Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Manoj Kumar Turns 77

Manoj Kumar is better known as ‘Bharat’ in film industry for his passion for patriotic movies and playing the character by the same name in umpteen movies. Remember movies like UPKAAR, PURAB AUR PASCHIM, ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAAN. Besides patriotic movies Manoj Kumar did many entertaining movies too and the list is long WOH KAUN THI, PATTHAR KE SANAM, DO BADAN, NEELKAMAL, HIMALAYA KI GOD MEIN, GUMNAAM etc but somehow it was his patriotic image that has etched in the minds of film buffs. 

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On July 24 Manoj Kumar would turn 77, Raaga.Com wishes him many returns of the day and best regards for his upcoming movie on freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad.

Born as Harikishen Goswami, little Manoj Kumar adored Dilip Kumar and freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Call it destiny that when he became a celebrity he fulfilled both his ambition. He worked with his idol Dilip Kumar in two movies AADMI and KRANTI and as for freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, he penned a script on the legendary freedom fighter and himself portrayed Bhagat Singh in the movie SHAHEED

His initial years in Bollywood were full of struggle as to survive he even played a role of a 90-year-old beggar in a movie called FASHION, when his actual age was just nineteen years! That’s not all he even did ghost writing as he was a capable writer himself. 

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He first got his major break in a movie called KAANCH KI GUDIA, 1960 followed by few more unnoticeable movies but the movie that made him a star was Vijay Bhatt’s super hit movie HARIYALI AUR RASTA opposite the then hit actress Mala Sinha. Soon movies like HIMALAY KI GODH MEIN, WOH KAUN THI, DO BADAN, PATHER KE SANAM etc earned him good audience appreciation as the ‘Chocolate Romantic Hero’.

However more than acting it was his brilliance in writing and direction that he won real stardom. With his home production UPKAAR in 1967, he proved his excellence in filmmaking. The movie won six Filmfare awards out which Manoj Kumar won four as Best Movie Award, Best Director Award, Best Story award and Best Dialogue award. He also won National Award for best film. 

Besides patriotic movies he also tackled social issue with same intensity, his movie SHOR and ROTI KAPDA AUR MAKAN are the best example.

Anil Biswas Recalls How He Coaxed Mukesh To Sing The Hit Song Dil Jalta Hai - Part II

In the last issue you read how Mukesh won recognition with the super hit song Dil jalta hai… however few are aware that Mukesh had earlier declined to sing the song as he was reluctant to become a singer and aspired to be a hero. 

Read an interesting first hand encounter of music legend Anil Biswas and how he coaxed Mukesh to sing the super hit song Dil jalta hai… that made him a star singer!

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Anil Biswas once narrated this interesting anecdote. He said, “One day famous actor Motilal brought a young and handsome youth to my studio. He introduced the handsome gentlemen as Mukesh Chand Mathur, his cousin. He told me that the Mukesh was a good singer and idolizes K.L.Saigal, the great singer of the 40’s. So I asked Mukesh to display his skills. He closed his eyes and sang the classic K.L. Saigal number Jab dil hi toot gaya….I was left stunned listening to the young man’s voice because he had imitated K.L. Saigal to perfection. I immediately asked him to begin training under me from the next day. He nodded and the two left.

Next day I anticipated Mukesh to come to my studio, however to my dismay he did not turn up. Days passed on and my anticipation turned in to anger. After a week I rang up Motilal and expressed my agony. Motilal understood my annoyance and assured me to bring Mukesh to the office next day. 

Next morning as I sat composing a song with my musicians, I saw Motilal coming alone to my studio. I was extremely aggravated at Mukesh’s absence. Motilal pacified me and told me that Mukesh has refused to become a singer and insists on becoming an actor. I was distressed because I knew Mukesh was destined to become a singer and not an actor.

I was very angry and stormed into the bar where Mukesh used to usually drink in the evening. When Mukesh saw me he promised to come back the next day and sing the song but I had lost faith in him. Hence I took him to the studio and gave a shower to bring him to his senses. Peeved at my stern attitude Mukesh pleaded, ‘Anilda, pardon me I will sing tomorrow. But I said, “I don’t know anything you will sing today and now!” 

Anil Biswas laughed and said if I had not acted tough the world of music would not have been blessed by a singer like Mukesh.

Mehmood - The King Of Comedy

Mehmood, the name sends us in peals of laughter. He is acknowledged as The King Of Comedy in Indian Cinema because of his mastery and the art of mimicry which he used quite effectively in living his characters. July 23 marks the death anniversary of the legendary comedian, who was also a talented director and producer. Raaga.Com pays him homage and remembers the few movies that makes him immortal. 

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Mehmood hit stardom by winning his first Filmfare Award as Best supporting actor in DIL TERA DIWANA (1963). In this movie Mehmood was confronted against Shammi Kapoor, who was known for his command in comedy. Interestingly, Mehmood overshadowed Shammi Kapoor and went away stealing the prestigious Filmfare award. 

It was in this movie that Mehmood played his famous ’Hyderabadi’ character which appealed the viewers so much that later Mehmood repeated it in several movies. It was after this movie that rumours spread that leading ’stars ’ sidelined Mehmood as he stole the thunder! Shammi Kapoor also avoided Mehmood for many years and preferred Rajendranath instead as his comedian. It was only after eight to ten years later the two came together in TUMSE AACHA KAUN HAI

Besides Shammi Kapoor, Mehmood also overshadowed eminent comedian Kishore Kumar in the movie PYAAR KIYE JAA. Even today viewers cannot forget the classic scene in which Mehmood, who plays an aspiring film director, tries to convince his miser father (Om Prakash) to finance his film by narrating him the story. The ghostly tale that Mehmood narrates with sound effects and facial expression sent the viewers in peals of laughter. Yet again Mehmood won a Filmfare award, proving his mastery in art of comedy. 

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Readers would be surprised to know from 1967 to 1977, the entire decade Mehmood won Filmfare nomination consecutively ech year non stop. For readers information the nominations were 1967 - LOVE IN TOKYO; 1968 – MEHRBAN; 1969- NEEL KAMAL – and SADHU AUR SHAITAAN; 1970 - MERI BHABHI; 1971 - HUMJOLI; 1972 - MAIN SUNDER HOON ; 1973 - BOMBAY TO GOA; 1974 - DO PHOOL; 1975 - DUNIYA KA MELA and KUNWARA BAAP; 1976 - QAID and 1977 - SABSE BADA RUPAIYA

Among these movies Mehmood won awards for 1967 PYAR KIYE JAA; 1970 – WARIS; 1972 - PARAS and 1975 VARDAAN. 

Mehmood died on 23 July 2004, in his sleep in Pennsylvania, US, where he had gone for treatment of heart disease.