commercial!

Harish Verma shares his opinion and success story on this. The actor who can be seen in Laado on Colors and is playing the lead opposite Miss Pooja in the upcoming Punjabi flick Panjaban. "I have been lucky to have met the right people at the right time (this is the best one). Fortunately, I got the lead role in Panjaban as I got in touch with the director while he was looking for a lead. Within 10 minutes things got finalised." Though the idea of struggling is different for him, "The struggle period might end but the insecurity is always there. You always strive for good work, though it becomes easy once you know your way."

But there are loyalists to the age-old belief of ‘struggling to find success’ as well, "You have to go through the grind and then find your way," says Barry Dhillon. Tweleve years as a scriptwriter in Mumbai, success came his way after writing scripts for countdown shows, stand up comedy shows and small tele serials. But once through, his status improved with shows like Bano Main Teri Dulhann, Kahin To Milenge, Kaajal on Zee and Dill Mill Gaye and Geet for Star One. "There is no end to struggle. Once you get work, you try to prove yourself better and the cycle continues."

An emotion called dance
Devinder Bir Kaur

Boogie Boogie Woogie, Jhalak Dikhla Ja, Nach Baliye, Dance India Dance (DID), Little Masters DID, Zara Nache Ke Dikha, Chak Dhoom Dhoom and so on. It seems every second person is a dancer. Names of dance forms salsa, jazz, disco other than classical forms have become household names. It’s a virtual dance mania prevailing on TV.

In movies too newcomers are well trained in dance forms. There’s hardly anyone who cannot shake a leg. After all, today’s generation is a product of discotheques et al.

But not long ago actors in Hindi films had to stick to just singing when romance hit them. In fact, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar, Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Raj Kumar, Rajinder Kumar and the ilk could barely move a limb. They were known for emoting through facial expressions. Most of their songs entailed that they remained in one spot and showed the intensity of feelings through their eyes. Hence, we had Dilip Kumar lip syncing to Toote hue khwabon ne, humko ye sikhaya hai`85 from Madhumati.

Dev Anand moved about a lot, like he still does, but that was mostly shaking his head and hands with widening or shutting his eyes. We have perfect examples of this in his Khoya khoya chand" from Love Marriage or Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishaara ho gaya from CID.

Raj Kapoor, the third of the trio showed more antics than dance movements. Whether it was O mehbooba, o mehbooba... from Sangam, or Dum dum diga diga.. from Chhalia, Raj Kapoor showed jerky steps in the name of dance.

Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar, Raj Kumar, Rajinder Kumar were known for their serious demeanor. Bharat Bhushan, the eternal poet, could therefore only present a static posture in songs like Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolegi ... in Barsaat ki Raat. Pradeep Kumar’s roles in Adalat, Taj Mahal, Anarkali, Bheegi Raat, Aarti were heavy-duty emotional roles with haunting songs, but no scope for dancing.

Similarly, Raj Kumar who breathed weighty dialogues in Waqt, Pakeezah, Dil Apna Preet Parai, Neel Kamal, Kajal, Mere Huzoor in any case was never expected to dance.

Rajinder Kumar shed more tears on screen than inhibitions in dance. His earlier films thus had him singing Yaad na jaye... from Dil Ek Mandir, Humne jafa na seekhi `85 from Zindagi, etc. Later, films like Aaye Milan ki Bela had him prancing to the title song.

Mr Bharat Kumar ( read Manoj in between) after playing the romantic in Himalaya Ki God Mein, Haryali aur Raasta, Patthar ke Sanam and Do Badan, switched over to patriotic numbers in Shaheed, Upkar, Roti Kapda aur Makaan which hardly required dancing, at least not by the hero.

It was only Jeetendra who wore the white shoes to dance vigorously to the tunes of Mast baharon ka main aashiq... from Farz, Dhal gaya din... from Humjoli, Aa mere humjoli aa`85. from Jeene ki Raah and the like. In his later movies Jeetendra brought in the trend of PT dancing. His Ta thaiya, thaiya`85from Tohfa kind of dances had the hero and heroine (read Sridevi) matching step for step.

