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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – July 2021

Welcome to July 2021 edition of IXth Volume of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

First and foremost, my most humble homage to Shri K S Bhatiaji our very active member of SoY family, who bade eternal farewell to this mortal world on 30.06.2021,

We pay our tribute to Legendary Actor Dilip Kumar Passes Away at 98 After Prolonged Illness .on 07.07.2021.

As can be expected, there was a torrent of tributes, depicting various facets of Dilip Kumar. Here are a few selected ones:

Farewell to a Titan – Farewell to the clarity of his diction, the Urdu or Hindustani dialogues flowing off his tongue so naturally, not seeming like ‘dialogue’ at all. It fit his persona. Farewell his commitment to his craft, the tiniest details that he infused his character with, never mind that the audiences may not notice, or appreciate.

Also: the songs that reflect The Many Moods of Dilip Kumar and a duets or solos wherein the character of Dilip Kumar sings Dilip Kumar in Ten Moods

Ae Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal: Thespian Dilip Kumar Bids AdieuSundeep PahwaThe Times of India, dated March 23rd 1954, wrote about Dilip Kumar after he received the First Filmfare Trophy for Best Actor – “Extremely good looking, with dark, intense eyes and a superbly modulated speaking voice, Dilip Kumar has no equal in dramatic performance on the Indian Screen, today…A serious student of life, this dashing young Hero believes that a higher purpose should guide us in life.”

‘My professional name is Dilip Kumar’: Encounters with one of India’s greatest actorsAnwar Abbas  – On a personal level, the man was always affectionate, lovable and even adorable. He was the best ever to enter and emerge from Hindi film studios.

The one and only Dilip Kumar: The actor who shaped world’s biggest film industry –  Hindi cinema is synonymous with Dilip Kumar. The legendary actor embodied, embellished, and shaped the biggest film industry in the world.

Dilip Kumar, thespian of many parts – Dilip Kumar will not only be remembered because he was an actor par excellence, but also because he re-lived his characters. Even without uttering a single word his eyes can be seen speaking a thousand words.

Did Dilip Kumar, the holy grail of acting in Hindi cinema, facilitate the star-centricity of the industry today?Naseeruddin Shah – He was truly matchless at creating a demand for himself, sometimes at the cost of the film he was in — a legacy that weighs heavier on the Hindi film fraternity than his nuanced performances.

Life lessons from Dilip Kumar for a ’90s kid –  SUDHAKAR JAGDISH – …. “our father always had a Dilip Kumar scene for us to emulate, even in our revolts. As Salim, played by Dilip Kumar, confronts his father Akbar the Great, played by the legendary Prithiviraj Kapoor, for the love of his life, he doesn’t move, his hands motionless, but his voice remains firm… elevating the scene o something of a textbook on familial maryada”.

The Serious Actor and the Matinee Idol – a tribute to Dilip Kumar – Beneath the hurt lover withdrawing into himself, there was also one of the most dazzling smiles in our cinema. And there was a showman too, a man with style, panache, star quality. … In the best work of this actor, the two poles of Realism and Stylization blended into one.

ताजिंदगी विभाजन की लकीर को पाटते रहे Dilip Kumar – Ravish Kumar – He was Dilip Kumar too and Yusuf Khan too. He was so easily able to cross the line of division created in 1947.

Dilip Kumar on how the studio system made way for independent directorsNasreen Munni Kabir – The ’50s was the beginning of the erosion of authority a picture maker had on the marketing of his product. During the ’40s and up to the ’50s, the director was the principal man, over and above the stars, but after the ’50s, his position was gradually undermined, and the distributor and the financier became the top people. Whereas on one side there was boom, and on the other side, there was decline in the inner health of cinema.

Maybe July Is Now the Worst Month for Great Performers from the Golden Age

Note: Here is a link to the four-part article I had posted after I had read Dilip Kumar’s autobiography Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar.

We now move on to other tributes and memories:

Mehfil completes 4 years! by posting the songs ‘one composer singing for another composer’

Raja Mehdi Ali Khan: Lyricist Par Excellence is a tribute to a rare combination of poet, writer and lyricist on his 55th remembrance day.

On Guru Dutt’s 96th birth anniversary: Why the Master of Gloom fascinates us even todayShaikh Ayaz – The maker of iconic Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool died when he was only 39. Though he made few films and according to many accounts, led a depressed life he continues to intrigue decades after his death.

Nostalgia post: on a Prakash Mehra-Bachchan audiocassette (and listening to films before watching them) – The tape was a collection of songs and dialogues from the films the two men did together, starting with the 1973 Zanjeer and continuing till the 1982 Namak Halaal.

Shailendra Sharma @ Golden Era of Bollywood has posted following memorial tribute posts:

To commemorate the birth centenary of Sahir Ludhianvi, a series of articles on

Sahir’s Songs of Romance is launched. The first article is about Sahir Ludhianvi’s  One Film Association(s) with eleven different music directors.

Laagi Chhute Na Ab To Sanam – Remembering Chandrashekhar is a tribute to the versatile actor who passed away last month.

July 2021 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs takes up Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet Song With The Music Director: 1944-1946 to commence the series Mohammad Rafi’s First Duet with a Music Director. This is a follow-on to the series Mohammad Rafi’s first solo song with a music director.

We now move on to posts on other subjects –

Charulata & Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam: Satyajit Ray & Guru Dutt’s Contrasting WorldsAlpana Chowdhury – Ray’s film is an outward-looking one, literally and metaphorically. Unlike the closed, confining chambers in which Choti Bahu pines for her husband, the Dutta household is bright and airy, with windows opening out, on to the world outside.

Pyarelal, Mehmood, Laxmikant, Jeetendra, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar — a rare photograph.

The Jal Tarang Songs – Musical Ripples present ten songs where the instrument has been used in a manner in which its tinkling is distinct

From Bollywood Rewind Sampada Sharma – Indian Express’s weekly column:

Micro View of Best Songs of 1944 @SoY took up  Setting the Stage and then have taken up My Top Male Solo Songs and then continued with Female Solo Songs with 1st part of solo songs Amirbai Karnataki. In its review of Male Solo songs. SoY has conferred KL Siagal as the Best Male Singer and jointly selectedAe qatib-e-taqdeer mujhe itana bata de; Do naia matware tihare hum par zulm karein, andChhupo na chhupo na chhupo na (My Sister: Music Pankaj Mullick ) as best Male Solo Songs for the year 1944 in Wrap Up 1 .

SoY has also presented Best songs of 1944: Wrap UP 2, conferring the Best Female Singer trophy to Amirbai Karanataki fo the song Chanda Desh Piya Ke Ja (Bhartruhari, Lyrics: Pt. Indra- Music: Khemchand Prakash)

In continuation to our tradition of ending the post with a few songs of Mohammad Rafi, each one of which basically has a link with the topics discussed in the present post.

Woh Apni Yaad Dila Ne Ko Ek Ishq Ki Duniya Chood Gaye – Jugnu (1947) – M G Adeeb / Asgar Sarhadi, B.A. – Firoz Nizami

Wah Re Zamane Kya Rang Dikhaye, … Pal Mein Hasaye, Pal Mein Rulaye…  – Ghar Ki Izzat (1948) – Ishwar Chandra Kapoor – Gobinda Ram

Watan Ki Raah Mein Watan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho – Shaheed (1948) –  with Khan Mastana and chorus – Raja Mehandi Ali Khan – Ghulam Haider

Dil Ko Hua Tumse Pyar, Ah Hai Tumhein Ikhtiyar……… Takara Gaya Tumse Di Hi To Hai – Aan (1952) – Shakil Badayuni – Naushad

Nayi Zindagi Se Pyar Kar Ke Dekh, Is Ke Rup Ka Singar  Kar Ke Dekh  – Shikast (1953) – with Lata Mangeshkar and chorus –  Shailendra – Shankar Jaikishan

Asha Ke Jab Dep Bujhe To Man Ka Deep Jala, Jag Ka Rasta Chhod Musafir Teri Rah Chala, Apni Chhaya Mein Bhagwan Bitha De Mujhe.. Main HuN Tera Tu Apana Bana Le Mujhe – Insaniyat (1955) – Rajinder Krishna – C Ramchandra

Dil Leke Daga Denge … Yaar Hai Matlab Ke – Naya Daur (1957) – Sahir ludhianvi – O P Nayyar

Toote Hue KhwaboN Hum Ko Yeh Shikhaya Hai – Madhumati (1958) – Shailendra – Salil Chaudhuri

Sukh Ke Sab Sathi, Dukh Mein Na Koy – Gopi (1970) – Rajinder Krishna – Kalyanji Anandji

Na Tu ZameeN Ke Liye Na AsmaaN Ke Liye.. Tera Wajood Hai.. Ab Sirf Dastan Ke Liye -Dastan (1972) – Sahir Ludhianvi – Laxmikant Pyarelal

I look forward to your inputs to enrich the contents of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

Disclaimer: This monthly series of posts is my best-effort-based compilation of posts on Hindi film songs that I normally visit regularly. As I record my sincere thanks to all the original creators of these posts, any other posts that I have nor covered herein shows my lack of awareness of existence of such posts and is by no means any disrespect to their work. The copyrights to the posts, images and video clips remain the properties of the original creators.

