Introspective melodies Shankar Jaikishan

Seeking guidance….

The movie I remember seeing on DD Mumbai. It was the first Shammi Kapoor movie for which Shankar Jaikishan first scored the music. Made by one  very interesting persona, F C Mehra, Ujala starred Shammi with Mala Sinha and Raajkumar, the latter in a character with pronounced shades of grey. Naresh Saigal directed the movie, scripted by the poet Qamar Jalalabadi, based on the director’s story and with one simple theme “Honesty always triumphs”. Shammi Kapoor had just come from his triumph, his first hit in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, actually meant to (re)launch the career of Ameeta, who was at the time something of a protégé to Totaram Jalan, the owner of Filmistan, a studio in Goregaon, formed by Sashadhar Mukherjee, Ashok Kumar, Raibahadur Chunilal and Gyan Mukherjee after breaking away from Bombay Talkies.

Shammi Kapoor formed his “image” as something of a carefree young man with mannerisms that were reminiscent of Elvis Presley, who he hero worshipped. One can see him practising these writhing movements and contortions in this movie as well. The storyline and plot are pretty much run of the mill. Poor, honest, young, & (somewhat) handsome Shammi Kapoor stays with his old suffering mother (Leela Chitnis, who else?) & falls in love with the voluptuous heavy lidded doe eyed Mala Sinha (who wouldn’t -at that stage she got top billing ahead of many if not most male leads). Rajkumar is the villain of the piece. Interestingly he was upset he had no songs to sing in the movie so one was specifically conjured up for the purpose. Talk of vainglorious men….

The song is wonderful, Manna Dey sings full throatedly, as only he could.

Manna Dey was at this stage trying to forge partnerships with various leading men without much lasting success. Despite such lovely songs, Shammi ditched him for Rafisaab, who in a way was to Shammi what Mukesh was to Raj Kapoor.

F C Mehra was a very interesting person, an immigrant from Peshawar, (same as the Kapoor Khandan) he proudly said he was a Hindu Pathan. Fakirchand Mehra and his Eagle Films played a role in creating a larger than life brand for Bollywood films. Starting with Sipahsalar with Shammi, he made a number of films. He had actually joined the (Royal) Indian Air Force and found his British Officer involved in hanky panky and promptly reported it to his boss. In return for this upright behaviour and showing criminal activity by a Firang, F C Mehra was suspended from the RIAF. His struggles and life story would make a lovely movie. I will dwell on it maybe some other day.

Have fun, folks, stay happy and healthy. I will join you at 1120 live on the 28th of my fortnightly programs on AIR Delhi FM Gold.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

14 replies on “Seeking guidance….”

Manna da was Shankars favorite. Yallah Yallah dil le gayi, sooraj zara aa paas aa and ab kahan jaye hum are great. Besides SJ give Lataji two songs picturised on Kumkum paired with Raaj kumar. Mora nadan balma and Tera jaywalking jisne dekha. I remember seeing it at a rerun and the whole audience was singing along . SJ are not musicians, they’re magicians said shashi kapoor. He was so correct.

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