In fact, the heroines of the past like Meena Kumari, Nargis, Kamini Kaushal, Nalini Jaywant, Nutan, Nanda were into heavy emotional roles. Absolutely in contrast were the other trained-in-classical dance forms heroines, who performed gracefully on screen. These were, mostly from the South, actresses like Vyjayanthimala, Padmini, Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, Sridevi and Jaya Prada. Of course, the next lot of actresses joined films after knowing dances of all types.

Coming back to the heroes, the mightly Amitabh Bachchan being the angry-young man of the ‘70s remained serious in Anand, Namak Haram and Zanjeer. However, also being versatile, he performed several lighter roles and consequently danced Bhagwan dada style in movies like Laawaris, Suhaag, Shaan, Mr Natwarlal etc. In Don, his dance in Khaike paan Banaraswala... became one of his finest performances. It was followed by My name is Anthony Gonsalves`85 from Amar Akbar Anthony, Tu maike mat jayeeyo, mat jayeeyo meri jaan`85 from Pukar, Ke pag ghungaroo, baandh Meera nachi thi`85 from Namak Halal. Years later too he continued to dance to Holi numbers like Rang barse bheege chunar wali rang bares`85 in Silsila and Raghubira song in Baghbaan. His contemporary Dharmendra, however, had his own trademark style as seen in Main jat yamala, pagala deewana`85 from Pratigya.

Then came a breed of dancing stars — Mithun Chakraborty, and Govinda. They created such a wave with their gyrating moves, the former in Disco Dancer and the latter in Ilzaam, that it became essential for every newcomer to be an expert dancer.

Dance is an expression of joy or as someone described it as ‘poetry in motion’. Let’s pray it remains so and is source of joy to both the performer and the person watching.

In action

The Abhishek Bachchan-Bipasha Basu-starrer thriller Dum Maaro Dum will release Feb 4 next year, its producers say. "We are hugely excited about Dum Maaro Dum. It has a great script. It is vibrant and contemporary and we expect the film to appeal to a wide audience. The February timing is perfect and it is strategically timed just before the cricket World cup, Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios India, said in a statement.

Fox Star Studios India is co-producing the film with Ramesh Sippy. Dum Maaro Dum will be Fox Star’s third outing to release in the same period. The studio released multiple Oscar-award winning Slumdog Millionaire in January 2009 and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer My Name is Khan in February this year.

"The window of late January and early February works for us also as we are familiar with the release environment during that period," said Singh.

Ramesh Sippy echoed similar sentiments. "The film is shaping up very well and the audiences should get ready to enjoy a gripping, moving film with great visual appeal, coming their way on February 4," he said.

Directed by Rohan Sippy, Dum Maaro Dum is an action-thriller with Abhishek playing a fearless cop. The movie races through India’s largest tourist destination Goa and also stars Aditya Panscholi and Pratiek Babbar. Telugu star Rana Daggubati makes his Bollywood debut with the movie.

After completing the first schedule of the film in Goa, the cast and crew will start shooting for a second schedule in Mumbai next month. — IANS

In her act, once more

Three years after her super hit item number Honth Rasile in Welcome, Malaika Arora is putting her dancing shoes again for husband Arbaaz Khan’s debut production Dabangg.

Malaika had created a stir with her Chaiyya Chaiyya number opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se in 1998 when Bollywood was just waking up to the concept of item girls.

She will now jive on the tantalising title Munni Badnaam in the film, which is set against the backdrop of politics and crime in UP and Bihar, starring Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha.