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Centenary Celebrations In my view

Manna Dey and Contemporary Lead Actors – 1

Hindi Film World celebrates centenary birth year of Manna Dey. In a series of articles that I have planned to run in 2019 and 2020, I have tried to present songs from different angles, wherein focus is not on what is considered Manna Dey’s core niche areas, like classical songs, comedy songs etc.

We would confine our horizon of discussions to end decade of 70’s.

Satyajit Ray had once mentioned that listeners would be “more shocked than surprised if they were made to hear a voice outside a coveted set of six singers”. Maybe six was just an empirical number he had in mind, but throughout his career, Manna Dey certainly was not one of the six when the requirement was singing for the lead actor. He was always the seventh, in the role of a specialist.[1]

Manna Dey (a.k.a Prabodh Chandra Dey – B: 1st May, 1919 /\ D: 24th October, 2013) was groomed into the classical singing, with extra eye for perfection, experimentation and complete dedication. He was so much singer to the core, that he might probably never have explicitly thought of shaping his career path on the more worldly success matrix.

He has recorded songs of types and hues in around 16 languages. His classical songs are remembered fondly by critics as well as the common listeners. His comedy songs earned so high a respect that he got typecast for these songs. In fact, every type of song genre that he touched, led to typecast him for that genre. However, as the destiny may have chosen not to bestow Manna Dey with the coveted ‘commercial’ recognition of That Hero’s Voice even he had string of exceptionally successful songs for the leading male actor of the film. Many of his sings in this category for so called B category films earned fame, that turned out to be not enough to earn long term success to the heroes of these films, was also not that longer.

In our today’s article we will try to remember his songs for the lead male actors of different times. Our aim is not seeking any ‘whys’, but to collect Manna Dey’s representative songs from the perspective of the contemporary lead actors on one-page.

As is well-known Manna Dey commenced his Hindi film song career with a duet, Jaago Aayee Usha Panchhi Boley  with Suraiya for Tamanna in 1942. The song has been filmed on a beggar and his young assistant. Manna Dey played back for the beggar. His first song thus was a ‘beggar’ genre song. His second song was for film Ram Rajya (1943), a ‘bhajan’ genre song. However the wait for films which had strong social content and also had one of the three of Great Trinity of the lead male actors of Indian Cinema as the upcoming stars.

With Dilip Kumar

Manna Dey and Dilip Kumar have got together in Dilip Kumar’s debut film Jwar Bahata (1944). Manna Dey gets to sings Bhula Bhatka Path Hara Main Sharan Tumhari Aaya, Kah Do He Gopal, for which Anil Biswas composed music. The song is set to Bengal’s folk baul style, which the medicants used for their compositions. Dilip Kumar was the male lead, but the only song that he would have sang – Sham Ki Bela Panchhi Akela –  on the screen was played back by Arun Kumar Mukherjee. Manna Dey has never played back for Dilip Kumar. Closest these titans can have been said to come is in Insaan Ka Insaan Se Ho Bhaichara, Yahi Paigam Hamara (Paigam, 1956; Music: C Ramchandra) which rolls  around Dilip Kumar as the key protagonist and Manna Dey sings in the background.

With Dev Anand

It was as far as back as in 1947 that Manna Dey got to play back for Dev Anand, who was the lead actor for Aage Badho. HFGK credits the duet, Sawan Ki Ghatao Dheere Dheere Aana – (Music: Sudhir Phadake, Lyrics: Amar Varma) to Manna Dey and Khursheed, for Dev Anand and Khursheed respectively on the screen.

Asides:

Even at the cost of being repetitive, it should be noted that the opinions are sharply divided along the loyalty lines in so far as credit for the male singer goes. Several other net-resources and many of Rafi’s keen listeners credit the male part of the song to Mohammad Rafi.

Manna Dey played back for Dev Anand again next year in Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (Music: H P Das, Assistant – Manna Dey; Lyrics: G S Nepali) . Ham Tere Hai Hamko Na Thukarana O Bharat Ke Bhagwan Chale Aana– is in the form of a prayer that Dev Anand, possibly as a teacher in the school or a children home type of institution. sings to the children.

Part 1 and Part 2 of the song, O Ghar Ghar Ke Diye Bujhakar Bane Hue Dhanwan , has idealist tone.

Dev Ananad and Manna Dey have, then, combined in Amar Deep (1958; Muisc C Ramchandra; Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna) triad dance song Is JahaN Ka Pyar Jutha. The first stanza focuses on Johnny Walker for whom, naturally, Mohammad Rafi has provided the playback. Dev Ananad commences second stanza @ 3.47 with a hearty alaap of Manna Dey to dancingly sing Ab Kahan Wo Pahele Jaise Dilbari Ke Rang ….

Asides:

Amar Deep had a twin version duet Dekh Hamein Awaaz Na Dena, filmed on the lead pair Dev Anand and Vyjayantimala, which has Mohammad Rafi playback singing for Dev Anand. The film had one more obscure solo – Lene Ko Taiyar Nahi, Dene Ko Taiyar Nahi – which is also filmed on Dev Anand and played back by Mohammad Rafi

Hereafter, Manna Dey got to play back for Dev Anand only when S D Burman chose to offer some specific songs like Tak Dhum Tak Dhum Baje (Bombai Ka Babu,1960), Sanj Dhali Dil KI Lagi Thak Chali Pukar Ke (Kala Bazaar,1960; with Asha Bhosle); Chand Aur Mein Aur Tu, Aye Kash Chalate Milke – with Asha Bhosle-,  Hamdam Se Mile Ham Dam Se Gaye and Ab Kise Pata Kal Ho Na Ho (Manzeel, 1960) etc.

Manna Dey did sing genuinely romantic songs for the hero in these songs, even if he was that ‘seventh’ choice.

Dev Anand – Manna Dey were brought together, once again. for one of the all time classics Chale Jaa Rahein Hai Kinare Kinare (Kinare Kinare, 1964; Lyrics: Nyay Sharma) by Jaidev.

With Raj Kapoor

Manna Dey was called on to sing for Raj Kapoor in Aawara (1951) in the classic two-song part dream sequence Tere Bina Aag Ye Chandani ….. Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi. Since then, Shanker Jaikishan have so profusely used Manna Dey’s voice for Raj Kapoor in RK films as well as other films that Manna Dey-Raj Kapoor- Shankar Jaikishan relationship can be dealt only as set of full-fledged articles.

Manna Dey’s voice has also been used quite extensively  for Raj Kapoor by other music directors as well.

I have selected two songs to present the glimpse of the relationship –

Duniya Ne To Mujhko Chhod Diya, Khub Kiya Are Khub Kiya – Sharda (1957) – C Ramchandra – Rajendra Krishna

Has Kar Hassa Masti Mein Ga, Kal Hoga Kya Hoga Ky Bhul Jaa – Bahurupiya (Shelved) (1964) – Shanker Jaikishan – Shailendra

Manna Dey’s playback singing relationship with the Trimurti of Indian Films – Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor – has so far followed the Manna Dey’s career in the chronological sequence. So, we will follow the similar pattern to explore his playback singing relationship with other mainstream male lead players.

With Ashok Kumar

Manna Dey’s first major association with Ashok Kumar was for the film Mashaal (1950) where he was assisting S D Burman. Upar Gagan Vishal for that film is considered to be the game changer for S D Burman as well as Manna Dey. However, it is not filmed on Ashok Kumar’s lips in the film.

During ‘50s, Ashok Kumar did maintain the status of a lead male actor, but generally not as the romantic hero. This probably created an ideal platform for Manna Dey’s playback singing relationship with Ashok Kumar. Manna Dey sings two songs for Ashok Kumar in Savera (1958, Music – Shailesh Mukherjee; Lyrics – Shailendra). The first one, a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Chuuppa Chuppi .. Aagad Baagad Jae Re, is light-mood duet, addressed mainly to the children in the film.

The other one, A solo filmed on Ashok Kumar, Jeevan Ke Raaste Hazar – is a background song.

It was in the same year that Ashok Kumar lip-synced Manna Dey in Baabu Samjo Ishare (Chalati Ka Naam Gaadi, with Kishore Kumar; Music – S D Burman; Lyrics;ajrooh Sultanpuri), wherein Manna Dey matched notes by notes Kishore Kumar’s theatrics.

Ashok Kumar – Manna Dey got together for Jaa Re Beiman Tujhe Jaan Liya (Private Secretary, 1962; Music Director – Dilip Dholakia; Lyrics – Prem Dhawan), a comic-situation oriented classical-based song.

in 1963, S D Burman used Manna Dey as playback singer for Ashok Kumar in Meri Surat Teri Aankein for an Ahir Bhairav benchmark Hindi film song, Poochho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitayi (Lyrics – Shailendra). However parallel use of Mohammad Rafi for a playful semi-classical Naache Man Mora Tikra Dheegi Dheegi succinctly epitomizes the entire career of Manna Dey – respected on high pedestal, but not preferred normally, exceptions accepted.

Anurodh (1977) also has a twin Manna Dey – Ashok Kumar song Tum Besahaara Ho To (Music: Laxmikant Pyarelal; Lyrics: Anand Baxi). The first version is a happy version, where Ashok Kumar playfully sings the message to the children.

Second version is more in the form of a prayer, that also provides strong vibes to the main protagonist, Vinod Mehra as well.

