Veteran singer Mahendra Kapoor was remembered on his death anniversary. Few years ago the great singer had left the listeners. But he is alive in his numerous brilliant basic discs and film songs.
He came to limelight in bollywood music with the resemblance of classical singer Mohammad Rafi. In fact Rafi is the idol and guru and Mahendra Kapoor learned singing from the musical giant. Mahendra Kapoor became a big contributor in BR Chopra’s films in the 50s and 60s. In Rajender Kumar’s film Dhool Ka Phool Mahendra Kapoor’s songs were very successful.
During that period, Mahendra Kapoor sang a brilliant Bengali modern song “ekti e raat katena” which made viewers spellbound. The song had pathos feeling, romantic appeal, classical touch everything embedded in it. He was unblemish in Sunil Dutt’s film Gumraah released in 1963. His song “chalo ek baar bhir se” became super hit in the early 60s. Composer Ravi had composed many brilliant tunes for Mahendra Kapoor in his illustrious career which included the songs “neele gagan ki tale” in the film Humraaz for which he received filmfare award for the best singer, “in baharon me in ghatayon me tujhko mera dil pukare” in the film Gumraah to name a few.
Mahendra Kapoor also sang many songs under composition of OP Nayyar which included “one two three” in Biswajeet’s film Kismat, “lakhon hai mera dilwala” in Biswajeet’s film Kismat, “baharen phir bhi ayegi” in Dharmender’s film Baharen Phir Bhi Ayegi. Mahendra Kapoor also sang important songs in the blockbusters of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. In Raj Kapoor’s Sangam his song “har dil jo pyar karega” with Mukesh and Lata became super hit. In Dilip Kumar’s films Ram Aur Shyam and Aadmi, his songs were impressive.
Mahendra Kapoor started a new innings with Manoj Kumar’s film Upkaar. He sang numerous number of patriotic songs for Manoj Kumar including “rang de basanti chola” in the film Shahid, “mere desh ki dharti “ in the film Upkaar, etc. He contributed in films like Purab Aur Paschim, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Kranti, etc.
It is not possible to highlight the contribution of Mahendra Kapoor who had contributed in bollywood films for more than 40 years in a small article. Numerous listeners miss Mahendra Kapoor but remember him in his melodious songs. His songs and films should be restored.
Happy birthday to Asha Parekh.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Asha Parekh on 2nd October, 2015. She had been a dancing legend of the 60s. Bollywood industry is indebted to her for her brilliant performance in various films.
She started her career opposite Shammi Kapoor in the film Dil Deke Dekho in 1959. The film did great business with hit songs composed by Usha Khanna including “dil deke dekho” sung by Rafi. After that she acted in musical blockbusters most of which were directed by Nasir Hussain. She was sublime in the film Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai opposite Dev Anand. The songs in the film composed by Shankar Jaikishan like “sau saal pehle”, “yeh ankhe uff yumma”, “teri zulfon ki”, “jiya ho” became rich assets of history.
Asha Parekh had a fantastic combination with Joy Mukherjee. Her films Ziddi, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and Love in Tokyo became superhit. Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon, released in 1963 was shot in Kashmir, while Love in Tokyo, released in 1966 was shot in Japan. The romantic scenery entertained the viewers. The songs in most of these films composed by OP Nayyar and Shankar Jaikishan stormed box-office. The most famous songs included “banda parwar”, “lakhon hai nigahon me”, “raton ka sila”, “nazneen bara rangin hai wada tera”, “japan, love in Tokyo”, “hume tum mil gaye humdum”, “o mere shahekhuba”, etc. Similarly Asha Parekh’s combination with Biswajeet and Shammi Kapoor was very grand. Her film Mere Sanam with Biswajeet, released in 1965 was another musical blockbuster. All the songs of the film like “pukarta chala hoon mai”, “humdum mere maan bhi jayo”, “hue hai tumpe aashiq hum bhala mano bura mano” sung by Rafi stormed box-office in the mid-60s.
Asha Parekh played many serious roles in films like Chirag opposite Sunil Dutt, Kati Patang opposite Rajesh Khanna, Upkaar opposite Manoj Kumar, etc. She got critical acclamation for performance in the film Chirag. Asha Parekh dancing skills gave her a separate recognition during an age when actresses like Vaijayantimala, Rajashree, Mumtaz, Padmini were already created sensation in bollywood.
Asha Parekh’s performance in the film Carwan opposite Jeetender requires special mention. She proved her dancing skills opposite other renowned dancers in the film like Helen and Aruna Irani. She also acted in character roles in films like Bulandi, Kaalia, etc., in the 80s.
Asha Parekh had headed the Indian Censor Board for some time. As a member of the Board she did a great job in ensuring decency in the entertainment industry specifically films. Recently she was invited as guest judge in the Sony TV Indian Idol Program in 2012, where Sunidhi Chauhan, Anu Malik, Salim Merchant and Asha Bhosle were the other judges. The viewers expect her to continue the great work in character roles in the years to come.
Happy birthday to melody-queen Lata Mangeshkar.
The listeners of music in India and abroad wish happy birthday to Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen on 28th September, 2015. She had remained a sensation even in her 80s.
Starting her journey from the early 40s, Lataji created an impression with the songs “ayega anewala” in the film Mahal, released in 1947 composed by Khemchand Prakash. The songs of the horror film were picturised on Madhubala who later became a legendary star of bollywood films. Lata faced the competition from eminent singers Noorjahan, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Rajkumari, and others and emerged victorious in the 50s and 60s.
Her sweetness of voice compelled composers to give the best tunes ever created in Indian film history. Along with Rafi, Lata had the record of singing songs of almost all the composers of the golden age. Everlasting gems of Lata include “tu jaha jahan chalega” composed by Madanmohan Kohli, “duniya kare sawal” composed by Roshanagrath , “hume tum mil gaye humdum” composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “phir teri kahani yaad aye” composed by Naushad Ali , “ajare pardesi” composed by Salil Choudhury, “allah tero naam” composed by Jaidev, “piya tose naina lage re” composed by SD Burman, to name a few.
Lata had sung more than 30000 songs during her singing career which was more than 65 years long. She had sung for Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Wahida Rehman, on one hand, and did sing for the new actresses of the 90s namely Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, etc. Her patriotic songs “aye mere watan ke logon” brought tears even in the eyes of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Articles after articles can be devoted to the Indian nightingale, Lata who had remained an institution in different types of songs including Hindustani classical, folk songs, lift romantic songs, to name a few.
Lata Mangeshkar sung songs in more than 15 regional languages including Marathi, Bengali and others. She played a very significant role in Bengali film industry in the world of playback singing. Some of her hit songs included “jago” in Raj Kapoor’s film Ekdin Ratre, composed by Salil Choudhury, “aaj mon cheyeche ami hariye jabo” composed by Sudhin Dasgupta in Uttam Kumar’s film Shankhabela, to name a few.
Goddess Saraswati was very kind to the nightingale of India, Lataji, and that was the reason the sweetness of her voice remained intact for the last 60 years. Articles after articles can be written about the musical genius.
Singers of the present age consider Lataji as their idol and try to emulate her style. Even reputed singers like Sonu Nigam feel privileged to get his son record his son at such tender age with evergreen legend Lata Mangeshkar.
The listeners of music all over the world expect Lataji to continue the great work that she started 70 years ago. Her works should be restored.
Admirers of Bollywood films wish happy birthday to veteran actress Tanuja on 23rd September, 2015. Tanuja, the sister of dignified actress Nutan and the daughter of Sobhna Samarth created a unique place in bollywood films and Bengali films. Being the member of a family having legacy of contributing a lot in bollywood films, she had to face acid test.
In the 60s, when bollywood industry was flooded with talented actresses, Tanuja stepped in bollywood films. She had faced Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Wahida Rehman, Sadhna, Vaijayantimala and other classic actresses and yet created her identity in that age.
Tanuja’s prominent films in the 60s include Baharen Phir Bhi Ayegi, with Dharmender, Memdidi, Sapno Ka Saudagar, opposite Raj Kapoor, etc. Within 3 to 4 years, she was cast opposite leading actors of bollywood films. Her performance opposite Dev Anand, in the film Jewel Thief was appreciated by film-lovers.
Jewel Thief was crime-thriller director by Vijay Anand. Tanuja’s innocence in the film and spontaneous presence impressed the viewers. Besides Tanuja’s lips in Ahsa Bhosle’s song “raat nashili hai” was very impressive.
In the early 70s, Tanuja switched on to serious films like Basu Bhattacharya’s Anubhav opposite Dharmender. Her lips in Geeta Dutt’s song “mera dil jo mera hota” and other songs showed the acting class of Tanuja. She did even better in Dharmender’s film Izzat. Dharmender had double role with one son being the illegitimate child of Balraj Sahani. Her performance in the song “loote dil pe diya jalta nahi hum kya Karen” sung by Lata and Rafi made viewers spellbound. She was equally impressive in the film Pabitra Papi.
Tanuja was involved in super hit films like Haathi Mera Saathi opposite Rajesh Khanna, Mere Jeevan Saathi opposite Rajesh Khanna, Ek Paheli, opposite Feroz Khan, to name a few.
In respect of Bengali films, Tanuja showed a great spirit in adapting Bengali language and adjusting herself opposite Uttam Kumar in the 60s and 70s. Deya Neya, Anthony Firingi and Raj Kumari stands out as the biggest hits of Tanuja opposite Uttam Kumar. All these films were musical blockbusters and the lips of Tanuja in leading songs in these films require special mention.
Shyamal Mitra composed music for the super hit film Deya Neya. Tanuja was sublime in her lips in the song “madhabi madhute holo mitali”. She was brilliant in the two songs of Sandhya Mukherjee in the film Anthony Firingi, titled “ami je jalsaghare”, and “champa chameli golapero bage”, composed by Anil Bagchi. Raj Kumari marked the beginning of musical career of Bengali musical sensation RD Burman. Songs like “ki holo, kabe holo” creates shivers in the spines of many listeners even today.
Tajuna was sublime in other successful films like Prothom Kodom Phool, Teen Bhubaner Pare, Madhuban, etc. She is considered more versatile than her daughter Kajol who got success by performing opposite Shahrukh Khan in hit films in the 90s. The viewers expect her to continue the great work in character roles in bollywood films in future.
Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya sang the best Shyamasangeet.
Shyamasangeet is one form of devotional song devoted to Goddess Kali, the Goddess of empowerment. It is called Bhaktigeeti in Bengali.
Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya were probably the best singers of Shyamasangeet.
Dhananjay Bhattacharya was the medjda, the middle brother of Bhattacharya family. He used to be called Samrat, meaning the king of music. He was very handsome and got chance in Bengali films like Pasher Bari, Ladies Seat, Nababidhan to name a few. His basic discs created havoc in 1950s like “shilpi moner”, “jhanana jhanana baje”, “kobir kheyale premomoy tumi samrat shajahan”, etc. Even his songs “e maya proponchomoy” made the viewers spellbound.
In recent interview given by his son Dipankar Bhattacharya in Anandabazar Patrika it was said that Lataji requested Dhananjay Bhattacharya to come to Mumbai for hindi songs, which he refused. Composer Salil Choudhury told Dhananjoy that his voice was at par with Rafisahab and Talat Sahab. But beyond modern songs his inclination was towards devotional songs, especially that of Goddess Kali.
Pannalal Bhattacharya learned music from Dhananjay Bhattacharya. He also had classical control and sang very well. When he came to that his friends Manabendra Mukherjee, Shyamal Mitra and Sanat Singha acted in the film Sare Chuattor, he wanted to act in the film also. But Dhananjay Bhattacharya stopped him. Sare Chuattor was the first superhit film of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen released in 1953.
But Dhananajay Bhattacharya understood that Pannalal had excellent control in Shyamsangeet. So he allowed his brother to concentrate in those songs. Some of her brilliant songs included “amar sadhna mitilo ashana phurilo”, “chai na mago raja hote”, “opar sangsar nahi parabar, ma o ma, ma”. His other hit songs included “de ma pagol kore bhramamaye”, “amar mayer payer jobe hoye”, to name a few. All were devoted to Goddess Kali.
Both Dhananjoy Bhattacharya and Pannalal Bhattacharya had the hobby of catching fishes. Whoever had ponds in West Bengal, used to call both the brothers, first for fishing and then in the evening ask them to sing songs.
Dhananjoy Bhattacharya’s son Dipankar Bhattacharya had said in Anandabazar Patrika that once Pannalal was travelling in train with friends Manabendra Mukherjee, Nirmala Mishra, Tarun Banerjee. He visualized that in Dakshineshwar Kalibari, the idol of Kali was dressed in Tunte sari. All his friends were shocked. He took them to Dhakineshwar. Everyone saw the truth that yes, Idol of Kali was dressed in tunte saree.
Once Pannalal was recording in HMV the song “chai na ami raja hote”. Manobendra Mukherjee waited outside the room. He allowed Pannalal to finish his song and then said he was going to sing the song “ami eto je tomae bhalobesechi” in 1958. Pannalal gave Manabendra Jaba flower which he brought from Kali Temple in Dhakineshwar. He gave the flower to Manabendra saying it was going to give him good luck. Manobendra sang the song and it became a bumper hit.
In the later years, Pannalal lost interest in life and only sang devotional songs for Goddess Kali. He committed suicide at the age of 36 years. Music experts feel that Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya sang the best shyamasangeet ever in Bengal’s history.
The nation remembers style icon Feroz Khan on his birth anniversary.
The nation remembers Feroz Khan on his birthday on 25th September, 2015. He had died in 2009, and the nation had missed the style icon very badly. Feroz Khan started his career with romantic films.
His performance in the film Aarzoo, in the mid-60s with Rajender Kumar and Sadhna is well remembered even today. He played the role of friend of Rajender Kumar who sacrificed his wife for the best interest of his friend Rajender Kumar. While Feroz Khan’s performance in romantic films like Ek Sapera Aur Ek Lutera was well appreciated, his skills in action films like Aadmi Aur Insaan, Mela, etc., created a separate identity for himself. Feroz Khan did a great job in the film Oonche Log along with Raj Kumar and Ashok Kumar. It was a romantic film with Rafi’s romantic song “jag dil-e diwana”. Feroz Khan was killed at the end of the film by Tarun Bose.
From the 70s, Feroz Khan got involved in production and direction of his own films and created gold in the next 20 years. His film Apradh with Mumtaz became super hit. He brought in many dimensions of car driving in Indian cinema. He showed car racing in Apradh. His film Dharmatma with Hema Malini and Rekha created history in the mid-70s. It was modeled in the lines of Hollywood film Godfather where Marlon Brando played the lead role. Part of the film was shot in Dubai, and from that time Feroz Khan used Dubai for shooting many of his blockbuster films.
Feroz Khan’s action style mesmerized the viewers. He gave a stylish performance in the film Khote Sikke and Kala Sona. His Robinhood like image haunted the viewers. He did wear a black dress which was very popular among the youngstars of the 1970s. Whatever he did wear in his young days used to declare fashion statement. His style of riding cars, riding horses and jugglery with the guns showed touch of Hollywood actors. With the advent of action films in the mid-70s with the emerging of Amitabh Bacchan in the bollywood scenario, Feroz Khan’s demand in action film increased and increased.
His film Qurbani with Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman created storms in the early 80s. Rafi’s song ‘kya dekhteho” picturised on Feroz Khan, became hit in the early 80s. He gave a new definition to action films with the film Jaanbaaz, where he protested against the trade of LSD and other Narcotic drugs. Villains like Raza Murad and Shakti Kapoor gained prominence from Feroz Khan’s films. Feroz Khan used Anil Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia and Sri Devi in Jaanbaaz in his unique style.
His film Yaalgaar with Sanjay Dutt, Manisha Koirala and Kabir Bedi also became super hit in the early 90s. One of the other shades of character of Feroz Khan was to promote the newcomers. He acknowledged the brilliant skills of Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, who were much younger than him and formed the next generation of actors.
Feroz Khan maintained his body for more than 30 years and that was the reason who could act opposite three generation of actresses, including Sadhna in Aarzoo in 1965, to Hema Malini in Dharmatma in 1975, to Sri Devi in Jaanbaaz in 1985.
In the late 90s he promoted his own son Fardeen Khan. Even in recent films like Welcome he showed his comedy skills opposite Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Anil Kapoor and Nana Patekar. His death brought a great loss to the film industry. He is remembered on his birthday and will always be remembered in the years to come.
Remembering Hasrat Jaipuri, Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi on the death anniversary of Hasrat Jaipuri.
17th September is remembered as the death anniversary of eminent poet Hasrat Jaipuri. 15th April is celebrated as the birth anniversary of great poet and lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri. Renowned poet and lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri was born on 15th April, 1922 as Iqbal Hussain. In 1940, Hasrat Jaipuri came from Jaipur to Mumbai. Prithiviraj Kapoor heard him in a mushaira and recommended him to Raj Kapoor when he was making the film Barsaat.
The epic combination of Hasrat Jaipuri and Shankar Jaikishan started from Barsaat. The first 2 songs written by him became super hit namely “jiya beqarar hai” and “chor gaye balam”. The pen of Hasrat Jaipuri glorified RK Films and other bollywood films for the next 30 years.
Rafi, SJ and Hasrat Jaipuri was an equally brilliant combination like Shailendra, SJ and Rafi. Hasrat’s song sung by Rafi titled “teri teri pyari pyari surat ko” in Rajender Kumar’s film Sasural became super hit. In Shammi Kapoor’s Junglee almost all the songs sung by Rafi became immortal hits. In that list, Hasrat’s song “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar” touched the souls of music lovers all across India. The song was sung by Rafi and Lata and both the versions were very melodious.
Hasrat’s lyrics for Rafi “tum mujhe yu bhula na paoge” became super hit in the late 60s. It was composed by SJ for Shammi Kapoor in the film Pagla Kahin Ka. Hasrat’s song “ajahu na aye balma” in the film Saanjh Aur Sawera was a sensational song. Rafi exhibited his classical andaz and tune of Shankar Jaikishan was excellent by every musical yardstick. Hasrat Jaipuri received the filmfare award for the best lyricist for Rafi’s song “baharon phool barsao” in Rajender Kumar’s film Suraj.
Rafi’s other songs written by Hasrat Jaipuri and composed by SJ included “unke khayal aye to” in Raj Kumar’s Lal Pathar, “badan pe sitare lapete hue” in Shammi Kapoor’s Prince, “awaaz deke hume tum bulayo” in Shammi Kapoor’s Professor, “aji ruuth kar ab” in Rajender Kumar’s Aarzoo, “dekha hai teri aankho me pyar hi pyar beshumar” in Dharmender’s Pyar Hi Pyar, “dhire dhire chal chand gagan me” in Dev Anand’s Love Marriage, “rukh se zara naqab uthalo” in Jeetender’s Mere Huzoor, “teri zulfon ne judai to nahi maangi thi” in Dev Anand’s Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, “kaun hai jo sapno me aya” in Rajender Kumar’s Jhuk Gaya Aasman, etc.
Hasrat Jaipuri contributed in Raj Kapoor’s blockbusters like Awaara, Shree 420, Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, etc, Rajender Kumar’s blockbusters like Ayee Milan Ki Bela, Dil Ek Mandir, Humrahi, Sasural, Zindagi, etc, Shammi Kapoor’s hit films Janwar, Brahmchari, Raj Kumar, Andaz, etc., Joy Mukherjee’s Love In Tokyo, Biswajeet’s April Fool, Uttam Kumar’s Choti Si Mulakat, to name a few.
Raj Kapoor’s greatest hit film in his illustrious career remained Sangam. In the film Hasrat Jaipuri’s words “yeh mera prempatra par kar” sung by Rafi and picturised on Rajender Kumar had remained immortal. Hasrat Jaipuri wrote it for a girl named Radha. Raj Kapoor kept the name of Vaijayatimala Radha in the film Sangam. Rafi’s voice at the end of the film brought tears in the minds of the audience with the words “kitum nazaar na hona” when Raj Kapoor and Vaijayantimala immersed the ashes of Rajender Kumar in Prayag Sangam at the end of the film.
Hasrat Jaipuri died in 1999. One article is too small to highlight the works of the legends Hasrat Jaipuri, SJ and Rafi. In fact Hasrat Jaipuri worked with other composers of the golden age as well. But the songs written by Hasrat Jaipuri for Rafi which were composed by Shankar Jaikishan still stand out as the most romantic masterpieces in the history of bollywood cinema.
Happy birthday to Shabana Azmi.
Versatile actress Shabana Azmi was remembered on her birthday on 18th September, 2015. Many actresses spoke about her. Nandita Das had said that she had started her career with Fire opposite Shabana Azmi. She had great experience of working with the great actress. She acted with Shabana Azmi in a play named Diary of Anne Frank which was hosted in Kolkata, Bangalore and New Delhi. Director Mahesh Bhatt also said that his career also took a turn after Shabana Azmi acted in his film Arth.
Shabana Azmi gave an interview in Times of India on her birthday in 18th September, 2010, four years back. She commented on many things. She said that in theatre acting there is scope of underacting, as the viewers at the backseat may not recognize lack of expression, but in films that is not possible. For her film acting was a greater challenge.
She also said that acted in both commercial and parallel films. She acted during the transition of the 70s, when the actresses got roles opposite the angry young man played by Big B, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughun Sinha and others. Female actresses started getting roles which were transformations from the ones of the 60s in films like Mai Choop Rahungi to films in the 80s like Khoon Bhari Maang. But her range was exposed in parallel cinema. She could express the complexity of female mind successfully in the art films directed by Shyam Benegal, Satyajit Ray and others.
When asked about her choice, she said that she would have accepted the role of a sweeper if director Bergman had offered her a role. He was her favourite director. In respect of actors, she commented that Tragedy King Dilip Kumar was her favourite actor. She grew up seeing his acting.
It is very significant that the actress of the callibre of Shabana Azmi who had won 5 national awards also used the name of Tragedy King, who had not learned acting from acting school, but the characters immortal with his sensitive performances over 70 years. The interview was very knowledgeable.
Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil were the two leading actresses with whom the renowned directors of India including Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalini, and others experimented the most in the late 70s and early 80s. Some of the best films of Shabana Azmi include Khandahar, Paar, Masoom, Sati, Aarth, Mandi, etc. In Shyam Benegal’s Ankur she played the role of the wife of Sadhu Meher, a rural villager. The film showed oppression of the feudal lords in Indian villages. In Shekhar Kapoor’s Masoom she played the role of the husband of Naseeruddin Shah. She had her two daughters and had to reconcile the son of Naseeruddin Shah who was born out of the first wedlock in the film. In Mahesh Bhatt’s film Arth she played the role of the wife of Kulbhushan Kharwanda who was having extra-marital affair with another woman played by Smita Patil. She had played very diverse roles and did justice to the complicated characters of women over the last 35 years.
Shabana Azmi should continue her great work in bollywood films in future.
The viewers of Bollywood films remember Mehmood on his death anniversary on 23rd July, 2015. The viewers of bollywood films remembered Mehmood and showed their respect to legendary comedian Mehmood on 29th September, 2015. He was an indispensable actor during the 60s and 70s. He had acted in different types of roles ranging from serious ones in Choti Behen to villainish roles in Pyaasa and obviously serio-comic roles in Gumnaam. He was the other comedian other than Johnny Walker, who had given lips in majority of songs in landmark films. His combination with Subha Khote and Dhumaal, was as brilliant as the legendary pairs of Dharmender Hema Malini or Shashi Kapoor Nanda.
Shankar Jaikishan had always been known to set trends and not follow any existing system created by the other compositions. SJ used Lata to her limit in Barsaat in the late 40s, during a time when the other female singers like Noorjahan, Suraiya, Samshad Begum, Rajkumari were also prominent in singing playback songs in bollywood films. SJ never stuck one single team and that was one of their secrets of success in bollywood films. In respect of Mehmood, it was a tradition for most of the composers to use Manna Dey to sing for Mehmood, most of which were very very successful. SD Burman used Manna Dey to sing “duniya bananewale” in the film Ziddi for Mehmood, where he used Rafi to sing the songs for Joy Mukherjee like “bolo bolo, aye dildaar”, etc. RD Burman used Manna Dey to sing the songs “sawaariya” and “ek chaturnaar” in the film Padosan for Mehmood. LP used Manna Dey to sing “o mere maina” in the film Pyar Kiye Ja, for Mehmood.
There are numerous other examples where Manna Dey was used by the composers to suit Mehmood. Shankar Jaikishan had something else in mind. He used Manna Dey in very serious classical songs like “sur na saje” in Basant Bahar, emotional songs like “tu pyar ka sagar hai” in Seema, or folk songs like “chalet musafir” in Teesri Kasam. When it came to Mehmood, SJ experimented with Rafi, and those songs probably are considered the most successful songs of Mehmood in his entire career.
The song “ajahu na aye balma sawan bita jai” in the film Saanjh Aur Sawera, picturized on Mehmood, stands out as one of the most classically oriented compositions of SJ for Rafi. The song had both appeal for the mass and also the class. The song “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” in Gumnaam, became a trademark song of Mehmood. Rafi almost reproduced the style of dialogue throwing of Mehmood in the song and it appeared to the masses that the song was sung by Mehmood himself. SJ used Rafi to sing the song “mai rickshawala” in the black and white era in the film Choti Bahen, during a time when Mehmood’s image was not created.
Mehmood almost made people cry in the film and the credit goes to Rafi’s emotions in the song. In the film Zindagi, Rafi’s song for Mehmood titled “ghungharwah mora cham cham baje”, became big hit. The other hit songs of Rafi for Mehmood composed by SJ include “o gori chalona hans ki chaal”, “zindagi mujhko dikhade raasta”, “mai hoon jaani tera”etc.
Rafi’s presence was felt in the films Beti Bete, Bhai Bhai, etc. where Mehmood had prominent roles and SJ composed the music of those films. Even the song “bakhma bakhma” in the film Shatranj became successful. Even in the duets that were sung for Mehmood, SJ created a new trend in allowing Suman Kalyanpur to sing some of the songs with Rafi or Sharda to sing some of them, in addition to Lata who had sung around 440 duets with Rafi during the golden age. The songs and the films of the legendary combination of Shankar Jaikishan, Rafi and Mehmood should be restored for their filmic appeal and versatile creations.
Dev Anand was remembered on his birth anniversary on 26th September. Romantic star Dev Anand died in London on 4th December, 2011, at the age of 88 years. Everyone in India mourned his death right from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to superstar Shahrukh Khan, actress Hema Malini to actor Rishi Kapoor. He was staying in London and died out of cardiac arrest as had been said by his son. Most of his fans all across the world had said that they Dev Anand never looked back at life, but looked forward and for that reason became the inspiration for every optimistic film personality.
It was the end of an era, as Dev Anand represented Indian films for more than 60 years, right from 1946, when he started his career. His hit films included CID, Kala Pani, Hum Dono, Guide, Jewel Thief, to mention a few. He received filmfare award for best actor for his performance in the films Kala Pani and Guide. He received Dadasaheb Phalke award for immense contribution to bollywood films. He had also being remembered for his brilliant songs of Mohammad Rafi, Geeta Dutt and Lata Mangeshkar like “din dhal jaye”, “kabhi khud pe kabhi halat pe rona hoga”, “piya tose naina lage re”and brilliant compositions of Shankar Jaikishan, Sachin Dev Burman, and others.
Evergreen star Dev Anand had this year gave an interview to journalist Gautam Bhattacharya which had been published in Anandabazar Patrika on 25th June, 2011.
He had said that he had been busy working with his new film Charge Sheet. He had crossed 88 years and still showed the enthusiasm to work on the sequel of the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna, which he made in 1971.
When he was asked about Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, he said, if Raj Kapoor would have taken care of his health he would have survived for more time and made more films. Dilip Kumar was happy to be an actor and never showed the interest of directing films. Dev Anand missed his team of performers like Vijay Anand, Kishore Kumar, Sachin Dev Burman, but he said that death was also a reality which people should face.
He also said that he never looked back at his work, and whenever his hit films like Hum Dono, or Guide are shown in TV Channels, he hardly had seen them. About the new generation of actors, he had stated that he hated body building and opening of shirts to show the body. He said Raj Kapoor or Dilip Kumar, or he himself never required to open their shirt to show their body. He did not comment about the question why Rajesh Khanna faded out of the industry after ruling bollywood for short time, while Amitabh Bacchan ruled bollywood for a longer time.
Happy birthday to Mahima Choudhury.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Mahima Choudhury on 13th September, 2015. She had been a big asset of bollywood films in the 90s.
She had been given a great break by Subhash Ghai in the film Pardesh opposite Shahrukh Khan. All the songs in the film became super hit like “do dil mil rahe hai”, sung by Kumar Shanu or “yeh dil diwana” sung by Sonu Nigam, etc. Her traditional role in the film was well appreciated by every section of the viewers. Subhash Ghai had given breaks to new comers all across his career, and just like Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koirala, Mahima Choudhury also proved her merit in the first film.
After that Mahima Choudhury acted in every type of roles. She was sublime opposite Chandrachud Singh in the film Daag the fire. Although it was an out and out action film she kept her mark in the film. She had a double role in the film and did very well in the role of an accomplished girl and the role of a prostitude. The two characters were absolutely contrasting in nature. Due to domination of Sanjay Dutt in the film Mahima’s performance did not get the limelight which she deserved.
She did extremely well in Raj Kumar Santoshi’s film Lajja. She was one of the five ladies who faced oppression from the patriarchal society and her way of expressing discontent was very impressive. She was sublime opposite Sanjay Dutt in the film Kurukshetra. Sanjay Dutt was a fearless police officer and faced the hurdles created by the corrupted ministers and the corrupted police officers in his department. Mahima Choudhury, who played the role of his wife in the film expressed her discontent after being the victim of vengeance of the criminals who were arrested by Sanjay Dutt.
Mahima Choudhury did well in smaller roles as well. The one which is most remembered is her performance in the film Dhadkan where Shilpa Shetty, Sunil Shetty and Akshay Kumar had the more prominent roles.
She had featured in less number of films in the recent past. The viewers expect her to act in bollywood films in future as she still has a lot of acting left in her.
Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal had been remembered on his death anniversary on 12th September, 2015. Jaikishan was also remembered on his birth anniversary on 4th November, 2014. He had left the world in 1971, and the great combination of Shankar Jaikishan got effected due to his death. The country remembered the great musical duo. At the same their combination with Shailendra and Rafi require special mention.
Poet and lyricist Shailendra had glorified the world of bollywood music with his romantic words. He had tremendous combination with legendary composer Shankar Jaikishan. Both of them in turn had magical relationship with immortal singer Mohammad Rafi.
Generally between 1940s and 1960s, whenever Shailendra wrote the songs, the tunes were given by Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi. Whenever Hasrat Jaipuri wrote the songs, the tunes were given by Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal.
The magic combination came together in the film Boot Polish, released in 1954 with the song “nanhe munne bacche tere mutthi me kya hai” which had become immortal over the years. In the film Shikast, the combination came together in the song “gham me jal raha hai”.
In the mid-50s, all of them Shailendra, SJ and Rafi became superstars and icons in their individual departments. SJ composed excellent song with the words of Shailendra sung by Rafi,Mukesh and Lata in Raj Kapoor’s film Shree 420 titled “ramaiya vasta maaiya”. In 1955 the film ended up being blockbuster. In Seema, the song “kahan jaraha tu” stands out. Manna Dey’s song “tu pyar ka sagar hai” was also a masterpiece.
Rafi made the audience spellbound with the song “duniya na bhaye mohe” in the film Basant Bahar. Shailendra and SJ were brilliant as ever. Rafi’s song “mai rickshawala” in the film Choti Behen had realistic andaz. In Dev Anand’s Love Marriage, Rafi’s songs “kaha ja rahe the” had romantic andaz. In Shararat, the combination got together with the song “ajab hai dastan” which was very melodious.
The same soft romantic Shailendra with SJ and Rafi changed their gears in aggressive songs of Shammi Kapoor in the film Junglee with the songs “yahoo, chahe koi mujhe jungle kahe”, “ayi ayi ya suku suku”, etc. The combination made the audience spellbound in Rajender Kumar’s film Sasural with the song “ek sawal mai karoon.”
In Shammi Kapoor’s song “dil tera diwana” in the film Dil Tera Diwana, really the song balanced the lightning and rain. The combination continued in Shammi Kapoor’s film Professor with the songs “mai chali mai chali”, “khuli palak me” etc. The same combination brought tears in the eyes of the audience in Rajender Kumar’s film Dil Ek Mandir with the song “yaad na jaye”.
The magic combination continued together in the blockbusters of the mid 60s, including Biswajeet’s April Fool in 1964, Shammi Kapoor’s Janwar and Rajkumar in 1965, Rajender Kumar’s Humrahi in 1963, Ayee Milan Ki Bela in 1964, Aarzoo in 1965, Suraj in 1966, Joy Mukherjee’s Love in Tokyo in 1966, Dev Anand’s Pyar Muhobbat in 1966, Uttam Kumar’s Choti Si Mulakat in 1968, to name a few.
The unfortunate death of Shailendra in 1966 ended the marathon that was played by Rafi and SJ with the immortal lyricist for more than 20 years. His lyrics were used in films that were released later after his death in films like Shammi Kapoor’s Bhramchari, Rajender Kumar’s Jhuk Gaya Aasman and Dharti, Jeetender’s Mere Huzoor, to name a few.
Articles after articles can be devoted to the genius Shailendra, Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi who had produced only gems after gems during the golden age of Indian music. They had made the audience laugh, smile, cry and repent with the words, tunes and rendition of voices. The songs and the films should be preserved.
The biggest Bollywood hit films of 1950.
The 1950s began with new types of films in Bollywood. While stars like Ashok Kumar already himself in Bollywood arena, new stars like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor rose to stardom. Actresses like Nargis, Madhubala, Geetawali, Nalini Jayant, Suraiya dominated Bollywood films. In the previous decade in the 1940s, Dilip Kumar’s Andaz and Raj Kapoor’s Barsaat were the biggest blockbusters.
Samadhi was the years’s biggest blockbuster of 1950. It was directed by Ramesh Saigal, who was one of the top directors of Filmistan with films like Shaheed (1948), Samadhi (1950) and Shikast (1953). The music was composed by C. Ramchandran, with "Gore Gore Banke Chhore" (Oh Fair Lad) sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Amirbai Karnataki, and picturised on Kuldip Kaur and Nalini Jaywant, becoming a popular song. Ashok Kumar played the lead role in the "patriotic spy-thriller", "the film turned out to be the year's biggest hit with a gross profit of ₹ 75 lakhs".
The 2nd super hit film was Babul. By 1940s Dilip Kumar already established himself as tragedy king with the success of the film Andaz. Babul had Dilip Kumar in another tragic role, where he was teamed with Nargis and Munawwar Sultana. It was directed by S. U. Sunny. The music composer was Naushad Ali, and he had Shamshad Begum give playback for seven out of the twelve songs in the film. A famous song by Talat Mehmood and Shamshad was "Milte Hi Anken Dil Hua Diwana Kisika". Shamshad Begum along with Suraiya, Lata and Geeta Dutt were dominating Bollywood music at that time. Naushad Ali had Talat Mehmood singing for the first and last time under his baton. The famous Talat solo was "Husnwalon Ko Na Dil Do Yeh Mita Dete Hain" (Don't Give Your Heart To The Pretty Ones, They Destroy It). The songs of this film made Talat the "most sought-after ghazal singer". Over a period of time Mohammad Rafi started singing almost all the songs for Dilip Kumar. The film was a big success and grossed an estimated ₹ 70 lakhs.
The third biggest hit film was Dastan. Dastan was directed by A. R. Kardar, with Raj Kapoor, Suraiya, and Veena in the main roles. The film was a tragic melodrama narrated in a flashback by Suraiya's character. This was the only film in which Raj Kapoor and Suraiya starred together. The "waltz-type rhythm" song "Tara Ri Tara ri" sung by Suraiya and Mohammed Rafi, became a popular number. Inspired from the film Enchantment (1948), it's referred to as "one of the biggest commercial hits,” with a business of 65 lakhs. Very significantly Naushad Ali used Rafisahab to sing songs for Raj Kapoor and not Mukesh. Suryaiya sang for herself.
The 4th biggest hit film was Jogan. Jogan directed by Kidar Sharma, featured Dilip Kumar and Nargis. It was described as Dilip Kumar's "most powerful portrayal as a one-way love seeker". It had Nargis playing a Meera-like Sadhvi and has been referred to as a "most famous classic". The film grossed ₹ 62 lakhs. Incidentally Rajender Kumar made his debut in Bollywood films in a small role in the film Jogan. The music was composed by Bulo C Rani and all the songs were sung by Geeta Dutt, including the hit song “ghunghat ke pat khol”
The fifth biggest hit film was Sangram. Sangram starred Ashok Kumar and Nalini Jaywant again. Written and directed by Gyan Mukherjee for Bombay Talkies, it had music by C. Ramchandran. A popular song from the film was "Yaara Wai Wai, Yaara Wai Wai". The film as a box-office success commercially, earning a gross profit of ₹ 50 lakhs.
In conclusion it can be said that 1950s began with black and white films. But performances of Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were per excellence. The directors like Kidar Sharma, AR Kardar, Mehboob Khan and others really made a fantastic impact. Naushad Ali, Hunslal Bhagatram, Shankar Jaikishan and C Ramchandran dominated music. Talat, Rafi, Mukesh dominated male singing while Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt and Lata dominated female playback songs. With passing of time new actors like Bharat Bhushan, Pradeep Kumar competed with Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor.
Happy birthday to Rakesh Roshan.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Rakesh Roshan on 6th September, 2015. He had remained one of the most successful producer and director in the last 10 years. Being born in a prestigious family and the son of legendary composer Roshanlal Nagrath, Rakesh Roshan had to prove a lot when he started his career as an actor in the early 70s.
In 2013, he produced and directed the big budget film Krish 3 which did business of more than 200 crores in 2013 and ended up as 2nd biggest blockbuster after Dhoom 3. The music of the film composed by Rajesh Roshan also became hit. Hrithik Roshan was brilliant as usual.
His film Paraya Dhan with Hema Malini and Balraj Sahani became very successful in the late 60s. The film was remembered for the melodious music composed by RD Burman. The songs “ayo jhume gayere”, “holi re holi” became super hit in the late 60s and early 70s. After that, Rakesh Roshan acted in many films opposite Rishi Kapoor.
The combination of Rakesh Roshan and Rishi Kapoor gave super hit films like Khel Khel Me, Aap Ke Diwane, Yeh Wada Raha, etc. While Khel Khel Me was a suspense thriller, Aap Ke Deewane was a romantic film, where both Rakesh Roshan and Rihi Kapoor proved their worth. The music of Rajesh Roshan in the film Aap Ke Deewane was worth mentioning. The title song “aapke diwane hai”, and “tum ko khush dekhkar mai bahut khush hua” sung by Rafi and Kishore became super hit in the late 70s. All the songs of the film became super hit. Rakesh Roshan even acted in middle-budget films like Kamchor with Jaya Prada. In those films also the music played a role with hit songs like “yogi ha yagi haat me tera likkha hai” sung by Kishore Kumar.
From the time Rakesh Roshan launched himself as producer and director, he stormed bollywood. His film Karan Arjun with Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan became super hit in mid-90s. It was an action block-buster where the music composed by Rajesh Roshan, the romance, the comedy everything entertained the viewers. Amrish Puri played the role of corrupt industrialist who killed Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan in their first life, and after they were reborn combated their attack. The major shooting of the film was done in Rajasthan.
In the last 10 years whenever Rakesh Roshan had produced and directed film with his son Hrithik Roshan the films had become the greatest blockbusters of the year. Kahona Pyar Hai stormed bollywood in 2000. It was sheer brilliance of Rakesh Roshan to present his son with bravery in the first film. Till now it had been the best film Hrithik Roshan had acted in his long career. The other hit films of Hrithik Roshan directed by Rakesh Roshan included Koi Mil Gaya and Krissh. Rakesh Roshan chose different actresses like Amisha Patel, Preeti Zinta, Priyanka Chopra in his different films and all of them contributed to make the films successful.
The viewers awaited the release of Hrithik Roshan’s new film Kites in 2010. With Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori in the film, the critics predicted that it was going to be another blockbuster. But due to most of the film having communication in Spanish, the Indian viewers could not appreciate the film to that extent. Rakesh Roshan had been working with his son Hrithik Roshan in the film Krish 2, which is a sequel of the film Krish. Whenever Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan come up with a project they always make it big. Viewers look forward to more number of Rakesh Roshan Hrithik Roshan combinations in future. Rakesh Roshan should continue his great work in the years to come.
Happy birthday to Kareena Kapoor.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Kareena Kapoor on 21st September, 2015. She had been the number star of bollywood films and carried forward the grand legacy created by Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor forward. In 2013 her film Satyagraha opposite Ajay Devgan got commercial and critical success. In 2014 her film Singham Returns opposite Ajay Devgan did business of more than 135 crores. In 2015 her film Bajrangi Bhaijaan opposite Salman Khan did business of more than 320 crores.
She started her career with the film Refugee in 2000 with Abhishek Bacchan. In that film she played the role of a pardanashin muslim girl of Pakistan. It was a big task on the part of Kareena to perform opposite stalwarts like Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Sunil Shetty and others, who were experienced actors and Kareena Kapoor rose up to the occasion and received good reception from all sections of the viewers. Within short time she adapted herself to different types of roles in films like Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai opposite Tushar Kapoor, Yaadein opposite Hrithik Roshan, Ashoka opposite Shahrukh Khan, to name a few.
After two three years her films started flopping, and she bounced back with an off-beat role in the film Chameli. She received the critics award for the best actress in filmfare. From that time she never looked back. Most of her films opposite Shahid Kapoor had been super hit including Chup Chup Ke, 36 China Town and Jab We Met.
She received the filmfare award for the best actress for her effortless performance in the film Jab We Met. The film was related to the romantic relation of her with Shahid Kapoor. All the songs in the film became super hit including “yeh ishq hai”, “nagara nagara”, “tujhse hi tujhse hi”, etc. At the same time her films opposite other stars were appreciated. She was successful opposite Salman Khan in the film Kyon Ki. She was sublime opposite Ajay Devgan in the film Omkara and Golmaal Returns.
In 2009, her film Kambakht Ishq opposite Akshay Kumar did medium business. But she had two mega releases for which the viewers are awaiting anxiously. One was Mai and Mrs Khanna opposite Salman Khan. The other was The Three Idiots opposite Amir Khan. While the first one did mediocre business, the second one broke all bollywood records to do more than Rs 200 crores business. Kareena Kapoor was sublime in the film in the role of the daughter of Boman Irani. She had already two releases in 2010, including Milenge Milenge and We Are Family. Her other film Golmaal 3 also did great business.
2011 had been a lucky year for Kareena Kapoor. Her film Bodyguard opposite Salman Khan had done business more than 140 crores and emerged as the greatest blockbuster of the year. She was successful in the next film Raone with Shahrukh Khan which also did business more than 100 crores.
2012 has a lot in store. On 21st September, her most awaited film Heroine is getting released. Madhur Bhandarkar had given a challenging role and Kareena Kapoor has a lot of expectations from the film. One factor is clear. Kareena Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor had maintained the stardom that existed in Raj Kapoor’s family for the last 60 years. So both Kareena Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor are required to continue the good work in the years to come.
With the success of Satyagraha, Kareena Kapoor has shown huge potential and she can still contribute in future. The viewers expect Kareena Kapoor to stand the competition created by beauty queen Katrina Kaif and steady performer Priyanka Chopra in the coming years and emerge victorious.
Happy birthday to Asha Bhosle.
The viewers of bollywood films and listeners of music all across the country wish happy birthday to Asha Bhosle on 8th September, 2015. She had remained a legend of legends in the field of music. She came to limelight in the 70s and 80s and ended up being the most successful female playback singer after Lata Mangeshkar.
In the 50s, Asha Bhosle had to face the competition from other singers dominating the bollywood playback industry like Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad Begum, Noorjahan, Suraiya, Geeta Dutt, Suman Kalyanpur, Sudha Malhotra and many other singers. Asha’s successful songs in the 50s include “mur murke na dekh” composed by Shankar Jaikishan in the film Shree 420, “aiye meherban” composed by OP Nayyar in the film Howrah Bridge, “accha ji mai hari” composed by SD Burman in the film Kala Pani, to name a few.
In the 60s, OP Nayyar backed Asha Bhosle, and her duets with Rafi in films like Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon released in 1963, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena released in 1962, Mere Sanam released in 1965, Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964, are considered milestones in Indian film music. Her famous duets with Rafi include “naznee bara rangeen hai wada”, “mai pyar ka rahi hoon”, “isharon isharon”, “diwana hua badal”, “bahut shukriya”, “zulf ki chayon me chehere ka ujala lekar”, etc. Few other composers only reposed their confidence on Asha like Khayyam who made her sing memorable songs in Raj Kapoor’s film Phir Subah Hogi, released in 1958. Ravi had given songs to Asha Bhosle in films like Waqt, Humraaz, Gumraah, etc. Some of her notable songs in those films include “in baharon me in fizayon me”, “wo subah kabhi to ayegi”, etc. Roshanlal Nagrath’s famous qawalli “na to karwaki talaash hai” in Barsaat Ki Raat in 1960 featured Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra. Shankar Jaikishan used Asha Bhosle in Rajender Kumar Vaijayantimala starrer Suraj, notably in the song “kaise samjhayun” which was a classical duet song between Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle. The list can go on.
