Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Caravan- Revisiting after 50 Years


The musical superhit film directed by Nasir Husain featured Asha Parekh, Jeetendra, and Aruna Irani completed 50 years on 5th Nov 2021 and was a super hit in India. You would be surprised to note that it was a super-duper hit in China when it was released eight years after its Indian release. In fact, Caravan, believe it or not, sold 19 million tickets in India – and 100 million tickets in China! One hundred million broke all records in China for a foreign film. One of the earliest Indian films to earn the big bucks in Chinese domestic markets was Raj Kapoor's 1951 Indian classic Awara. released in 1955.

Caravan‘s amazing success in China was matched only thirty years later by Nasir Husain's nephew, Amir Khan with his 3 Idiots.

The movie’s storyline was nothing great. A runaway heiress joins a passing caravan of gypsies, to escape the villain who murdered her father, then falls in love with the leading man, who eventually rescues her from the villain, etc, etc. The film's plot was loosely inspired by the 1953 film Girl on the Run, a little-known crime drama set against the backdrop of a carnival burlesque show, which was changed to a gypsy show in Caravan.

Aruna Irani has a significant role in this film.The traveling troupe featured Madan Puri as the manager and a young Aruna Irani as the star performer Nisha. In fact, Irani nearly stole the show from the film’s heroine with her animated performances in the songs 'Chadhti Jawaani Meri Chaal Mastani', 'Dilbar Dil Se Pyaare' and ‘Ab Joh Mile Hain Toh’.

The screenplay of the film was provided by Bhowmick, but the treatment of the film was all Husain, who turned it into the entertainer that it was. According to the film's star Asha Parekh in her biography The Hit Girl, Caravan happened accidentally.

The highlight of the film was its music, composed by R D Burman, and lyrics by Mazrooh Sultanpuri. In Caravan, there was a song for every mood. There was the soft romantic duet ‘Kitna Pyaara Waada’, the road song ‘Goriya Kahaan Tera Desh Re’, the goofy performance number ‘Daiya Yeh Main Kahaan Aa Phasi’, and, of course, the most famous of them all, the cabaret track, ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’ picturized on Helen, which brought singer Asha Bhosle her third Filmfare award for Best Female Playback Singer.

Even after 50 years, the film is still refreshing, if you have not seen the film,i recommend you to see it today.

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All Songs of Caravan

Thursday, 31 March 2022

The Most Exploited & Unlucky Woman-Meena Kumari


Veteran journalist Vinod Mehta wrote the biography of Meena Kumari in 1972. In this book, he wrote about the exploitation of Meena Kumari whoever came close to her. She was first exploited by her family. She started out as Baby Meena, a child artist and a breadwinner of the family. As a child, she wasn't interested in a film career, and would rather attend school. In spite of this, her parents started peddling four-year-old Mahjabeen(Real Name of Meena Kumari) to film studios for work opportunities so she was deprived of her childhood.

One of the major blows in Meena Kumari's life was the death of her mother. She was only 14 then. In the film Industry also she struggled initially, though she was getting work but paid poorly.It was only after Baiju Bawra in 1952 she got recognition.
On May 21, 1951, Meena Kumari was involved in a motor car accident while returning from Mahabaleshwar to BombayShe was admitted to Sasoon Hospital in Poona, injured around the left hand. Kumari went through bouts of depression.This accident left Meena Kumari with a banded left pinky which remained banded throughout her life, and she used to cover her left hand with a dupatta or saree during shoots. During this time Kamal Amrohi used to visit her in the hospital. For four months this hospital affair continued and love blossomed.

She married at the age of 18 Kamal Amrohi at that time he was 34. It was his third marriage. After their marriage, Kamal Amrohi allowed Meena Kumari to continue her acting career, but on the condition that she should not remit anyone in her makeup room but her makeup artist and return home in her own car by 6:30 every evening. Meena Kumari agreed to all terms, but with passing time she kept breaking them.
Meena Kumari was a patient with chronic insomnia and was on sleeping pills for a long time.As an alternative to sleeping pills, she started drinking. She was interested in Urdu poetry, this brought her close to another poet Gulzar. Once she was slapped on the set of  Pinjre ke Panchhi,by Kamal Amrohi's assistant, Baqar when she allowed Gulzar to enter her makeup room. After this incident in 1964, they divorced.

Dharmendra was the next person in her life. He signed Purnima as her Hero, he was a fan of Meena kumari,it was his dream to act opposite Meenaji. When he was introduced to her, she was warm and friendly and welcomed him with kind encouragement. Coincidentally, at this particular moment of her life, Meena Kumari required a stable and devoted man: big and strong, someone on whom she could literally rest her head, and someone who was not too famous. 

