Happy birthday to Raj Kapoor.
Raj Kapoor is remembered by the nation on his birthday on 14th December, 2014. He was probably the most popular actor of bollywood films of the 40s, 50s and 60s other than Dilip Kumar.
Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor still remain the most popular actors of bollywood cinema in the last 70 years. One of the reasons of their immense success includes the superlative class of music being given to the giant actors by Naushad and Shankar Jaikishan.
Naushad gave classic tunes to Dilip Kumar in the films Uran Khatola, Kohinoor, Mughal-I-Azam, Leader, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Ram Aur Shyam, Aadmi, to name a few. Rafi and Shakeel Badayani were the other players in the deadly combination. Rafi’s songs for Dilip Kumar like “madhuban me radhika nachere”, “woh dur ke musafir”, “tere husn ki kya taarif karun”, “koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi”, “dilruba maine tere pyar me kya kya na kiya”, “aaj purani rahon se koi mujhe awaaz na den”, “na aadmi ka koi bharosa”, “do sitaron ka zameen par hai Milan aaj ki raat”, etc., remain one of the greatest creations of all times. If Naushad was unparallel as a composer, Shakeel Badayani was unparallel as a lyricist, Rafi was matchless as singer and Dilip Kumar matchless as an actor.
Producer director Raj Kapoor was the closest competitor of Dilip Kumar during the 40s, 50s and 60s. In fact both the giants had acted together in the film Andaz in 1949. Raj Kapoor’s deadly combination with Shankar Jaikishan had produced super hit films like Barsaat, Aah, Awara, Shree 40, Chori Chori, Anari, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, to name a few. The music of those films were equally popular and successful. Songs of Mukesh and Manna Dey like “ramaiya vasta maiya”, “mur murk e na dekh”, “sab kuch seekha humne”, “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, “o mehbooba”, “dost dost na raha” “aa aab laut chalen”, had not lost their flavor even after 50 years of their creation. As Raj Kapoor had other qualities besides acting including production, direction, editing, etc., he is considered the greatest showman of all times even today.
As far as the compositions of Naushad and Shankar Jaikishan are considered, both the composers had very strong classical orientation. Naushad gave folk tunes to Dilip Kumar in Ganga Jumna sung by Rafi including “nain lad jaiy he” and Lata in “dhoondo dhoondo resaajna”, etc. Shankar Jaikishan gave folk tunes to Raj Kapoor in Teesri Kasam in songs like “chalet musafir” sung by Manna Dey, to name a few.
If Naushad displayed the muslim culture of Lucknow, Aligarh with his classical tunes in films like Leader, Kohinoor, Mughal-i-azam, Shankar Jaikishan displayed the European tunes in Raj Kapoor’s films Sangam, Around the World, etc., where the westernized orchestrations complimented the colourful scenary of the foreign countries. In fact, SJ’s tunes “chale jana zara theheron” showed the brilliance of Lake Erie and Niagra Falls stretching from Canada to USA, and mesmerizing the audience. Even in Sangam, the creation of SJ picturised in the snow-clad Switzerland titled “ishq the ishq, I love you” showed SJ’s capability of adapting to European tunes. The musical fountain in Around the World, showed the brilliance of SJ in the film Around the World.
The lyrics written by Shakeel Badayani in Dilip Kumar’s films where music was composed by Naushad were as innovative as the lyrics written by Hasrat Jaipuri and Shankar Jaikishan in Raj Kapoor’ films composed by Shankar Jaikishan. The lyrics contained urdu shairy, bhopuri language, ultramodern lyrics, rural language, etc. and appealed to the masses.
Naushad had composed music in more than 15 films of Dilip Kumar and the same is the case of Shankar Jaikishan in Raj Kapoor’s films. The music of each of those films can be analysed and revisited.
It is impossible to say whether Dilip Kumar’s combination with Naushad was greater than Raj Kapoor’s combination with Shankar Jaikishan, but it is true that the two giants had left assets for generations to cherish which had ended up being masterpieces. New actors, composers, singers, directors learn from the success of the Showman and Tragedy King and the works should be revisited.
