My Tribute to Raj Kapoor

Raj Kapoor, also known as the show-man of the millenium, was a legendary Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi films. As 2nd June marks his death anniversary, this is a small tribute to this great man from my side. May his soul rest in peace!

Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits.  I had heard somewhere that Raj Kapoor still remains an Institution for Directors, an Inspiration for Music Directors and an Idol for all the actors.

I have mixed feelings about his portrayal of a tramp-like figure in many of his movies, who, despite adversity, was usually cheerful and honest (I adore his character in Anari, but then it gets on to my nerves as well at times coz it’s so out-of-this-world and I find it pretty repetitive too). I love him better in other roles like Chori Chori, Bewafa, Sharda etc.

With all due respect, and like I always keep saying, no matter how much I like and respect Raj Kapoor as an Actor and a film-maker, I avoid re-watching his movies. They hit me too hard emotionally, morally and socially.

But he really had a taste in music. All his movies had fantastic songs. And without getting into further details, let me list some of his songs that I like the most – there are many but these are the first ten that came to my mind :

1. Mera joota hai japani (Shree 420, 1955) : Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in this blockbuster. All the songs from this film were big hits  esp. Dil ka haal sune dilwala, Ichak dana beechak dana, Mud mud ke na dekh, Pyar hua ikraar hua, Ramaiya vastavaiya. Raj Kapoor’s display about the corruption in society with the adaptation of mannerism of Charlie Chaplin amused the viewers. And this is one of his signature songs.

2.  Aawara hoon (Awara, 1951) : This movie was based on the theme that human being is a victim of circumstances. It’s not necessary that a barriseter’s son grows up to become a barrister and a theif’s son a theif. I like the Dum bhar jo udhar as well, but this is another signature songs of his.

3. Woh chaand khila woh taare hanse (Anari, 1959) : All the songs in this movie are amazing. Kisi ki muskurahaton pe and Sab kuchh sikha humne are more of typical Raj Kapoor songs, but I somehow like this one better. The way he stands with the flower in his hand, trying to put it on Nutan’s hair, the innocence on his face and dont know what to do next expression. – simply superb!!!Only the opening verse has Raj singing just one line, the rest of the song is Nutan’s but he’s still so dominantly present throughout the song.

4. Ae sanam jisne tujhe (Diwana, 1967) : One of my favourite songs…there’s something very innocently true and cute about this song. The lyrics, music and perfect rendition  go hand in hand so well.

5. Jaane kahan gaye woh din (Mera Naam Joker, 1970) : Though Jeena yahan marna yahan and Aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo were more popular, it’s this song that gives me goose-bumps everytime I listen to it. What a great composition this was! It more or less summarizes the story of the movie. I usually end up with tears in my eyes when this song ends.

6. Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum (Chori Chori, 1956) : My all time favourite movie of Raj Kapoor and the only movie of his that I love watching again and again. This was another musical blockbuster – all the songs were superb.

7. Dil matwala lakh sambhala (Bewafa, 1952) : This movie is one of my recent discoveries and I have fallen in love with this love-triangle. I am usually not very fond of movies with tragic endings…I prefer light-hearted, romantic,  timepass movies, but this one’s an exception. Serious as it is, it’s a very beautifully handled story laced with pretty songs – and it feels rather good to hear somebody other than Mukesh and Manna Dey singing for Raj Kapoor. Talat Mehmood was amazing in this one.

8. Sajan re jhooth mat bolo (Teesri Kasam, 1977) : This is a gem of a song from the awesome fivesome – Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, Shailendra, Shankar and Jaikishen. These five have given us so many unforgettable numbers,  this being one of them – with a spiritual touch.

