Showing posts with label classic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classic. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Raj Kapoor had a great ear for music


Have you ever thought, why the music of all his films remains immensely popular? The reason being he himself had a great knowledge of music. He learned music in his childhood. In his early days, he wanted to be a music director. He even sang in his earlier films like Dil Ki Rani, Chitchor, Chittor Vijay, Jail Yatra, and Gopinath.
His music journey started with Papaji (Prithviraj Kapoor) in theatre in Calcutta. When he came to Bombay he learned classical music playing Harmonium, Tabla, and Sitar at Narayan Rao Vijay Academy. He was also with Anil Biswas for some time.
He was very fond of composing tunes, he composed tunes with Ram Ganguli with whom Shankar, Jailishan used to play Harmonium and Tabla. It was there the birth of the Team of Shankar Jaikishan and Raj Kapoor took place, that entertained the music lovers.
Lata Mangeshkar in an interview said that a filmmaker has to be a musician himself to understand the quality of music needed in his films. She said that Raj Kapoor had a sharp music sence. Raj saab was a complete musician. He played the tabla, the harmonium, and the piano. He composed songs and sang them in his own voice before handing them over to professional playback singers.
Raj Kapoor's song sittings were very famous, all the stake holders of the song used to be invited on the sittings, time was no limit, every one present cold give his suggestion. He loved to listen to tunes, to prune and trim the compositions, to correct the singers. He also sit with the Lyricist to change a particular line or word which is not matching the tune, he perfected the compositions to suit his taste.
Lata Mangeshkar at a function said that the music of RK Films may have been attributed to Shankar-Jaikishan or Laxmikant Pyarelal in Bobby or Satyam Shivam Sundaram but it had the final finish of Raj Kapoor which used to be icing on the cake.
Raj Kapoor was of the opinion that songs are the important ingredient of Hindi cinema.He beeived that these should carry the story ahead. Like his peers Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt, he gave as much importance to the execution of a song as to a scene.
For him, the songs were truly not only audio but audio-visual. He saw music as it were; and only when he could how the song could be filmed, did he okay its recording. His use of elaborate sets, of light and shade to convey sombreness and technicolour to project joy, were all part of his visual perception.
Songs in RK films were never just 'there'; they were seamlessly woven into the fabric of the film, used intelligently and sensibly to complement the narrative.
Song of Barsaat 1949


Song of Awaara 1951


Song of Shree 420 1955


Song of Chori Chori 1956


Song of Anari 1959


Song of Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai 1960


Song of Sangam 1964


Song of Teesri Kasam 1966


Song of Mera Naam Joker 1970


Monday, 18 May 2020

Kaanto Se Kheench Ke Ye Aanchal - An Experimental Song


EVERY song of ‘Guide’ is still fresh in the minds of people who love music. This 3.44-minute song of Lata Mangeshkar is one of her favorite songs  Could you believe that initially, she didn't like this song. This song was recorded in between the shooting of the film. Dev Anand, who was the producer of the film was also not satisfied with the song.
S D Burman experimented in his music in many of the songs of this film. In this song, he started the song with an Antara. Usually, Hindi songs start with a Mukhada but here Dada Burman started with Antara. The Mukada of the song is "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai" which comes after Antra. Probably a feat no other music director will ever be able to ever repeat
After the recording of this song in Bombay, Dev Anand joined the unit that was shooting at Udaipur in Rajasthan. Vijay Anand who was the director of the film now wanted to shoot the song but Dev Anand who was not satisfied with the song was not interested to shoot, Vijay Anand convinced him to shoot this song if even after he didn't like, they will re-record the song.

The song "was shot at Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan. In fact, the reflection of the heroine on one of the mirrors, during the song, is inspired by the legendary tale of Alauddin Khilji catching a glimpse of Queen Padmini on the same mirror in the main hall.
Composer Sachin Dev Burman fell seriously ill during this film and even requested Dev Anand to engage some other composer for the film. But Dev Anand stood firm to his side and said that he would wait till Dada Burman is fit again. Once cured, the masterpiece compositions started to flow; the first song recorded was the evergreen "Gaata Rahe Mera Dil".

