Monday, 30 April 2018

The Magic of AWARA HOON and Raj Kapoor

There is a saying that Music has no Language and no Boundaries.This classic song from Awara has proven it.This was the song that mesmerized Russian decades ago.Later it went popular in Turkey now in China.This generation of youth may have not heard this song or liking for old songs but `Awaara Hoon` ring tone is very popular among today`s Russian youth.This  Bollywood song is so loved internationally that it has a localised version in Greece, Turkey, Middle East, Russia and China. The song is so popular that people abroad sing the original version as well. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
One of the reasons for the popularity of the song, and Indian films in general, is the quality of the literature present in them. Take 'Awara hoon' for instance. The song was written by Shailendra(coincidentally called 'Pushkin', after the revolutionary Russian poet, for his socialist leanings) was filled with a melancholy that is simultaneously uplifting. The story goes that on hearing the passionate, and dark, narration of the story by KA Abbas, Shailendra explained his understanding of the story in his simple lines.
Recently Prime Minister visited China,on his arrival the tune of a bollywood song was played.Indian films have become very popular in China.Aamir Khan is now the most popular Indian actor in China.
Here are some versions of Awara Hoon
Watch This Turkish Song from which Awara Hoon was inspired.This film was released in 1946 five years before Awara (1951)

Song from Turkish Film released in 1946

Ujbekistan version

Istanbul Girls singing

President of Uzbekistan singing

Chineese singing

Raj Kapoor singing for his Gran children

Two Raj Kapoor Fans in Canada

Dancing on the song in Los Angelis

                                         Awara Hoon in background - Mere Naam Joker

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Magic Of Hemant Da with Dev Anand

Dev Anand and Hemant Kumar together created some of the most memorable songs of Hindi film music. Prior to Dev’s partnering with Kishore Kumar or Rafi as his playback voices,the super hit combination of Dev with Hemant Kumar gave many Immortal Romantic Songs.
 Hemant Kumar sang only 11 songs as playback for Dada Burman and 10 of those were on Dev Anand and all of them were hits! What a stupendous record!
Who can forget the start the duo had in Sazaa (1951) with Aa Gup chhup gup chhup pyar karen and then the massive hit next year in Jaal, Yeh raat yeh chandani phir kahan, sun jaa dil ki dastan.
Hemant Da in an interview said that it was S D Burman who understood the potential of his voice.romantic pairing of my voice with his (Dev Anand’s) screen image was created by Sachin Babu (SD Burman). People simply loved it. 
S D Burman was Dev Anand's musical soul.He was giving music for most of his films and using the voices of Kishore, Talat, Rafi and Manna Dey why did Hemant Da's voice was used in Sazaa(1951) surprisingly Manna De was assisting S D Burman in this film.He used to coordinate the practice rehearsals for all singers. 
The next song he sang for Dev Anand was  ‘Yeh raat yeh chandini phir kahan’  from 1952 film Jaal. At one time in the history of Hindi films, ‘Yeh raat yeh chandini phir kahan’ was hailed as ’the most romantic song of impulse ever’. Whether you talk of the scene on screen or just the audio – the impact was tremendous, of equal strength.

The next memorable song was  Yaad Kiya Dil Ne Kahaan Ho Tum  from 1953 film Patita but this was not composed by S D Burman but it was by Shankar Jaikishan
The next memorable hit songs came in with House No. 44(1955) – Chup hai dharti chup hain chand sitare and Teri duniya mein jeene se to behtar hai ke mar jayen. Hemant kumar in a interview says
while singing or rehearsing, I would wonder why he (Sachin Dev Burman) chose me to sing this one or that one, in House Number 44Chup hai dharti chup hain chand sitare, I thought was a Talat song. Similarly, Yaad aa gai wo nashili nigahen in Manzil, could have been a Kishore song. But, only he knew the best.
In Munimji (1955), Shiv ji bihane chale paalki sajaye ke babhuti lagaye ke, naa.Hemant Da was not the first choice of singer he tried other singers but ultimately it he who sang the song.In this film the hit song Jeewan Ke Safar Mein Rahi was to be finalized he also gave a trial but Kishore Kumar version was taken.