9. Jap re preet ki mala (Sharada, 1957) : This movie had a power-packed performance and I liked most of the songs – O chaand jahan woh jaye (which I had mentioned about in Meena Kumari special post), then this one where Raj Kapoor tries to woo lovely Meena Kumari and there’s one more cute song in this film – Lehraye jiya, picturised on gorgeous Shyama. But guess I’ll keep that for Shyama special post. But storywise, I actually didn’t know how to react to this movie, I have been in a state of shock ever since I have seen this film. Had wanted to do a post on it for Meena Kumari’s death anniversary but couldn’t. Let me see if I can review this film some time soon.

10. Masti bhara hai samaan (Parvarish, 1958) : This is such a care-free romantic duet. I love everything about this song – Raj Kapoor, Mala Sinha, Lata and Manna Dey’s rendition, Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics, Dattaram’s composition and it’s picturisation.

I have this thing for the Kapoor men, no matter how much I try (not that I want to) but I just can’t dislike them. I simply love all of them – right from Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor!
It happens to be Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s death anniversary today. Thanks to Vividh Bharati and Yunus Khan  for bringing it to my notice. I was tuned into Vividh Bharathi on my way back home and when Awara hoon played on Aaj Ke Funkaar (@ 9:30), I was wondering why they were doing a Raj Kapoor special program today itself. And then Yunus said that this episode was dedicated to a writer, this made me think it was probably dedicated to  Shailendra and then he finally revealed that it was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, who he was talking about. Though unknowingly, I had already included songs from some of his films (films that he has written) in my list – Awaara, Shri 420, Mera Naam Joker. And I am glad I had done that.
And it was Prithviraj Kapoor’s death anniversary on 29th May but I couldn’t do a post on him  😦 That’s on my to-do-list for this weekend.


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17 Responses to “My Tribute to Raj Kapoor”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    At the risk of being considered an iconoclast, I must admit to being not much of an RK fan – his films tend to depress me, and that ‘lovable tramp’ image irritates the hell out of me! But give me a Chori Chori, and I’ll rewatch it any day! Love that film, and wish there were more of its like around. 🙂

    Great list of songs, though. Another RK song I really, really like is the hauntingly beautiful Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi from Phir Subah Hogi.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I am not very fond of the Chaplin image myself, I find it irritating as well…but I like most of his movies, just that I can’t bring myself to rewatch them.
      In fact, I recently discovered that I actually like his movies…I was contemplating on why I don’t have many of his movies in my collection. Looking back, I realized that I like most of them that I have seen, but depressing as they are, I don’t feel like watching them again. Loved him in the last two movies of his that I have seen recently – Bewafa and Sharada . But no matter how his movies or roles were, all of them had lovely songs.
      I haven’t seen Phir Subah Hogi yet but I love the song.

  2. Sharmi Says:

    I love the Kapoors…I just looove Them….I think Raj was sexy, Shammi was flamoyant and stylish, Shashi was cute and the others were great….because Prithiviraj was soo great!! In Awara he looks so handsome man!!! The current Kapoors don’t have the same charm as their fathers or grandfathers!!! Lovely lovely post!!!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks Sharmi!!!! I haven’t come across many people who love Raj Kapoor here on my blog.
      I love the Kapoors too, all of them!!! I find Prithviraj very goodlooking. Raj Kapoor is quite a handsome man but the kind of roles he has done, which are usually very serious and tramp-like, don’t usually flaunt his looks. I was actually whistling at him in Bewafa …I found him very sexy in that. Now, I’m getting a feeling that I like men more when they do wicked roles 😉
      Shammi Kapoor is my first love. I simply adore him.
      I haven’t seen much of Shashi, but he has something very charming about him.
      Rishi is my favourite from the next generation…God, I can just keep looking at him the whole day!
      And as everybody has figured out by now, I love Ranbir too 🙂

  3. harvey Says:

