This was a rather recurring question in the music rounds of Quiz competitions when I was in college, studying, in the last century of the last millennium. If that makes me look as ancient as T Rex, so be it. Just that I wasn’t a flesh eating predator. The movie launched the singing career of one of the two legends who figured in the soundtrack, and established all three of the leads as forces to reckon with. The only seasoned veteran who was established at the time was Khemchand Prakash, a fantastically gifted composer who contributed to so many timeless classics.
The movie was released just after India was freed (albeit in a bloodbath) from the white skinned looters who impoverished a nation that before their advent accounted for 26% of global GDP and successfully reduced it to less than 3% when they finally left. Allegedly due to the pedophilic habits of a thread weaver. (The amazing yarns that were spun and shoved down the throats of a gullible populace astound me. Was there collective insanity or stupor that a nation didn’t see through them?)
Amazingly, (or maybe not so) the movie’s credits gave top billing to the leading lady ahead of the two male actors. Kamini Kaushal was, at the time, the best known of the troika and unsurprisingly mentioned ahead of Dev Anand and Pran. This song by Lata Mangeshkar told a country of her talent. Truly one of her very early big hits that made a nation sit up and take notice of a truly divine once-in-a-millennium singer. The sharpness and youthfulness in her voice is clearly seen, she was barely 19 when the movie released. https://youtu.be/p-7NJ1lWZAE
Dev Anand and Pran were set on the glittering path to stardom as well, thanks to the movie and it’s success. Kishore Kumar sang his first song in Hindi films “Marne Ki Duaen Kyon Mangun“, a solo picturised on Dev Anand. He also sang his first duet with Latadidi in the movie, “Yeh Kaun Aaya Re, Karke Yeh Sola Singar“. The movie, made by Bombay Talkies was based on a story by Ismat Chughtai and was beautifully shot by Josef Wirsching, who was frequently seen in Bombay Talkies movies. Himanshu Rai employed many Germans, the director of Ashok Kumar’s debut film, Jeevan Naiya, was Franz Osten who actually didn’t think Dadamoni had what it takes to be a film hero. The movie was directed by Shaheed Latif (in Bombay Talkies movies, the director didn’t matter, it was always about the production house), and was called Ziddi.
A movie which gave us 5 big names and established their astounding careers, a true milestone in Bollywood.
Have a wonderful weekend, folks, stay healthy and happy. The blazing sun won’t dampen my spirits for sure…