In the 70s Asha Bhosle married RD Burman and it changed the career of the premier singer. Her westernized style of singing was used by RD to give her super hit songs like “piya tu ab tu aja” in the film Karwan, “dum maro dum” in the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna, “chura liya” in the film Yaadon Ki Baraat, etc. She sang in almost all the films where RD Burman composed music. Asha Bhosle had sung landmark qawallies opposite Mohd. Rafi like “hum kisi se kum nahi”, in the film Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahi, “pal do pal ka” in the film Burning Train, etc.
In the 80s, Asha Bhosle crossed new milestones by showing her skills in singing mujras in the film Umrao Jaan, composed by Khayyam. All the songs in the film including “dil cheez kya hai”, “justju”, etc., were appreciated by the critics. Her song “mera kuch saman” in Gulzar’s film Ijazat showed the versatile class of singing of Asha Bhosle. She received filmfare awards a number of times and she balanced the innovative style of singing of Kishore Kumar with her own innovation. It is not possible to cover the accomplishments of legendary singer Asha Bhosle in a single article as she had sung more than 25000 songs in hindi and other languages. Even her songs “amar din katena”, “aro dure cholo jai” in Uttam Kumar’s Bengali film Choddobeshi composed by Sudhin Dasgupta was worth mentioning. After marrying RD Burman, she had sung a number of Bengali songs composed by RD Burman. She had even sung ghazals with Ghulam Ali.
In 2012, she had remained one of the judges of Sony TV Indian Idol 6 Program along with the other judges Anu Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant. There also she did a great job. The listeners expect Asha Bhosle to continue the great work she had started more than 50 years back.
Salil Choudhury, noted scholar, poet, composer and literary giant was remembered on his death anniversary on 5th September, 2015. 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.
Indians have a separate religious sentiment associated with Lord Krishna, the renowned avatar of God Vishnu. The film Mahabharat made in 1965 is revisited on the eve of Krishna Janmashtami to be celebrated all over India tomorrow on 5th September, 2015.
The film Mahabharat was directed by director Babulal Mistry in 1965. Actor Abhi Bhattacharya played the celebrated role of Lord Krishna in the film. He had the challenging task of chanting the slokas from Bhagwat Geeta, which moulded Arjun in the battle of Kurukshetra and led to victory of the Pandavas. Very significantly Pradeep Kumar played the epic role of Arjun in the film. When Arjuna saw his own relatives in the other side of the battle, he got perplexed and thought whether to fight the battle or not. Lord Krishna explained to him that he must do his Karma and that too of a Kshatriya. In the entire Mahabharata what Lord Krishna had delivered later became learning texts for Hindus all over the world.
Actor Dara Singh played the role of Bhima in the film, while Jeevan played the role of Shakuni. Actress Padmini played the notable role of Draupadi in the film. Composer Chitragupt composed the music of the film, and the songs sung by Rafi in the film were very memorable.
In the late 80s and early 90s, eminent filmmaker BR Chopra made Mahabharata in Doordarshan, and as TV serial had remained extremely successful. Nitish Bharatdwaj played the role of Lord Krishna in the serial. All the episode related to the birth of Lord Krishna flabbergasted the audience. His mama’s role was played by Goga Kapoor. The viewers saw the battle between Lord Krishna and Mama Kanghs was very well depicted by BR Chopra.
Nitish Bharadwaj studied Bhagwat Geeta, very well and his performance in the battlefield of Kurukshetra where he persuaded Arjun to fight the battle had remained matchless. The character of Arjun was played by Feroz Khan. The pandavas were heavily dependent on Lord Krishna in their war against the kauravas. Lord Krishna only asked Bhima to hit Duryodhana on his uru, meaning the thigh, which led to his victory. Lord Krishna asked Arjun to throw his arrow at Karna when his chariot got stuck in mud and he tried to release it. The same Lord Krishna, provided cloth to Draupadi, at a time when Duryodhana asked Dushshashan to take away her clothes.
Lord Krishna is worshipped as God by numerous hindus all across the world, and the effort of filmmakers in reaching the epic related to Lord Krishna had always been considered noble and appreciated. Both the film Mahabharata and the serial Mahabharata should be restored.
Superstar Uttam Kumar was remembered on his birth anniversary on 3rd September, 2015.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.
Oscar winning director Satyajit Ray acknowledged the dynamic presence of the legendary superstar in Bengali films and made a film Nayak in 1966 based on the story of Uttam Kumar. His original name was Arun Kumar Chatterji, who was a clerk in Port Commission before joining Bengali films.
When he joined films with Drishtidaan in 1948, he had to struggle to create his image as against he established heroes like Asit Boron, Bikash Roy and others. In 1952, his film Basu Paribar struck at the box-office and he overtook Bosonto Choudhury, Asit Boron and became the leading superstar of Bengali films. All the qualities of a romantic hero was possessed by him, including a standard height, good complexion, manly voice, romantic hairstyle and unique dialogue delivery. Any dress suited the legendary superstar including Punjabi, dhoti, coat, Bengali dresses, etc.
He had acted in the films of all the legendary directors of the golden age including Satyajit Ray’s Nayak in 1966, Chiriakhana in 1967, Tapan Sinha’s Jhinder Bandi in 1961, Upahaar in 1955 and Jotugriha in 1964, Ajoy Kar’s Harano Sur in 1957, Saptapadi in 1961, Suno Bara Nari in 1960, Agradoot’s Bipasha in 1962, Surjo Toron in 1958, Agragami’s Sagarika in 1956, Shonkhobela in 1966, to name a few. Uttam Kumar acted opposite all the leading actresses of Bengali celluloid including Suchitra Sen, Arundhuti Debi, Manju Dey, Sabitri Chatterji, Supriya Choudhury, Mala Sinha, and others. His combination with Suchitra Sen had given everlasting classics and both of them still remains the most romantic pair in Indian silver screen.
Uttam Kumar’s films were based on rich literature including Tagore’s Khokababur Protyaborton, Subodh Ghosh’s Suno Bara Nari, Samaresh Bose’s Kuhak, Sorodindu Bondhopadyay’s Chiriakhana, Shankar’s Chourangi. The films were related to different types of stories including comedy stories, tragic stories, soft romantic stories, etc.
Uttam Kumar had acted in around 205 films (including bollywood films like Amanush, Anand Ashram, Choti Si Mulakat, Dooriyan, Kitaab etc., ) in a span of 35 years, and all his films had remained everlasting treasures. Out of his 205 films, around 37 of them ended up being blockbusters, around 50 were super hit films and around 50 were hit films. Actor Shatrughun Sinha in his interview before Bengali media had disclosed that when he was working in Pune Film and Television Institute, the graduates had unanimous view that Uttam Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar were the greatest superstars of celluloid and had Uttam Kumar acted in more number of bollywood films, he would have remained as great a legend as Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor.
Even the singers who had sung for him including Manna Dey, Shyamal Mitra, Hemanta Mukherjee, Manobendra Mukherjee, etc., agreed that they did not find any actor who was parallel to Uttam Kumar in giving lips in songs. He made the viewers feel that he only sang the songs.
Actor Shatrughun Sinha in his interview had said that during his student life in Pune Film and Television Institute, the upcoming actors used to debate about the charishma of Uttam Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. Although there was no unanimity about the finest actor among them, there was consensus about one fact had Uttam Kumar established himself in bollywood films by acting in more number of films, he would have been equally an international figure like Raj Kapoor or Dilip Kumar.
Articles after articles can be devoted to Uttam Kumar who was one –man –industry in Bengali films. His films should be revisited to create motivation for making better quality films in future.
The viewers of Bollywood films wish happy birthday to Pyarellal on 3rd September, 2015. Laxmikant Pyarellal had a very successful career in bollywood films. Their success in the film Parasmani and Dosti had proved the fact that they had emerged in the film arena to play a long innings. In the 70s they gave music in most of the successful films and the music was innovative too.
