Beauty in simplicity…..

This is yet another movie that I saw in the MLT of our alma mater. A Saturday afternoon and evening well spent. Movies of this generation actually had great charm and did the job of storytelling exceptionally well. Aawara was a blockbuster of the time ( and indeed of all times). A movie which earned close to ₹16 crores in 1951 would mean having grossed more than a ₹1000 Cr at current value.

The story was written by Raj Kapoor‘s favourite, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas. Raj Kapoor directed and produced the movie. It’s story had a very strong socialist/communist slant and appealed strongly to countries of the Soviet bloc. My cousin, who was a champion wrestler and in the early 50s went to Warsaw for World Youth Games, was repeatedly asked to sing the title song of this movie as well as another very popular Raj Kapoor song, “Mera joota hai Japani” on that trip.

The movie has the RK Films winning combo of Shankar-Jaikishan, Shailendra, Mukesh (with the Nightingale of India , Bharatratna Lata Mangeshkar in divine form here in this song) & that assured a fabulous musical score. What better example of the quality of music of the time than this?

The movie had the only on-screen appearance of Raj Kapoor‘s grandfather, Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor in a cameo. Raj Kapoor, a boy born in poverty thanks to his father – who is actually a judge (Prithviraj Kapoor)- having thrown out his pregnant wife of their home, suspecting her fidelity (she has been kidnapped for a few days by a man convicted by the same Judge on rather flimsy grounds), starts as a shoeshine boy, and graduates to becoming a petty thief and pretty much a vagabond. He meets his childhood friend Rita who was in his class when he did attend classes and the two fall in love.

I love the way the song is constructed and rendered. Lata Mangeshkar was barely 20 when the song was made, and the youthfulness shows in her voice. (How many of us did anything meaningful when we were 20, much less about becoming “Stars” at the age)

Mukesh is typically himself, as the vocal soul of Raj Kapoor. Shankar Jaikishan‘s composition is truly sublime, and the song is my personal favourite from one of the most celebrated movies ever to come out of India.

The song , more than 70 years old, sounds fresh and is truly eternal… From the first words, it takes over one’s heart.

Have a wonderful Sunday, folks, and join me on my fortnightly special tomorrow at 1120 that will get you to don your dancing shoes.

Stay healthy and happy


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

6 replies on “Beauty in simplicity…..”

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