We will continue our Manna Dey memoirs and take up Manna Dey’s songs for the ‘next-gen’ lead actors who entered Hindi Cinema in ‘50s.

[1] On Manna Dey’s 100th Birth Anniversary, a Look Back at His Journey

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I Liked Music from films

S D Burman and “Other” Male Playback Singers :: [3]

We are now in the last leg of our series of S D Burman composed songs in the voices of ‘Other’ Male Singers. In the first part, we had covered S D Buman’s Other Male Songs for the initial years – 1946-1949 – of his career. In the second part, we had covered the years 1950 to 1960, when S D Burman had begun to rise to the peak of his career.

Presently, we will cover the years from 1960 till the end of S D Burman’s active career in Hindi Film Music world. From ‘Pyasa’ (1957) S D Burman had predominantly shifted to Mohammad Rafi as the lead singer till he started tiling towards Kishore Kumar, beginning with ‘Teen Deviyan’ (1965), barring a few exceptions. Therefore, one can easily expect that S D Burman would have used ‘Other’ Male Singers for the non-lead protagonists in the songs that we will get to listen in this third part. And, yet, the choice of a particular ‘Other’ Male Singer still presents an interesting insight into S D Burman’s process of selecting a singer for his tunes.

S D Burman – Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor had to remain under the shadow of Mohammad Rafi’s dazzling success. He had had quite close association with Mohammad Rafi and did execute Rafi’s advice of creating his own style of singing, which helped him to carve out his own respectable space within the Rafi-dominated era.

Piya…Piya Bin Nahin…Aavat Chain…Mil Gaye Milnewale ..Ab Ghar Mein Baithe Kazi, Keh Do Ji Keh Do, Hai Miya Bibi Razi….. – Miya Bibi Raazi (1960) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Shailendra

The song is filmed on three pairs of actors on the screen – Mehmood and Seema Saraf (a.k.a Seema Deo);  Shrikant Guarav – who, according to Shri Arunkumar Deshmukh, is Shailesh Mukherjee, the music director of films like Suhag Sindoor (1953), Parichay (1954), Saavera(1958) and a singer (Dekha Chand Ki Aur –Aag [1949] – and Kamini Kadam and third not-known-names pair, who initiate the performance of the song in what is known as street performance style. S D Burman had used Rafi for Mehmood as well as Shailesh Mukherjee in this film, and yet, he has chosen Mahendra Kapoor for this song !

Mera Kya Sanam Meri Khushi Hai Tumhari,Are Haste Ho Jab Muskarati Hu Main – Talaash (1969) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

We have jumped from 1960 to 1969 for a second of S D Burman – Mahendra Kapoor song. By this time Mahendra Kapoor had already established himself a successful lead male singer and had had sewed up strong tie-ups with B R Chopra- Ravi or with Manoj Kumar, and in fact was to replace Rafi when O P Nayyar had a tiff with Rafi. It is said that he was chosen here because of insistence of the producer, O P Ralhan, on whom this song is filmed on the screen.  Mahendra Kapoor has even been given enough space in the delivery of the song to freely practice his by-now—well-known playful style for such jazzy song.

S D Burman – S D Batish

S D (Shiv Dayal) Batish was a trained classical singer. He commenced his career in early Hindi Films as a music director, who would sing too.  He migrated to UK in 1964 where he regular recorded songs with BBC. S D Burman has used S D Batish, in two songs, in the role of the music teacher.

Poochho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitaayee – Meri Soorat Teri Ankhen (1963) – with Manna Dey and an unknown female singer – Lyrics: Shailendra

Perhaps more known version of this song is the solo version by Manna Dey, but in this version S D Batish has played his role of a teacher quite comfortably and effortlessly.

Man Mohan Man Mein Ho Tumhi….More Ang Mein Tumhi Samaye, Jaano Na Jaano Ho Yumhi – Kaise Kahoon  (1964) – with Mohammad Rafi and SumanKalyanpur – Lyrics:  Shakeel Badayuni

This triad also remains a very well-known classical raag- based song.

S D Burman and Bhupinder

As is well-known, Bhupinder Singh debuted with playback singing in Haqeequat (1964), but it may not be equally known that he was also an accomplished guitarist. As a guitarist, he was an integral part of R D Burman’s orchestra team. That connection seems to have made the opening up a space for Bhupinder to sing for a couple of S D Burman’s songs.

Hothon Pe Aisi Baat – Jewel Thief (1967) – (mainly) Lata Mangeshakr, and chorus – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Bhupinder’s maiden association with SD Burman is simply as a piece of orchestra, a la RDB style. Film director Vijay Anand has very deftly used Bhupinder’s piece filmed on Dev Anand and lent a very different meaning to the song picturizatiion.

Yaaron Nilam Karo Susti, Hamse Udhar Le Lo Masti – Prem Pujari (1970) – with Kishore Kumar – Lyrics : Neeraj

This is what can be classified as a Jeep-genre song. Bhupinder playback sings for Anup Kumar.

S D Burman and Danny Denzongpa

Again it may be well-known that Danny Denzongpa (born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa) was a highly talented actor. But that he was a good singer is not so known. He has even directed a film, and was a good painter, writer and sculptor too.

Mera Naam Yaao, Mere Paas Aao – Yeh Gulistan Hamara (1972) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

S D Burman has made a very surprising choice of Danny to playback for Jonny Walker. The song had shot to good popularity in those days, and had reached 14th position in Binaca Geetmala in that year.

S D Burman and Manhar

Manhar Udhas, though qualified in mechanical engineering, was keen to make a career in music. He did succeed in the pursuit of his life goal.

Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar Ban Ke Mera Saathi – Abhimaan (1973) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Probably, the choice of Manhar to playback for Amitabh Bachchan was to clearly demonstrate the quality of singing of the two protagonists in the film. Nonetheless, the song did stand its ground against all other songs of Abhimaan.

S D Burman – Sunil Kumar, R S Bedi

Of these two singers, I could not get any information about Sunil Kumar. R S Bedi should obviously be Rajinder Singh Bedi, a well-known writer and film director as well.

Laali Mere Laal Ki Jit Dekhoo Tit Laal, Phir Raat Hui Ek Baat Hui – Phagun (1973) – with Kishore Kumar, Pankaj Mitra – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

The song is predominantly a typical Kishore Kumar tantrum-style songs.

S D Burman – Pankaj Mitra

Pankaj Mitra has had earlier recorded an triad song  and a duet for ‘Sautela Bhai”(1962, Music: Anil Biswas) . He later on, also, has few more films like ‘Grih Pravesh (1979) or ‘Ab Ayega Maza’(1984) to his credit. He obviously has a far better and respectable track-record in Bengali films.

Saala Main To Sahab Ban Gaya – Sagina (1974) – with Kishore Kumar – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

Pankaj Mitra plays back for Om Prakash in the song. This is too loud a song, at least under S D Burman’s baton. Of course, Dilip Kumar had acted in a similar loud manner earlier in ‘Gopi’ (1970) too, for a song in a similar situation.

S D Burman – Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar had recorded only one song in his own voice till now – Laagi Nahi Chhoote Ram – Musafir, 1957, with Lata Mangeshkar; Music – Salil Chaudhary).

Uparwala Dukhiyon Ki Nahin Sunata Re – Sagina (1974) – With Kishore Kumar – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultnapuri.

S D Burman has used Dilip Kumar’s voice to recite a few lines in the song.

The records do show that S D Burman has used voice of Johnny Walker and R D Burman too for a song each. But these would not be more than either speaking a line or two or as orchestration filler, respectively.

That brings the end of S D Burman’s tryst with ‘Other’ Male Singers. One may conclude that he has mostly used these voices quite creatively, in a somewhat descending order in each of the three phases that we have reviewed in this series. With that it also needs to acknowledge that except in the first phase, most of these songs were at the fringe of the main body of his work in the respective film.

N.B.

All three episodes of S D Burman and “Other” Male Playback Singers can be read in one place by clicking on the hyperlinked title.

All said and done, we are not here to pass any judgement on the songs. Our sole aim was to bring these songs on the same page for the effective documentation.

P.S. For easy access and documentation, all the three episodes are available in one file on  S D Burman and “Other” Male Playback Singers

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Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – December, 2017

Welcome to December, 2017 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

December, 2017 in any case has several anniversary / birth dates of people connected with HFM.

This month, Shashi Kapoor bade farewell to this mundane world. That would have led to Muhammad Rafi’s birthday, in the presence of Shashi Kapoor in the heaven. The first time it happened in Yeh Dil Kisko Doon (music : Iqbal Qureshi, Lyrics: Qamar Jalalabadi) in 1963,  a black and white film by K Mishra, that had over half a dozen songs from Mohammad Rafi. Here are the duets:

I have recalled the solos at the end of the present post.

Here are some other tributes to Shashi Kapoor:

Some other December tributes:

Diip Kumar:

The Many Moods of Dilip Kumar – He was a fantastic actor, a man who was equally good at comedy and romance (if you don’t believe me, just watch Beimaan tore nainwa from Tarana) as he excelled at the intense, angst-ridden characters he so often played.