The biggest hit song of both was yet to come.It was Hai apna dil to awara  from Solva Saal 1958.It was the Top song of Binaca Geetmala that year.The director Raj Khosla wanted S D Burman to sing it himself, SD Burman got Hemant Kumar to croon for the swashbuckling Dev Anand. What a great song it proved.
In Manzil(1960), SD Burman had three singers (Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar and Mohd Rafi) giving playback for one hero. And the singers were picked on the basis of the mood and situation that would sync perfectly with that particular voice. For Yaad aa gayi woh nasheeli nigaahein, Dada Burman picked only Hemant Kumar and no one else.
In 1962 One of the biggest hits of Dev Anand-Hemant Kumar, the mesmerizing Na tum humein jaano,from Baat Ek Raat Ki 1962 was the last of their songs together. Haunting and romantic, this duet with Suman Kalyanpur had the audiences falling in love with the number over and over again.
The only film that Hemant Kumar as a music director scored that had Dev as a hero was Ferry (1954) with Geeta Bali, and Dev lip-synced Rangeeli rangeeli rani nindiya aa more raja ki ankhiyon mein aa
Song from Sazaa (1951)

Song from Jaal(1952)

Song from Patita(1953)

Song from House No 44 (1954)

Song from Ferry (1954)

Song from Munimji (1955)

Song from Solva Saal(1958)

Song from Manzil (1960)

Song from Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962)

Friday, 27 April 2018


Super Hit film Brahmachari completes 50 Years today. It was released on 27th April 1968.The film became a box office hit and won several awards, including Filmfare Best Movie Award.The film stars Shammi KapoorRajshreePranMumtazJagdeepSachin and Asit Sen. The music was by Shankar Jaikishan.They got theFilmfare Award for this film.In fact the best Lyricist gone to Shailendra and Mohammad Rafi got the Best Male Singer for the song."Dil Ke Jharoke Mein"Brahmachari” won six Filmfare awards out of the eight categories it was nominated for. 

Music scholar and film expert Rajesh Subramanian  wrote an interesting incident that the song "Aajkal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche" was a rejected tune, which a depressed Jaikishan played to Shammi Kapoor at Hotel Gaylord. Kapoor found the tune very catchy and suggested to director Bhappi Sonie to include the song in Brahmachari. The song became one of the highlights of the film. 
“Brahmachari”  is perhaps one of the few films where Shammi Kapoor gives a restrained and sombre performance, in contrast to his usually exuberant and boisterous “Yahoo” persona that he created for the Bollywood screen.

The film is about an enterprising photographer Brahmachari (Shammi Kapoor) who looks after a dozen orphan children in a rented accommodation as he himself had been abandoned on streets and has no clue about his parentage. One day, looking for an exclusive picture, he saves beautiful Sheetal (Rajshri) from near suicide which she wishes to undertake since she has been spurned by her fiancĂ©e Ravi (Pran). He not only saves her but also employs her as a maid for his “foster children” and their kinship soon evolves into deep bonds of affection.
The find of this film was Jr Mehmood.Remember the hilarious dance act on 'Hum kaale hain toh kya hua dilwale hain...' from the movie 'Brahmachari'? The little naughty boy who imitated comic style of the great comedian Mehmood Ali is still fresh in everyone's mind. 

Yet in the ultimate analysis, the film belongs to Shammi's ‘voice', Rafi, who along with S-J's music and Shailendra-Hasrat lyrics, brings forth some unforgettable melodies that helped shape Brahmachari into a cult figure for eternity.

