Rajender Kumar and Vaijayantimala’s romantic pair stormed Bollywood in 1960s.
Rajender Kumar acted in many landmark films in the 60s and successfully performed opposite leading actresses of that age including Meena Kumari, Sadhna, Wahida Rehman, etc. But his performance opposite Vaijayantimala created a distinct impact on the viewers.
Vaijayantimala previously formed a legendary combination with Dilip Kumar. In the film Sangam, she was attached with Rajender Kumar, but Rajender Kumar due to his soft corner for Raj Kapoor he could not express it.Raj Kapoor the airforce and the news relating to his death surprised Rajender Kumar and Vaijayantimala. At the time when they made up their mind of marrying each other Raj Kapoor again returned back and Vaijayantimala married him. Rajender Kumar sacrificed his life for his friends. The viewers were in their tears when Rafi’s song “ki tum naraz na hona” was played when his ashes were immersed by Raj Kapoor and Vaijayantimala in the holy prayag sangam in Allahabad.
Both of them acted together in the film Suraj where Rajender Kumar was a prince and Vaijayantimala was a princess. It was an action-pact film where the melodious songs composed by Shankar Jaikishan created a great impact on the audience. Songs of Rafi, Lata and Asha including “chehre pe giri zulfen”, “kaise samjhayun”, “itna hai tujhse pyar mujhe”, “baharon phool barsao”, etc, mesmerized the viewers.
Both of them did well in the film Saathi also, where Rajender Kumar became blind. The music was composed by Naushad, and Mukesh and Lata sung very well songs like “mera pyar bhi tu hai” and others. Vaijayantimala gave a spirited performance in the film Zindagi opposite Rajender Kumar. She was not accepted by her father-in-law played by Prithviraj Kapoor, and she struggled hard with her mother to stay separately, without the support of Rajender Kumar. He accepted her at the end of the film and repented for the misunderstanding.
Their other hit films include Aas Ka Panchi, Ganwar, etc., and in all these films the romantic pair got the appreciation of the mass audience. Their films had strong storyline and music and for those reasons should be restored.
Rajender Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Shankar Jaikishan came saw and conquered.
Mohammad Rafi, the eternal singer had sung more than 150 songs for Jubilee Kumar Rajender Kumar. Superstar Rajender Kumar had a deadly combination with Mohammad Rafi and Shankar Jaikishan. Whenever the three combined together they created history.
In Dil Ek Mandir, Rafi’s song “jahan koi nahi” and “yaad na jaye” were created in two different moods. Both the compositions of Shankar Jaikishan were marvelous. Rafi was as outstanding as Rajender Kumar. The film was released in 1963.
Rajender Kumar became Jubilee Kumar for having all his films doing business of more than 25 weeks between 1963 and 1966. Shankar Jaikishan was the leading composer composing majority of his songs. In the film Ayee Milan Ki Bela, released in 1964, all the songs sung by Rafi and picturized on Rajender Kumar became smash hits like “mai pyar ka diwana”, “aha aye Milan ki bela”, “to bura maan gaye”, “tum khamseen ho nadaan ho”, to name a few. In the same year, Rajender Kumar’s Sangam had a masterpiece of Shankar Jaikishan namely “yeh mera prempatra parkar”. The song became the greatest hit of 1964.
The film Zindagi was also released in 1964. Shankar Jaikishan’s brilliant composition for Rafi namely “pehele mile the sapno me” mesmerized the viewers.
In 1965, Shankar Jaikishan created magic in Rajender Kumar’s film Aarzoo. All the songs of Rafi touched the souls of the audience including “chalke teri ankhon se”, “aji humse bachkar kahan jayiyega”, “ai phoolon ki raani”, “aye nargise mastana”, to name a few. The exotic locations of Kashmir, the brilliant costumes of Rajender Kumar and Sadhna, elegant singing of Rafi and brilliance of Shankar Jaikishan created magic.
The deadly combination continued in the film Suraj in 1966. All the songs of Rafi became smash hits like “baharon phool barsao”, “gustaqi maaf”, “kaise samjhaun”, “itna hai tujhse pyar mujhe”, to name a few. Rafi was brilliant in the duet songs as well where Suman Kalyanpur complimented Rafi.
In 1967 and 1968, Rajender Kumar’s films Aman and Jhuk Gaya Aasman became hit due to the brilliant music of Shankar Jaikishan. Rafi’s songs in these films like “surahidar garden”, “aaj ki raat”, “o priya”, “saccha hai agar pyar mera sanam”, “kahan chal diye” stormed bollywood.