Monday, 11 May 2020

The Story Behind the Song "Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam"


This iconic song from India's first Cinemascope film Kagaz Ke Phool is now 60 years old. This song was picturized on Waheeda Rehman and Guru Dutt. Geeta Dutt giving voice to Waheeda Rehman. We can feel The"Dard" (Pain) in the voice of Geeta Dutt. What a composition by great S D Burman and penned by another great Kaifi Azmi.
A song bringing forth the tragedy in romance, a song telling us about the inevitability of life in general!.The amazing camera frame by the legendry cinematographer V K Murthy, shadows and light are combined beautifully to create the situation and sad mood of the scene where Guru Dutt and Waheeda meet in an unexpected situation.
The situation of this song was not there in the original script. There were 5 songs for the script, those were already composed and recorded by Burman Da and everybody was relaxed. Suddenly Burman Da started humming a new tune which was light and with a glimpse of sorrow. Guru Dutt, who was sitting next to Burman Da liked this new tune and was deeply touched by this tune, he suggested Burman Da that let's have a song with this tune.
Kaifi Azmi, who was also sitting with them was asked to write for this tune. Kaifi Azmi who seldom write for the pre-composed tunes agreed. He immediately wrote the Mukhda of this song, initially, Guru Dutt was not happy with the Mukhda but Burman Da was very much impressed with the words, he insisted Gutu Dutt think once again, he felt that these lines were enough to bring tears in his eyes.
In the meantime, Burman Da asked Kaifi Azmi to write the two antra of this song. He then beautifully tuned these antra, he thought immediately that Geeta Dutt would give full emotions to this song.

Burman Da called Geeta Dutt and asked her to sing this song in front of Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt liked the song and insisted on Burman Da to get it to record it for this film. The situation for this song was created and then picturized on Waheeda and himself.
When this song was shot, the relation between Waheeda and Guru Dutt were a hot topic. Kaifi Azmi wrote the lyrics with this in mind which later denied that he ever kept in mind about their relationship. However, this song became the highlight of the film.

The booming bass guitar, the soft piano, the tinkling triangle, the flowing strings – the orchestration of that song was mesmerizing. On-screen, a stunningly beautiful Waheeda and a somber, graceful Guru Dutt appearing in an exquisite light and shadow play of haunting black and white images then completed that masterpiece.

In 2018, after 59 years, there is a reference to this song in '102 Not Out'. Amitabh Bachchan who plays a 102-year-old man in the film recorded the track in his characteristic deep and booming voice. The song was arranged by Rohan Utpat and Vinayak K Salvi. 
Song of Kagaz Ke Phool 1959



Song of 102 Not Out 2018


Lata Mangeshkar's Tribute To Geeta Dutt by singing Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam 


           




Monday, 4 May 2020

Mem Sahib (1956)- A Classic Film with Four Legends in Making


A rare film with a star cast Shammi Kapoor, Meena Kumari, Kishore Kumar, and Mehmood in one film is an attractive proposition to watch. At the time of its release, none of them was a big star. Shammi Kapoor's first hit film was Tumsa Nahin Dekha which was released one year later in 1957. What is more, he is not the hero, he does not get to walk away with the heroine, and he plays a negative character. Mehmood had a small and insignificant role. Kishore Kumar was also not a big name. Meena  Kumari was the only one who was successful, not a Tragedy Queen at that time. 
Meena Kumari played the role of a  modern girl in this film. An unlike Meena Kumari film with full of entertainment. This is also one of Meena Kumari’s non-tragedy roles. 