"Yes, Malaika has appeared in this fun dance number, which is going to be a highlight of Dabangg. Salman too would be making an appearance in the song though it is not clear whether he would be dancing along with Malaika or not," a source said. Incidentally, this is for the first time that Malaika would be appearing in an item song for a home production even as Arbaaz, Sohail and Salman have been making films for quite a few years now. The song will have a raunchy touch to it. Sajid-Wajid, regulars with Salman Khan after giving music in films like Veer, Wanted, Partner, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Tere Naam, have composed for Dabangg while Jalees Sherwani has written the lyrics. Other than Malaika Arora, the song also features Sonu Sood who is the main antagonist in the film. Since his character is required to have a funny touch, his dance moves too were devised on the same lines.


All for Mani

Mani Ratnam

Hailing Mani Ratnam as "one of the great innovators in contemporary Indian cinema", the Venice International Film Festival will honour the director of Raavan with the 2010 Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award. In recent years, the award given in partnership with Swiss watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre has honoured other major filmmakers like Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, and Sylvester Stallone.

"Mani Ratnam used to make movies only in his native tongue, Tamil, but has been one of a handful of filmmakers to successfully handle the transition to the All-India market," says the Venice Film Festival director Marco Mueller explaining the choice in a news release.

"One of the great innovators in contemporary Indian cinema, he helped introduce the auteur concept to contemporary Bollywood. His movies display precision and poise, and have always been removed from the bombast and bluster of mass-produced regional cinema.

"The lavish musical numbers in his films, some of the best-tailored in Mumbai and Chennai in recent years, have influenced the style of many others as well as the design of commercials and music videos."Ratnam’s most celebrated films have become part of the cinematic imagination of the sub-continent," Mueller noted.As in previous editions, the director will also be presented with a Reverso Jaeger-LeCoultre watch, a one-of-a-kind model with a commemorative engraving.On the occasion of the award ceremony, the Mostra communication agency will present the festival premiere of Mani Ratnam’s forthcoming film Ravaan, attended by the director and by the Indian movie super stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vikram, and A.R. Rahman.

"Ravaan will enchant audiences with its stirring drama and entrancing musical sequences, said Mueller. "We are proud to be hosting the festival premiere of this wonderful film, which will be presented at the 2010 Mostra in both the Hindi and the Tamil version."Enlivened by the music composed by Rahmanm, Ravaan fuses drama, action, love story, and musical.

The film tells the adventurous story of a bandit leader who kidnaps the wife of the policeman who killed his sister, taking her through a journey during which once again the everlasting, epic battle between good and bad takes place.Produced in association with Reliance Big Pictures and distributed internationally by Reliance Big Pictures and IM Global, Ravaan opens in theatres worldwide June 18. — IANS

Missing pal

Shah Rukh Khan

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who delivered many hits with Juhi Chawla in the beginning of his career, misses working with the actress and director Aziz Mirza.

The 44-year-old actor worked with Chawla and Mirza in hits like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Yess Boss and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.

Khan and Chawla were last paired together in Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bhootnath, where the actor did a cameo. "Last nite was thinking wot beautiful times i had making yes boss...Raju ban gaya...Phir bhi dil hai. Missing aziz & juhi(sic)," wrote King Khan on his Twitter page.

The trio had also set up a production company called Dreamz Unlimited which produced Phir Bhi... and Chalte Chalte starring Khan and Rani Mukerjee in lead roles.

Khan is quite active on Twitter these days with over 4 lakh fans following him on the micro-blogging site. But he is also facing complaints from some due to an 'overdose' of tweets.

"Some complaining of over dose of tweets...Apologies if it irks some ppl. Cant tweet in between shots, so try to compensate (sic)," wrote Khan in another post.

The actor is far ahead of Bollywood's Shahenshah Amitabh Bachchan as far as the number of followers is concerned. Big B, who joined Twitter last week, has 1,11,116 followers.

Actress Priyanka Chopra is closing in on Khan with 3,82,458 followers. — PTI

Pun intended

What’s common between Shyam Benegal, Madhur Bhadarkar, Ram Gopal Varma and Raj Kumar Santoshi? These are the filmmakers, who have found their niche in making realistic, hard-hitting cinema but have now taken a fancy to the genre of comedy in Bollywood. Bhandarkar, known for films like Chandni Bar, Page 3 and Corporate is all set to helm his first romantic comedy, Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji and has signed up an unusual star cast in Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Omi Vaidya of 3 Idiots fame.