Naushad:

  • Always Aashiqana With Naushad Ali’s Music presents some of the gems on the maestro’s birth anniversary (25 December)
  • Aawaz De Kahaan Hai: The Golden Music of Naushad – Naushad’s destiny was written in music, by music to be dedicated to music. Peeyush Sharma, in ‘Silhouette’ pays tribute with a glimpse of his musical journey.
  • NAUSHAD-Once All of India was crazy about his Melodies. – This master composer first made both Mukesh (Andaz) and Talat Mahmood (Babul) sound surpassingly individualistic on Dilip Kumar He was, near clandestinely, getting Mohammed Rafi ready for the big leap. From his first Anmol Ghadi solo, Tera khilauna toota baalak (1946), to O door ke musafir on Dilip Kumar in Uran Khatola (1955), Rafi came a long, long way, once the Baiju Bawra (above) miracle happened in 1952..

Noor Jehan:

My Favourites by Shailendra (30 Aug 1927 – 14 Dec 1966), who worked with nearly all music directors ( exceptions being Naushad & O P Nayyar).

Remembering Meena Kapoor, who passed away on 23rd of November 2017. Meena’s last playback singing was for the movie ‘Chhoti Chhoti Baatein’ that was released in 1965 and was also Anil da’s last film as a music director.

Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet Yaad Rakhna: Bappi Lahiri’s Melodious Hits – On 27th November this year Bappi da turns 65. Also, with his first film, Nanha Shikari, released in 1973, he has completed 45 years in this industry as a music director. Peeyush Sharma takes us on a trip down his memorable songs.

Google remembered Mirza Ghalib on 27th December.

Who is Mirza Ghalib, featured on today’s Google Doodle?

Mirza Ghalib’s 220th birth anniversary: Google Doodle pays tribute to legendary poet

Here are some more posts on this occasion:

Mohammad Rafi has a special place in December on this blog:

We have two parts episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs for December, 2017 in the memory of Mohammad Rafi. In the series of articles featuring Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song from FIRST film with the Music Director, we have covered years 1952-1953, after having covered years 1950-1951 earlier this month and year 1949 earlier this year of the 2nd five-year-slot of 1949 to 1953.

And then, we have –

And, now the posts on other subjects:

My Favourite Lullaby Songs – one of the first popular lullby songs from a Hindi movie is ‘So Ja Rajkumari So Ja‘ sung by K L Saigal from Zindagi-1940 (Music by Pankaj Malik). The song is still considered to be an ultimate lori

Ravindra Kelkar has presented three more posts on O P Nayyar @ SoY:

Raj Kapoor: ‘I dream cinema, I breathe cinema and I live cinema’Ritu Nanda – An excerpt from a compilation of writings by and about the legendary actor and filmmaker.

Beauties bond over baubles in ‘Mann Kyun Behka’ from ‘Utsav’Nandini Ramnath – Rekha and Anuradha Patel are visions to behold in the Laxmikant-Pyarelal song from Girish Karnad’s movie.

Ten of my favourite ‘Unusual Singer’ songs, which means:

(a) That it’s the person who’s lip-syncing to the song (and not the playback singer) who’s unusual…

(b) and unusual because the actor in question is a well-known face, but doesn’t usually lip-sync to songs.

“Nazar Lagi Tore Bangle Par” and Zarina Begum, who was a protégé of Begum Akhtar.  Both famously sung a version of “Nazar Lagi Tore Bangle Par” that predated the one in Kala Pani.

In our series Micro View of Best Songs 1948 @SoY of Best songs of 1948: And the winners are? , we completed the third part of Lata Mangeshkar solo songs, and then summed the Female Solo Songs for 1948 with  My Top Female Solo Songs and then went on to take up Male- female Duets in the Duets section. We covered the male female duets of Mukesh as well as those of  Mohammad Rafi. SoY has concluded the series with Best songs of 1948: Wrap Up 3 and Best songs of 1948: Final Wrap Up 4.

We have placed the articles paying tributes to Mohammad Rafi in the space for the tributes here before in the present article. So we will take up two songs of Mohammad Rafi, form the first film he played back solo for Shashi Kapoor to begin the end of the article:

Ye Dil Kiso Dun – Ye Dil Kisko Dun (1963) – Iqbal Quereshi – Qamar Jalalabadi

Mera Dil Tum Pe Aa Gaya., Mere Pahlu Se Dil Gaya – Ye Dil Kisko Dun (1963) – Iqbal Quereshi – Qamar Jalalabadi

The Christmas Celebration in Hindi Films’ picks up the rare, ddelightful Christian characters, which always brought a smile on our lips.

On that note of festive smile, I wish you all a very HAPPY & PRPOSPEROUS 2018 that keeps providing rich music to your Life.

Categories
Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – December, 2016

Welcome to December, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We will begin our present episode on a lighter note with You’ve never heard the demonetized version of this famous song from Guru Dutt’s ‘Pyaasa’. As a parody, ‘When it was our turn in the queue, the bank’s coffers were empty‘ is a part of sort of mini cottage industry – These Bollywood spoofs on demonetisation will tide you over the cashless blues.

December, 2016 also had another major event- passing away of Tamil Nadu CM, J Jayalalithaa.

Wadia and Nadia: How love kicked in pre-Bollywood filmdom – Nadia was a JBH discovery. But it was Homi (May 22, 1911 – December 10, 2004) who gave this memsahib with a thick Scottish accent, a voice. “Homi realised her language was her ‘body’,” says film theorist and curator Amrit Gangar. “He kept Nadia’s dialogue to a bare minimum because of her difficulty with Hindi.”

mary-ann-evans-aka-fearless-nadia-in-a-still-from-carnival-queen-1955
Mary Ann Evans aka Fearless Nadia in a still from Carnival Queen, 1955

Happy Birthday Dharmendra: As he turns 81, we bring you his various filmi moods – He was probably the first Indian male star who appeared bare-chested in a song in Phool Aur Patthar. From Anupama (1966) to Satyakam (1969), Dharmendra tried to create a space for himself as an actor. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Chupke Chupke is another film which proved that the actor could balance subtle comedy just as well as slapstick elsewhere.

MS Subbulakshmi: A journey from Kunjamma to Meera – is N Venkataraman’s tribute on her birth centenary (16 September 1916 – 11 December 2004).

December is also a month of birth dates of Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor, two fulsome actors of the Great Triad.

dilip-kumar

Dilip Kumar – Leaves from My Diary in an interview conducted in 1957.

prithivi-raj-kapoor-with-sons-and-a-grand-son

Prithivi Raj Kapoor with sons and a grand son

15 Songs of Shailendra: The Art of Simply Expressing Deepest Thoughts – On Shailendra’s death anniversary,Antara Nanda Mondal and Peeyush Sharma have compiled a brief list of 15 songs that give a glimpse of his massive range – encompassing songs of love and romance, songs of introspection and philosophies, songs of spiritual awakening and harsh social realities, songs of that celebrate liberation and songs that express the anguish of entrapment.

sitara-devi

We have an excellent career-sketch of Sitara Devi: The Twinkling Star profiled by Karan Bali on her second death anniversary on 25th November.  Some of her memorable films are Judgement of Allah (1935), Achhut (1940), Pagal (1940) and India Today (1940)., Roti (1942), Najman (1943) or her snake dance in Anjali (1957) or the Holi dance in Mother India (1957).

We will also take note of A Short Film Tribute to Sitara Devi   

Karan Bali has also profiled PC Barua, who is most easily remembered for K L Saigal’s songs of Devdas (1935) or Saigal’s So Ja Raajkumari So Ja (Zindagi).

The December, 2016 episode of Fading Memories, Unforgettable Songs was dedicated to Mohammad Rafi’s solo song from the first film with the music director. This part of the article covered the first three years of the first-five-year-period of 1944-1948. The second part of the article, has covered songs from 1947 and 1948 @ Mohammad Rafi’s Solo Song From The FIRST Film With The Music Director ||2||.

Here are posts on other subjects as well:

Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ and the beginning of a film movement – A Book Review by Sangeeta Datta – A script written during the filmmaker’s college years became the foundation of his sparkling career as one of cinema’s greatest realists.

smita-patil-image-credit-jhelum-paranjape

Smita Patil as a child: Mischievous, adventurous, emotional and an excellent mimic – In her review Maithili Rao notes that  Smita Patil biography reveals that the acclaimed actor, whose death anniversary is on December 13, was ‘prem mayee’: a being suffused with love.

More Delicious Chutney Covers of Hindi Film Songs – After the introductory piece, we can now expect this to be a regular fare.

Southern Spice in Hindi Music highlights key aspects of South Indian music that have been absorbed in Hindi film songs, that have added what one would call as a dash of Southern spice in Hindi film music. This is not about the vocal styles from South India, but instruments from South India. LINK TO PLAYLIST FOR SOUTHERN SPICE IN HINDI FILM MUSIC takes us to 12 such songs from 1940s to’60s, with one exception.

I have been able to land upon this quite an imaginative subject – “Samne waali khidki” songs rather belatedly.

Shankar-Jaikishan’s multi-faceted genius with ‘other’ singers – have covered so far their best songs for his leading singers, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Rafi and Manna Dey. also presented his best dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar and female dance duets. presenting my final tribute to SJ with their songs for ‘other’ singers which give a glimpse of their multi-faceted talent.