This film is based on the usual clash between ‘traditional Indian’ and ‘modern/Western’ values. Kishore Kumar(Sunder) who plays the naive young man, brought up in an ashram comes to town to marry which was fixed long ago by the heroine's rich father when both the boy and girl were a child. The girl who lived in a city with a modern lifestyle refuses to marry such a  guy. She gives a matrimonial Ad. in a paper and takes interviews. Manohar (Shammi Kapoor) who plays a negative character in the film reads the Ad and decides to go for an interview. Manohar impresses Meena, both become friendly. Meena introduces Manohar to her uncle as her prospective groom,

Meena's aunt was against this marriage so she calls Sundar from Guru ji ashram to meet Meena, the girl to whom he is betrothed. Meena, on the other hand, wanted to marry Manohar.
Sunder blames Manohar for ‘stealing’ his Meena away, The uncle advises Sunder to forget Meena. In the meantime, Manohar approaches Meena’s uncle for his blessings. Uncle tells Manohar that he has no problem as long as Meena wants to marry him but  Meena’s father’s will states that if Meena marries anyone other than Sunder, the latter will be heir to all her wealth. 
Manohar who is after the wealth of Meena tells Meena about the will. Manohar, along with Meena, steals the will out of her uncle’s safe but their plans fail once again when they come to know that one more copy of this will is lying with Sunder's mother.
Manohar plants the idea of Meena getting the will from Sunder by pretending to fall in love with him. Meena falls for the idea. Initially, she pretended to love Sunder but after a while, she realizes Manohar of wooing her for her money; if he truly loved her, he would take her as she is. 

The film was produced and directed by R C Talwar, music was given by Madan Mohan. 
Music Director  Madan Mohan was inspired by the 1934 song  Isle of Capri for not one but two versions of the song Dil Dil Se Mila Kar Dekho,sung by Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar respectively. Both the songs were picturized on Meena Kumari and Kishore Kumar. The first version (Asha Bhosle) in the film comes more than an hour into the film when Meena Kumari pretends to be interested in Kishore Kumar and who, outside the world of the ashram he has grown up in, is just getting introduced to the ways of the ‘sinful’ world. Meena Kumari is driving the car while Kishore Kumar sits on the front seat.

The second version (Kishore Kumar) comes about half an hour later once Kishore Kumar, now having fallen hook line and sinker for Meena Kumari, has succumbed to the lifestyle of the rich and wealthy. In this song, Kishore Kumar drives the car and Meena Kumari sits on the front seat.
Another popular song "Hamari Gali Aana, Achha Ji" picturized on Meena Kumari and Shammi Kapoor, a sung by Asha Bhosle and Talat Mahmood was also very popular, This film is available on YouTube.
Song of Mem Sahib 1956 (Female Version)


Song of Mem Sahib 1956 (Male Version)



Song of Mem Sahib 1956



Song of Mem Sahib 1956


Song of Mem Sahib 1956



Song of Mem Sahib 1956


Song of Mem Sahib 1956


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The Story Behind the Song "Chaudhavin Ka Chand Ho"


In the 1960 Annual Binaca Geetmala, there was a tough competition for the No 1 song, it was between the song "Chaudhavin Ka Chand Ho" and "Zindagi Bhar Na Bhulegi Barsaat Ki Woh Raat". Both the songs were solo and both the songs were sung by Mohammad Rafi. Both were Title songs.
There was a trend in those days that every film must have a title song. This trend was started by Shailendra from the film Barsaat in 1949. In this case, the Mukhada was the title of the film. The composer of this song was Ravi who was also a lyricist but for this film, Shakeel Badayuni was the lyricist. Composer Ravi made the tune of this song with the title as Mukhada but was not finding the exact words to complete the Mukhada, he then talked to Shakeel Badayuni and asked to complete the Mukhada and the song. This song remains one of the most romantic songs of the Hindi Film Industry.
What sets ‘Chaudhvin ka Chand’ apart? The classical romanticism that the song demanded found expression in the ‘period’ scene-setting and cast. But most importantly, the central character of the sequence is Waheeda. This is where it leaves other ‘very good’ or ‘great’ classical romance song-sequences behind.
Chaudhavin Ka Chand was a comeback film of Guru Dutt after the disastrous box office performance of Kaagaz Ke Phool He was not the director of this film, he produced the film and gave direction to Mohammed Sadiq. The film was a super hit and became a classic.
Another interesting fact that though the film was in Black & White but this song was picturized in colour. Waheeda Rehman in an interview told that the Censor Board objected to chaudavii.n kaa chaa.nd ho when Guru Dutt re-released a version of the song shot in color? As the color version was being filmed, Waheeda Rehman’s eyes became irritated from the heat of the high-powered lights used during the shoot. Upon seeing the red color of the heroine’s eyes, the Censor Board claimed that the colored picturization of the song contained suggestive and lustful implications inappropriate for audiences.
This song got two Filmfare awards, one for the Lyrics to Shakeel Badayuni and the other to Mohammad Rafi as a playback singer. This was the first Filmfare Award to Mohammad Rafi after debuting 15 years ago. It is the warmth, passion, and soul in his voice that renders this song a timeless masterpiece.
Song of Chaudhvin Ka Chand 1960

