Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SHOLAY : 42 Years Epitome of Box Office Success by Niilesh A Raje

Forty-two years ago on this date, 15th August movie “SHOLAY” was released which till date has proved to be indeed a defining moment in the history of Indian Cinema. The greatest story ever told. Out of the many songs featured in this movie, I would love to pen down short piece on this toe tapping number from the movie namely, “Mehbooba Mehbooba”.

Just before the start of this gypsy number is the climax and electrifying dialogue from Sanjeev Kumar (Thakur), “Ye Heera Gabbar Ko Badukein Aur Goliyan Bhejne Ata Hai. Ek Do Din Mein Gabbar Use Jaroor Milega. Loha Garam Hai Mar Do Hatoda”. 

While R D Burman composed the songs for the movie the lyrics were penned down by Bakshi Saab (Anand Bakshi), “Phool Bahaaron Se Nikla, Chaand Sitaaron Se Nikla Din Dooba”. Song was sung by the music composer himself R D Burman that later gave him a good identity as the lead singer.  

It was planned for a five-day shoot for which sets were constructed and the shooting location for the song was none other than R K Studio at Chembur. Screenplay writer Salim Saab used to drop in between during the shoot of this song. Yes, matters of the heart speak and we see Helen play a pivotal role in this super hit song.

Actor Jalal Agha played the role of the gypsy singer opposite Helen. In the song actor, Helen has played her role well where she is seen neither speaking nor singing anything in the song in front of the ruthless Gabbar Singh. 

Shooting scheduled dates were already communicated to Jalal Agha in advance but it’s learnt that he failed to report on day one of his shoot as he was out of station working on other assignment. Ramesh Sippy was obviously upset and decided to go ahead and complete the solo shots with Helen required in this song. Ramesh Sippy had made up his mind to do the role himself in an unlikely event if Jalal Agha did not report on the second day for the shooting. He did report on the next day and we see him wearing European gypsy costume playing the mandolin.

The song was indeed toe tapping however the curiosity and thrill amongst the masses in this song being Jai and Veeru seen in the background who are preparing for an explosion within the vicinity of Gabbar Singh.

R D Burman was later seen as plagiarist for using the tune of Demis Roussos’s, “Say you love me” in the song “Mehbooba Mehbooba”. The reality being the tune was indeed recommended to Pancham Da by Ramesh Sippy only who had heard this song earlier at his brother’s home and developed instant liking towards its tune.

Its forty two years now since SHOLAY was released both the movie and songs still continue to be the epitome of box office success.

The veteran lyricist of this song Bakshi Saab (Anand Bakshi) went way ahead with the same word "Mehbooba" and two years later post release of Sholay in the year 1977 came up with another lovely number from movie "Dharam Veer", "O meri mehbooba mehbooba mehbooba tujhe jaana hai toh jaa teri marji mera kya".

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