My Favourites: Heroes – 1 (40s-70s)  is the pairing list of earlier  My Favourites: Heroines – 1 (40s-70s) , based on an idea of Stars and Songs, that the author, Ava Suri, particularly like featuring the actress. In the continuum, Zeenat Aman – My favorite Songs is a collection of Baker’s dozen songs that have matching visuals to the catchy lyrics with Zeenat Aman in the focus and Ashok Kumar – 10 favorite songs that the actor sang as well as performed on the screen.

‘Diya Na Bujhe Ri Aaj Hamara’ – Kumkum The first song I got as a dancer was the song “Angana Baaje Shehnai Re, Aaj Mori Jagmag Atariya” in the film Sheesha which was sung by Shamshad Begum. ‘Raat Ke Raahi’s song ‘Daayein Baayein Chhup Chhupa Ke Kahaan Chale’ was picturized on Kumkum’s younger sister Radhika and Shammi Kapoor.Radhika also stays with her family in Mumbai.

Trios, Quartets, and More: Ten of my favourite songs has presented songs such as:

Bas mujhko mohabbat ho gayi hai (Biwi aur Makaan), 1966); Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant, Talat Mahmood. There is one more such experiment in the same film – Nahi Hota… Aa Tha Jab Janam Liya – Mukesh, Manna Dey & Hemant Kumar

The Legends: Asha Bhosle sets the tone with the help of solos and The Legends: Asha Bhosle – Part 2 has her duets.

We end today’s episode with a short film on songs and life of Mohammad Rafi: Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3. 

I take this opportunity to wish a great 2017 to all of you and look forward to your valued suggestions to keep our content more engrossing…

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 4 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first three of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow,  First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema and Marriage and Life with Saira Banu – on  5 February. 19 February and 5 March 2015, respectively.  We carry on to the concluding part….


Reminiscences

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Dilip Kumar did not speak about his achievements and social service, as his wont, while narrating this autobiography. Hence this section explores insights into the man and his working style, through the personal and professional experiences of actors, directors, eminent friends, relatives and others who have had occasions to come into contact with him.

We glance through the representative ones of these here:

Raihan Ahmed – Saira Banu’s brother Sultan’s son

‘Travelling with Yousuf Uncle is guaranteed fun and adventure…Road trips were the best as he would make us try all kinds of street food…He has the ability of blending with any age group… Kite flying with Yousuf Unlce is an experience only a few lucky people can mention… Few people know that he is a great magician and has a box full of tricks..

Shabana Azmi

The first image that comes to mind.. is dignity.. He has entertained without ever having to resort to crudity…Dilip Kumar showed us how the subtext can be revealed, how to play against the emotion, how less is more and how simulated spontaneity can be as effective as real thing…

V. Babasaheb – A cinematographer by profession, who filmed Gunga Jumna

I knew it would be a great achievement in my track record if a sequence came alive on the way Dilip Saheb had visualized….He had calculated the speed of the train and the galloping of horses precisely..Saheb then explained to me he wanted the camera to be tied beneath door of the compartment to capture the hooves of the galloping horses raising dust as they advanced parallel to the running train. He strapped me to the floor of the doorway of the compartment in such a manner that I could operate it from that position and get the shots……..The scene I can never forget is Ganga’s death scene

He was going to take several rounds of the studio..running…in order to be out of breath… when he entered the house and gave the climax shot….I missed the initial timing..he was angry.. but he complied with.. a retake. He went through the whole gamut gain and with more intensity the second time and we canned the shot.

Amitabh Bachchan

…No art in the entire universe can ever exist, flourish or even take birth without an ‘unconscious assimilation’ of influence that eventually propels it to its creation… I believe that what (Mr. Dilip Kumar) is what was and is, correct, right and the best…The history of Indian Cinema shall.. be ‘before Dilip Sahab’ and ‘after Dilip Sahab’.

Jaya Bachchan

Dilip Sahab has expertly used the eloquence of silence in some of his iconic performances in a way no actor before him had.

Chandrashekhar

…(Dilip Kumar) would be equally concerned to raise funds for the needy artistes and workers; the first cheque always came from him. The Film Industry Welfare Trust and superannuation schemes for old, retired artistes were his initiatives..

Yash Chopra

Dilip Sahab is not a method actor as many artistes think. He is a spontaneous actor who draws from inner emotional reserves when he performs .. marvellous dramatic sense…He was extremely serious about his work; emotions just surfaced naturally when he was before the camera. In the final take, therefore, he invariably did what he felt was best..

Sitara Devi

Dilip Bhai was, and still is, a shy man. The only time I felt he was drawn to a co-star was when worked with Kamini Kushal… The only reason why Dilip Bhai did not attend the premiere of Mughal-e-Azam and even refused to see the movie at trial show was because (K.) Asif had betrayed his trust (when [his younger sister] Akhtar chose to marry a much-married [first marriage with Sitara Devi and second one with Nigar Sultana], man twice her age).

Subhash Ghai

I had a subject…After hearing me out, he said nothing… on the fourth day..he smiled and told me the story had potential and he would consider working in it…people started asking me questions if what they heard was true.. the look on their faces would convey:”This is the end of your career.”.. he will make you sit somewhere outside the set and direct the film himself.. and by the time the movie is completed, you will have aged because he takes years to complete a film…. All through the making of Vidhaata (1982), Dilip Sahab paid great attention to my visualization of shots and cooperated to such an extent that the film was completed a month ahead of schedule…. I feel proud that I made three films (Vidhaata, Karma and Saudagar) with Dilip Sahab in the central role.

Dr. Shrikant Gokhale – personal physician (and a friend as well) for four decades

I have always seen the respect he gives to his admirers…It pains him when he sees street urchins and little girls who come and press their smiling faces against the car window at the traffic signals.. he gives generously… but they don’t know he is concerned and disturbed about their hapless condition.

Kamal Haasan

…I was able to appreciate the Western actors and the refinement of their acting after I watched (Dilip Kumar’s) films. It began to crystallize in my understanding of the eloquence of the medium that a mere look or sheer silence can convey so much and so powerfully…

imageI am and always will be amazed by the layers of emotion he evoked in the viewer when, he, as Price Salim (in Mughal-e-Azam) simply sat in the royal durbar, saying nothing, and doing nothing as Anarkali performed the provocative Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya number.

Anil Kapoor

…My father (Surinder Kapoor)..told me that Dilip Sahab never wasted his time in frivolous gossips.. he spent his time with writers and intellectually advanced people with whom he can make intelligent conversation and exchange meaningful thoughts… that Dulip Shab had more friends outside the industry than within because he disliked talking shop and never encouraged hangers-on….

Rishi Kapoor

Yousuf Uncle and papa (Raj Kapoor) shared an eternal fraternal relationship, which nobody could fathom or believe. They were in competition with each other as stars and yet they loved each other as though they were born to same parents…..We were filming Prem Rog(1982).I had to bring an intense expression of a despondent lover, and hard as I was trying, Raj Kapoor, the director, was not getting..what he wanted…he shouted at me..”Mujhe Yousf Chahiye”…When Yosuf Uncle was facing the brunt of Balasaheb Thackeray’s… objection to his receiving the Nishan-e-Imtiaz from the Pakistan Government. Yousuf Unlce said in an interview, “I miss my friend Raj today more than on any occasion. He could not let this agitation about me or any other artiste go unanswered.”

Manoj Kumar

The greatest quality Dilip Sahab possesses is his ungrudging admiration for the achievements of others in the profession. In an interview [during the shooting of Kranti (1981)], he was giving the example of Raj Kapoor as an inspiration for the generations of film aspirants to look up to.

Lata Mangeshkar

…When (Dilip Bhai) found out that I am a Maharshtrian is something that I cherish because it made me seek the perfection I then lacked in my Hindi and Urdu diction, he very truthfully said that singers who were not conversant with Urdu language invariably tripped in pronunciation of the words derived from the language and spoiled the listening pleasure of those who enjoyed the lyric as much as the melody….So, in the first meeting, Yousuf Bhai gave a gift unknowingly and unhesitantly…Salil Chuadhary gave an opportunity to sing a duet with Yousuf Bhai for Musafir (1947) – Lagi Nahi Chhute – and it was a memorable experience to observe the pains he took to sing faultlessly.

Ram Mukherjee – Director of the film Leader

Dilip Sahab’s love for his fans is something no star of his time or later could match. He says : “When an unfamiliar had claps mine and I feel the warmth of genuine adulation that clasp I feel a deep sense of reward for all the hard work I put in for a performance which no award can give me….”..If you watch Leader today you will find some of the lines spoken by Dilip Sahab so relevant to the present political climate.

Veera Rao – a well-known social service personality

When Dilip Sahab took over as the chairman of NAB, the great challenge was to generate funds…It did not take Dilip Sahab more than a minute to welcome the idea ..of NAB train in which people would travel with Dilip Kumar… for the ten years the train ran.. Dilip Sahab never let (the project) down…..At one large event for school children at the Brabourne Stadium … Dilip Sahab was alone was not without sunglasses… (when asked) why he never shielded his eyes from the sun, to which he said : “I like to talk to people without hiding my eyes.”

Waheeda Rehman

It was a mystery to me why Dilip Sahab did not give his name as director in the film credits when all the hard work behind the camera was being done by him…There have been two regrets…he could not work with Satyajit Ray as we as in Pyaasa (1957).