Monday, 1 July 2019

Abrar Alvi- The man who wrote many classics of Bollywood


In Ten years with Guru Dutt, Abrar Alvi takes us on his nostalgic journey from how he, a simple driver/chaperone became one of the most famous writers in Hindi cinema. The decade of 1953 to 1964 shaped Abrar's life with the exposure to the finest nuances of cinema making he learned from Guru Dutt and how he amazingly belted out dialogues/scripts for the classics like Aar Paar, Mr & Mrs 55, Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool to name a few.
He has also directed a single movie in his career for filmmaker Guru Dutt — it’s the classic ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ released in 1962, which won President’s Silver Medal for best feature film in Hindi and Filmfare best director award. He lived most of his life as Guru Dutt’s resident writer.

He first met Guru Dutt during the shooting of Baaz in 1953 when Guru Dutt was having problems with a scene in the movie .Abrar Alvi suggested his opinion for that scene. Guru Dutt was so impressed that he invited Abrar to write Aar-Paar, after which Abrar became an integral part of the Guru Dutt team
There was a controversy emerged after the successful release of Sahib Biwi Aur Gulam in 1963 that who was the real director of the movie, However, Guru Dutt never denied Abrar Alvi's role in the film, nor did he make any counter-claims when Alvi won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for the film. Abrar Alvi has stated that Guru Dutt did direct the songs in the film, but not the film in its entirety. The editor of the film Y.G. Chawan says that for the film, it was Abrar who sat with him. 
After this controversy ,Abrar, however, continued to pen screenplay and dialogue for several movies, some of these were hits, such as Baharen Phir Bhi Ayengi,Professor, Suraj, Sungharsh, Saathi,Prince etc.


He also acted in Laila Majnu (1976) and 12 O’Clock (1958).
Abrar Alvi died due to a stomach complication on 18th November 2009 in Mumbai at the age of 82. He is still remembered for his simple and clear dialogues in Indian Cinema.

Song of Aar Paar 1954




Song of Pyaasa 1957
Song of Kagaz Ke Phool 1959


Song of Chaudvin Ka Chand 1959


Song of Sahib Biwi Aur  Gulam 1962






Thursday, 4 April 2019

Story Behind the song Hotho Mein Aisi Baat


"Hotho Mein Aisi Baat, Mein Dabaa Ke Chali Ayee" is one of the best dance sequences in Indian Cinema. This is from Dev Anand's classic Jewel Thief(1967). That was the time when actresses were actually trained (long term!) in dance. Vyjantimala, of course, was the best of the best. But others like Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini and others have also given some great dance sequences.
Vijay Anand was the director of this film, we all know that he was the master of picturising a song. This movie started a trend where directors began putting a song before the climax. Before that, he tried a song before the climax in Nau Do Gyaraha(1957) but this song remains one of the best Dance Songs of Bollywood.