    I share dustedoff’s emotions here again!
    But unlike her, I do like his films. I just don’t like his acting. But I simply loved him in Teesri kasam! “Sajanwa bairi hogaye hamar” moves me every time I hear it. Chori Chori was film one just couldn’t dislike. Each song is a gem!
    One thing which I didn’t like about his latter films was the sleazy way he depicted his heroines. For me it didn’t look sexy or erotic it was plain sleazy.
    And before he put on weight (mid 50s) he had a certain look which was pleasing for the eye.
    But you are right the music in his films were always melodious and Awara and Shree 420 are great films, though the Chaplinesque hero can get on my nerves.
    His film Baanwre nain also has good songs. my fav is ‘Khayalon mei kisi ke’.
    ‘Tum hi tum ho mere jeevan me’ from Ek Dil sau Afsane is also song which I like a lot!
    Thanks for reminding the different anniversaries and for the wonderful post

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I’m glad that you liked the post. Tum hi tum ho mere jeevan mein is a lovely song. I like Awara, and inspite of it being serious, I have seen it a couple of times already. Love all the Kapoors in it – Prithviraj and Raj and Shashi.
      I had seen Shree 420 as a kid. I don’t think I understood the movie, because usually I don’t forget the story but this movie is an exception. I rememeber watching it but have no clue as to what happened in it. I really need to watch it again.
      Teesri Kasam is an amazing movie with such wonderful songs. I like him as an actor, it’s just that the too much of Chaplinesque portrayal gets on to my nerves. And like you said I too don’t like the way he depicted his heroines in his latter films. they really looked cheap and sleazy.

  4. Nasir Says:

    I’m not an R.K. fan, but it has to be admitted that music was his forte and this perhaps made most of his songs a popular hit. He took personal interest in the recording of his film songs and was himself a good singer as is evident from his earliest movies. Having said that I can safely say that I could watch him in JAGTE RAHO and ANARI any number of time.

    The following are my favourite songs featuring RK:

    1. DIL KO TERI TASVEER SE BEHLAAYE HUWE HAIN – from Daastan (1950).

    2. YEH SAAWAN RUT HUM AUR TUM from the above movie.

    3. TERA KAAM HAI JALNA PARWAANE – from Paapi (1953).

    4. JAP JAP JAP JAPU RE from Sharda.





    9. DUNIYA BANAANE WAALE – Teesri Kasam.

    10. TUM AGAR MUJHKO NA CHAAHO – Dil hi to hai.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Anari was the second Raj Kapoor movie I saw (first one being Chori Chori) and I was totally floored by it. I haven’t seen Jaagte Raho fully, have just caught a glimpse here and there on tv, so haven’t actually understood the movie.
      You have listed such lovely songs out here. Unfortunately, I have seen only Anari, Teesri Kasam and Dil Hi toh Hai among these.
      Truly, music was his forte 🙂

  5. Richard S. Says:

    It’s very nice to see a tribute to Raj Kapoor. There are several Raj Kapoor movies that I count among my favorite movies of all time: Shree 420 (which is in my top five), Chori Chori, Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (also in my top five), and Mera Naam Joker. (And I think I would probably add Awara to the list if I ever got around to seeing the whole film rather than just the songs. 🙂 )

    One thing I love about several of Raj Kapoor’s movies is that they contain strong social messages and sometimes a scathing critique of the capitalist system but at the same time manage to retain the highest entertainment value, with such great song and dance.

    And some Raj Kapoor films do contain the greatest dancers! This is obvious re. his films with Padmini or Vyjayanthimala, but I was surprised by the fantastic dancing in Chori Chori – i.e., by Kamala Lakshman and Sai-Subbulaxmi – which was just sort of snuck in without any spotlighting.

    I’d also say that my favorite Raj Kapoor films are among the few films that I have watched more than once. (I don’t often watch a movie more than once, though I’ve watched some movie songs hundreds of times)… I’ve seen Shree 420, Mera Naam Joker and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai all twice and then some (watching some sections of these films at least a couple more times). And each time, I find something more to appreciate.

