Raaj Kumar, The Betaaj Badshah Of Bollywood - Part I

True to his name Raaj Kumar, the Betaaj Badshah of Bollywood from the 60’s to 90’s dominated Indian Cinema with his majestic personality and his mind blowing dialogues. 

Remember his super hit dialogue in Kamal Amrohi’s mega hit PAKEEZAH - "Aapke paon dekhe. Bahut haseen hain. Inhe zameen pe mat utariyega. Maile ho jaayenge (Your feet are beautiful. Do not let them on the floor. They will get soiled)." Or his other peerless dialogue from B.R.Chopra’s super hit film WAQT - "Jinke ghar sheeshey ke hote hain woh doosron ke ghar pe patthar nahin phenka karte (Those whose houses are made of glass don't throw stones)."

Listen to Raj Kumar on Raaga.com

3rd July marks the death anniversary of the great actor. Raaga.Com remembers him and enlightens the younger generation about this legendary actor. 

Born as Kulbushan Pandit on 8 October 1926 he rechristened himself as Raaj Kumar after he quit his lucrative job as sub-inspector of Mumbai police in the late 40’s and plunged into the uncertain profession of cinema, thanks to passion for acting. 

After a lukewarm start in Bollywood, Raaj Kumar hit Jackpot when he got the role of Nargis’s husband in Mehboob Khan’s Oscar-nominated 1957 film MOTHER INDIA. Interestingly the role was actually written for thespian Dilip Kumar, who was suppose to play a double role in the movie that of Shamu, Nargis husband and Birju, her rebellious son. But Dilip Kumar declined the role as he felt the audience might not accept him as Nargis’ son. Hence came in Raaj Kumar in the role of Shamu and Sunil Dutt for Birju. 

Listen to Raj Kumar on Raaga.com

The movie brought Raaj Kumar fame as an accomplished actor and he became a sought after actor. But still stardom eluded him. The next movie that won him critical acclaim as an actor par excellence was DIL EK MANDIR in which he played the poignant character of a cancer patient who is on the verge of death. The role had great intensity and Raaj Kumar brought out the emotions and the pathos of the character exceptionally well through his gloomy eyes and his husky baritone. 

The movie won Raaj Kumar his first Filmfare award as Best Supporting Actor and established him as a star to beacon. 

NOTE: In the next issue read Raaj Kumar’s raise to stardom