Tag Archives: Dilip Kumar

Reliving the life of Rafi

Mumbai, MAHARASHTRA / Bengaluru – KARNATAKA :

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Dastaan-E-Rafi looks at the phenomenal Hindi playback singer through the eyes of the film fraternity, but as a human being

‘Do you know about the Sanjay Gandhi- Kishore Kumar incident? And how Rafi came to Kishore’s recuse?’ These are the kind of leading questions and anecdotes that we Bollywood-crazy people thrive on.

And it is this sort of personal journey that Rajni Acharya promises with his film on one of Bollywood’s most charismatic and versatile singers, Mohammed Rafi, titled Dastaan-e-Rafi.

“Mohammed Rafi was a very different kind of a singer. He was well trained in classical music. But he was not padha-likha …his attitude inspired me,” says co-director and producer of what he calls a “lifeOgraphy” of Rafi.

India is a music-loving country, he observes. “We all begin our day listening to music,” he smiles, speaking at the 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes). And, what more can interest people than the life story of a musician, he argues. “Rafi was also a great actor. He could be Dilip Kumar when he sang for him. He could be Shammi Kapoor, or he could be Johnny Walker… that quality is so rare in a singer,” he adds. We all have our personal favourite list of Rafi songs.

Rajni, an industry insider of over 25 years with his own media production house, who admits he had reasonable access to information and people, also recounts the other side of the making of this two-hour saga – he slogged on it for five years, starting with research, and spent 55 lakhs on it!

Many studios and production houses refused to part with footage of songs for a commercial venture like his. Acquiring music tracks alone was proving too expensive. “Some of the actors, singers and music directors we approached for interviews demanded money! We have stood outside their homes for hours to get some of these interviews. I shot for over 120 days to complete this film.”

He shot parts of the film in Pakistan, in Kotla Sultan Singh in the Punjab area, speaking to Rafi’s brother, son, friends. He interviewed Shamshad Begum, Ghulam Ali, Lata Mangeshkar, the entire Kapoor khandaan across generations, including a total of 60 people — co-singers, actors, music directors, his daughters who’ve given interviews before, interspersed with 60 of his songs.

The film also traces the famous singer’s career graph. “He is one of the very few in the industry who was able to rise once again, after a downward career spiral,” opines Rajni, who got close to Rafi’s family.

When the media was busy writing off Rafi’s career, it was Kishore Kumar who called a press conference and told them not to write about him negatively, says Rajni. When Sanjay Gandhi approached Kishore to do concerts to raise party funds, Kishore demanded his fee. “So Kishore was banned on radio. Producers stopped giving him work. People came and told Rafi this is a great opportunity for you. But Rafi instead approach Sanjay Gandhi and offered to sing for free, asking for the ban on Kishore to be lifted.” His film, says Rajni, looks at Rafi not just as a singer, but as a great human being. “Every single person we spoke to agreed he is a gentleman.”

The film has been telecast on Zee already, and will soon be out on DVD.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Entertainment / by Bhumika K  / Februar 08th, 2017

The timeless beauty: Madhubala

The indelible Madhubala led a tumultuous life albeit with great elegance.

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She was the flawless beauty. A woman of resolve and uncanny character. Her mystique and charisma attracted the West to our showbiz shores. More than Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, the cogs in Hollywood wanted to know who she was, so when Hollywood director Frank Capra visited Bombay, all that he wanted to do was meet her. She was the veritable Indian beauty, our answer to Marylin Monroe. But unlike her Hollywood equivalent, she evoked awe and respect in the Hindi film industry. Her sex-appeal was preceded by her tehzeeb. Unlike Marylin who was chided for being the blonde, she was considered a professional par excellence. As the story goes, she was so dedicated that she obsessed about punctuality. In the late ’40s, she reported on the sets of her film a good hour-and-a-half before time. This after she had braved torrential rain, floods and a trip in the local trains. Her then director Kidar Sharma was pleasantly shocked. She continued to display the same commitment even when she was a top-billed star.

A young Madhubala is pictured with her father Ataullah Khan. Her father was a key figure in Madhubala‘s career. He would maintain strict control over who she could meet and where she could go. Reportedly, he even imposed a 7 pm deadline for the actress.
A young Madhubala is pictured with her father Ataullah Khan. Her father was a key figure in Madhubala‘s career. He would maintain strict control over who she could meet and where she could go. Reportedly, he even imposed a 7 pm deadline for the actress.

Beauty with a heart
She was the most exquisite woman celluloid ever witnessed. Her beauty had the power to mend broken hearts. Dilip Kumar was nursing heartbreak in 1950 but when he met she on the set of Tarana, it was her fluttering smile that stole his heart. The list of her suitors just went on and on.

Madhubala (R) with co-star Chanchal (L) in Mehlon Ke Khwab. This the mad cap comedy with Kishore Kumar was one of Madhubala’s early foray into comedy.
Madhubala (R) with co-star Chanchal (L) in Mehlon Ke Khwab. This the mad cap comedy with Kishore Kumar was one of Madhubala’s early foray into comedy.

Prem Nath who was good friends with Dilip Kumar, also vied for her affections. So much so that, his friendship with Dilip apparently went kaput. Despite the flooding interest of men, she never found what she was looking for – true love. But that didn’t change her intrinsic warmth. She was known to be compulsive about lending a helping hand. She was known to give away a purse full of 100 rupee notes to the less fortunate on her sets. She would even greet trespassing paparazzi with her famous melancholic smile.

Light-hearted romances worked for Madhubala too. Movies like Tarana with Dilip Kumar added good steam to her career.
Light-hearted romances worked for Madhubala too. Movies like Tarana with Dilip Kumar added good steam to her career.