Harish Salve

God gave His children memory

That in life’s garden there might be

June roses in December……

Sharmila Tagore

Seven decades after his first film Jwar Bhata, and sixteen years after he acted in his last production, he continues to the final word in screen acting, someone who inspires awe and respect….Actors like Motilal and Ashok Kumar had already begun weeding out the theatrical elements from the film acting by late 1940s, but it was with Dilip Kumar that it became the norm…He demonstrated that it was not necessary to raise one’s voice to be heard….He introduced novel innovations such as acting crucial scenes with his back to the camera, using only his voice…He gave film acting a kind of layered edge, which was marked by self-conscious histrionics till that point of time. Many actors have tried to copy his style over the years and rightfully so, as I feel there is much to learn from his school of acting…

Vyjayantimala

I must describe the first scene I enacted with Dilip Sahab on the sets of Devdas. The scene had a very simple dialogue – Aur Mat Piyo, Devdas – for me. I had to say the line when Devdas would stagger in completely inebriated, the camera was to capture Devdas and then follow him and turn its focus on me when I spoke that line with an expression of anguish and helplessness… As the technicians announce their readiness to shoot and Bimalda looked at me to know if I was ready, I realized that Dilip Sahab was not on the sets…One assistant whispered that he was taking brisk rounds of the studio to get that tired, weary look.. he had instructed cameraman to be ready to start the camera when would stagger in….When the camera started and I saw the incredible perfection to Dilip Sahab’s performance, all I could do was to speak helplessly the line: Aur Mat Piyo, Devdas. The helpless look on my face was what Bimalda wanted, and it came quite naturally…..

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 3 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first  two of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow  and First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema – on  5 February and 19 February 2015, respectively.  We carry on to the third part….


Marriage and Life with Saira Banu

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Dilip Kumar has devoted five chapters of the book to passionately narrate his marriage and life with her wife, Saira Banu. The chapters The Woman In My Life, The Big Day, Celebrations Galore, Taking Care Of Saira, The Husband And Wife Team respectively present his intimate narration of his proposal to marriage, festive atmosphere, the marriage ceremony, life with Saira Banu and his four-film stint with her.

Naseem Banu, Saira’s mother, would always be invited by Dilip Kumar’s sister Akhtar. On one such evening, Saira, who was on a visit to India during her school days, had accompanied her mother to Khan Residence. Apparently, Saira had seen Aan and brewing a storm of liking Dilip Kumar. Possibly as result, she took upon to learn pristine Urdu and Persian. In this initial phase Dilip Kumar did not give “any importance” to this crush.

When discussions for casting for Dil Diya Dard Liya (eventually released in 1966) was on, Dilip Kumar dodged the idea of her working with him because he was ‘so much older’ to her. After her maiden venture Junglee (1961), in due course of her career, she was paired to all successful leading men of the time – Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Joy Mukherjee, Manoj Kumar. Since she was still not paired with Dilip Kumar, there was huge demand for such a film. One such project was Mehboob Khan’s Habba Khatoon. Dilip Kumar ultimately withdrew from Habba Khatoom as he could not foresee himself doing Yousuf Chak’s (Habba Khatoon’s husband) character, which had some slants of negativity. He did have a special subject in his mind where pairing would be ideal and perfect. However, as the wait went to become rather lengthy, Saira did get ‘very annoyed’ with Dilip Kumar. ‘The polite, gracious and well-bred young lady was turning into an angry tigress..’

She was also suggested for a role in Ram Aur Shyam, against the character of timid among the two twin brothers. Dilip Kuamr had voiced his opinion to the producer of ram Aur Shyam that she was too delicate and innocent in appearance for a character that had to have loads of seductive appeal and a bold, buxom appearance. The role ultimately went in favour of Mumtaz.

imageIt was when Ram Aur Shyam was progressing hectically, that Dilip Kumar received an invitation form Naseem Banu, Saira’s mother, to join in the celebrations of Saira’s birthday. When he entered the beautiful garden of the Naseem Banu’s house, his eyes fell on a ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ looking Saira Banu. He was taken aback; because she no longer looked the young girl he had consciously avoided to be his heroine. She had indeed grown to full womanhood and was more beautiful in reality. He simply stepped forward and shook her hand, and time stood still. It did not take an instant for Dilip Kumar to realize that “she was the one Destiny had been knowingly reserving as his real-life partner while he refused to pair with her on screen. He found her to be intrinsically very Indian and rooted to her native culture.

During the filming of Azaad, Dilip Kumar happened to meet an astrologer. He predicted that ‘Dilip Kumar would marry in his forties; his bride would be half his age, as fair and beautiful as moon, would be from same profession. Soon after the marriage, she would take blow of his ‘karmas’ with a prolonged and near-fatal illness to absolve me, and that she would go through it ungrudgingly.’ The first part of the prediction had rang true, would then second part also come home?

To cut the long story short, Dilip Kumar formally proposed to Saira Banu. Obviously, the news spread like wild fire thereafter.

imageThey were married on 11 October, 1966. Having remained a confirmed, eligible bachelor for so long, did Dilip Kumar have any trepidation or any qualms as he walked into the married life? Dilip Kumar states No quite firmly. Instead, what he felt was a serene calm and tranquillity, as though having reached a safe Heaven of Peace, for he now had the person who would share his life and would be his very own.

The marriage was a surprise to all those who knew him. Naushad was the only one who had forthrightly asked if he wasn’t making a mistake. However, Dilip Kumar was firm in his conviction that he had considered the step with serious introspection. The nikah was beautiful – all his loved and dear ones (including Raj Kapoor who had made good his wow to walk in to the house on his knees without a moment’s hesitation) chipping in the mood of boisterous joy.

During their honeymoon at Bhutan Saira Banu had taken suddenly ill – being asphyxiated by the carbon monoxide in a small cabin of a log-house. Were that astrologer’s predictions going to ring true?

In the initial period of their marriage, the domestic life of the family was quite tough on Saira Banu. The stress had begun to tell on her health and she was taken quite ill with ulcerative colitis. She was taken to ‘one of the largest hospitals of UK’ and was put ‘under the the expert supervision of world-famous gastroenterologist…’. Saira recovered almost miraculously, and after a moth’s rest at the clinic resumed her shooting for Purab Aur Paschim (1970). Manoj Kumar had, admirably, waited for full recovery of Saira Banu. Years later, Dilip Kumar had “agreed to work in Kranti (1981)….to pay back (this) debt”.

On their return to India, they shifted to Saira Banu’s own bungalow at Pali Hill because ‘she needed special caretaking and also a specific diet. Soon, thereafter, “Saira adapted to (his) lifestyle and (his) pace.” ‘A marriage that is for keeps, even with all the good intentions of the couple, is not easy to sustain for either partner.’ They had their shares of ups and downs, but apart from (their) outwardly contrasting personalities, they shared the joy of living (together). The glamorous girl who took an hour for putting on her makeup, suddenly, changed totally. What Dilip Kumar has got to love and appreciate about Saira Banu down the years is her innate simplicity and softness of heart.

As The Husband-Wife Team, Dilip Kumar ‘began to discover the capacity (his) wife had for hard work and the pursuit of flawless work. She was receptive to sound advice and was quick to absorb the guidance (he) gave her in the scenes (they) came together. She co-starred with him in four films – Gopi (1970), Sagina (1970 in Bengali as Sagina Mahato and 1974 in Hindi), Bairag (1976) and Duniya (1984) – and (he) saw her tenacity and determination to get the nuances and emotional curves of the performances right.


The concluding part on  19 March, 2015…………….

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 2 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India


We have read the first of the four parts – The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow – on  5 February 2015.  We carry on to the second part….


First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema

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The narrative of Dilip Kumar’s life and times at the Hindi Cinema World spans another 8 chapters. Some of the reviews written when the book was originally released do lament about somewhat sketchy treatment to the subjects like his co-stars or his highly gossiped love affairs or his own views on some of his landmark films. However, as Udayatara Nayar has noted in the book, (at this stage and age) Dilip Kumar has certainly been selective in choosing to open up on topics in his long career, spanning over six decades and around 60 films on the silver screen. So, be it.

Bombay Talkies was the best thing that happened to the young Yousuf Khan at a juncture when he had no clue to what acting in front of camera was. Ashok Kumar taught him to “do what you would do in the situation if you were really in it. If you act, it will be acting and it will look very silly.” Devika Rani conferred him with a screen name by which he would be better known, appropriate enough for his audience to relate to, one that would be in tune with the romantic image he was destined to acquire through his screen presence. That set him to be launched with his maiden film Jwar Bhataimage (1944) directed by Amiya Chakraborthy. It was the beginning of the journey into the world of Lights, Camera, Action that even as passed on without much impact, Dilip Kumar had realized that it would a difficult job, where he would have to find his own way to continue. An actor has to ‘strengthen his instincts because the duality of real and unreal cannot be sorted out by mind, which is more concerned with truth and logic in any normal situation’.

The new identity of Dilip Kumar had liberating impact, in that what had no need to see or study, Dilip surely needed to acquire and accumulate New Aspirations, New Experiences, in terms of reproducing the emotions, speech and behaviour of fictitious characters in front of the camera. By the time Dilip Kumar had completed his work in Jugnu, he was still not noticed when he would be walking on the pavement near Churchagte (a station on Western Railway, in Mumbai), despite having acted in three films, Jwar Bhata (1944), Pratima (1945) and Milan (1946). But the release of Jugnu (1947) brought him in the acclaim due to a (film) star, even within his own family. His father also had come to terms with the reality that his son had (finally) chosen a profession he had least expected him to enter.