Dharmendra was almost a daily visitor at Janki Kutir. Together they would open a bottle and spend a few hours. These were the good times. Meena Kumari insisted her Producers to take Dharmendra as his Hero, both of them worked in 7 films. Dharmendra established himself as a hero because of Meena Kumari. However, a much younger and already married Dharmendra had nothing to offer in terms of the love and security Meena was searching for. They were intimate for three years.
Meena Kumari had a strong love for children, she wanted her own child here too she was deprived by her husband Kamal Amrohi.

She died on 31st March 1972, On a Good Friday, Meena Kumari died, after a long and painful battle with cirrhosis of the liver. She had been admitted to St Elizabeth’s Nursing Home in Bombay on 28th March and died three days later surrounded by the people who had played an important part in her life, both personal and professional. Her sisters Khursheed and Madhu; her estranged husband Kamal Amrohi; and various luminaries of the film world, including Begum Para and Kammo, from whose house the Aab-e-Zamzam (holy water from Mecca) was fetched to be spooned into Meena Kumari’s mouth as she was dying.

Song from Baiju Bawra 1952

Song of Tamasha 1952

Song from Azaad 1955

Song from Yahudi 1958

Song from Dil Apna Preet Parai, 1960

do sitaron ka milan hai aaj ki raat from kohinoor

Song from Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan 1961

Song of Aarti (1962)

Song of  Dil Ek Mandir (1963)

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Thursday, 3 March 2022

50 Years of Bombay To Goa


Bombay To Goa completed 50 years, was released on 3rd March 1972. It was Amitabh Bachchan’s big break and the beginning of his illustrious career in the film industry over the span of 4 decades or more. The film was directed by S. Ramanathan, starring MehmoodAmitabh Bachchan, and Aruna Irani, with Shatrughan Sinha in a supporting role.  Mehmood and brother Anwar Ali were the principal players in this comedy that gave Amitabh Bachchan his first big break as the hero of a movie.

 What makes Bombay to Goa memorable is, as the title itself suggests, the bus journey from Bombay to Goa in which the majority of the story actually takes place. This adventurous and comic journey introduces us to a totally mixed bunch of passengers from all over India, from different religions and cultures. Two significant characters are those of Rajesh, the bus driver, and Khanna, the conductor - two characters played by real-life brothers, Anwar Ali and the great Mehmood, respectively. The list of travelers includes, among others, a married couple named Amma and Appa with their fat son, a sleeping passenger (Keshto Mukherjee), a chubby and heavily made-up woman (the wonderful Manorama) sitting at the back of the bus with her daughter, and an elderly noisy woman named Kashibai (Lalita Pawar). The most surprising passenger was  Kishore Kumar's appearance as himself.

This movie will always be remembered for its catchy songs composed by R D Burman, giving us the hit song "Dekha Na".Another song is a medley of old rock-n-roll tunes, sung in English, by an Indian woman in a nightclub.  The same medley also included a portion of "Fever," of Boney M fame also sung in English.


  1. "Dekha Na Haye Re" - Kishore Kumar
  2. "Tum Meri Zindagi Mein" - Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
  3. "Listen To The Pouring Rain" - Usha Uthup
  4. "Dil Tera Hai Main Bhi Teri" - Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar
  5. "Haye Haye Yeh Thanda Paani" - Asha Bhosle
  6. "Yeh Mehki Mehki Thandi Hawa" - Kishore Kumar

  7. Songs of Bombay to Goa 1972
Songs of Bombay to Goa 1972

Songs of Bombay to Goa 1972
Songs of Bombay to Goa 1972

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Wednesday, 23 February 2022

50 Years of Piya Ka Ghar ( Released on 23 Feb 1972)


Piya Ka Ghar is a typical Basu Chatterjee kind of film produced by Rajshri Filma, In most of his movies and other television works, Basu Chatterjee has shown temperament of telling stories related to the common man. His plots are simple but directed with unmatched skill.Piya Ka Ghar falls in the same line. It portrays the difficulties of life in India's biggest city during the 1970s in the form of a comic family drama.

Piya ka Ghar gives us a glimpse of that life while also highlighting the problem of space and accommodation in Mumbai. Girdharilal Sharma is a middle-class man who is lucky enough to own a home in Bombay. But that home is not big enough for his family. It is a one-room apartment in a chawl and his house is forever busy with guests and neighbors. So even though his newlywed son and daughter-in-law crave some privacy, they struggle to find some. It's a funny yet sensitive take on a situation that still cripples many in the maximum city.

