Google doodles are the postage stamps of the internet age, commemorating individuals and events by replacing its home page logo with a doodle that mixes the Google letters with artwork. Google has celebrated Indian cinema a number of times through its doodles. The latest being Sunday's doodle on Nutan's 81st birthday. A compilation.
June 4, 2017: Nutan's 81st Birthday
The conflicted murderess ('Bandini'). The anguished untouchable ('Sujata'). The hell-raising orphan ('Seema'). All memorable characters played by Nutan, a celebrated Indian film actress known for communicating complex emotions using only facial expressions and body language rather than dialogue. An icon of Indian cinema for over four decades, Nutan pioneered powerful women-centric films in an age when male actors dominated the silver screen.
Over her career, her distinct, groundbreaking style helped solidify an award-winning legacy. She won the Padma Shri in 1974 for her contribution to the Arts and a total of six Filmfare Awards, five of which were for Best Actress. She remains the oldest Indian actress to win a Filmfare award.
The Google Doodle reflects Nutan's expressive acting style on what would have been her 81st birthday. It was hard to sum up her genius in a single portrait, and so Google depicted four distinct expressions. (Text: Google)
April 24, 2017: Rajkumar's 88th Birthday
Rajkumar is widely considered one of India's finest and most prolific actors. Beginning in 1953, the method actor's career spanned 200 films and a wide swath of movie genres and roles, establishing Rajkumar as a dynamic and enduring presence in Kannada cinema.
Google Doodle team featured Rajkumar's larger-than-life personality beaming at a crowd of moviegoers from the silver screen where his legacy lives on for generations of Indian audiences. (Text: Google)
July 22, 2016: Mukesh's 93rd Birthday
Decades before single-name stars Madonna and Prince became superstars, there was the mononymous Mukesh, one of Bollywood's most acclaimed playback singers. Mukesh first rose to fame as the singing voice of actor, Raj Kapoor in the smash hit 'Andaz' (1949), a Hindi film about a tragic love triangle.
Born Mukesh Chand Mathur in Delhi, India on July 22, 1923, Mukesh was discovered by Motilal, an actor and distant relative, when he sang at his sister's wedding. The talent that earned him the nickname 'The Man with the Golden Voice' took time to develop. Early on, he studied with classical musician Pandit Jagannath Prasad, and for years emulated his idol, singer KL Saigal. Working with music director Naushad Ali, who gave him the songs for 'Andaz', he eventually came into his own.
In 1974, Mukesh won the National Film Award in India for Best Male Playback singer for his song 'Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai' from the film 'Rajnigandha'. He followed that up with wins in 1976 at the Filmfare Awards for four songs, most notably 'Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein,' the title track of the film 'Kabhie Kabhie' and the inspiration for the Doodle. (Text: Google)
June 27, 2016: RD Burman's 77th birthday
When RD Burman was growing up, it was assumed he would follow in his father's footsteps and compose music for Bollywood. But no one quite predicted that his disciplined practice and extensive music training would lead him to become one of the most popular Bollywood composers of his time!
Early on, he was given the nickname Pancham, from the Bengali word for 5. In fact, at the age of 9, RD Burman was already composing music for hit films, since his father SD Burman included his son's 'Sar jo tera chakraaye' in the film 'Pyaasa'. As his career developed, he was known for making music out of anything from laughter to blowing over the tops of glass bottles. Bringing in influences from all over the world, from disco, to funk, to cabaret, RD Burman revolutionised Bollywood and brought films like Caravan to life with the iconic 'Piya Tu Ab To Aaja'. (Text: Google)
June 1, 2015: Nargis' 86th Birthday
From the carefree laughter of a mischievous runaway girl in 'Chori Chori', to the stoic stance of a suffering Radha in ‘Mother India', film actress Nargis still reigns the hearts of many Indian cinema lovers.
Born to a Muslim immigrant family, Nargis made her first screen appearance at the tender age of 4, in the movie ‘Talash-e-Haq' in 1935. She later went on to give several memorable performances in cinematic masterpieces such as 'Awara', 'Shree 420', ‘Barsaat' and perhaps most memorably the Academy Award nominated film 'Mother India'. India's award for best film on national integration in the annual National Film Awards is named the 'Nargis Dutt Award' in her honour.
But Nargis was not only a cultural icon, she also devoted herself to help spastic children and became the first patron of The Spastics Society of India. Her charitable work gained her recognition as a social worker.
Nagris lifted her ghoonghat headpiece and blazed the silver screen with her portrayal of strong women protagonists. (Text: Google)
December 14, 2014: Raj Kapoor's 90th Birthday
The Google Doodle on Indian cinema's greatest Showman, Raj Kapoor, 90th birthday was in the form of a film poster featuring him in his quintessential role of a tramp. On the background is the a silhouette of the famous rain song from 'Shree 420' - 'Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua' featuring him and Nargis.
At 24, he became the youngest film director of his time when he set up his own studio RK Films.
Film historians have called him the 'Charlie Chaplin of India', since he often himself played a tramp-like figure who, despite adversity, could still be cheerful and an honest man. Many of his films were characterised not only by lively music but also by the extensive use of elaborate sets. The songs of his films were not just popular in India but in Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
August 4, 2014: Kishore Kumar's 85th Birthday
Kishore Kumar is considered the Hindi film industry's most successful playback singer. He currently holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards for playback singing.
Known for his eccentricity, Kishore Kumar (born Abhas Kumar Ganguly), was a multi-talented personality and the doodle also salutes his many abilities.
Though he is best known as one of Indian cinema's greatest playback singers, he was also an actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenplay writer and scriptwriter. The four icons on the the four corners of the Google doodle symbolise this.
May 2, 2013: Satyajit Ray's 92nd Birthday
In the doodle on the Google home page honouring the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray on his 92nd birth anniversary, the characters Durga and Apu are seen running through the fields to catch a glimpse of a train. This is a famous scene from Ray's directorial debut 'Pather Panchali' (1955).
May 2 marks the 91st birth anniversary of legendary auteur Satyajit Ray, considered one of the world's best. Many consider the visionary and extremely talented Ray to have inherited the legacy of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
He was not just a film director but also a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and music composer. The illustrious Ray family has contributed to Bengal's art, culture and music for over a century.
March 14, 2011: Alam Ara's 80th Anniversary
On March 14, 1931 the police had to be summoned to the Majestic cinema hall in Mumbai (then Bombay). The reason for the feared stampede was the uncontrollable response of movie-goers to the first Indian talkie, 'Alam Ara'.
The movie marked the arrival of sound to Indian cinema, 'Alam Ara' also included the first song in Hindi films - setting off an endearing and enduring tradition. 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. The film, in fact, had seven songs, scored by Ferozshah M Mistru and B Irani.
The tragedy, however, is that the film may be lost forever. In 2008, an Information and Broadcasting ministry official revealed that no prints are now 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.