Then followed a period Between The Personal And The Professional lives when Yousuf Khan had endure the loss of brother so close to him, Ayub Sahab, who succumbed to his chronic lung ailment and his mother, Amma, passed away, on 27 August, 1948, ‘peacefully from the turmoil of life to eternal tranquillity’. It took all his ‘strength and will power to supress the pain and deep sense of loss to stand up manfully before his brothers and sisters, giving them implicit understanding of being both mother and father to them’. On the professional front, Dilip Kumar’s contract with Bombay Talkies was coming to an end. As it was, by that time studio employment system was being replaced by actors and technicians working on a freelance basis. Dilip Kumar opted for S. Mukherjee’s Filmistan for Shaheed (1948). There he had ‘an understanding and facile co-actor in Kamini Kuashal (real name Uma Kashyap), who was very attentive to the demands of the director and had the intelligence to grasp the intrinsic sensitivity of more poignant situations in the script.’ The success of Shaheed had the pair teaming up for two more films at Filmistan – Nadiya Ke Paar (1948) – based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story Nauka Dubi- and Shabnam (1949). Being in twenties at that time, he was no super human being and did ‘prefer company of colleagues who were educated and well informed. Stardom bothered more than’ it pleased him. Possibly, he was drawn more intellectually than emotionally to Kamini Kaushal. “if that was love, may be it was.” Dilip Kumar has always been asked somewhat ‘intrusive question as to whether it makes a difference to the potency of emotions drawn from within one self in an intimate love scene if the actors are emotionally involved in their real lives’. An answer that is Yes and No, draws up Dilip Kumar to scenes as Prince Salim with Anarkali (Madhubal on the screen) for Mughal-e-Azam(1960), described in greater details in the later chapter “Madhubala“. It was also in this period that he met Mehboob Khan and Nuashad Miyan, relationships with whom blossomed into two enduring friendships and professional relationships. The meeting with Naushad led to Mela (1948). Dilip Kumar notes that among the major lessons that he learned while working with Directors like Nitin Bose or senior artist like Devika Rani was that even as it is not easy for an actor to rise above the script, if the collaboration among the writer, actor and the director worked well it was not impossible either. A director may be satisfied with the given shot, it is also for the actor to discern for himself whether he had really given his best. The actor would be within his (or her) rights for another shot if he (she) felt he (she) could do better.

Mela evokes some wonderful memories of the past in Reel Life versus Real Life. Firstly, this was the film that Dilip Kumar’s father watched in a cinema house. Secondly, it established enduringimage friendship between him and Naushad and between him and Nargis. Raj Kapoor and Nargis shared a chemistry that made a good equation for their scenes together. With Nargis, Dilip Kumar shared a different equation in front of the camera. He could attain similar ease with Madhubala in Tarana (1951), which has remained, for many reasons, one of the films that Dilip Kumar counts as the memorable one, from among the ones of his early part of the career. During early 1950s, Dilip Kumar was advised to switch over to comedy roles by an English psychiatrist. The doctor was certain that Dilip Kumar took his work home in his subconscious and turned the spoken lines and the scenes over and over in his mind to review the work done during the day. It was not as if he did not realize that whatever he was doing in the fimageilms was unreal and diametrically opposite to his real life and real self. That led Dilip Kumar to take up Azaad (1955), a remake of Malaikallan (1954), featuring M G Ramchandran (MGR) as hero. This also was a pleasant experience working with Meena Kumari. Dilip Kumar had presented himself with his first car after the success of Shabnam (1949) and his own residence in Mumbai after Azaad. Dilip Kumar does accept here that he was attracted to Madhubala as a fine co-star and as person who had some attributes he hoped to find in a woman at that age and time. Because of the rumours of this emotional involvement, their pairing in Mughal-e-Azam made sensational news in early 1950s. However matters began to sour between them when her father attempted to make the proposed marriage a business venture. The outcome was that halfway through the production, they were not even on talking terms. The classic scene with the feather coming between their lips was shot when they had completely stopped even greeting each other – one of the rarest examples of Reel Life versus Real Life.

The book has a full chapter on Madhubala. Contrary to the popular notions, her father Ataullah Khan, was not opposed her marrying with Dilip Kumar. He had his own film production company and two of the most popular stars under the same roof in his company, singing duets in his productions till the end of their careers was what he would have wanted. However, Dilip Kumar had his own way of functioning wherein he would not permitted any laxity even if it were his own production house. Madhubala persisted that these details can easily be sorted out once they were married. In the circumstances, it seemed best that they did not decide to marry or even give each other a chance to rethink of a union that would not be good for either of them. The parting of ways did not affect him. He categorically states that he chose to remain bachelor because he had young sisters to be married off, and for me the taking care of, and ensuring happiness of his brothers and sisters were paramount. Madhubala’s father got her entangled in a lawsuit with producer-director B R Chopra over the outdoor shooting work for Naya Daur (eventually released in 1957). Madhubala was replaced with Vyjayantimala, when ‘all sincere and genuine’ efforts on Dilip Kumar’s part became futile. The announcement of the renewal of the project of fresh shooting for Naya Daur created a stir in the media. It was made to appear that Dilip Kumar ‘had got Madhu out of the film, while the truth was that her father pulled her out of the project to demonstrate his authority.

imageThe professional relationship with Vyjayantimala finds a special place in the book, in the form a full-fledged chapter: Devdas, Naya Daur and Beyond. Dilip Kumar was in two minds to take up Devdas (1955), the first of the seven-films that Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala did together. On one hand, it troubled him ‘initially to experiment with the rendering of a character who carried a heavy measure of pain and despondency under the skin and could mislead the more vulnerable youth to believe that alcoholism offered the best escape from the pain of losing in love. On the imageother hand, the subject was already successfully filmed with K L Saigal in the title role and Dilip Kumar had that opportunity to match his histrionic prowess with that benchmark and etch his name in the annals of Hindi Film history. Some of the dialogues from the film, penned by one of the very known literary names, Rajinder Singh Bedi, have become legendary and have lasted out the tests of time. (In fact, dialogue delivery was one of the very predominant weapons the armoury of Dilip Kumar’s histrionics. Here are five iconic dialogues from among many.) After Devdas, when they paired for Madhumati (1958), Vyjayantimala certainly draws a very fond word of praise from Dilip Kumar. Even as the film had tale of three incarnations of the heroin (played by Vyjayantimala), the story gets unfolded through the narrative of hero’s character (played by Dilip Kumar). He has fond memories of being able to score one-man-up-ship over her, while filming the fourth of their films, Paigham (1959), when during a visit to the sets by none less than the them Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he gets a personal mention from Panditji, when it was Vyjayantimala who was expected to score on this front. However, it was during the making of Naya Daur, that Dilip Kumar noticed Vyjayantimala’s ‘ability to feign a rustic character’s mannerisms with conviction. So she was her first choice as the co-lead star for his home production, Gunga Jumna (1961).

At this stage, as he looks back On The Domestic Front, by the time his father passed away (on 5 March, 1950), Dilip Kumar did feel a sense of achievement that he could live up to his expectations.

imageGunga Jumna, expectedly, has very important personal space in the career so far as Dilip Kumar is concerned, and the making of the films is quite vividly captured in The Travails of Film Making: “Gunga Jumna And After. Dilip Kumar’s character had a very powerful script, in that his character Gunga takes the refuge in the lawlessness of the dacoits to get back to the society what was rightfully his. The story had a built-in conflict between the elder brother who flees the society, ‘where law favours the rich and the powerful and unjustly discriminates the poor and defenceless’ and the younger brother who has to uphold the law of the nation as a police officer. Dilip Kumar had done two other films where he had played negative ‘anti-hero’ roles, in Amar (1954) and Footpath (1953). This role was , however, closer to a the then social reality. IN any case, “life’s surprises never cease”. Ram Aur Shyam (1967), which was going to turn out to be a very special film to Dilip Kumar, started with a bit of turbulence. Vyjayantimala, slated to play the lead, was upset with the producer on some matter and was peremptorily replaced with Waheeda Rehman. That ended seven-film association on a sour note.

While taking up narrative of of A New Role: Taking Up Noble Causes in the public life, Dilip Kumar wonders – “I do not know if it is in my genes or if it is something that I have assimilated from the environment I was brought up in”. Quite vivid and lively discussions relating to his campaigning for V K Krishna Menon against Achrya J B Kriplani, for one of the most memorable Lok Sabha contests in 1962 or being the Sherrif of Bombay (1980) or his active participation @ National Association of the Blind (NAB), or (nominated) member of Rajya Sabha (2000 – 2006).

After Bairag (1976), Dilip Kumar found himself at the cross roads, once again after he had found himself in a similar predicament after Ram Aur Shyam, whether to take up retirement from the active humdrum of the film world. At that time it was Saira Banu who persuaded him to prospects of perusing the scripts of the films. However, after Bairag, Dilip Kumar got embroiled in a lawsuit slapped on him by A R Kardar. It was during the fag end of this trying phase that Manoj Kumar came to him the idea of Kranti (1981) that marked The Second Innings of his career. Then came (Subhash Ghai’s) Vidhaata (1982) in which he plays an earthy character of a railway engine driver.