Vijay Anand worked with Vyjantimala for the first time. She was a Super Star at that time. There were some date problems and many distractions but Vyjayantimala being the professional that she was, still came up with a polished performance. Goldie's only grievance was that she could have done better with Hoton Pe Aisi Baat. He wanted her to rehearse the number before we went for a final take. But she told me airily that she didn't need any rehearsals. he insisted she did, but she still didn't report for rehearsals and came straight to the set. he called for "pack-up" and told her firmly that she had to stay back in the studio and practise with the assistants. She did practise, for 15 minutes. Then she got into her car and drove off saying that Saroj Khan would be coming to her place later and they'd go over the steps together. The rehearsal never happened but Vyjayantimala being a good actress and an excellent dancer didn't find it too difficult to pick up the steps and the shots were okayed quickly. So if you see a single camera capture of Vyjantimala’s magic, it was ACTUALLY done in a single shot

The song is from those days where technology was so much poorer compared to today, the editing of that song was marvellous. Which means that they didn’t have sharp edits that could get stitched together, and look like one single camera sequence, Think of the choreography with the support dance troupe, and other stars like Dev Anand, floating in between the long sequence otherwise focused on Vyjantimala.
Honthon Mein Aisi Baat” (brilliantly choreographed by Master Sohanlal), as the camera follows Vyjayanthimala, he uses the circular tracks, dynamic angles and cuts to build up the tension to a crescendo. Here is an example of how Western technique could merge with Indian art. Even as you enjoy the aesthetics of dance.
As we all know that the music was given by S D Burman and he was assisted by his son R D Burman who by that time had become an independent Music Director and was giving the music of Teesri Manzil side by side. The song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar but you will be surprised to know that Bhupinder also participated in that song. Bhupinder sings the opening
refrain Hooooo for Dev and in the middle of the song he says " O Shalu". That was his total contribution to the song.
Song of Jewel Thief 1967



 

Friday, 22 March 2019

History behind the historical -MUGHAL_E_AZAM


K.Asif first launched this film in 1944 with financier Shiraz Ali, casting Sapru, Chandramohan and Nargis in the roles later done by Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. But Shiraz's migration to Pakistan after Partition, the communally-sensitive atmosphere after Independence and finally Chandramohan's death in 1949 made him drop the project.
K Asif wanted to start the project once again in 1951 but no financier was interested in this film. It was Shapoorji Pallonji, the construction magnate, came on board in 1951. K Asif was interested to make this film in colour but the financier refused to finance further. Ultimately he did so in the song Pyar kiya to darna kya and the climax. The film was finally completed at a cost of about Rs 1.5 crore in 1960. 
Asif had planned to make Mughal-e-Azam in three languages - Hindi, Tamil and English. While the Hindi version became a super hit, the Tamil-dubbed version came a cropper at the box-office and he subsequently dropped the idea of dubbing it in English in the voices of British actors.
For the picturization of the song, Pyar kiya to darna kya a grand set of Sheesh Mahal was constructed. The grandeur was incomparable: the mirrors for the dance sequence on the Sheesh Mahal set were coated with a thin, transparent wax layer to prevent reflection from studio lights. The set was 80 feet wide and 150 feet long - and 35 feet high. And cinematographer R.D.Mathur would sometimes take up to eight hours to light a single shot! Sometimes, 14 cameras were used when the norm then was just one or two, and unlike the normal 60 to 125 shooting days, MEA thus needed 500, with more than a million feet of negative being used.

The song Pyar kiya to darna kya costed Rs 10 lakh to shoot, which was equal to the production cost of a big film! This Lata chartbuster's graph was perfected by Naushad and Shakeel in a marathon session from four in the evening to daybreak the following day on the terrace of Naushad's bungalow. Neither ate food during this period.
Music director Naushad composed many more than the 12 songs finally seen in the film, and Lata Mangeshkar sang eight solos and the duet Teri mehfil mein with Shamshad Begum. The hits were led by Mohe panghat pe and Mohabbat ki jhoothi kahani.
For Rafi's song Ae mohabbat zindabad a chorus of 100 singers were used.K Asif wanted 2 songs to be sung by Bade Ghulam Ali khan. Since Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan did not want to sing for films and quoted an exorbitant sum to discourage Naushad and Asif, they agreed to the sum (in multiples of the topmost playback singer's fees) and the maestro had no choice but to render Shubh din aayo and Prem jogan banke as he had no excuse left!