Songs from Brahmachari

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Shankar Jaikishan-The Duo who molded the Musical Mood of Bollywood

Shankar Jaikishan the music synonym of Bollywood Music.They were the Super Star Music Director of golden Era of Bollywood.They molded the mood and musical mood of masses since the release of Barsat 1949.
Shankar,the more versatile of the two,was a prolific musician with mastery over many instruments,elder of the two was primarily responsible for making this great Jodi and also to build a  dedicated team of  Lyricist like Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri and musicians like Datta Ram and Sebastion.
Shankar was born on 5th Oct 1922.He started his career with a theater group run by Satyanarayan and Hemawati, before shifting to Prithvi Theatre where he played tabla and performed some minor roles in plays. It was at Prithvi theatre that he learnt to play and mastered several other instruments like Sitar, Accordion and Piano etc. Besides his work at Prithvi theatre, he also started working as an assistant to the leading composer duo of Husnlal Bhagatram and nurtured the ambition of becoming an independent music director.
He met Jaikishan at the office of a Gujrati director Chandravadan Bhatt who had promised Shankar a break as a Music Director when he produced a film.Both developed a liking for each other and it was he who then and there assured Jaikishan of the job of a Harmonium player at Prithvi theaters.While working in Prithvi Theaters, Shankar and Jaikishan used to compose tunes and were in touch with Raj Kapoor, who was working as an assistant to the famous director Kidar Sharma and was aspiring to be an actor/director. Thus, the three had met at Prithvi Theater.
Raj Kapoor made his debut as a director with the film Aag in 1948. Its music director Ram Ganguly was assisted by Shankar and Jaikishan. However, during the recording of a song for his new venture Barsaat, Raj Kapoor had some serious differences with Ram Ganguly and decided to assign its music to Shankar who insisted on taking Jaikishan as his partner. Thus came into existence the new pair of music directors named 'Shankar-Jaikishan' who composed the music for the film.
Their early works include BarsaatAwaaraBadalPoonamNaginaAuratParbatKaali GhataaAahPatitaShikastBadshahMayur PankhNaya GharSeemaShree 420Basant BaharHalakuRajhathNew DelhiKathputliAnariChori ChoriDaagBegunahYahudiMain Nashe main hoonKanaiahBoot PolishChhoti BehanSharaaratLove Marriage,Jab Pyaar Kisi se hota hai,Asli Naqli and Ujala.
Shankar-Jaikishan were the pioneers in establishing the role of the orchestra in song compositions as a medium to express and enhance the meanings and feelings of songs rather than using it just as a `filler' as per the prevalent practice before their advent on the scene. They made use of the orchestra and musical instruments (often dozens or hundreds of them) in their songs which consisted of the following format: 
Shankar Jaikishan made a major contribution towards the development of jazz music in India and the new genre Indo jazz. Their 1968 album Raaga-Jazz style is the earliest Indo-jazz recording in India
After Jaikishan's death, Shankar carried on with the banner of Shankar-Jaikishan alone,His most-successful musical hit was Sanyasi in 1975 for which he scored all songs and the entire background score based upon SJ's favorite Raag Bhairavi to prove the point that SJ's Bhairavi was as much Shankar's as that of Jaikishan.
Shankar died on 26th April 1987. His death received nominal media coverage and his funeral was attended only by his family and some friends.
Some of My Favourite Songs of Shankar Jaikishan
Song from Barsat 1949

Song from Awara 1951

Song from Daag 1952

Song from Aah 1953

Song from Patita 1953

Song from Seema 1955

Song from Shree 420  1955

Song from Chori Chori  1956

Song from Anari   1959

Song from Love Marriage 1959

Song from Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai 1961

Song from Sasural 1961

Song from Junglee 1962

Song from Professor 1962

Song from Sangam 1964

Song from Aarzoo 1965

Song from Andaz 1971

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Mac Mohan-The Sambha of Sholay

