Forgotten gem….

Bollywood has always strongly believed in typecasting actors/actresses to certain types of roles. This led to severe restrictions on their abilities to express themselves emotionally. As a result when you see a Johnny Walker or a Mehmood in roles with dark shades of grey, you aren’t ready to relate to or appreciate the different role or emotive skills.

More than a bit unfair, really, as that meant that a wonderful actress like Meena Kumari was almost entirely confined to tragic roles with plenty of rona-dhona than she deserved. Her few happy roles showed she was more than adequately adept at these roles, too, but she never got the opportunity to show us the entire spectrum of her oeuvre that would have been so much more enjoyable.

This is one such a song.

Hamid Ali Khan is a name that will hardly ring a bell in many a mind, unless one is actively involved in quizzing. He was born in Golconda near Hyderabad and he studied in Hanamconda school and a Government college. He had been bitten by the A bug as even as a school boy, his handsome features and good build were noticed by his peers, who often told him that he should try and become a film hero, and he began to think of this. He was anyway not much interested in studies, and after finishing school, he sold his junior college textbooks to pay for the journey to Mumbai, the center of the Hindi film industry, and went away without informing his parents. He started life with a huge struggle on his hands, and only landed a few roles as an extra to start with. When he did get lead roles, initially the credits showed the name which he was born with. These movies flopped. Nanabhai Bhatt, the famous filmmaker of the day saw him being renamed with the name we know him by, Ajit.

Despite getting some good projects and big banner films, where his roles were noticed and even appreciated in Beqasoor (with Madhubala as the female lead and one of the biggest hits of the year)  Nastik, Baradari, Milan, Dholak, and Bada Bhai, as well as second rung roles like Naya Daur (with Dilip Kumar, where he more than holds his own ground in the duel), he somehow found the roles drying up and the industry made him accept lesser roles and resort to on-screen villainy to ensure survival.

This movie, Miss Bombay, was produced by Gulshan Bahl and had music by Hansraj Bahl. The lyrics are by Asad Bhopali. The cast is interesting with Nalini Jaywant and Rehman as well as Vijaylaxmi (of Baawre Nain). It feels so different to see Ajit in an emotional song.

Rafisaab is as good as he can always be relied upon to be. He always puts his heart and soul into every single song he sang. This is a truly fabulous song. The movie is nothing extraordinary, the storyline is utterly predictable for anyone with even a passing interest in films: it revolves around the life of Nalini Jaywant, who is a sweet girl working hard for her family in an Insurance firm and falls in love with Ajit- who is just a kind-hearted salesman. Both want to marry. That would have by itself wound up the story inside an hour.  She now finds herself having to marry a rich alcoholic ( Rehman) & is made to choose between duty and love.  Predictably she chooses duty and actually she changes his nature. Things get complicated when Rehman gets abducted and Ajit saves him from death at the hands of the gangster Tiwari and his big band of baddies, leading to utterly predictable consequences.

The song is lovely and would undoubtedly have become a lot more popular had it been part of a better movie.

Have a wonderful Monday, folks. I will join you at 1120 am for the 22nd of my fortnightly programs on Music that’ll surely get you dancing. See you soon


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “Forgotten gem….”

अजित ची माहिती फारच रोचक,
पण भावनाप्रधान भूमिकेतही शोभला,…वेगळ वाटलं थोड😁😅
अतिशय सुंदर गाणं,अगदी भिडणारं

Good morning Sir

Liked by 1 person

New information about Ajit…..
Wow….Rafi ji has emoted the feelings sooo well through his singing👍👍
Very poignant song…..
Ajit has emoted it soooo well on screen….
Indeed….whatever you have said is absolutely true….Many talented artists were/are type cast…..It’s sad…..we are unable to witness many unknown facets of their acting skills….
Thanks for the share Aniruddha sir👍

Liked by 1 person

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