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He went on to do Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991) too for Subhash Ghai. If his pairing with equally established Raaj Kumar in Saudagar had caused many a ripples, his pairing with just branded Angry Young Men Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti (1982) or his portrayal of veteran upright journalist – editor in Mashaal (1984) evoked fair degree of laurels form the public as well as critics. He credits the extremely involved acting in the famous sequence in Mashaal, in which Vinod Kumar (the character played by him) tries to stop his dying wife, to the deeply etched memories of his own father wailing to get the medical help for asthmatically gasping His mother.

 


Filmography:

Filmography Dilip Kumar – The Substance and The Shadow


The third of the fourth part of the article – Marriage and Life with Saira Banu – on 5 March, 2015…………………….

Categories
Revisiting History The Books I read

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow ǁ 1 of 4

Dilip Kumar: The Substance and The Shadow – An Autobiography – as narrated to Udayatara Nayar

Hardback | 230 x 150 | 450pages | ISBN 9789381398869

Publishers: Hay House India

In a very technical sense, this is the third book on Dilip Kumar, the previous two being Dilip Kumar: Star Legend of Indian Cinema by Bunny Rueben and Nehru’s Hero: Dilip Kumar In The Life Of India by Lord Meghnad Desai.

In fact, the very genesis of the present autobiography is that whatever has been written earlier about Dilip Kumar is considered to be ‘full of distortions and misinformation’. So less is known about Yousuf Khan, the substance, and it is so natural to get myths floating around a towering figure of the stature of Dilp Kumar, the shadow, that “an authentic, heartfelt and compelling narrative”, in the form of an ‘autobiography’ would invariably whip up the appetite for the various ‘aspects of life and times of THE titan of Indian Cinema.

This is not a review of the book, but a fairly selective, critical appraisal that would provide a reasonable insight into the contents of the book, and thereby in the principal protagonist, Dilip Kumar, born on 11th December, 1922 as Mohammad Yousuf Khan, the fourth among eleven children of nice, gentle and pious Pathan couple – Mohammad Sarwar Han and Ayesha Bibi.

The contents of the book is spread over four phases – The Personal Life of Yousuf Khan; First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema; Marriage and Life with Saira Banu and Reminiscences by actors, directors, friends and relatives.

We would take up each section every week, starting with –

The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance,  To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow

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The book opens with a Foreword by Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu. She extols ‘widely known admiration’ in an ardently pride narrative and in the process, presents some quite interesting facets of the persona of Dilip Kumar: image

§ Dilip Kumar is a fanatically voracious reader. The range of the subjects he reads is as much varied as is his range of histrionics. Dilip Kumar is also very keenly fond of good poetry, classical music and dance.

§ His persona transcends lands, religions and castes. He sternly refuses to see negative side of anyone or any situation.

§ His secular beliefs spring straight from his heart and his respect for all religions, castes, communities and creeds. His closet friends are Parsis.

§ He is very fond of his family.

§ He would never want to miss out on enjoying any of the splendour of nature’s beauty.

§ Flying kites, with the whole family in the toe, is great love. He maintains his treasure of his kites and manja with as much care and as much detail as he maintains his personal wardrobe.

imageUdaytara Nayar, a veteran journalist and writer on her own, is also a very close friend of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu. In Introduction (A Dream Come True), while presenting the challenge of drawing out Dilip Kumar from his dislike of talking about himself, has been quite painstaking in documenting the frequent use of chaste Urdu in a fairly flowing English narrative. Of particular interest are the accounts of Dilip Kumar’s grasp of management skills as a complete professional and awareness of social responsibilities as a star and a role model. His uncanny choice of Premnath in a negative role in Aan (1952) as a key driver of the publicity or “He never faked anything, be it his appreciation..or his concern for a colleague” or meticulously studying the script and character and then to draw upon from his keen sense of observation are typical takeaways for a professional in any field of activities.

The first eight chapters vividly describes the built up of base of Yousuf Khan’s metamorphosis into Dilip Kumar takes place.image

Yousuf Khan’s date of Birth, in the Kissa Khwani Bazaar of a famous city of Peshawar in the then undivided India’s North West Frontier Province itself would find a mention in the chronicles, because a huge fire had gutted the goldsmiths’ workshops in that area. Yousuf’s Dadi’s opinion of her grandson’s arrival on this earth amidst blizzard and fire was further bolstered by fakir’s prophecy that the child was “made for great fame and unparalleled achievements.” Dadi’s extra efforts to protect her grandson form the evil eyes of the world seemed to transform Yousuf into an ‘loner at school, getting lost in the make-believe world of pictorial books.’

The pain of The Matriarch and Her Brood giving infant Yousuf a very ugly look to protect him from the evil of the world was to surface from the subconscious of Dilip Kumar while playing early tragic roles in career of the soon to be titled tragedy king. The isolation at the school did not seem to affect young Yousuf’s activities at home, but the mental agony of the characters that Dilip Kumar portrayed on the screen did lead him to seek help of psychotherapy.

The Escapades and Adventures of childhood years of Yousuf certainly seem to have ignited Dilip Kumar’s sense of storytelling. Young Yousuf would walk to the city square every day, in the toes of his father, Aghaji, to listen to unfolding of a narrative by one of the maulanas. He would not only enjoy the narrative but also let his fertile imagination conjure up characters and situations in his mind so graphically that back home he would try enacting the characters with the lines spoken by maulana. Several years later these embedded experiences were to unfold in the storytelling exercises for the cinema! Dadi was the first censor Yousuf came across in his life. She would abruptly curtail a story being told at the congregation of the family members around a bon fire of a sigdi on winter night, if she felt it was it was not good enough to be told in the presence of women and children. In his solitudes Child Yousuf also indulged in the pastime of imitating ladies and men who came visiting his parents. Among these visitors was the elder son of Yousuf’s father’s Hindu friend Basheshwarnath Kapoor, who would stun the ladies with his handsome appearance. That was Raj Kapoor’s father, Prithviraj Kapoor.

Off To Bombay: A New Chapter Begins when Yousuf’s father shifted to Bombay to explore the business potential in the wake of the news of impending world war. During the journey to Bombay by Frontier Mail, family friends would come to meet them with refreshments at some of the stations. Some of them were Hindus. When the trains stopped at stations, the vendors would sell ‘Hindu Chai, Hindu Paani, Muslim Chai, Muslim Panni. The travelling Khan family did take little notice of the difference. Adolescent Yousuf grew up in an atmosphere of warmth and affection. He was extremely shy, but not unhappy. There was no more shaving of his pate now (in the year 1937). The growth of thick black hair elicited compliments form all ladies, which would yield into a ritual by his mother for shooing away the evil eye. ‘Today, in (his) ninety-second year, (Saira Banu) performs the same ritual every time a visitor says something about,, looks or good health or when… dozens of people come for (autographs) and praise.. work!’

In The Growing Up Years, the family had shifted to Deolali (a hill station in Maharashtra, located about 180 km form Mumbai). Yousuf learnt English to a quite proficient degree. He also started taking keen interest in soccer. In fact, at that stage he had a desire to become a soccer champion and his father desired an OBE attached to his name. He met Raj Kapoor after many years at Khalsa College. In fact, theirs was not merely a friendship of two individuals in the same profession but a bonding that grew from well-placed trust and respect. Even as Yousuf was always trying to help his father, a destiny was being cared for him by the Almighty.

The Poona Interlude helped teenaged Yousuf find his own bearings, gain some valuable experience. That taste of a little bit of ‘freedom’ also made him unsure whether he would be able to continue to submit to the will of his father, and take over his mantle.

At that point of time, inevitable changes led to The Return of The Prodigal to Bombay, pining for warm, indescribable security of family and familiar surroundings.

Whilst in Bombay, Yousuf was now keenly searching for a meaningful occupation. One morning he happens to meet his father’s acquaintances. Dr. Masani. One thing led to another. Yousuf met Devika Rani and landed up with a job of Rs 1250 per month. This was The Turning Point. He also met Ashok Kumar, marking the beginning of a friendship that was to last and entire lifetime.

In addition to these chapters on his-pre-film life, Dilip Kumar has chosen to end the book with Family Matters to present his reply to persistent question asked to him: Whether there is anything at all that (he regrets) and wish(es) to obliterate from the canvas of (his) life. One such episode is his getting involved, under pressure, with lady named Asma Rehman. That mischievously perpetuated ‘second marriage’ was an error of judgement by a fallible human being. Saira Banu, despite the hurt caused to her pride and because of her intense faith in him, stood solidly by him. The whole episode strengthened their closeness and emotional dependence on each other. During the episode it was wrongly represented that Saira could not bear a child. The truth is she did conceive a child (in 1972), but was lost in the eighth month of the pregnancy because of several medical complications. Dilip Kumar also goes into a deep retrospective when he passionately narrates his attempts to give each of his brother and sister to scale the heights that he dreamt for them. He felt a moment of proud and that lump in the throat when Lata Mangeshakar, whom he fondly calls his ‘younger sister’, sang for him Allah Tero Naam on the eve of her soulful rendering of Ae Mere watan Ke Logo at a function in the presence of the then Prime Minister Jawhar Lal Nehru in Delhi.


We will take up next part of the article – First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema – on 19 February, 2015