We all know him as Sambha of Sholay,We forget that he did 100 films before that.He came to Mumbai to become a cricketer, but joined theatre and became a Bollywood actor. He learned acting in the Filmalaya School of Acting in Mumbai.He  started his Hindi film career as an assistant with director Chetan Anand, before making his debut as an actor in his film, Haqeeqat in 1964.
Mac Mohan(24 April 1938 – 10 May 2010) acted in 218 films and remained popular as a rather sympathetic villain through the 1970s and 1980s with films such as DonKarzSatte Pe SattaZanjeerRafoo ChakkarShaan and Khoon Pasina,
He was Sunil Dutt's classmate in Lucknow, from where he hailed. Mac Mohan's wife Minny is an Ayurvedic Doctor. married  in 1986 and they had two daughters; Manjari Makijany, Vinati Makijany and a son Vikrant Makijany. He was the maternal uncle of actress Raveena Tandon.
He was particular about his clothes before getting into the industry. People would often call him ‘Kadak Ram’ because his clothes were always on point, well ironed and fitting perfectly. His sense of style was reflected on screen and he had a big contribution to his looks in his films.In all the films he appeared with the well trimmed beard 
He was known for his unique style and physique from his college days. It was during his training at the Filmalaya acting school that he got noticed. He was picked to do a cameo in Aao Pyar Karen (1964) and you can see him without his beard, dancing in the song ‘Jhuki Jhuki Nigahen’. It is one of the few films in which you will see him without a beard.
Song from Aao Pyar Karen.1964
It was phenomenal to see the dedication he had for all his films, whether it was Sholay (1975), Don (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979), Shaan (1980) or television, documentaries, shorts, or the international and regional films he worked in. He approached all his work with the same amount of dedication and freshness.
 Kitney Aadmi They | Blockbuster Sholay Movie | 

Phoolon Ki Zubaan Khubsoorat Ho Gayi

Monday, 23 April 2018

Shakespeare in bollywood

 Shakespeare remains the most filmed author ever in any language.In fact The Guinness Book of Records lists 410 feature-length film and TV versions of William Shakespeare's plays as having been produced,Bollywood has also drawn a lot of inspiration from this great man. The first time in 1935 it was Sohrab Modi who is Credited as "the man who brought Shakespeare to the Indian screen", it was Modi's debut feature film as a director. The story and script were by Mehdi Hassan Ahsan from his Urdu adaptation of HamletKhoon Ka Khoon was the debut in films of Naseem BanuKhoon Ka Khoon was a "filmed version of a stage performance of the play".
Hamlet After a gap of 20 years in 1954 it was Kishor Sahu  who was influenced by "classic European sources". Though termed a "free adaptation" in the credit roll of the film, Sahu stayed true to the title, its setting, and the original names in the play, remaining as close as possible to Olivier's 1948 film.

Do Dooni Char In 1968 Bimal Roy produced a film Do Dooni Char starring Kishore Kumar and Tanuja which was  a loose remake of the 1963 Bengali film, Bhranti bilas. Both films are loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.The same story was once again filmed by Gulzar in 1982 starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma and Moushami Chatterjee.

Shakespeare Wallah is a 1965 Merchant Ivory Productions film. The story and screenplay are by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, about a travelling family theatre troupe of English actors in India, who perform Shakespeare plays in towns across India,Shashi Kapoor was the hero who in real life fell in love with the sister of the  heroine.of the film Felicity Kendal
Vishal Bhardwaj is one producer director who made many films on Shakespeare's plays and characters.

Maqbool  Vishal's most widely-applauded film, Maqbool is a striking, Mafia-based take on Macbeth that is as audacious as it is ambitious, taking whimsical departures from the text to provide a compelling watch that is shouldered by excellent performances, particularly from Pankaj Kapur and Tabu.

Omkara released in 2006.A politically-minded enforcer's misguided trust in his lieutenant leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity in this adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Othello'.The film starring Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor.
Haider released in 2014  is a modern-day adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet The film starring Shahid Kapoor,Tabu and Shradha Kapoor.

