Google’s Doodle celebrates 80th anniversary of ‘Alam Ara’

Spicezee Bureau

Mumbai: In a unique way to commemorate the arrival of sound to India cinema, Google presented a rare tribute to the country’s first talkie ‘Alam Ara’ on its 80th anniversary through Doodle. The Google `doodle` is an interesting feature to draw one’s attention with the help of unfocused images.

On March 14, 1931 - exactly eighty years ago - the police had to be summoned to the Majestic cinema hall in Mumbai (then Bombay) because of the fear of stampede to control movie-goers flocking up to watch India’s first talkie movie.

‘Alam Ara’ included the first song in Hindi films - setting off an endearing and enduring legacy. The song, De de khuda ke naam par, was performed on screen by actor Wazir Mohammed Khan - this, of course, was before the days of lip-syncing to playback tracks.

So to hail one of India grandest achievement, Google famed doodles captured the legendary Surti actress Zubeida`s image on 14th March 2011.

Zubeida was Bollywood`s first lady director, who made her debut at 12 with `Kohinoor`, and made her mark as an actress with `Balidaan`, which was based on Tagore`s `Sacrifice`. The highest paid actress of her times, Zubeida had the box office coffers jingling with the title role `Alam Ara`.

But the saddest part is that the film may be lost forever. According to Information and Broadcasting Ministry official, there are no prints of the classic available with the National Archives of India. The last existing prints were destroyed in a fire at Pune`s National Film Archives in 2003. A search was conducted across the country but no print of Alam Ara could be found.

India`s first talkie now remains only a memory, scattered and lost in the annals of history.

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