The filmmaker, who is inspired by film legend Hrishikesh Mukherjee, says, “I know I have been known for making hard hitting, real and controversial films. But I always wanted to make a light film like Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji as well.” Another filmmaker who is taking up the genre, is Ram Gopal Varma. After finishing his ambitious project Rakta Charitra, a biopic on political leader Paritala Ravi starring Vivek Oberoi, the director is looking forward to make a situational comedy, his first.

Varma, whose films range from underworld gang warfare, politician-criminal nexus, psychological thrillers and horror, promises the film will bring forth his funny side. The script is ready and he will start casting after finishing Rakta Charitra.

Veteran moviemaker Shyam Benegal, one of the pioneers of New Wave Cinema in the 1970s and early 1980s, feels that comedy, especially satire, is what comes naturally to him now. “I think I have mellowed down with age. I now see the irony in serious issues, which I have tried to portray in Well Done Abba and Welcome to Sajjanpur and audience have connected to them,” Benegal said. — PTI

Revival tactics

He launched Vivek Oberoi seven years back and filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has once again come to actor’s rescue as he says that his upcoming directorial venture Rakta Charitra will resurrect Vivek’s career.

After launching him in superhit Company in 2002, Varma went ahead and made Road and Dum with the actor, who was being touted as the next big thing in Bollywood. Then came Yashraj’s Saathiya, which marked the biggest hit of Vivek’s career but little did the actor know that its about relationships and right attitude in Bollywood. Soon after his infamous Salman Khan-bashing press conference, came Vivek’s downfall with no leading filmmaker wanting to work him.

The actor’s high-headedness even put off his mentor, Varma, and the filmmaker vowed not to work with him again. However, after Vivek’s constant effort to rebuild their relationship, the two have buried their hatchet and this time Varma is launching the actor as Paritala Ravi in Rakta Charitra, a biopic on rebel-turned-politician in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.

"Vivek is a very fine actor. I have always had faith in his potential," Varma said. The director added that Vivek was the perfect choice for the role as no one else could have pulled off the character. "I know that if given a powerful role, Vivek can do wonders and that is what he has done in Rakta Charitra. It is going to be the biggest film of his career," Varma added. It was Vivek’s intensity coupled with his vulnerability, which made him a perfect choice to play Paritala Ravi, according to Varma. — PTI

Inspirations and innovations
Manpriya Khurana

The annual exhibition of textile designing students of NIIFT was a collection of stereotypes, only with a difference

Butterflies in your bedroom.

Parul with her collection Burning Desire

Neha Singh shows her Euphoria collection. Photo: Pradeep Tewari

To each his own! There was fantasy, nature, euphoria, confusion, tradition translated onto linens, fabrics, covers, curtains... Suvayan 10, the annual exhibition by the final year students of textile design department was, from top to bottom, dominated by the bedding and cushion collection.

With each collection adjacent to the other, it was more of a jigsaw puzzle of textiles, themes, colours and fabrics.

What's on display was a juxtaposition of each of the students' works', an endeavour of five months work. There were leaf motifs, tie and die contrasts, splash of colour.

"For six months, we did a project with our respective companies and it was during this time that we developed these collections," shares Parul Mehta, who worked on two contrasting collections while with the Bikaner based NGO Rangasutra. "For my bed range the theme was 'Cool and calm' and for the table range, the theme was Burning desire," reflected through all the possible hues of a candle flame.

Chips in Akansha Mishra, "The forecast for my collection was colours, so I came up with theme Foglia and so I used a lot of leaves and similar prints." She adds, "In total thirty six students are displaying and as for the themes, sometimes they are given by the company and sometimes they are chosen by us."

Moving on to some of the other collections, the in-house competition was at full display with works screaming for attention. Rajesh Kr Raj had a predominant touch of turquoise. He says, "My range is completely inspired from deep sea creatures that explains the use of eclectic blue. I developed this on my own."

While there was an element of drama in others; think Bollywood, street art, Mughal era. There were works inspired by everything stereotypical Indian- a fruit juice placard, retro two wheeler, ubiquitous milkman, over decorated truck`85 "I tried depicting popular Indian culture, so all the things that you see in my designs are things that you see on Indian roads," says Siddhartha. He explains, "Before starting on any theme we are given forecasts. In which we study the market, predict the future, foresee the trends and work accordingly because any collection to be out in the market takes a couple of months."

Cut to everything pinks, bubbles, teddies shares Neha Singh, "First we prepare motifs, then we work on the layout of the theme. The buyers gave me a kids collection to do, so I worked on the theme Euphoria and included things that a child would want in his room." manpriya@tribunemail.com

Side Lanes
Of birds and dogs
Joyshri Lobo

At Chandigarh, the summer dawn breaks on a noisy note. The first bit of raucous sound comes from the grey hornbill. This bird, in keeping with its untidy appearance, is not given to dulcet tones. It suffers from hyperactivity and verbal diarrhea manifested during the nesting season by a nagging and argumentative spouse.

The koel follows with his song. The wife has no voice at all, an enviable state amongst mankind. I sometimes cover my head with a pillow as his very plaintiff call`85exalted by poets and singers`85becomes intolerably loud. These two birds are the timekeepers of the avian world. Crows (almost extinct today), barbets, tailor and sun-birds, follow with muted, far more subtle songs.

Dawn at Seattle, (the home of Bill Gates and Microsoft), elicited no such avian welcome. Two fat pigeons sat upon a window-sill, feathers fluffed, silent and still. A single mayna-like, amber bird, went darting around the verges, looking for worms. There was hardly any bird song, as we know it. Arun pointed out that it was still too cold for our feathered friends.

At five in the morning, I awoke to far off police sirens, the drone of sea-planes as they landed in the harbour and the whoosh of fast cars as people commuted to and from work. The back-drop of sirens is straight out of American movies as seen on our tellys. Unlike at Chandigarh, a police car evokes fear. Drivers look back to see if they are being tailed, and a convoy of blinking, screaming vehicles becomes a topic of conversation for that particular moment. At the airport, I overheard a tall, burly policeman trying to make a dimunitive Korean driver, admit to breaking road rules. As she was in complete denial, he finally handed her a ticket with a smile. Neither raised their voices. No maai-baap were called. The inevitable punishment was meted out as per the law.

May 1 hails Seattle's sailing season. The sun is bright and the ice has melted. Gulls swoop with excitement as boats take to the sea and disturb the fish. Hundreds of yachts, spruced up after a long winter, move around, readying themselves for the races. People hang about bridges and waterways, cheering their favourites.

We did not encounter a single stray dog on the streets. People love their pets but keep them at home or walk them on a leash. None of the canines bark or drag distraught owners in their wake. I do not believe that these animals are trained. It is just that everyone talks softly, expects obedience and does a little disciplining at home. Collars, that give off mild electric shocks when a dog barks too loudly, are a comfortable solution. Doggy posts in public places, dispense poo bags to pick up dirt and deposit it in special bins. Surely very little effort would be required to create such laws and amenities in our cities?

Seattle, with its cold climate, boasts of many St. Bernards. These gentle, shaggy dogs walk around like docile lambs throughout the city. It is sad to see them drooping through Chandigarh's summers. The bigger the animal, the greater our status symbol. Some of the neighbours are keeping their canines in bird-cages. A mundu walks them twice a day, allowing them to perform on pavements and in parks. He looks masterly and thwacks the dog at any perceived misdemeanor. The St Bernard looks as if he would like to sit down and die. We should ban the import, sale or breeding of large, hairy dogs in India.

