Veteran Hindi film actor Chandrashekhar celebrated his 87th birthday on 7th July in the presence of his close friends, admirers, family and members of the media at his residence in Bombay. If you are wondering about the unusual title of this post, let me remind you that Chandrashekharji acted in a film called '7 SAAL BAAD' and I just had to add 8 before that!
Incidentally, the active Bollywood actor has now completed a record number of sixty-eight years in films. Besides, he is also active as advisor to different social/film associations and takes part in various socio-cultural activities. He has also completed 73 years of his marriage with Pushpa. On this occasion, in an unusual gesture, Chandrashekharji felicitated well-known journalist Ali Peter John for his valuable contribution to Hindi cinema. He said Ali had worked for SCREEN for more than 35 years and after seeking voluntary retirement, has been actively involved in the prominent trade weekly, SUPER CINEMA during the last three years. "Ali has almost been a part of industry even though he has maintained the best tradition of the best kind of journalism. Ali has interacted with legends, superstars and stars and down to the junior artistes, stuntmen and even the spot boys. He has been following in the footsteps of his guru, KHWAJA AHMAD ABBAS, who with a filmmaker like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, worked for the rights and the welfare of the worker even though they were producers and employers." the actor said. He also talked about Ali's autobiography which has come out in three languages, English, Marathi and Hindi and which is being planned as a feature film. The actor blessed Ali on the occasion and hoped and prayed that he would carry on in the same spirit for a long long time.
Chandrashekharji shared many sweet memories about his glorious career in the Hindi film industry. He had friendship with many legendary artistes like composer Shankar of Shankar-Jaikishen, who was his 'akhade-ka-dost', singer Mohammed Rafi, poet Sahir Ludhiyanvi, film makers Shakti Samanta & B.R.Chopra, actor Bharat Bhushan, among others. Also present at the event was Mr.Ram Autar Chharia, who has been Chandrashekharji's friend since last sixty years. He had come all the way from Ghaziabad for this occasion. Another gentleman, Thakur Sahab had come from Chandigarh specially for this occasion. Mr.Shyam Shroff of Shringar/Fame also came to wish the veteran actor besides many other friends and well wishers from the film industry had sent their bouquets to wish the actor. Chandrashekharji had a wonderful relation with father of Shyamji who was a famous financers of films those days.
Chandrashekharji's son Ashok Shekhar is now a famous producer of television serials under the banner MADHURI ENTERTAINMENT. His serial 'BHABHI' is currently on air on a prominent Hindi television channel. A few other notable serials produced by him include many episodes of 'SATURDAY SUSPENSE', 'SHAGUN', 'CATS', 'PIYA KA GHAR', 'PARIVARTAN' among others. He started his career in 1974 by working with legendary film maker Shakti Samanta as Production Controller and B.R.Chopra as Assistant Director. Chandrashekharji's grandson Shakti is now a famous television actor and is currently doing the famous serial 'BAA BAHOO AUR BABY' on a prominent television channel.
Friends from the print media included journalists Mr.Pannu, Mr.Jyothi Venkatesh, Mr.Varma, photographer Mr.Jagdish Aurangabadkar, PRO Mr.R.R.Pathak, Mr.Rajendra Ojha of Screen World, among others. Mr.Jyothi Venkatesh was glad due to the absence of electronic-media at the occasion.
Photos : Bhanwer Mali