I accidentally happened to come across the names of some popular personalities whom I adore in a way are born in the month of July.
K Balachander, (9 July) a legend of the Indian, more especially Tamil movies is someone who can never be forgotten. I never feel tired of writing about him or his films because almost each and every movie of KB carries something unique and special. Though graduated from the stage to celluloid, the initial movies of KB carried the influence of drama but he learnt the technique of the visual medium quickly. One can watch his early movies also today and understand how he had created his characters on screen with distinction. KB didn’t garner popularity only for himself but he was the promoter of fresh talents. No need to name to two popular actors of Tamil screen whose talents he honed with great care. He was the first film director to enter television with his short serial ‘Rail Sneham’. He never stopped with that and many of his future serials like ‘Kayalavu Manasu’ and ‘Sahana’ were talked about apart from bringing in new actors. Nevertheless, his return to stage in the last period again was not successful. His passion for cinema was something exceptional and he had left an indelible impression in the Tamizh movie history. But, one thing to be remembered; he had as many hits as well as many flops also.
ML Vasanthakumari, (3 July) one of the three major female legends of classical Carnatic music is my all-time favorite. MLV’s voice is inimitable; one can follow her style but not her voice as her voice carried a unique tenor. Because of her versatility, she was equally at ease with film songs also at one period of time and was popular too. But, MLV’s contribution to classical music is something distinctive. Her treatment of rare ragas and swarakalpana are exceptional. The style with which she brings out the brigas and weave the swaras are awesome to say the least. Even today, I love to listen to her ‘Karanam Kettu Vadi’ in Poorvikalyani, ‘Manasuloni marmamu’ (Hindolam), ‘Sri Chakra raja nilaye’ in Shivasakti and ‘Raga sudha rasa’ in Andolika because they stand out for their short but remarkable raga treatises and intricate swara strings.
Anand Bakshi (21July) is a celebrated poet and lyricist of Hindi cinema. My introduction to Hindi movie songs effectively started with Anand Bakshi-SD Burman combine through ‘Aradhana’. Someone who entered the filmdom with aspirations to write and sing (He did vain attempt to sing in ‘Mom ki Gudiya), became more popular for his lyrics. There is no music director for whom he had not penned the songs. His association with Laxmikant-Pyarelal tops the list with 302 films, followed by RD Burman with 99. ‘Kora kagaz tha yeh man mera’, ‘Chingari koi’, ‘Gulabi ankhen’, ‘Do lafzon ki hai’, ‘Main shayar badnaam’ of Anand Bakshi’s songs are still likeable. Those days when in Vivid Bharati when they announce ‘geetkar Anand Bakshi’ we could instantly guess it must be LP or RD. But, Bakshi had worked with three popular music composers of yesteryears in only one movie each; Naushad (Sunehra Sansar), Shankar-Jaikishen (Main Sundar Hoon) and Salil Chowdhary (Jeevan Jyoti).
I just want to add one young, energetic and promising artiste in the list after writing about the legends who are no more. He is Ranveer Singh (6 July). Entered the Hindi filmdom as a novice, his meteoric rise is something remarkable. For someone who started his career in 2010 within 8 years he achieved something exceptional. As protégé of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ranveer continuously proved his histrionics in three successive movies of him. ‘Gully Boy’ (though earned lot of laurels but I didn’t like it!) and ‘Simmba’ the boisterous police added feathers to his acting cap. His marriage with Deepika Padukone added extra mileage to his popularity. Notwithstanding the hype and hoopla, I feel Ranveer is a good performer and a director’s actor who can achieve something more. I wish he is more careful about his sartorial preferences and restraint in public functions.