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Radhu Karmakar

"When Nargis left R. K. Films in 1956, after her cameo in Jagte Raho, Raj Kapoor was devastated. He could not get over the fact that Nargis had indeed left him for good. He was tormented and had the appearance of a man who had lost his soul, as indeed he had. It was Nargis who was his inspiration from Aag onwards and he was artistically, a lonely man without moorings..."

These are some excerpts from the autobiographical book of Radhu Karmakar, the great camera artiste of Raj Kapoor. This book "Radhu Karmakar - The Painter of Lights" is the story, in his own words, of a very talented and self-effacing person who was a genius behind the camera. Radhu Karmakar desired neither fame nor fortune, and his ultimate ambition in life was to make a perfect film like Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane", says his wife Bani Karmakar.

Long dark path

Radhu started his film career with "Kismat ki Dhani" (1945) which was followed by "Milan" (1946, director Nitin Bose), and other super hits like "Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahti Hai" (1958, Radhu Karmakar), "Mera Naam Joker" (1965, RK). "Param Vir Chakra", completed in 1995, was has last film.

Radhu has painstakingly studied the art of different cinematographers. From this book, we come to know that Radhu travelled a long dark path to attain the light of success. His years of struggle continued from 1931 to 1938. "I struggled a lot under stress," he writes.This interesting book opens the doors of nostalgia and re-explores the pretty as well as bitter side of the film industry. We come across the familiar stories of Bombay Talkies, Devika Rani and Ashok Kumar but in a different perspective. Since Radhu was a creative light and camera artiste, he had a close view of great personalities. This book moves in phases. Part one comprises Flash Back (1896-1960) and then it proceeds from the golden age to the Nargis era and finally fades out with Raj Kapoor.


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