After the death of Jaikishan in 1971, Raj Kapoor used LP in the film Bobby in 1973. The songs “mai shayar to nahi” sung by Shailendra Singh, and songs sung by Chanchal had given them an opening for flourishing their musical careers as well. LP gave successful music in the film Aan Milon Sajna, where songs like “aan milon sajna” sung by Rafi and “acha to hum chalte hai” sung by Lata and Kishore became hits.
LP gave successful music in the film Amar Akbar Anthony, where Rafi’ssongs “parda hai parda”, “shirdiwali saibaba”, Kishore’s song “my name is Anthony Gonsalves”, etc., had catered to the popular taste of film music. LP gave successful music in Rishi Kapoor’s film Sargam, with hit songs of Rafi and Lata including “dafliwale”, “koel boli”, “ramjiki nikli sawari”, etc.
Even the songs in Rishi Kapoor’s film Karz, including “darde dil” sung by Rafi and “om shanty om” sung by Kishore gave super hit in the late 70s. Songs like “yeh dil tum bin kahin lagta nahi” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film Izzat, and “patta patta boota boota”, sung by Rafi and Lata, in Ek Nazar are quality compositions showing the class of LP.
LP also gave quality songs in the film Jeevan Mrityu, with Rafi’s song like “jhilmil sitaronka”, songs like “o sapno ka raja” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film Banphool.
LP in many cases compromised with the taste of mass audience in composing music in the late 70s if compared with the superlative class of music composed in the 60s. He even gave classical songs in the 60s like “roushan tumhi se duniya” and “woh jab yaad aye” sung by Rafi and Lata in the film Parasmani based on classical touch.
Even then the compositions of LP in the 70s are notable and should be preserved.
The viewers of Bollywood films wish happy birthday to Sadhna on 2nd September, 2015. Sadhna Shivdasani remained sizzling actress in the 60s. Born on 2nd September, 1941, her name was given by her father due to his fascination for the actress Sadhana Bose.
She acted in a Sindhi film Abana in 1958 where she played the role of the sister of the heroine in the film. Then Subodh Mukherjee did cast her opposite Joy Mukherjee in the film Love in Simla in 1959. The music was composed by Iqbal Qureshi and the songs of the film became big hits.
She acted in successful films one after the other after that including Parakh, Hum Dono, Prem Patra. In 1962, her film Ek Musafir Ek Haseena opposite Joy Mukherjee became musical blockbuster. Raj Khosla’s hit became known for the songs composed by OP Nayyar, including Rafi’s songs “aap yuhi agar”, “bahut shukhriya”, “phir tere shahar me”, etc. She also acted in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Asli Nakli in 1962, opposite Dev Anand which was also another musical hit. Shankar Jaikishan’s composition became super hit including Lata’s “tera mera pyara amar”, Rafi’s song “tujhe jeevan ki dor me”, etc.
Mere Mehboob was the greatest hit of Sadhna opposite Jubilee Kumar Rajender Kumar in 1963. The romantic film created the pair of Rajender Kumar Sadhna who remained sublime during the 60s. Naushad’s composition was brilliant including Rafi’s title song “mere mehboob tujhe meri muhobbat ki kasam”. The other super hit films of Sadhna opposite Rajender Kumar including Aarzoo and Aap Aye Bahar Aye.
In 1965 she was married to RK Nayyar. She became famous for her spooky performance in Raj Khosla’s suspense thrillers like Wo Kaun Thi, Mera Saya and Anita. For Wo Kaun Thi she received filmfare nomination for best actress.
Her other successful films including Dulha Dulhan opposite Raj Kapoor, Waqt opposite Sunil Dutt, Battamees and Raj Kumar opposite Shammi Kapoor, Ek Phool Do Mali opposite Sanjay Khan, etc. She faded away from the industry in the 70s, as her films Geeta Mera Naam, Ishq Par Zor Nahin, did not do adequate business. Her films should be preserved and restored.
Romantic film of Biswajeet’s had melodious songs of Mohammad Rafi.
Bengali actor Biswajeet Chatterjee after acting in hit films in Bengali namely Mayamrigo in 1960 and Dui Bhai in 1961 went to Mumbai to pursue his acting career there. He made his debut in the film Bees Saal Baad where Hemant Kumar was the producer of the film and also the music composer.
In a short period of time Biswajeet got roles to play in films of different producers and directors namely Nasir Hussain, Satyen Bose, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and others. Mohammad Rafi played a very important role in the success story of Biswajeet’s films because most of the films ended up being musical blockbusters.
In the film April Fool, released in 1964, Shankar Jaikishan’s composition for Rafi picturised on Biswajeet became super hit including “April Fool banaya”, and “aa gale lag ja”. In Shenai in 1964, Ravi’s composition for Rafi namely “na jhatko zulf se paani” became smash hit. Composer Hemant Kumar used Rafi in Biswajeet’s film Bin Badal Barsaat in 1963 in the song “dil me teri yaad sanam”.
Mere Sanam released in 1965 was the greatest hit film of Biswajeet where Rafi was unparallel. OP Nayyar’s stylish westernized compositions were given expression by Rafi in the songs “pukarta chala hoon mai”, “hue hai tumpe aashiq hum”, “humdum mere maan bhi jayo”, “thukre hai mere dilki ay jaan teri aansoon”, “haji baba”, “humne to dilko aapke kadmo pe rakh diya”, “roke kaibaar maine dilki umangko”, to name a few. After that Rafi and Biswajeet went on giving hits after hits.
In Do Dil, composer Hemant Kumar composed a soft romantic song for Rafi namely “tera husn rahe mera ishq rahe”, which touched the souls of music lovers. All the songs in the film Yeh Raat Phir Na Ayegi in the year 1966 became super hit. OP Nayyar’s composition in the song “phir milogi kabhi is baat ka yaada karlo” stands out. It was a duet where Rafi was as romantic as Asha Bhosle. Ravi composed excellent music in the film Sagaai, in 1966, where Rafi’s song “nay eh zameen thin a aasman tha” became immortal. LP composed super hit song in the film Aasra, in 1966, where Rafi’s romantic song “sokhiyan nazar me hai” stands out.
Laxmikant Pyarellal made the musiclovers spell bound in Night in London in 1967, with Rafi’s songs “night in London”, “o my love” and “bahosh –o –awaz me diwana”. Rafi was sublime in all the songs. LP continued the dream run in the film Jaal in 1967 with Rafi’s songs “akela hoon mai humsafar”, “mizaaz-e-garami”, etc. Shankar Jaikishan composed excellent music in the film Hare Kaanch Ki Churiya in 1967 with hit Rafi number namely “aye janeman” and “panchi re panchi”.
Madanmohan was excellent in the film Ghar Ka Chirag in 1967, where Rafi’s song “aaj rota hai kyun” stands out. In the film Vaasna in 1968, all the songs of Rafi composed by Chitragupt became super hit including “itni nazuk nabano”, “yeh parbaton ke dayre”, “aaj is darja pila do”. The Chitragupt and Rafi magic continued in Biswajeet’s next film Pyar Ka Sapna in 1969 in songs like “ay meri zindagi”, “tere chehere se haten ankh to”.
Rafi was the major contributor in Biswajeet’s other films like Do Kaliyan, Ishq Par Zor Nahi, Mai Sunder Hoon, Shararat, etc. In the 70s with the advent of action films Biswajeet faded away from the industry. All the giant composers of golden age namely Shankar Jaikishan, OP Nayyar, Ravi, Chitrgupt, Madanmohan, Laxmikant Pyarellal, Hemant Kumar and other composed music in the films of Biswajeet. Rafi’s songs in Biswajeet’s films require recognition and restoration