Known to generations of cinema lovers as the evergreen hero of blockbuster hits like Dil Ek Mandir, Ayee Milan ki Bela, Arzoo and Sangam, Rajendra Kumar Tuli was truly the 'Jubilee Star of Hindi cinema in the 1960s.
Jubilee Kumar is the so-far-untold story of the man behind the superstar - one who went from riches to rags early in life, but whose determination, prudence and humility saw him surmount countless hurdles and win the affection and admiration of colleagues and fans alike.
A dispossessed refugee following Partition, Kumar’s struggles intensified as he travelled from Sialkot to Bombay to try his luck in films, suffering homelessness and hunger before he got a break as an assistant director. Overcoming both prejudice in the industry and his own insecurities, he eventually rose to unimaginable fame and popularity as a leading man in films and a respected producer.
Touching candidly upon his life both on-screen and off it, this intimate account reveals Kumar - often through his own reminiscences and the recollections of others - as a hard-headed businessman, a generous and empathetic senior colleague, a gallant co-star to his female leads, a good-natured rival to peers and, above all, an upright and principled family man who rose above the many temptations of life in the Indian film industry.
A riveting tale of struggle and stardom, fame and disillusionment, love, heartbreak and loss, Jubilee Kumar unwraps the many layers of an icon whose achievements and charisma few of his rivals or successors have been able to match.
SEEMA SONIK ALIMCHAND has been a flight attendant, a voice professional, a presenter and copy writer for television, radio and other media. The daughter of noted music composer Master Sonik of the Sonik-Omi duo, Seema developed an interest in the Indian film industry at an early age. She is the author, presenter and producer of the popular album 100 Years of Hindi Film Music, and the author of the biographies of superstars Rajinikanth (The Warrior Within) and Dara Singh (Deedara aka Dara Singh). Her forthcoming works include a historical novel, Monsoon Earth, a series for young adults and two theatrical productions.
The desire to put together and publish a book about my father grew out of a need to fill the void of the twenty years I had to live through after losing him to cancer.
I have missed his presence every day since, because he touched my life and that of many others in significant ways.
His handsome features, gentlemanly manner and engaging personality (he wasn't my superhero for nothing!), along with his sincerity, his passion for hard work and his ability to emote on screen, made him a legend of Indian cinema in the 1960s and 1970s.
Born into an affluent family in what is now Pakistan, my father enjoyed an idyllic and luxurious childhood, which came to a brutal end with the partition of India. Forced to flee across the newly drawn border into a life of deprivation in Delhi, he endured several hardships before an opportunity took him to Bombay (now Mumbai) and the film world, for which he had nurtured a passion all along. Unfazed by repeated rejection, my father overcame the many obstacles that were thrown his way, determined to let nothing come between him and his goal. With time, he went from being an assistant director to a star performer in films and earned the fond nickname that his audience and the industry would bestow on him - Jubilee Kumar.
In his personal life, as in his professional one, he was known for his integrity and for being a devoted husband, a loving father, and a caring son and sibling. In fact, many felt that it was his sincerity as a human being that came through on screen as well, helping him to portray the roles of lover, husband, son and brother with utmost conviction.
Despite his fame and significant contribution to India's film industry, many young people today have never heard of the jubilee star called Rajendra Kumar. Sadly enough, my own children, who are now in their twenties, have little idea of the larger-than-life personality their grandfather was and the important place he made for himself in the hearts of his many fans and admirers.
It is, therefore, from a deep sense of duty and love that I authorized the writing of this book. If the reader is able to come away from it with their spirits elevated and inspired even a little by how my father transformed his ordinary life to one of stupendous success through sheer grit and ambition, then I will know I haven't failed him as a chronicler of his life and, most importantly, as a loving daughter keen on keeping her father's memory alive.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
North Indian Music (293)
Original Texts (64)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend