Hum aaj kahin dil kho baithe…

Exploring the complex nature of a friendship between a man and woman wasn’t the characteristic of many films of the golden era. One such film, however, tread in the territory and did quite well – Andaz – which featured Nargis, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.

First a little backgrounder to explain what I am talking about – Dilip Kumar befriends Nargis, who is the daughter of a rich businessman and starts visiting her frequently and predictably, falls in love with her. Nargis, meanwhile, is oblivious to Dilip’s feelings but the twist arrives in the form of Raj Kapoor, who, unbeknownst to Dilip, is Nargis’ fiance. The look and feel of the film is very western, very unlike other films of the period. It aims to explore the dynamics of a platonic relationship between men and women.

Moving on, this is the only film  that Raj Kapoor and  Dilip Kumar acted in together.  I suppose they emerged as  actors of very different kind of  personalities – with Kapoor  playing a naive man (Shree  420, Anari) and Kumar playing the role of a lost-in-love kind of man  (Devdas, Madhumati) in films following this one. Maybe  there was also the fact that either man was entirely capable of carrying a film on their own, very capable shoulders.

We also know that Mukesh’s voice was perfectly suited to Kapoor’s and Md. Rafi to Kumar’s, for this film the director decided to switch the playback singers. It was something Kumar had objected to but all’s well that ends well! In fact, Mukesh seemed to have come into his own with this film, especially since many believed he imitated K L Saigal’s voice for a long time. Good for him 🙂

Speaking of imitating styles, for one of the songs, ‘Uthaye ja unke sitam’, Naushad told Lata to imitate Noorjehan. Apparently, he said,   “Achha Latabai Ab Apni Pakistani Behen Ko Yaad Kar
Ke Yeh Gaana Gayiega.

Beautifully said, don’t you think?

Hawa mein udta jaye, mora lal dupatta malmal ka!

Although malmal is strictly out of vogue these days, just for this song I wouldn’t mind donning a complete velvet dress 🙂

P.S: Please note the correction here – malmal is muslin, not velvet! Madhulika – thank you!

I speak to you ladies and gentlemen, about none other than Barsaat (of which we have been having a little too much in Delhi these days). The film was a blockbuster, as we call them these days, but what else could it POSSIBLY be, when it starred the oh-so-in-love Raj Kapoor and Nargis?

Such a hit was Barsaat, that RK earned enough money to buy a studio of his very own – RK Studios. And now an interesting story behind that – about how the RK emblem was created. No idea what I am talking about?

Well, look at the image below:

This is a scene from the film itself – where RK is stringing the violin in the  typical Hindi-film-hero way, slow and deliberate, pining for Nargis’ love while  she, guided by the soulful music runs towards him. Very intense, indeed. It’s  one of the most iconic scenes of all times, I think (there’s their pyaar hua  iqraar hua scene too). Anyway, I suppose this scene became so etched in RK’s  mind that he decided to turn it immortal – as the emblem of RK Studios.

So now if you see the emblem it looks something like this–> 

Pretty Damn Cool, I say!

By the way, he bought this studio when he was just 24, making him the youngest film director of those times. Ambition, good looks and Nargis – I wonder if there’s anything he didn’t have.

But if we are going to talk about good looks, Premnath (the other actor in  the film) can’t be left too behind. Just LOOK at him – wow.

Now a little bit of trivia – sadly unrelated to Premnath. After Aag, RK  wanted composer Ram Ganguli to write music for the film but Lata  Mangeshkar apparently found him offering the same tunes to someone else!  Needless to say, Ganguli was dropped. Sad.

Then came Jaikishan, who offered to take up the offer only if his friend,  Shankar could come on board too. RK complied, and therein lies the history  of one of the most prolific music directors of all times. The stories films tell!

Oh, guess what, I DO have Premnath-related trivia! 🙂

Thanks to this blog, I came to know that RK and Premnath were good friends and RK would often end up at his house.  It seems RK had a thing for Premnath’s sister (well if she was even half as good looking as he, I don’t blame RK). Funny thing is, RK actually ended up marrying his sister, Krishna.

Another very well written review of the film says that before Premnath turned to his method-actor type villainous roles, this film was his first taste of success following which he went on to become a leading actor in many films with stars like Meena Kumari and Madhubala.

Lata Mangeshkar, who was a newbie at the time, got a big break (not the first one) because she got to sing for both Nargis and Nimmi (the other actress opposite Premnath – lucky girl).

Raj Kapoor also signed Shailendra to pen songs for the film – at a starting salary of Rs. 500. (That was huge then.)

Well, that’s all from me for now, hope you had a good read, Cheers!

Jekyll & Hyde – Bollywood Ishtyle

So I came across this very interesting film because of this song that I really, really like. It goes like this: ‘Dil ki girah khol do, chup na baitho, koi geet gao’. It is from a film called ‘Raat aur Din’ and possibly the first and the only film (as far as I know) based on the phenomena of split personality disorder.

And none other than the talented Nargis played the “double” role. This picture on the left is that of a dutiful wifey called Baruna.

By day, she was the demure wife and by night, she transforms into the wild Peggy (below) who partaaays all night long. Or something like that.

And the picture on the right is that of Peggy, her other character who is a stylish, chic fun-loving lady. It is this character that sings the song I just mentioned, too. Notice how different the two look?

This film was Nargis’ last because she evidently wanted to settle down after her quite-a-stint in B’wood. Oh, and guess what? She was pregnant with Sanju baba during the shoot of this film too.

I also got another mazedaar and masaledaar trivia from one DustedOff.wordpress, who mentions that the film seems to take inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Marnie (1962) that also follows the same line – a schizophrenic girl who is Marnie by the day and Peggy (yep, same name) by night.

Lovely Nargis received the National Film Award for the Best Actress – the first actress to win this particular award. She also bagged a Filmfare nomination for the Best Actress for this film.

Another awesome blogger Memsaab, at memsaabstory.wordpress.com mentioned that she rather resembles Elizabeth Taylor, and you know something? It’s true! She does, she does!

See that pic? Doesn’t she? A little heavier eye makeup and there you go! An excellent eye, I must say…

Anyhoo.. that’s it for now, be back later! Enjoy..