    Anyway, I’ll stop there lest I monopolize your comments section, but just one more thing: I’d add to the best songs list several songs from Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (most of them in fact). And also the Lata Mangeshkar songs in Barsaat…

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Raj Kapoor’s movies contain strong social messages and sometimes a scathing critique of the capitalist system – This is the very reason that I cannot bring myself to watch most of his movies more than once.
      but at the same time manage to retain the highest entertainment value, with such great song and dance. – Very true. Almost every song was a gem!
      I completely agree to you when you say there’s something more to appreciate in his movies each time you see them.
      It’s a such pleasure to read your comments, you don’t have to worry about monopolizing the section. You are most welcome to write as much as you can 🙂
      Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai and Barsaat have nice songs too, but it’s really surprising that when I sit down to make a list, I have ten songs in less than 2-3 minutes. And everytime I come up with a list here, I realize that I missed out on some of the best songs and I keep wondering and ask myself – how could I?

  6. bollywoodeewana Says:

    Such a lovely post, i ‘m a big Raj Kapoor fan though in honesty i’m still discovering more of his works so far i’ve seen Andaz, barsaat, awaara & sangam (my fave Raj Kapoor film and one i can rewatch over and over again) plus i just love all the 80’s films he directed like Prem Rog , Ram teri ganga maili, etc. I have a long way to go and apart from the songs of Sanagam which i love another one that i associate with him is dum dum diga diga from Chhalia

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      You have seen some of the best movies of his! Try out some more.
      I love Premrog too but I have never cared much for Ram Teri ganga Maili – honestly speaking, I haven’t seen the whole movie yet. It has beautiful songs and Rajeev should have been an enough temptation to watch it, but I really didn’t like the way he depicted his heroine here. Like Harvey mentioned above, it was sleazy. And that’s been putting me off from watching it.
      Sangam , I don’t know I didn’t like it as much as other movies of his. It’s been more than a decade since I saw it, guess I’ll look at it in a different light if I see it now. Chhalia was good, but again it’s been a long time since I saw this as well, so don’t remember much of it in detail.

  7. moviecraze Says:

    archana …I DIDN’T know u r such a gr8 fan of raj kapoor….i thought it was rajesh khanna…he he….ya i like sashi kapoor more than anyother kapoors….n now ranvir…… OK tell bout ur nxt fav bollywood actor of 90s till now…

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I do like all the Kapoors. Rajesh Khanna was my first crush and I still like him a lot but it’s Shammi Kapoor whom I love more than anybody else.
      I hadn’t come beyond early 80’s here on my blog until Raajneeti.
      I don’t think I’ll be reviewing many of new films here, at least not anytime soon 🙂 I enjoy wathcing and writing about old films more, but again you never know. The response I’ve been getting for Raajneeti, I might as well start reviewing both old and new movies parallely 😉

  8. yves Says:

    I for one don’t mind being considered as an RK fan, even if I know about his weaknesses and obsessions. I mean, okay, let’s compare him to today’s artists who have to bare goodness knows what in order to gather a scant bit of attention…
    So when you write: “I avoid re-watching his movies. They hit me too hard emotionally, morally and socially”, I have decided that you take that as so much praise!! Am I right?

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Hey, welcome on board and thanks for dropping by 🙂
      Let’s not compare him to today’s artists, I don’t want to insult him 😉
      Though I am not a very big RK fan (I like his brother better) I still am very fond of him and can’t bear to see him being compared.
      He was a legend – a great filmmaker and an amazing actor with such wonderful taste in music.
      Yes, that’s a praise, an appreciation when I say his movies hit me hard and leave me emotionally and socially depressed and drained out – it happens because his movies are so good, so well made.
      You have a great blog out there!

  9. Watcher Says:

    hJaane kahan gaye woh din is so haunting…the lyrics, the music, RK’s expression, the joker doll…as you said it is a song that makes one cry. RK’s sense of music was superb. I also like: Zinda hoon is tarah from Aag; Dost dost no rah from Sangam; Laga Chunri mein daag from Dil Hi to hai. Though RK’s pairing with Nargis is legendary, I find enthralling his chemistry with Nutan. Great Post.


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