Raj Kapoor’s legacy is carried forward by his son Rishi Kapoor, grandson Ranbir Kapoor and granddaughter Kareena Kapoor. Both Ranbir Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor had established themselves in bollywood films and will go a long way. Different private channels showed films of Raj Kapoor on his birthday in 2013. Raj Kapoor’s creations should be preserved and restored.
Happy birthday to Tragedy King Dilip Kumar, the legend of legends.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Dilip Kumar, better known as Tragedy King on 11th December, 2014. After the death of evergreen star Dev Anand, few days back at the age of 88 years, Dilip Kumar is the only living legend still in right humour who had adorned the golden age of Indian cinema. An institution by himself, Dilip Kumar had been a torch bearer in the world of romantic acting for the last 72 years. Born in 1922, Yusuf Khan, one of the greatest actors of bollywood films of all times had created new dimensions at every decade with his unique style of acting. In 2013, he fell ill and was hospitalized for a short time. Entire Bollywood became concerned. He recovered and came home. On his birthday many guests came including Asha Parekh, Salim Khan, Rani Mukherjee and others.
Although his performance in tragic roles like Bimal Roy’s Devdas and Madhumati, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Musafir, and other landmark films had made him an icon of tragedy, he had proved his variation in comedy films, social films, action-oriented blockbusters. Directors like Bimal Roy, K. Asif, Tapan Sinha, Subhash Ghai, consider Dilip Kumar as the greatest actor of all times. He had made the characters immortal which he had played in his illustrious career.
He had given extraordinary lips in landmark songs of the 50s and 60s sung by Mohammad Rafi like “madhuban me radhika nachere” and “do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan aaj ki raat” in the film Kohinoor, “ek shahenshah ne banwake haseen tajmahal”, “tere husn ka kya tareef karun”, “apni azadi ko hum hargese mita sakte nahi”, in the film Leader, “dilruba maine tere pyar me kya kya na kiya”, “koi sagar dilko behlata nahi” in the film Dil Diya Dard Liya, “aaj ki raat mere”, “aye hai bahare dekho” in the film Ram Aur Shyam, to name a few. Giant composer Naushad made the greatest contribution in the films of Dilip Kumar, although Shankar Jaikishan gave quality music in the films Yahudi and Daag, Salil Choudhury contributed in the film Madhumati and Musafir.
Dilip Kumar had acted opposite all the leading actresses of 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, including Madhubala in Tarana, Mughal-i-Azam, Nargis in Babul, Andaz, Meena Kumari in Kohinoor, Azad, Footpath, Vaijayantimala in Madhumati, Ganga Jumna, Leader, Wahida Rehman in Dil Diya Dard Liya, Aadmi, Ram Aur Shyam, Saira Banu in Sagina, Gopi, to name a few.
Even during the 80s, his character roles created new dimension in bollywood films. His performance in the film Mashal, Masdoor, Shakti, Karma, Vidhata had inspired the new generation of actors like Anil Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and others. He has the record of getting the filmfare award for the best actor for the maximum number of times ( 8 times ) which had not been broken by even Shahrukh Khan till now.
Dilip Kumar had not learned acting from any acting school yet the way he had made Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s character Devdas immortal, the actors of the next generation consider him an institution by himself. He had played roles of even trade union leaders in the film Sagina, he was the first actor in bollywood films to perform in a double role in the film Ram Aur Shyam. He created a trend and films with double roles were created in the same lines as that of Ram Aur Shyam in Seeta Aur Geeta, Chaalbaaz, Kishen Kanhaiya.
He received the highest civilian award given by Pakistan, Nishan –e- imtiaz which was previously received by only one Indian, that is the former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. He had also received Dadasaheb Phalke award for his contribution in bollywood films. It is not possible to highlight the contribution of the legend of legends in a small article, as he had created an image which made him indispensable over 70 years in bollywood films.
Yet his journey is not over. Even in the present age directors like Subhash Ghai engage him with his new projects these days. Many veteran actors came to Dilip Kumar to greet him on his birthday in 2012 and 2013. The viewers want Dilip Kumar to continue acting in bollywood films if his health permits. Viewers had got addicted to his soft tune of dialogue throwing and want him to reproduce the magic again.
Remembering Salil Choudhury.
