Saturday, July 29, 2017

35 years of 'KHUD-DAAR’ : by Niilesh A Raje

Thirty-five years of release for Amitabh Bachchan's movie "Khud-Daar" (1982). "Khud-Daar" was released around the same time when Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital (Mumbai) after he met an accident on the sets of "Coolie". The same year 1982 also witnessed the release of four other movies starring Amitabh Bachchan namely, "Namak Halaal", "Shakti", "Satte Pe Satta", and "Desh Premee". "Khud-Daar" movie performed extremely well at the box office and also turned out to be a musical hit. Lyrics were penned down by the prolific lyrics writer Late Majrooh Sultanpuri and music was by Rajesh Roshan. Two songs from this movie I would like to amplify here in my piece:

In the song "Mach Gaya Shor Sari Nagri Re" Amitabh Bachchan plays the main character in the small neighborhood and is seen climbing up the human pyramid to reach the top and then breaking the Dahi handi. The song was shot over several days a little away from Powai at Mumbai's Chandivili Studio.

Usually, the Dahi handi is broken by the hands of the individual who has climbed way up to the top. But, to add some thrill to the dance sequence the dance director instructed Amitabh Ji that he smash the handi with his head and not with his hands. Amitabh Ji true to his words went ahead and was successful in breaking the handi with his head but also ended up hurting himself and smashed his head too. His forehead was hurt and blood was seen oozing out. Everyone on the sets got apprehensive and suggested that they wrap up the shoot and have Amitabh Ji admitted in the infirmary at the earliest. However, Amitabh Bachchan got straight into his car and drove off to meet Dr. Shah who was then the Film Industry's family doctor. In his clinic, he stitched and taped Amitabh Bachchan and he was once again back to the studio within no time to resume his shooting with brimming confidence coupled with greater applause from the whole crew on the sets.

The crucial dates and time of the stars coupled with the expenses involved in film making nothing could be compromised then. Amitabh Ji was working double shifts those days (7 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 10 pm). "Khud-Daar" was scheduled for the morning shift. After completing the shoot for the day in the afternoon he went to Mehboob Studio at Bandra to complete the shoot for Manmohan Desai's "Desh Premi". The passion and pride showcased by Amitabh Ji in his chosen craft is incredible and the justice he gives to the whole crew with whom his work is associated. Even today after 35 years post release of "Khud-Daar" when ever it's Janmashtami we can hear the song, Mach Gaya Shor Sari Nagri Re"  being played loudly. 

The other song from "Khud-Daar" movie was, "Angrezi Mein Khete Hai Ki I Love You" another powerful lyric from Late Majrooh Saab. If there was a musical hit given by the duo Rajesh Roshan and Majrooh Sultanpuri after the success of "Kunwara Baap" then it has to be the movie "Khud-Daar". Majrooh Saab was well known for his creative imagination and dexterity over different languages (Angrezi, Gujarati, Bengali and Punjabi). The same was effectively leveraged by Majrooh Saab in the song, "Angrezi Mein Khete Hai Ki I Love You"

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Aashiqui Twenty Seven Years A Journey That Was : by ~ Niilesh A Raje

Twenty-seven years the journey that was when Gulshan Kumar along with Mahesh Bhatt presented the musical rage Aashiqui. The curiosity of this romantic movie started right from the time the poster was released. The way the couple was seen to be making love passionately under the coat and smooching each other followed by the tagline "Love Makes Life Live". Even today after almost over two decades the love story of Rahul Roy and the dusky girl from Delhi Anu Aggarwal still resonates fresh in the hearts of the lovers. 

Aashiqui was the love story of youthful love between a homeless parentless orphan girl (Anu Aggarwal) and a singer guitarist (Rahul Roy). The venue was Sea Rock Hotel, Bandra a common friend's luncheon that Anu chanced to meet the director Mahesh Bhatt of Aashiqui. 

Anu wasn't too keen to get into movies her only aim then was to fly back to Paris. Each time Mahesh used to call her Anu used to reply, "I will call you back". Finally, when Anu went to meet Mahesh Bhatt couple of days later at his shoot location she politely declined the offer as she had to return back to Paris before the next season of haute-couture begins. Pat came the reply from Mahesh Bhatt, "We will complete the shoot in three months". This response was like, "There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip". 

The next day, in an old house in Chimbai Village in Bandra, Anu lip-synched the song - "Jaane jigar jaane man . . . jaanam jaane jahan". Chimbai, the 400-year-old beach in Mumbai was once a quaint fishing village. Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal who came from nowhere became the talk of the town. Even the signature style of actor Deepak Tijori became a rage. Not to forget the hair style of Rahul Roy. It looked as if the masses had accepted this new theme of love namely Aashiqui. People were able to connect to them as the cast was seen to be somewhere from daily walks of life. Apart from the great story line was the haunting music that captivated the ears of many music lovers. Having good songs in a movie can alone make the movie hit looked to be a distant dream for many film makers then. Aashiqui had indeed a good storyline as well.

Aashiqui was actually as inspiration from the personal life of Mahesh Bhatt. "I couldn't forget the day when Gulshan Kumar came to me and he lived up to his words. He was an unusual man". I was shooting in the suburbs when Gulshan Ji approached Mahesh Bhatt and said, "Aap Ka Naam Mahesh Hai Na. Will it be ok if you and I work together in synergy towards a musical film in which there would be roughly about 8 or 9 songs I guarantee you we together would set the nation a blaze. I would take the music into every home and heart. Gulshan Kumar came from nowhere but he could take a thousand MBA Graduates and teach them lessons in Management. Aashiqui was launched in Sudeep Studio in Mumbai" admits Mahesh Bhatt.

Director Mahesh Bhatt wasn't apprehensive taking new entrant like Rahul Roy or Anu Aggarwal. Right after his first take with Anu, he said, "Ok" happily. That only shows the creative confidence of the director. It was, "Love In The Times of Cholera" book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that really helped Anu Aggarwal study and prepare well for the role. 

The film also marked the career of singer Kumar Sanu and music composers Nadeem-Shravan. The first song that got recorded was, "Nazar Ke Saamne Jigar Ke Pass".  The movie swept away with four Filmfare awards to its credit. 

Nadeem Shravan (Filmfare Award for Best Music Director) 
Kumar Sanu (for "Ab Tere Bin") Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer
Anuradha Paudwal (for "Nazar Ke Saamne") Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer and 
Sameer (for "Nazar Ke Saamne") Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist

Starting with the movie Aashiqui Kumar Sanu's career took him to exalted heights. He was awarded the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for five consecutive years. He also holds the Guinness Book world record for recording the most songs in a day, 28, in the year 1993.  

We also had seen the anger in the eyes of Tom Alter and Reema Lagoo playing their part equally well in the movie. Reema Lagoo began her journey with Mahesh Bhatt in the world of movies with Aashiqui in which she played the role of a single parent to Rahul Roy supporting her son in his matters of the heart. 

The letter from Anu to Rahul which read, "Rahul aagle shanivaar library ke baju wale classroom  mein milna 7:30 baje Anu" and the song follows, Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Mein Aana. Director Mahesh Bhatt reminisced how he used to meet his crush then when he was in Bombay Scottish School in the late 60's.     

Today's generation of songs may bore listeners after a week of their production whereas songs of Aashiqui have been soothing the ears of people for several decades. Not to forget the curtain opens up with the song only and the voice of Kumar Sanu, "Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye Aashiqui Ke Liye" where the title of the movie comes in the first opening lines only.