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Love songs Romantic Duets Shankar Jaikishan

A fruitful partnership….

Bollywood has had a long tradition of establishing partnerships of various kinds. Producer-Director, Producer/Director- Male/Female lead, Producer-Music Director, Music Director-Singer , Music Director-Lyricist, Male-Female leads, and even Actor-Singer (gender insensitive). In an industry where the chance of glorious success is rather a much smaller fraction as compared to the much larger risk of ignominious failure, every straw is clutched at in a desperate measure to achieve the elusive success.

Raj Kapoor turned producer very early on in his professional life and formed a long lasting partnership with the young instrumentalists (that he knew from his apprenticeship at Pruthvi Theaters), Shankar and Jaikishan. In a symbiotic relationship, both fed on ( & contributed to) each other’s success and their association was hugely successful till Raj Kapoor’s ship struck an iceberg in Mera Naam Joker. The Titanicesque tragedy was crippling and dealt the old man a near-mortal blow. His movies after this showed a sharp turn towards becoming skin flicks and pandering the voyeurs in the audience.

In his career, he formed strong alliances with a number of people in the Team RK. Shankar Jaikishan, Shailendra, Hasrat, and Mukesh were integral parts of the jigsaw he put together to achieve success. His fascination bordering on obsession and hero-worship of a Chaplinesque tramp-underdog was very apparent in his early movies, and it was little wonder that these movies found a massive market in the Socialist ( read COMMUNIST) bloc in Eastern Europe and China. Some of his movies enjoyed the largest geographical footprints in the history of world cinema. His partnership with Nargis was also notable on the professional ( & for Raj Kapoor at the time the line between personal and professional lives was thin and rather blurred) front. The two came together when Raj Kapoor was already married and fathering children of his own ( he would go on to have 5 in all ). L’Amour fuelled his creativity and the two were romantically linked for more than a decade. Raj Kapoor’s refusal to divorce the wife (& his kids) finally put paid to the affair. This song is from the last movie the two did together, not an RK Films project. The movie was produced by L B Lachman and directed by Anant Thakur. It was distributed by AVM Films, the giant production house from Chennai (then called Madras); and their stamp on the movie is unmistakable in the locales, sets, music, dances, and cast as well. The movie based on the Hollywood hit, It happened one night with some threads from Roman Holiday, was called Chori Chori in Hindi.

Raj Kapoor carried Nargis along as well as Shankar Jaikishan, but Mukesh was missing. He had somehow managed to get himself shackled by a very restrictive contract by rather unscrupulous people that forbade him from singing for others. As a result there were a clutch of films in the early to mid 50s where the honest, untiring ( & somewhat hapless) singer Manna Dey stepped in. The duet is one of my all time favourite ones. https://youtu.be/gK4p4hDYLHg

Manna Dey and Latadidi create magic together. A set of magical lyrics by Hasrat Jaipuri and voila, an eternal , timeless classic was created just out of the blue. The passionate on-screen chemistry the two shared is apparent.

Unfortunately for Manna Dey, Mukesh returned and he was relegated to the bench once again, a perennial substitute. I always wonder what would have happened if a Burmanda, or an SJ/LP/OPN stuck to Manna Dey . We would have surely seen him in an entirely different light.

Nargis stopped working with Raj Kapoor after this superhit, bar a very short cameo at the very end of Jaagte Raho.

C’est la vie

Stay healthy and happy, folks as the sluggish monsoon hopefully picks up pace and helps drop the mercury.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

8 replies on “A fruitful partnership….”

Manna Dey week. All songs from Chori Chori were beautiful. That Katputli title song picturization was perhaps routine for those days as we’ve seen in many movies. But to those watching the song today, it will come across as refreshing.

Liked by 1 person

Your pen makes uncommon out of common 👌🙏🏾Yess a song we all grew up with… depicting sheer romance 👌👌👌
Lovely share SIRJI🙏🏾

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