1870-79- THE FATHER

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Dhundiraj Govind Phalke is born (as in a lantern slide) to parents Govind Saadashiv Phalke and Dwarkabai Phalke at Trybakeshavar in Nasik distroict on 30th April 1870 at 8.30 p.m.

His father, a Sanskrit scholar,kathavachak and astronomer, upon charting the child's horoscope, fortells that he will deal in something white...


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At this time, celluloid is invented, and Victoria is declared Sovereign Empress.

The native imagination is fired by tales of indigo, incandescent lamps and cathode rays.


The child Phalke is reared in the ancient religious town of Trymbakeshwar, a town of temples and haunting ruins, attending katha sessions with his father, listening to stories of Nala-Damayanti, and the Vedic scriptures, growing, learning the principles of nature like imitation, mimicry and camouflage, roaming around temples, gazing at icons of the gods with his friend Telang.

Image:Raja ravivarma painting 70 nala dam.jpg Image:Edison patent incandescent bulb.jpg

At the same time, we hear echoes in the atmosphere of mysterious typewriters, telegraphs, and the discovery of chromosomes.

In the West, a man called Muybridge is experimenting with a horse called Occident to determine whether, at any point in the trot, the horse has all of his four feet off the ground at the same time. He uses a multiple still camera for this purpose.

The child Phalke is mystified by the news of the invention of the microphone and phonograph, and of 11,000 prisoners being freed on the occasion of Queen Victoria's coronation as Empress of India.

Also, Trymbak town is in an uproar. The ruler of Baroda, Malhar Rao, originally of Nasik, has been deposed by the British on charges of sedition and high treason, and his brother's son, Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, placed on the throne in his stead, at the time of the Kuka uprising during North Brook's tenure.

Image:Malharrao1860s.jpg Image:Sir-sayajirao-gaekwad.jpg

At this time, the professor of English at Elphinstone College who is studying Vedic astronomy from Phalke's father, invites him to join the college as a Sanskrit teacher.

(conversation between the father and the English professor)

Bhalachandra, Phalke's uncle, a pharmacist, is already working in Bombay.

The family, consisting of the child Phalke and his parents, leaves for Bombay.

Phalke's brother, Shivram Govind Phalke, 20 years senior, is working in Baroda at the time as assistant to Romesh Chandra Dutt, a Bengali scholar working for HH the Gaekwad of Baroda.

Image:J j Grandville Crime et expiation1847.jpg An enormous eye in the black sky pursues the criminal through space and to the bottom of the sea, where it devours him after taking the form of a fish. Multiple eyes nevertheless multiply under the waves.


Little toys, maybe Phalke's sister or maybe his brother, bring him the little toy. Someone spins a card. Through the persistence of vision, the eye retains the impression of the image on one side long enough for the other side to reveal itself. So the bird is in the cage and the rider on the horse.

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