Shankar Jaikishan composed music in the other films of Rajender Kumar as well including Aas Ka Panchi, where the title song was sung by Subir Sen, Dharti; where Rafi’s song “khuda bhi aaman se” became smash hit, etc. Rafi contributed in other films Rajender Kumar also where Shankar Jaikishan composed music including Shatranj. The songs and the films should be regularly telecast in the private channels to reach the excellent music to the younger generations.
A big section of music lovers agree that had Jaikishan not died in 1971, Rafi’s dominance in bollywood music not suffered at all. In fact SJ’s tunes were brilliant and were specifically catered towards the likings of common mass. They were not that technical which could not reach the audience. Besides SJ gave tunes in around 10 films per years all along the 50s and 60s, the era when Rafi was unbeatable. RD Burman’s domination in the 70s would have got very strong resistence had Jaikishan survived few years more. The immortal lyrics of Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri also ended with the sad expiry of Jaikishan in 1971.
In the case of Naushad, his gharana was so classically oriented, that his composition for an actor had changed the destiny of the actor. Although Naushad and Rafi’s combination was associated mainly with respect to Tragedy King Dilip Kumar, he preserved a huge treasure of music for Rajender Kumar as well.
Mere Mehboob, stands out as probably one of the greatest creations of Naushad ever in the history of bollywood music. All the songs of Rafi for Rajender Kumar, including “mere mehboob tujhe meri muhobbat ki kasam“, “tumse izhaar-e-haal kar baithe“, “ai husn zara jag tujhe ishq jagaye” had revealed the royal elite culture of Aligarh and Lucknow in the form of shayri and ghazals. Rajender Kumar and Sadhna were at their best in the film.
Naushad and Rafi were sublime in Rajender Kumar’s film Palki. The song “dil-e-betaab ko sine se lagana hoga” shows the class of Naushad. Although Naushad utilized Rafi to perfection in Rajender Kumar’s Ganwar, he used Mukesh in major songs of the film Saathi due to pressure of the producer and director.
Rafi and Rajender Kumar were blessed with the immortal creations of Shankar Jaikishan and Naushad in the 60s and the films and the songs should be preserved as rich assets of the nation which can be cherished for generations after generations.
Happy birthday to Manoj Kumar.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Manoj Kumar on 24th July, 2016. He is almost 75 years old now. He started his career as a romantic hero, then showed his skills in the field of direction and created a separate identity as a patriotic hero. He later on earned the name of Bharat Kumar.
Harikishan Giri Goswami, better known as Manoj Kumar, was a big admirer of Tragedy King Dilip Kumar. He was obsessed with Dilip Kumar’s performance in the film Shabnam, in 1949, and kept the name of the character of the film, which was Manoj Kumar.
Although he started his career in the film Fashion in 1957, he got recognition with a lead role in the film Kaanch Ki Gudiya in 1960. Vijay Bhatt directed Hariyali Aur Raasta in 1962 changed the destiny of Manoj Kumar as a romantic hero. The songs of the film were composed by genius of genius Shankar Jaikishan, and with Mala Sinha’s assistance Manoj Kumar reached the hearts of millions of music lovers in the country. The songs in the film including “ifteda-e-ishq”, “yeh hariyali aur yeh raasta”, sung by Mukesh and Lata astonished the viewers. The film became super hit.
In the mid-60s, Manoj Kumar landmark roles in suspense thrillers like Woh Kaun Thi, 1964, and Gumnaam, 1965. Woh Kaun Thi was a horror film of Raj Khosla where Manoj Kumar played the role of the doctor who got scared with the ghostly appearance of Sadhna, who played a double role in the film. He solved the mystery in the film got Prem Chopra arrested at the end after realizing that his wife had a twin sister who was used as a ghost. The music of Madan Mohan was brilliant and Lata’s songs “naina barse rimjhim”, “lagja gale”, etc., created sensation.
Gumnaam was a murder thriller which stormed bollywood in the mid-60s. More than seven friends were given offer of going for holidays, but the flight was hijacked and the friends had to land at an island. Each of them was killed one after the other and no one knew who killed them. Manoj Kumar solved the mystery and unearthed the truth that Tarun Bose was the actual murderer. The music composed by Shankar Jaikishan was extraordinary with songs like “jane chaman shola badan” sung by Rafi and Sharda, “gumnaam hai koi” sung by Lata, “is duniya me jeena ho to”, “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” sung by Mohammad Rafi, etc.
Manoj Kumar started his second innings with patriotic films like Shaheed, Upkaar, Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapra Aur Makaan, Kranti, moved the viewers and earned him respect. He directed of those films and got filmfare award for best director for excellent work in films like Upkaar and Roti Kapda and Makaan. His film Upkaar also received the national award for best film in 1967, and he gave life to the slogan of PM Lal Bahadur Shastri titled “jai jawan jai kisan” with Upkaar. In fact Upkaar, was the highest grosser film in 1967, surpassing all the other super hit films like Ram Aur Shyam, Jewel Thief, etc. The songs in Upkaar composed by Kalyanji Anandji were also brilliant including “mere desh ki dharti” sung by Mahendra Kapoor and “kasme wade pyar wafa sab” sung by Manna Dey. After Upkaar a big section of the crowd used to call Manoj Kumar as Bharat Kumar, as his patriotic feelings used to reflect in his creations.