The war sequences used 2000 camels, 4000 horses and 8000 men, most of the latter being real soldiers from the Army. Prithviraj wore real armour, real weapons were crafted and real jewellery used. The best tailors, embroiders, jewellers, shoemakers and other craftsmen from across the country were employed. The chains worn by Madhubala in prison were also real. Even the statue of Lord Krishna was in real gold.
Tailors were brought from Delhi to stitch the costumes, specialists from Surat were hired to do the embroidery, goldsmiths from Hyderabad designed jewellery, craftsmen from Kolhapur worked on the crowns, ironsmiths from Rajasthan made the weaponry and shoemakers from Agra produced the royal footwear.
When completed, Asif is said to have got Rs 17 lakh per territory for the film when the going rate was Rs 3-4 lakh. The premiere invite was written in Urdu on red velvet and "stamped" with the seal of Akbar's royal court.

The premiere of Mughal-e-Azam was held at the then new,1,100-capacity Maratha Mandir cinema in Mumbai, The day before bookings for the film opened, a reported crowd of 100,000 gathered outside the Maratha Mandir to buy tickets. The tickets, the most expensive for a Bollywood film at that time, were dockets containing text, photographs and trivia about the film, and are now considered collector's items

This premiere was shown as a live event in Navketan's film Kala Bazar where Dev Anand does black marketing of the premiere shows tickets.
 The film ran for 100 weeks, was the biggest grosser of the 1960s and was finally beaten by the 1975 Sholay.
There had been three screen versions of the same story earlier also. Two starred one of Indian cinema’s top female stars, Sulochana, as Anarkali – in 1928 as a silent feature and then in 1935 as a talkie.














Sunday, 17 February 2019

Navketan's Guide- From Pages to Celluloid


After the Berlin Film Festival in 1962, Dev Anand and his wife travelled to London and later, at the invitation of the Nobel laureate, Pearl S Buck and the Polish-American TV film director, Tad Danielewski of Stratton Productions, to New York. It was while eating a dish called ‘Scorpion’ at a restaurant in ‘The Village’ (as Greenwich Village is commonly referred to), that Dev Anand presented Pearl S Buck with a copy of R K Narayan’s The Guide. He told them that he intends to make a film on this book.
Pearl and Tad were impressed by the possibilities of a cinematic adaptation of the novel, they had doubts about whether Narayan would be willing to part with the film rights of his novel.
R K Narayan was an Indian writer known for his works set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi. He was a leading author of early Indian literature in English along with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. Narayan’s The Financial Expert was hailed as one of the most original works of 1951 and Sahitya Akademi Award winner The Guide was adapted for film. His first book "Swami and Friends" was published in 1935. Narayan's next novel The Bachelor of Arts (1937), was inspired in part by his experiences at college, and dealt with the theme of a rebellious adolescent transitioning to a rather well-adjusted adult; He wrote nearly three dozen novels and several short-story collections, The Guide was his thirteenth book and eighth novel. It was published in 1958.
Dev Anand in his Biography says “I read it at one go…I thought it had a good story, and the character of Raju, the guide, was extraordinary,”He first wrote a letter to R K Narayan, As per Narayan he got a letter from Anand, modestly describing himself as “a producer and actor from Bombay” and wondering, “I don’t know if my name is familiar to you.” In this letter, he wrote about his interest in making a great film on The Guide. 

After his approval, Dev immediately sought an appointment with R. K. Narayan and signed a contract with him. There was also a broad consensus that the film is made in both English and Hindi. While Tad was de facto director of the English version, for the Hindi, it was a toss-up between Chetan Anand and Raj Khosla. Neither worked out. Finally, Vijay ‘Goldie’ Anand was chosen to direct the Hindi version.
Guide(Eng)-Pic-1.