Strong hold

Talented actor Waqar Sheikh who was last seen in Punjabi film Mitti with singer turned actor Mika Singh, has ruled the small screen for sixteen years. He has also done Telugu films and will be seen in another Punjabi filmSaathi. Add to it all, Waqar is rocking the small screen in Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, and Contiloe Films new show Bitto on Sahara One Television. Waqar Sheikh was in Chandigarh for a new assignment where Lifestyle caught him for a tete-e-tete on his latest show Bitto.

How did you bag the role of Bade Thakur?

I have been doing different characters from the last sixteen years on small screen. Ashutosh Rana was earlier approached to play the pivotal role. Finally, Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Telefilms selected me for it.

Tell us something about your character in the show?

I am playing the main antagonist. He is referred to as a Bade Thakur and his screen name is Thakur Suraj Pratap. He rules the village and takes all the decisions. It is totally a different character, which will raise many eyebrows.

What do you like about your character?

It is most powerful role o show in which the style, language and the depiction are different.

Bitto is a large scale production, be in the sets, locations or costumes. Do you consider it as a contributing factor to the show's success?

Definitely, when you accumulate 10 per cent from every corner, it combines to give you 100 per cent. One cannot neglect anything be it sets, location and performances. They are most essential.

Would you agree that a broadcaster contributes significantly in pushing up the show?

Every show is given a boost, irrespective of whether it is doing well or not because it is in the interest of the channel. I tell you, a channel too works hard to promote its shows.

The show is getting popular among the audience. How do you look at it?

I am very excited that Bitto is receiving such an amazing response. The cast is so good the channel and the production house are amazing and we all are equally working hard to make this show a hit.

Dharam Pal

Verse effect
SD Sharma

Urdu poet Rajinder Nath Rehbar, felicitated with Punjab Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar Samman, is busy promoting the language amongst youth

Photo: Vinay Malik

‘Some times the poet in me, like many others, transcends beyond self and sculpts verses almost ornate, covered in human emotions. These then become timeless classics." That's how lyricist poet Rajinder Nath Rehbar describes his work over the years. In the city, to receive the prestigious Punjab Shiromani Urdu Sahitakar award-2009, presented to him by deputy CM, Punjab, Rehabar got a citation, shawl, memento and cash prize of 2,50,000 rupees.

Supplementing his views, he makes an oblique reference to his nazm, "Tere khushboo mein base khat maen jalaata kaise`85" a favourite of ghazal maestros Jagjit Singh, Anuradha Podwal, Jaswant Singh, Kuldip Rai and many more since 1980. This very nazm featured in 33 audio and 14 VCD albums. "While Jagjit Singh has already recorded my ghazal Ek din bheege thhe barsat mein ham tum and another one Ikk mujhe chhod kar voh sab se mila is likely to be recorded," adds Rehbar.

Talking Urdu poetry and lyrics, Hindi films have lent credence to the otherwise dying language, claims Rehber, a lawyer by profession and a poet by passion. Drawing inspiration from his uncle and elder brother Ishwar Dutt Anjum, Rehbar learnt the finer nuances of art from Ustad Rattan Pandorvi and published his first book Atish-e-Gul (1961) followed by Kalas, Malhaar, Yaad aaounga, Tere khushboo mein besides award winning Aur Sham dhal gayee and Zeb-E -Sukhan.

A guiding light for his 300 disciples in Pathankot, Rehbar is working for betterment of Urdu and Hindustani literature in many ways, especially imparting the art of Pingal, arooz or prosody for poetry writing to them. "This is the best way to keep the vitality of Urdu alive," add budding poets Naresh Nissar and Manu Meharban, disciples of Rehbar.

"With its grandeur and felicity, Urdu is not just another language but a culture of life and living," says Rehbar quoting a couplet, "Voh Urdu ka musafir hai, yahi pehchan hai uski, jidhar se bhi gujrta hai, saleeka chhod jaata hai.."

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