His other successful films as hero also include Patthar Ke Sanam, Anita, Aadmi, etc. He acted with childhood idol Dilip Kumar in Aadmi and Kranti. The songs of most of his films were of excellent class. Naushad’s creation in Aadmi, and Rafi’s songs like “na aadmi ka khoi bharosa”, “aaj purani rahon se”, etc., had remained invalueable assets over the period of time.
The viewers expect him to continue the excellent work as a director in the years to come.
In Star Jalsa Prasenjit Chatterjee's Mahanayak serial has started. It is a biopic on mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Again, 24th July, 2016 will bring memories of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Superstar Uttam Kumar was remembered on his birth anniversary on 3rd September, 2015. Actor-turned-MPs Dev and Moon Moon Sen would be felicitated with the Mahanayak and Mahanayika Samman, the highest film award given by the West Bengal government.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will give the annual 'Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Samman' at Nazrul Mancha stadium tomorrow to felicitate the actors and technicians of the Bengali film industry.
On her Facebook page, Banerjee said veteran actress Mousumi Chatterjee and reigning Bengali film superstar Dev will be the recipients of this year's 'Mahanayak Samman' while Moonmoon Sen will receive the 'Mahanayika Samman'.
Both Dev and Sen had won the recent Lok Sabha polls on a Trinamool ticket.
The awards were instituted in the year 2012 in the memory of the legendary actor 'Mahanayak' Uttam Kumar.
Actor-director-producer Arindam Sil will be conferred with Special Film Award (Acting).
Special Film Awards will also be presented to actors like Paoli Dam, Hiran Chatterjee, Abir Chatterjee, Indranil Sengupta, Kharaj Mukherjee, Rudranil Ghosh and others.
Veterans of Bengali film industry like Chiranjeet Chakraborty, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Mamata Shankar and Debashree Roy will be feted with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Veteran playback artiste Kumar Sanu will be felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award for Music (playback Singer) while Special Film Awards (Music Director) will be presented to Sivaji Chattopadhyay, Arundhati Home Chowdhury and Adhir Chatterjee.
Nispal Rane on behalf of Surinder Films will get Special Film award for the best producer. Special film award for direction will be given to Swapan Saha, Kamaleshwar Mukherjee and Prodipto Bhattacharyya. 50 actors had been awarded the Mahanayak Uttam Kumar award on his death anniversary on 24th July, 2013. Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee had started the awards in the memory of the greatest superstar of Bengal Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Madhabi Mukherjee, Dipankar Dey, Ranjit Mullick and Sandhya Roy had been given lifetime achievement award. Incidentally Madhabi Mukherjee had acted in many super hit films of Uttam Kumar like Shankhabela, Choddobeshi, Agnisshar, etc. and Sandhya Roy had acted in many hit films of Uttam Kumar like Mayamrigo, Surjotapa. Director Goutam Ghosh had also been granted lifetime achievement award.
Actors Partho Mukherjee, Chinmoy Roy, directors Sandip Ray, Raj Chakravarty, Sujit Saha, Koushik Ganguly and Srijit Mukherjee are given special awards. Actors Tapas Pal and Prasenjit Chatterjee are given Mahanayak Samman. Actors Saswata Chatterjee and Parambrata Chatterjee are given special awards. Film Producing companies are also awarded and felicitated including RD Bansal and Company, Arora Films, Shri Venkatesh films, New Theatres, to name a few.
He had died almost 33 years ago, yet the viewers had not forgotten his films and still his presence is felt in the life bengalies in different parts of the world.
In 2011 the Governer of West Bengal launched the 50 rupees postal stamp having the engraving of Uttam Kumar in it. Previously Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar’s faces were engraved in Postal stamps for remembering their contribution to Indian cinema.
Last year, Mamta Banerjee, the Union Railway Minister, renamed the Tollygunge Metro Station as Mahanayak Uttam Kumar station. In 2011, the walls of the Tollygunge Metro Station had been filled with the pictures of films of Uttam Kumar. In fact the people of Tollygunge cannot associate the place without the existence of Uttam Kumar whose works glorified the different studios which carried on the legacy of Bengali Film Industry. Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal had also provided support to revive the Uttam Mancha and take care of Shilpi Sangsad, an organization created by Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to help the needy actors, actresses, technicians, etc.