Salil Choudhury, noted scholar, poet, composer and literary giant was remembered on his death anniversary on 5th September, 2014. He was also remembered on his birthday on 19th November, 2014. As he was a versatile scholar, his scholarly attributes were reflected in his creations. He was both the lyricist and the composer and numerous songs sung by legendary singers over 50 years.
His creation “ami parini bujhite parini” and “tumi jaante” for Manobendra Mukherjee were created with two different andaz, one having classical orientation while the other having westernized treatment. His creation “jhanana jhanana baje” and “antabihin oi andharater shesh” for Dhanonjoy Bhattacharya showed his class in handling classical singers.
On the other hand his strength in folk songs were evident in his song “sunayoni sunayoni” sung by Nirmalendu Choudhury and Sabita Choudhury. Nirmalendu became famous all across the world with his folk numbers. Salil Choudhury hugely experimented with Shymal Mitra in songs like “jadi kichu amare shudhao”, “aha oi ankabanka poth jai shudure”, “dur nai beshi dur oi”, “ja jare ja ja pakhi”, to name a few. In “jadi kichu amare shudhao”, Salil Choudhury’s orchestration was unique, half of the song was blank verse while the other half had musical treatment. Salil Choudhury used the different playback singers in Bengal and explored their talents to the brim. Some of the great compositions include “eso kache boso” sung by Tarun Banerjee, “pallabini go sancharini” sung by Dwijen Mukherjee, “Jodi jante go tumi jante” sung by Manobendra Mukherjee, “jai jai din” sung by Biswajeet Chatterjee, to name a few. The list can go on.
Salil Choudhury created a gem with the song “nil nil pakhi” for Sandhya Mukherjee. Besides, bengal’s literary community were astonished with Salil Choudhury conversion of famous poetry “ujjal ek jhak paira” sung by Sandhya Mukherjee into song. The poet’s feelings were translated into musical tune by sheer brilliance of Salil Choudhury. Other examples of converting legendary poems into songs include “runner” written by Shukanto Bhattacharya and “palki chole” written by Satyendranath Dutta which were sung by Hemanta Mukherjee which both became history. In “runner” the march of the postman on foot from remote corners of village was given adequate expression by Salil Choudhury.
Salil Choudhury’s national fame allowed him to do numerous experiments with bollywood singers like Mukesh and Lata. Articles after articles can be devoted to Lata Salil Choudhury creations in Bengali. Mukesh also sung hit song “jhum jhum pakshi nachona” composed by Salil Choudhury.
Salil Choudury created his masterpieces in Bengali films as well like Shyamal Mitra’s song “onek ghuriya sheshe” in Hrithik Ghatak’s film Bari Theke Paliye, Nirmalendu Choudhury’s song “sojoni o sojoni” and Manna Dey’s “uthali pathali amar buuk” in Rajen Tarafdar’s film Ganga. Besides his song “he bhai re bhai” and “baje go beena” sung by Manna Dey in the film Marjina Abdulla made the listeners speechless. Even Lata’s song “bujhbe na keu bujhbena” was equally popular.
Bimal Roy’s film Do Bigha Zameen was based on Salil Choudhury’s literature. His music in the films Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati, Musafir, Parakh, Jagte Raho, Anand, Maya, Rajnigandha, etc., stand out as landmarks in Indian film history. He received filmfare award for brilliant performance in the film Madhumati. All the songs in the film including Lata’s “aja re”, “ghari ghari”, Rafi’s “tute hue khwabonme”, “jangal me mor nacha”, Mukesh’s “dil tarap tarap ke”, “suhana safar aur mausam hasin” touched the souls of numerous Indians in the late 50s.
Other notable songs of Salil Choudhury in bollywood films include “tasveer teri dil me” from Maya, “zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai”, “kahin dur jab din dhal jaye” from Anand, “rajnigandha” from Rajnigandha, “jago mohan pyare” from Jagte Raho, “dil tadpe tadpaye” from Poonam Ki Raat, to name a few.
Bengal and India was as a whole was indebted to a maestro like Salil Choudhury and several researches can be undertaken for finding out the history behind his creations. One article is not enough to reiterate the immortal works of the giant creator. The creations should be preserved and restored.