Romeo and Juliet is one such love story which always fascinated Bollywood.Many films like Ek Duje Ke Liye,Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,Sanjay Leela Bhansali's opulent and characteristically film, subtitled "Goliyon Ki Rasleela" and Habib Faisal's Ishaqzaade was a well-crafted and well-performed film, which just compounds the exasperation about it being such a shamelessly regressive film, one where Romeo cons Juliet into sex and then ties her up till she falls in love with him.

10 ml Love released in 2010 went unnoticed  was a romantic comedy in Hindi concerning the tribulations of a love quadrangle during a night of magic and madness and a contemporary adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Sunday, 22 April 2018

B R CHOPRA - One Of The Architect of Golden Era Of bollywood

B R Chopra was one of the legendary figures of Bollywood, Bombay's film industry. Whether making musicals or dramatic, socially conscious films he combined quality film-making with an ability to cater to popular taste.The first film he produced flopped, he turned to direction. He persuaded one of the most natural actors of the day, Ashok Kumar, to star in his film Afsana (1951), which was a hit.
In 1955 he founded his own production house, BR Films. His first film under his own banner, Ek hi Raasta, took on the issue of widow remarriage. His later films dealt with subjects such as the after-effects of partition and the rights of Muslim women.He became a champion of making Social Movies. B R Chopra was later became a master of the art of storytelling.Some of his best known films are  Naya Daur (1957), Sadhna (1958), Kanoon (1961), Gumrah (1963), Humraaz (1967), Awam (1987) 
Baldev Raj Chopra (22 April 1914 – 5 November 2008) made the great TV Serial Mahabharat which was one of the most successful TV serials in Indian television history.
He directed successful film across genres after 1972, with films like suspense thriller Dhund, comedy film Pati Patni Aur Woh, crime film in Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Muslim social in Nikaah and the political thriller Awam,he also made Dastan in 1972 with Dilip Kumar which was not successful.
He died in Mumbai at the age of 94 on 5 November 2008.He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1998.
His younger brother Yash Chopra, son Ravi Chopra and nephew Aditya Chopra are also directors in the Bollywood industry.
Song from Afsana 1951

Song from Ek Hi Raasta (1956)

Song from Naya Daur (1957)

Song from Sadhna (1958)

Song from Dhool Ka Phool (1959)

Song from Gumrah (1963)

Song from Waqt (1965)

Song from Humraz (1967)

Song from Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978)

Song from Nikaah (1982)

Song from Baghban (2003)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

If Hollywood can be punctual, why can't Bollywood

Bollywood is always been known as the most undisciplined and mismanaged Industry. A handful of actors like Amitabh Bachchan do come on time for every event, but we can count professionals like him on our fingers.On the other hand the Hollywood actors, with fan followings across the globe and with tons of commitments reach the venue bang on time. 
In Hollywood, not just interviews, even red carpet events with thousands of fans go as per schedule. If the premiere is at 7 pm, the talent will start coming one by one at 7 pm. The event will end at 8 pm.
In Bollywood even during the Golden Era the indiscipline was there.We have heard horror stories of stars making even filmmakers wait. Isn't it funny that the production crew is on time, the dancers are always waiting in their costumes, the entire set crew is ready, but the lead star is always stuck in traffic? 

Kishore Kumar  was infamous for being always late,Raj Kumar was also infamous for his tantrums. Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar were known for their discipline and professionalism.In the 70s Rajesh Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha were infamous for their late comings while the most discipline star remains Amitabh Bachchan. There are many stories about his punctuality.Many time he reported at the studio well before production team or the gatekeeper arrives.Due to his punctuality, he occasionally opens the gate of Filmistan studio all by himself.

Of the present lot Akshay Kumar and John Abraham are very punctual.Out of three Khans Aamir Khan is always on time. Salman Khan is infamous for coming late.Before him it was Govinda who was infamous for coming late on the sets.

Among the heroines Kajol and Karina Kapoor are  late comers. During an interview with Aamir Khan, he mentioned he is not too fond of working with Kajol because she is one of the most non-punctual actresses to work with. Is that why we haven't seen them together after Fanaa  while Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra are very disciplined.