Jaya Bhaduri is the soul of the movie, playing her role close to perfection as the bewildered simple girl from a village who comes to a big city and adopts it gracefully. The rest of the cast, including Anil Dhawan who plays her husband Ram,

Worth mentioning is its music, composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, and the song “Yeh Jeevan Hai” by Kishore Kumar, other songs  “Yeh zulf kaise hai” by Mohammad Rafi, and  “Piya Ka Ghar Hai Yeh” by Lata Mangeshkar –– are hummable.

 The content is meaningful even today. Many lower class Indian couples still face similar problems.If you have not seen this movie, its a must watch
Song of Piya Ka Ghar 1972

Song of Piya Ka Ghar 1972

Song of Piya Ka Ghar 1972

Song of Piya Ka Ghar 1972

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Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet Yaad Rakhna- BAPPI LAHIRI


 He began to play the tabla at the tender age of three. Even at that tender age, Bappi showed signs of greatness as he played the tabla with the proficiency of an experienced professional. He received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1972) at the age of 19 and the first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). The film which established him in Bollywood was Tahir Husain's Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975),

He shot to fame in the 80s and 90s with foot-tapping disco numbers. He introduced Vijay Benedict and Sharon Prabhakar to Bollywood and paved the path to fame for Alisha Chinai and Usha Uthup through his compositions. He popularized the use of synthesized disco music in Indian cinema with an Indian flavor.

Chalte Chalte (1976) was his earliest chartbuster movie,  its soundtrack was a hit & very popular in the 70s. Yes, the film is remembered today only for Kishore Kumar’s song 'Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet Yaad Rakhna'. 

 Be it college farewells or corporate parties or even simply musical evenings in restaurants across the country, nothing is complete without this magical moment, a time when nostalgia overtakes us all. Kishore da’s long drawls, the whistling quality of his voice, its crystal clarity all shine through. The song was played in almost all programs where a tribute to the genius of Kishore Kumar was paid.

He is also known for soundtracks like WardatDisco DancerNamak HalaalDance DanceCommandoGang LeaderSailaab and Sharaabi 

Song of Chalte Chalte 1976

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Saturday, 12 February 2022

Pran - Noorjahan was his Heroine in his First Hindi Film


Pran, the greatest villain ever in the history of Indian cinema played hero roles from 1940–47. In the 1940s, romantic duets featuring him, like the songs "Tere Naaz Uthane Ko Jee Chahta Hai" from Grihasti, opposite Shardha, and 'Ud Ja Ud Ja Panchhi' from Khandaan (1942), with Noor Jehan, became very popular. He got his first role in Dalsukh M. Pancholi's Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940). The film featured baby Noor Jehan. as a child artist, Both appeared in Khandan(1942) as romantic leads. It was Noorjehan's first film as an adult. The film was a great success, Noorjehan shifted to Bombay. She shared melodies with Shanta Apte in Duhai (1943).

Pran was working in Lahore, acted in 22 films from 1942 to 1946 in Lahore; 18 were released by 1947. Due to India's partition in 1947, his career had a brief break. His films from 1944 to 1947 were made in undivided India, but Taraash (1951) and Khanabadosh (1952) (both co-starring Manorama) were released only in Pakistan after Partition. He left Lahore and arrived in Bombay. For a few months, he looked for acting opportunities while doing other jobs. He worked in Delmar Hotel, Marine Drive for eight months, after which he got a chance to act in 1948.

This film was Ziddi released in 1948, He got this opportunity because of his friendship with writer Saadat Hasan Manto and actor ShyamThe movie launched Pran's career in Bombay. Incidentally, it proved to be Dev Anand's big break as a hero. Within a week of Ziddi's success, he had signed three more films – S M Yusuf's Grihasti (1948), which became a diamond jubilee hit, Prabhat Films' Apradhi (1949) and Wali Mohammad's Putli (1949). By then, Wali Mohammad, who was responsible for Pran's first role, had come to Bombay and became a producer, setting up an office at Famous Studios, near Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Pran was among the highly successful & respected veteran actors in the history of Indian cinema. He was also one of the highest-paid actors of his time. He played hero roles from 1940–47, a villain from 1948–1991, and played supporting and character roles from 1967–2007. The decades of late 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s were the peak periods of Pran's villainy, especially the 1950s & 1960s. Pran was the first true personification of "evil" on the Indian screen. He is the original badman of Indian cinema. The intensity of his portrayal of negative/villainous characters on the screen was effective enough to desist the Indian people from naming their children "Pran" in the 1950s & 60s & subsequently thereafter (when Pran was at the peak of his villainy).

He was given Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013

Song of Khandan 1942

Song of Grihasti 1948

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