Aficionados of Marathi cinema and fans of iconic Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande — affectionately known as ‘Pu La’ — have news to cheer about as the city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage from a ‘lost’ Marathi film classic of the 1940s which starred Deshpande.The film, Vande Mataram (1948) directed by Ram Gabale, is a much sought-after memorabilia item high on the lists of Marathi film collectors and devotees of Pu La’s work.It marked the first time that the multi-faceted Deshpande, who starred alongside his wife Sunita, played the lead role following minor appearances in earlier films, Kuber (1947) and Bhagyaresha (1948).“The 35-minute footage that we have received has rekindled hopes that the complete film may yet be discovered. The footage, in form of a VHS tape, was given to us by Dinesh Thakur (Sunita Deshpande’s nephew) and film historian Satish Jakatdar along with U-matic tapes which contain previously unseen footage of Pu La playing the harmonium,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI.He informed that while the sound quality was all right, there was dire need to enhance the picture quality of the footage.Vande Mataram, made immediately after Independence but set during the freedom struggle, was a heady confluence of the most formidable talents to grace Marathi cinema during its heyday in the late 1940s. The film, shot in Kolhapur, was written by yet another legendary Marathi literary figure, the famed poet-writer Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar who also provided the lyrics, while the music was composed by renowned singer Sudhir Phadke.It was edited by Raja Thakur (who later became a director in his own right), helmed by the talented Mr. Gabale, a Prabhat Studios regular, and was produced by the maverick P.R. Bhide.The film, with its memorable music and songs, focuses on the patriotism of ordinary folks and is laced with gentle humour.“VandeMataram is indeed remarkable for the dazzling array of talent associated with it as Madgulkar, Pu La and Phadke constituted the veritable trinity of Marathi cinema during its golden age in the late 1940s and 50s. Its ‘lost film’ status has lent it a certain aura. The film was very dear to its composer, Sudhir Phadke, who had in fact visited Mr. Thakur’s residence in Mumbai following Pu La’s death in 2000 to search if the latter had preserved it in his collection,” said Mr. Magdum, speaking to The Hindu.He said that the footage featured a couple of songs and has Pu La singing a powada (ballad).“In particular, one song from this film, Ved Mantrahun Vandya, became a huge hit and endures in its popularity even till this day,” said Mr. Magdum.He further said that the acquisition was doubly delightful as by a happy coincidence this year happens to be the birth centenary of P.L. Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. Incidentally 2018 was the birth centenary of the film’s producer, P.R. Bhide.“Bhide was an interesting character who dabbled in a number of things including the cinema. Besides Vande Mataram, the other notable film he produced was Lalat (1947) where his auteurist tendencies were in full display in his highly innovative experiment of using 16 mm film to record sound instead of film,” Mr. Magdum said, remarking that Bhide later exited cinema to become a spiritual godman, establishing the Manashakti Center in Lonavla and assuming the name of ‘Swami Vijnananand’.Of the other memorabilia acquired by the NFAI, one of the two hour-long U-matic cassettes showcase the considerable Harmonium skills of the versatile Mr. Deshpande and were recorded sometime in Mumbai in the 1980s.The other cassette has his inimitable recitation of some of his beloved characters from his literary ouvre.In December 2015, the NFAI had received another rare ‘Pu La’ memorabilia in the form of Deshpande’s original handwritten script of the enduring 1953 Marathi classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitized by them.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a comment posted on the ‘Wilmington MA Community Board Page’ and shared with the poster’s permission:Wilmington is very blessed and lucky to have a Police Chief like Chief Michael Begonis. Police departments talk about how valuable every life is and how they are fighting the opiate epidemic. Chief Begonis and his detectives/officers do what they say they will.I am a two time Iraq Combat Veteran who used heroine to deal with the invisible scars of war. The Chief of Police and his Narcotics Detectives took time out of their busy days to come to my grandparents house to talk to me about getting help and to tell me they were there for me if i ever needed it, no matter what. These men live the true values of to Protect and Serve. Yes, I am one life, but I am one life that was saved because of their love and support. I have zero connection to anyone in the Wilmington Police Department and I am one of many in our town struggling with this horrible addiction. These men made me feel as if I mattered when I thought I was nothing. They showed how much this police department cares about making a dent in this epidemic and that they will do what it takes to save a life no matter how hopeless I seemed.Yes, I understand Wilmington is not the most crime ridden area of this country, but that’s not the point. The point is that the Chief of Police will make the effort for the people of his town even if it takes him coming and just talking to someone. This is not an easy time to be a police officer and i think this town should see how devoted their Chief is to making an impact.Those interactions with his detectives and him were 4 years ago and because of them and others, I will be hitting 3 years in December, in that time I have bought my own home, had a beautiful baby girl and am very close to my Bachelors Degree in Human Services. These accomplishments would never have been possible with out their support and love.These are times when we are losing young people at alarming numbers to the opiate epidemic and there are no easy answers to put a dent in it, but one life is worth the time to the Chief because one life lost sends huge repercussions through whole families and communities.You should be proud to be residents of the Town of Wilmington and should feel pretty damn good that you have a Police Chief who doesn’t just talk the talk but walks the walk and everything starts from the top. I just hope that by the end of his reign as Police Chief that I am one of many saved lives. He deserves to be held in the highest regard by his town because he will fight to protect the lives of every single one of you and that’s not something you can say about a lot of towns.Thank you Chief and your entire department for being a part of saving this one life. I will be eternally grateful to you and will always be proud to say I am from the town of Wilmington. I’m sorry this was so long but I tried to keep it short.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Police Chief Joe Desmond (PART 1)In “5 Quick Questions”5 QUICK QUESTIONS with Wilmington’s New Police Chief Joe Desmond (PART 2)In “5 Quick Questions”Joe Desmond Appointed Permanent Wilmington Police ChiefIn “Police Log”
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