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A Great Chemical Engineer, Dr. Trinetra Bajpai Brings The Glorious Times, Work And The Golden Era Of Dilip Kumar Alive

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Ali Peter John

I know this man known as Trinetra Bajpai for more than ten years, but I have still to know him. How does one describe a man who was born in Lucknow and then goes on to grow into one of the reading chemical engineers of the world who has set up projects in some of the most developed countries in the world? How does one describe the same man who is also a genuine connoisseur of cinema, not only Indian cinema, but the cinema of the world, a man who has all the knowledge about music and cinema on his finger tips or is it the tip of one of the most fertile minds I have had the privilege of knowing and still not knowing even though I have spent long hours and days with him in his very well done up office on Linking Road? How does one describe this man who finds all the time to pursue all his passions with the same kind of intensify? How does a man put his life into the projects he sets of and puts the same life into all that he does in the fields of music, films, television, theatre, and writing, besides his love for genuine and great poetry of the poets of several languages? And how does he have the time to write three voluminous books on the history of Indian film music, a complete book on Dev Anand chord’ Dev Eternal Anand’ and now one of the most complete coffee table books on Dilip Kumar titled ‘Dilip Kumar, Peerless Icon for generations? The book has been jointly written by him and his writer – poetess and multi-talented daughter, Anshula Bajpai, who lives and works in England, but has not lost touch with her roots and who has been the joint writer with her father in all the three books.

I have seen the man working like a man gone crazy about writing the book, the long hours he has been dictating to his secretary who for reasons best known to him, he calls Ghatkopar (which is the name of a crowded suburb of Mumbai). I have seen him taking all the pains and precautions to get all his facts, his language and most importantly some of the most exclusive photographs which have never been seen before, but are all safe and secure in the vast library of photographs together with the books and the music album he has in his treasure box. It has taken him quite sometimes to finish writing this book and when he had finished, he still felt that there was so much more he could have added to the book, but like this say, all good in things have to come to an end and so this labour of love of a father and daughter had also to come to an end…

He found his publishers in Bloomsbury, who took it as a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with a precious book like this and so it was time to launch the book on December 1 at the Title Waves bookshop, which has now become the prestigious place to launch books, what with Fr. Francisco as the head and Trushant Tamgaonkar as the man who makes things possible and sometimes even make the impossible possible.

It didn’t take long for Dr. Bajpai to decide who would do the honour of releasing the book, it was to be Dharmendra, the young man who had decided to be an actor after he had seen ‘Shaheed’, a film starring Dilip Kumar, which made him come to Bombay more on a quest to have a glimpse of Dilip Kumar, more than to try his luck as an actor and who has been hero worshiping his idol for the last 60 years and I cannot resist saying that I played my own little part in making Dharmendra who is these days was very busy working as a farmer on his farm house in Khandala and writing some very good poetry in Urdu. He was in fact too thrilled to be a part of the launch of a book on the man for whom his worship has still not waned or wavered.

 As expected, Title Waves was packed to capacity with a large number of worshipers like Dharmendra. Dr Bajpai had the good sense of requesting Fr. Francisco to make arrangements for more chairs than the small auditorium had for all other book launches and there were still people who stand throughout the function and they didn’t complain.

The highlight of the evening was a special one hour film on the work of the legendary actor, specially made by Dr. Bajpai which was enthralling, enlightening and even elevating. It opened up the word of Dilip Kumar life only a man in love with his subject could do. As I watched the film, I sent out an open challenge to all those know all about cinema to bring out a book like Dr. Bajpai’s book and to make a short film encompassing the life and times of one of the greatest actors of all times.

It was the gathering that added lustre of the event. Saira Banu, the beautiful wife of the legend found a few minutes away from her ailing husband to be present the event to honour her husband, but when the film made on him started, she couldn’t take it, broke down and left. Among the many others present were the sister of Dilip Kumar, Farida, who incidentally was the journalist who first introduced the struggling Dharmendra to her legendary brother, a meeting and an evening Dharmendra can never forget and was feeling emotional  when he sat next to her and both of them went nostalgic about that memorable evening which went on till past midnight and Dhamendra felt like he was meeting his elder brother and felt that their ‘rooh’ had mate.

The evening also made special by the presence of the siblings of some of the greats who had the pleasure of being associated with the greatest of them all and this is besides the amazing presence of the veteran actress, Nimmi who had worked as Dilip Kumar’s heroine. The siblings who were all over the place were Rehman and Raju, the sons of Naushad, the sons of lyricists Rajendra Krishan, Rajesh Duggal, Javed Badayuni the son of Shakeel Badayuni, the daughter of Majrooh Sultanpuri and the faces that shone out were Yasmin, the daughter of Mohammad Rafi and her husband, Pervez and the poet Hasan Kamaal.

The other shining lights were Prem Chopra, Ranjeet, Kamwaljeeet Singh and the veteran fashion designer and Sufi photographer and poet, Firoz Mohomed Shaakir.

The function would not have been so dignified and in keeping with the power, place and position of Dilip Kumar without the way Dr. Bajpai and his gracious wife, Kanika Bajpai would not have taken care of every guest and made the function memorable for all those who were fortunate to be there on an evening which can never happen again…

And just a few kilometres away, at 34 Pali Hills, the all-time great emperor of acting was lying in bed, lost in a word of his own, which no one, not even his ever – caring and loving wife, Saira who has been his constant 24×7 nurse, will know.

And as I was returning home, I received a message from the actor – filmmaker Manoj Kumar who has also been a worshiper and has worked with him. He said in his message that a book was not enough to describe ‘the greatest actor ever’. He said, ‘only scripture could do justice to him’.

I am grateful to God for keeping me alive, but this one function is something I will never stop being grateful to God and his good people on earth, Dr Bajpai and Kanika Bajpai.


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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Dilip Kumar Alive, Dr. Trinetra Bajpai

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