Guide(Eng)-Pic-2
Dev Anand wanted to start English version and Hindi version simultaneously. The idea was to film the scenes common to both versions simultaneously, a Hindi shot to be immediately followed by the same shot in English, to save time and money but it could not be materialised because Vijay Anand was not happy with the script, he wanted to change the script and write a new script. The other reason for the delay of the Hindi version was the music composer S.D. Burman had suffered a heart attack and was not available for the music. Burman Dada advised Dev to sign on a new composer for Guide, but Dev put his foot down and insisted that Burman should first get well and then take over.
As we all know that in the novel the city taken by the author was an imaginary town Malgudi but in the film, Udaipur of Rajasthan was prefered by the director Tad. But it wasn’t only the locations, the scale and the general tenor that shifted from page to screen. It was the characters themselves.  This annoyed R K Narayan but he was later convinced that Tad could not create the town similar to Malgudi. The next change was the name of the hero as Raju Guide whereas in the novel it was Railway Raju. Raju’s childhood and youth don’t appear in the film. Part of the reason lay in popular cinema’s need to be larger than life. All the small town specificity of Malgudi was erased. The film also has many sequences specifically inserted to impress the foreign audience as some kind of Bharat-Darshan.

Similarly, the Rosie who made it to the Hindi film screen was nowhere near as radical as the original Rosie – the Rosie created by RK Narayan, in his novel The Guide.
Narayan’s character had chutzpah, but he had his awkward moments. But the film was a star vehicle for Dev Anand, and its hero had to be more Dev Anand than Raju. So Anand’s Raju Guide has no self-doubt. He is never worried about the hairiness of his chest. He never wonders if he could be bold enough to woo Rosie. It is in relation to Rosie that he is most transformed – because Rosie herself has changed. Narayan’s Rosie is no sophisticated, but her ambition is never in doubt. Nor is the carnality of Raju’s interest in her, or her reciprocation of it. The novel has none of the high-mindedness that Hindi cinema forced upon its heroes and heroines so Raju can tell us the truth: he is attracted to Rosie; his support of her dance begins because it is the clue to her affections.

The novel’s Rosie is full of plans; Raju need only support them. But Vijay Anand’s film, keenly aware of his conservative audience, turns his Rosie into a bundle of nerves who tries three times to commit suicide, only to be saved each time by Raju, and berated: “Tumhari haalat aaj yeh isliye hai ki tumne apni haalat se baghaavat karna nahi seekha.”
The other sociological element that makes both book and film fascinating is that Rosie is a devadasi by birth, and her reclaiming of dance in a new secular public form formed a fictional counterpart to the actual national reclaiming of Bharatnatyam. Here, too, the film has Marco insult dance, while Raju delivers a lecture on how artists are no longer bhaands.
By June 1963, the shooting of the English version of The Guide was completed and Pearl S. Buck who viewed the rushes found it up to the mark. When Narayan saw the English version in January 1964, he wrote to Dev, labelling the film profound, artistic, and exquisite. In 1964, Dev began promoting The Guide in the US and the premiere elicited encouraging responses from a cross-section of viewers.
The English version premiered at the Lincoln Art theatre in New York in February 1965. The mainstream press in America including The New York Times and the Time magazine didn’t take a liking to The Guide.
The English Guide was a flop but Dev Anand was not bothered, he took the failure in his stride. “The film did not fare well, but it gave me a semblance of recognition in a new arena… The new experience was rewarding enough,” he writes in Romancing with Life
Dev Anand had plans to release the Hindi version of The Guide by end 1965. But suddenly, he was faced with a barrage of protests from some quarters who strongly recommended that the film would be banned on grounds that it promoted infidelity, that too of a woman.
Finally, Guide released on 8 April 1966. It had a shaky start, for here was a film which didn’t present Dev Anand as the quintessential lover boy. Initially, the response was lukewarm but the film picked up after a few days when all the critics gave good reviews and also the music of the film became hit.

 Narayan didn’t care for either of the movies, especially the depiction of Rosie as an all-around dancer rather than a Bharatanatyam exponent. Probably referring to the Hindi version, Narayan writes, it “converted my heroine’s performances into an extravaganza with delicious fruity colours and costumes”.
Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Song of Guide 1965


Scene from Guide 1965