The Legends who left us in 2011
We take a look at some of the legends, who passed away in 2011.
The year 2011's been a year of many deaths, in every walk of life. Steve Jobs died and so did Osama Bin Laden.
Here, then, are the people Indian cinema lost over a year that just seems far too cruel:
At 88, Devsaab, the industry's evergreen leading man, left us abruptly after a cardiac arrest in London -- far from his adoring Indian fans.
With a shadow cast right across the entirety of Hindi cinema (he began in pre-independent India and continued to star in his own film just months before he passed) Dev Anand was an icon of style, grace and indefatigability.
Also Read: Bollywood pays tribute to Dev Anand
Image: Dev Anand
A man who stood apart from his contemporaries simply by showing off extreme verve, Shammi was a madcap entertainer, a rollicking superstar who insouciantly won over the masses -- even as he shook his booty more than any dancing girls.
A man of tremendous natural screen presence and inimitable charisma, Kapoor was born to make people smile.
Also Read: Bollywood says goodbye to Shammi Kapoor
Image: Shammi Kapoor
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
The legendary classical singer left his Karnataka home at the age of 11 to look for a master, and eventually, under the wing of Swami Gandharva, gave his first performance in 1941. There was no looking back, for this was a Kirana vocalist with remarkable vocal control and a very distinct singing style.
He was given the Bharat Ratna in 2008 and remains the most commercially recorded Hindustani classical vocalist of all time.
Also Read: A Friend recalls Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Image: Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
Photographs: Rediff Archives
Maqbool Fida Husain
The leader of Indian Modernism forever loved the big screen, beginning his career as a mere painter of film posters and going on to profess love for actresses, watch their films dozens of times over, and then make his own truly unique films.
Controversy never spared Husain and India couldn't shelter him, but he continued to walk barefoot through all the scandal, his brush forever ready to take on more.
Also Read: The Husainsaab I Knew
Image: Maqbool Fida Husain
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi
One of our most experimental filmmakers, Kaul took on subjects with naturalism and gravitas at a time when Hindi cinema was turning increasingly flippant and larger than life.
A director revered by other filmmakers, Kaul also spent a large part of his life teaching neophytes about cinema and mentoring them about the magic of movies.
Also Read: The Magic Of Mani Kaul
Image: Mani Kaul
A golden-voiced ghazal maestro, Singh took the ghazal out of its elevated, classist space and brought it to the average listener.
A highly popular musician with a mellifluous discography, the prolific Jagjit Singh might perhaps have been the most frequently heard ghazal singer in the nation, and several expressed heartbreak when he passed away.
Image: Jagjit Singh
A flag-bearer from India's north-east who swam past lines of nationality and language through the power of distinctly spectacular music, Hazarika was an icon who created gorgeous melodies he would then render in his own, magical voice.
A folk musician who dabbled in everything, he also wrote music for many Hindi films, including 1993's Rudaali.
Also Read: Bhupen Hazarika cremated, fans pay respects
Image: Bhupen Hazarika
Dubey, one of the guiding lights of India's theatre movement, apparently came to Mumbai to play cricket but ended up in a theatre group.
The rest is history, as he became a groundbreaking icon and mentored many an actor and director, all while uncompromisingly creating his own stellar body of work. He was also a very important screenwriter.
Also Read: 'I could see my father in Satyadev Dubey'
Image: Satyadev Dubey
Ustad Sultan Khan
The supremo of the sarangi, Khan began his career at a modest Rajkot radio station, and perhaps capped it when he performed on George Harrison's Dark Horse World Tour, back in 1974.
A legend who has played everywhere including the White House, Khan passed away at the age of 71. The sarangi will never quite be the same.
Also Read: Bollywood pays tribute to Ustad Sultan Khan
Image: Ustad Sultan Khan
The immensely-loved lensman passed away at the age of 61, and all of Bollywood felt instantly uglier.
A magician who shot the best and turned them into their most beautiful, Rajadhyaksha was a highly influential glamour photographer with a very distinct visual idiom and a very affable nature, his parties almost as applauded as his lovely photographs.
Also Read: Bollywood attends Gautam Rajadhyaksha's funeral
Image: Gautam Rajadhyaksha