Posts Tagged ‘Sharada (1957)’

My Tribute to Raj Kapoor

June 1, 2010

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.
 

Ten of my Favourite Meena Kumari Songs

March 31, 2010

31st March marks the death anniversary of  Mahjabeen Bano aka Meena Kumari aka the Tragedy Queen of Hindi Film Industry, who not only portrayed tragic roles in movies, but led a tragic life in real as well. With very fond memories, here is a list of songs through which she flirts, romances and cries—just, generally, keeps me glued to the screen admiring her but wondering about her fate at the same time.

1. Ajeeb daastaan hai yeh (Dil Apna Preet Parai, 1960) : This must be one of the most popular songs even till this day.  The picture of Meena Kumari singing this lovely number when she realizes that the man she loves is committed to someone else, is forever etched into my memory. And it has gorgeous Nadira in it too 🙂

2. Koi pyaar ki dekhe jaadugari  (Kohinoor, 1960) : A romantic duet filled with excitement, thrill and magic of being in love where she lip-syncs with her Knight in Shining armour after he rescues her from the clutch of wicked Jeevan.

3. O raat ke musafir (Miss Mary, 1957) :  I saw her in a light-hearted role for the first time ever in this movie. For a change she’s showing attitude and not crying her heart out…and I personally feel that she’s enchanting in this avataar. Wish she had done more roles like this.

4. Koi bata de dil hai jahan (Main Chup Rahungi, 1962) : This is such a sweet, innocent and romantic song. As the name of the movie suggests, it’s weepy Meena again, but it had some wonderful songs – Koi bata de, Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ae dil kabhi toh koi aayega. Apart from the story, which gets highly melo-dramatic at one point of time – but thankfully doesn’t get boring because of the child, this movie had such a strikingly good looking couple, amazing performance and like I said before, very melodious songs.

5. Chalte chalte yunhi koi (Pakeezah, 1972) : Though I like Yeh mausam hai aashiquana better, this song finds its place in this list because this is one of Meena’s signature songs. And apart from the songs and Meena’s performance in this movie, there’s one more thing that became very popular with this movie- Aap ke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega maile ho jayenge

In 1952, on the sets of one of her films, Meena Kumari fell in love with and married film director, Kamal Amrohi. Soon after marriage, Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari produced a film called Daera (1953), which was based on their love story. They also planned another film, Pakeezah. However, it took sixteen years (1956 to 1972) before Pakeezah reached the silver screen. (The scenes in Pakeezah’s popular song, Inhi logon ne, were originally filmed in black and white, and were later reshot in color.)
Initially, after its release in February 1972, Pakeezah opened to a lukewarm response from the public; however, after Meena Kumari’s death less than two months later, people flocked to see it, making it a major box-office success.

6. Na jao saiyaan (Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam, 1962) : This is another signature song of hers. There’s actually a tie between this and Piya aiso jiya mein. The role of Chhoti Bahu, an alcoholic wife, is one of her best performances ever.

Upperstall wrote about her performance in Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam :

While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations and sexual desire. And later on when she has become a desperate alcoholic, you cannot help but cry with her in the sequence where she pleads with her husband to stay with her and then angrily turns on him to tell him how she has prostituted her basic values and morals to please him. However the common factors between the actress’s life and Chhoti Bahu are too dramatic to be merely coincidental – The estranged marital relationship, the taking of alcohol, turning towards younger male company, the craving to be understood and loved – all elements evident in Meena Kumari’s own life

7. Kabhi toh milegi (Aarti, 1962) : Its such a haunting melody! Lovely composition, inspiring lyrics, great voice and Meena’s screen presence – it has such a lingering effect, it just keeps playing in my mind over and over again long after I listen to it.

This song always reminds me of Rahe na rahe hum from Mamta and vice versa…saw somebody else’s comment on youtube stating the same. I’m feeling good to know that I have a company here.

8. O chaand jahan woh jaye (Sharada, 1957) : One of my favourite Lata-Aasha duets picturized on serious Meena and playful Shyama. Love their expressions…I find Shyama more dominating here, her lines and expressions are better. But since this also features Meena, I just needed an excuse to put this song here 🙂

9. Tu ganga ki mauj main jamna ka dhara (Baiju Bawra, 1952) : Though she had done few movies as a child artist followed by some mythological movies, it was this film that gained her fame and established her as an actor.  When I had first seen this song during my school days, I almost couldn’t recognize her, she looked so young!

10. Rang aur noor ki baaraat (Gazal, 1964) : I couldn’t possibly end this post with everything happy and romantic and sweet…I had to include a number that had the sorrow factor and this tops my list! Though the song is in a male voice, Meena remains the primary focus throughout…one look at her – those eyes brimming with tears, all my heart goes out to her.

When Meena Kumari was born her family was going through a financial crisis. She was forced to act in movies at the age of 7 to support the family due to which she lost out on her carefree childhood days. Later in life she fell in love and got married to Kamal Amrohi, but that didn’t last for long and they got divorced which led her into a depression. She craved for love and care all her life and this is very evident in her poetry. She found solace in heavy drinking. Her health began deteriorating and at the age of 40 she died of liver cirrhosis.

May her soul rest in peace!!!!

I just realized that I have 2 songs referring to Chaand (O raat ke musafir, O chaand jahan woh jaaye) in my list already….and the other two with Meena-Chaand combo that come to my mind are : Chaand jaane kahan kho gaya, Ruk jaa raat theher jaa re chanda….any other songs you can think of?