As Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) turns 87 today, here’s wishing him a great day, lots of happiness and good health!
Dilip Kumar is considered to be one of the greatest actors of Indian cinema. Starting his career in 1944, he has starred in some of the biggest commercially successful films from the late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. His performances have been regarded as the epitome of emoting in Indian Cinema. He was the first actor to receive a Filmfare Best Actor Award and holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for that category (8 filmfare awards for Best Actor and 19 Nominations , now isnt that something???) !!!
He has done a wide vareity of roles (be it romantic, comic, social, negative, historic) and is better known as the Tragedy King of Indian Cinema.
1. Ude jab jab zulfen teri (Naya Daur, 1957) : This was one of the biggest hits of the year and it grabbed 3 filmfare awards : Best Actor (Dilip Kumar), Best Music Director (O.P Nayyar) and Best Story (Akhtar Mirza). One of the most successful films of B.R Chopra, this movie was set in post-independence India where Industrialization is slowly creeps in and the impact it brings when the son of a rich landlord (Jeevan) begins operating a bus service in the town of Tangawallahs, who earn their livlihood transporting people from one place to another by Tangas(horse – carts).
I had seen this movie long long ago (around 12 years back) but I still remember quite a lot of it. To start with, it’s music. It has some great songs, be it Ude jab jab zulfen teri , O.P Nayyar’s signature song - Maang ke saath tumhara, Yeh desh hai veer jawaanon ka, Saathi haath badhana or Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jali Ka. Then the starcast – Dilip and Vaijanthi made a great pair (though originally Madhubala was signed to do the role of Rajni), Ajit, Jeevan, Leela Chitnis all were wonderful in this film.
2. Suhana safar aur yeh mausam haseen ( Madhumati, 1958) : Directed by Bimal Roy, this movie was one of the earliest movies that dealt with the concept of reincarnation. Though Dilip sahab didnt bag an award, the movie went on to win 8 filmfare awards – Best Movie, Best Actress (Vaijanthimala), Best Director (Bimal Roy), Best Music Director ( Salil Chowdhary), Best Supporting Actor (Jhonny Walker ), Best Art Direction (Sudhendu Roy), Best Payback Singer (Lata Mangeshkar) and Best Editing (Hrishikesh Mukherjee). This movie was a musical delight.
3. Do sitaron ka zameen par hai milan (Kohinoor, 1960) : The Tragedy King and the Tragedy Queen of Bollywood come together in this light-hearted fairy-tale movie. They both look so good in this song and it really feels great to see both of them smiling throughout. Music by Naushad is very melodious and along with this, Madhuban mein radhika nache re was very popular. Dilip Kumar went on to bag a filmfare ward for Best Actor once again for his role as Rajkumar Dhivendra Pratap Bahadur Chandrabhan.
4. Tu kahe agar (Andaz, 1949) : Three reigning stars of the era in the same movie caught in a love triangle!!! I dont remember the details, but had really enjoyed watching it. Dilip Sahab in a grey shade (wont say negative) – heroes those days were expected to sacrifice their love for their beloved’s happiness. But he pursues Nargis in this movie even after he learns that she’s engaged to Raj Kapoor.
5. Nain lad jaye hain (Ganga Jamuna, 1961) : Produced by Dilip Kumar himself, the film stars real life brothers Dilip Kumar and Nasir Khan as two brothers on opposing sides of the law – where Dilip Kumar plays a leader of a dreaded band of killer bandits and Nasir Khan, a Police officer (story sounds familiar???). The music of this film is by Naushad and the lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. It’s a beautiful composition. All the songs (Dagabaz Tori Batiyan, Dhoondho Dhoondhore Sajna, Do Hanson Ka Joda, Insaf Ki Dagar Pe, Jhanan Ghoonghar Baje) from this movie are really nice and they were big hits too.
6. Insaaf ka mandir hai ye (Amar, 1954) : I have always loved this song. Though it’s not my usual romantic, fun-filled type, it’s a great composition, beautifully rendered and brilliantly portrayed. I just came across a comment on youtube, a fact that never struck me as such but is really amazing :
“Given the essentially Hindu ethos of the song, when you consider the fact that ALL the key people involved in the song (Writer – Shakeel Badayuni, Music Director – Naushad, and both the actors) were muslims, you have to bow your head to this demonstration of true secularism.”
7. Pyaar kiya toh darna kya (Mughal-E-Azam, 1960) : Though this movie doesnt need an introduction, here are few facts (courtesy : wikipedia) :
It’s an Indian epic film produced and directed by K. Asif. With its lavish production, K. Asif’s magnum opus took nine years and Rs 10.5 million to finish. The film broke box office records in India when released and held the record for the highest grossing film ever until the 1975 film Sholay broke its record.
This was (counting Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas) the most expensive film ever made in Indian history. Tailors were brought from Delhi to stitch the costumes, specialists from Surat-Khambayat were employed for the embroidery, Hyderabad goldsmiths made the jewellery, Kolhapur craftsmen designed the crowns, Rajasthan ironsmiths crafted the weapons, and the elaborate footwear was ordered from Agra. For the battle sequence, 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 troops were used, many of them soldiers on loan from the Indian Army. Altogether the film cost Rs. 1.5 crores (38.29 crores in present terms).
It’s not just the movie that created a history, the song “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kiya” has an unusual history to it: it was written and re-written 105 times by the lyricist, Shakeel Badayuni, before the music director, Naushad, could approve of it; it was shot in the renowned Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors); and in those days of sound recording, editing and mixing, as there was no way to provide the reverberation of sound, Naushad had Lata Mangeshkar sing the song in a studio bathroom.
8. Saala main toh saab ban gaya (Sagina, 1974) : Not one of my best songs, but this song definitely pops up in my head when I think of Dilip Kumar.
9. Tere husn ki kya tareef karun (Leader, 1964) : An award winning performance by Dilip Kumar, yet again!!! This movie has some very romantic numbers : Aajkal Shauq-E-Deedar Hai, Ek Shahenshah Ne Banvake, Hameen Se Mohabbat
I was really confused as to which song to actually put in the list because I like all the songs in this movie. But then felt, as long as I mention them, it doesnt matter
10. Imli ka boota (Saudagar, 1991) : One of his later successes, this movie brought back Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar together after almost three decades (they last appeared together in Paigham in 1959). It’s a very cute song and feels so good to see both of them so happy and cheerful singing “imli ka boota beri ka ped, imli khatti meethi ber” at this age. And their chemistry is rocking!!!
As a youth, Manoj Kumar admired Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar so much that he decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip’s character in Shabnam (1949). Though it sounds little wierd (no offense meant), I wonder if anybody else has gone to the extent of changing his(her) name and making a mark in the same industry as Manoj Kumar did. If we look at it in one way, I think it’s the biggest tribute one actor could pay to another actor.
He’s definitely a great combination of good looks and great performance. An actor who everyone looks up to. Happy Birthday Dilip Sahab!!!
Tags: Amar, Ganga Jamuna, Happy BIrthday Dilip Kumar, Kohinoor, Leader, Madhubala, Madhumati, Manoj Kumar, Meena Kumari, Mughal-E-Azam, Nargis, Nasir Khan, Naya Daur, Raj Kapoor, Raj Kumar, Sagina, Saudagar, Vaijanthimala