Sweet poison
She was the most sought after actress in B-town. She could do comedy, tragedy and romance with consummate ease. But for all the talent in the world, her initial foray as leading lady wasn’t well-received. Barring Mahal (1949) and Tarana (1951) all her initial movies failed at the box-office.

Pradeep Kumar and Madhubala worked together for the first time in Passport. This film was one of the highest grossers of 1961, simply because the audience wanted to see more of the Mughl-E-Azam star.
Pradeep Kumar and Madhubala worked together for the first time in Passport. This film was one of the highest grossers of 1961, simply because the audience wanted to see more of the Mughl-E-Azam star.

She was called ‘box-office poison’ and was relegated to films like Lal Dupatta, Singaar and Desh Sewa. But as resolute as she was she bounced back with films like Badal, Sangdil, Mr & Mrs 55 and Howrah Bridge. By the time Mughal-E-Azam hit screens in 1960, she was at the top of her game. Her last film to release was Jwala in 1971 with Sunil Dutt.

(L)Mughl-E-Azam was the epic film in Madhubala’s career. Not only were audiences curious to see her and Dilip Kumar together in the same frame, they wanted to see why the magnum opus took so many years to complete. (R)It was during the shooting of Mughl-E-Azam that the first bulletins of her heart ailment became public. Director K Asif had reportedly got her shackled in real iron chains which hadn’t helped the ailing actress.
(L)Mughl-E-Azam was the epic film in Madhubala’s career. Not only were audiences curious to see her and Dilip Kumar together in the same frame, they wanted to see why the magnum opus took so many years to complete.
(R)It was during the shooting of Mughl-E-Azam that the first bulletins of her heart ailment became public. Director K Asif had reportedly got her shackled in real iron chains which hadn’t helped the ailing actress.

Business savvy
With the world at her feet, she could’ve had anything she fancied. But her ambitions were modest. The sole reason she worked in films was because she was the breadwinner of her huge family. In the late ’40s, when she first featured as a lead actress, Suraiya was the top heroine.

In the early ’60s musical comedies had become a staple for star her. Her pairing with Kishore Kumar was being appreciated a lot and one such caper was the fun-filled film Jhumroo.
In the early ’60s musical comedies had become a staple for star her. Her pairing with Kishore Kumar was being appreciated a lot and one such caper was the fun-filled film Jhumroo.

Call her a beauty with brains because she made sure a dozen producers hired her thanks to her more lucrative deals. She used to sign films at one fifth the price that her contemporaries were charging. The modest remunerations changed into fat pay cheques when she became a star.

After a long period of absence Madhubala tried to comeback to the movies in the late ‘60s. Jwala (1971) with Sunil Dutt released two years after her death.
After a long period of absence Madhubala tried to comeback to the movies in the late ‘60s. Jwala (1971) with Sunil Dutt released two years after her death.

Tragedy hit
Right through her life, she lived in the shadow of her father Ataullah Khan. He’s known to have controlled what movies she worked in, whom she met and what places she could visit. It was his alleged domination that lead to the unfortunate end of her much-talked about love affair with Dilip Kumar. She had her moments of belligerence, when she attended the premiere of Insaniyat (1955) on Dilip’s arm. But eventually the friction led to a public split, what with Dilip having a showdown in court. The trauma of it all broke her already fragile heart.

Madhubala’s death was a grave loss. Here you can see Prithviraj Kapoor visiting her burial site in Mumbai.
Madhubala’s death was a grave loss. Here you can see Prithviraj Kapoor visiting her burial site in Mumbai.

Yes, the most beautiful Indian woman in the world born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, suffered from a ventricular spetal defect, a hole in the heart. Nonetheless, she was able to ward off depression and anguish and tie the knot with Kishore Kumar. But she was slated for a tragic end. Her health deteriorated. Even though Kishore did his best, he couldn’t save the inevitable. She faded to an ailing heart.

source: http://www.filmfare.com / FilmFare.com / Home> Features / by Rachit Gupta, Features Editor / Monday – November 11th, 2013

Sepia notes: Harbinger of change

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Dilip Kumar takes part at a special broadcast of BBC Indian Service during his visit to London in April 1953.

Born to a dry fruit merchant in December 11,1922, Yusuf Khan started his career as a manager at Bombay Army Canteen. But fate had other plans for him. A chance encounter with Devika Rani of Bombay Talkies landed this shy and debonair young man in Tinsel Town.

Of this Ashok Raj in his book Hero wrote: The Silent Era to Dilip Kumar says: “Devika Rani had gone out for shopping to a local market. At one fruit shop, she looked keenly at the young man engrossed at selling his merchandise. It was by mere chance that the shy shopkeeper had only replaced his father that day. Devika Rani found this young man with a sensitive face and expressive eyes quite unusual. She gave him her visiting card and asked him to meet her at the studio.”

Bombay Talkies not only changed his destiny but also his name — Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar and made his debut in Tinsel Town with Jwar Bhata (1944).

It has been 70 long years since Yusuf was ‘spotted’ and today he is considered as the ‘first modern Indian actor’ who freed himself from the theatrical mannerisms and developed a more natural and distinctive style, which stressed on silent pauses and hand gestures and films like Andaz, Jogan, Daag, Baabul, Aan, Daag, Foot Path, Madhumati, Devdas, Naya Daur and Ganga Jumna stand testimony to his versatility.

source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com / Mumbai Mirror / Home> Entertainment> Bollywood / by Mumbai Mirror / October 19th, 2013