By – SSMURTHY (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Abbas sab approached Mehboob initially with his story of Awara with Raj and Prithviraj in mind, but Mehboob opted for his blue eyed boy Dilip Kumar in place of Raj which was not to Abbas sab’s concept, since he believed and was convinced of the conviction that Awara was a theme, centred around, a father son equation with the neeli neeli ankhen syndrome looming in the script and therefore thought Raj and Prithviraj would fit the bill perfectly.
It was however much later that Abbas approached Raj with the same script, who didn’t bat an eyelid as he took on the arduos task of getting Papaji’s consent.
Papaji version was that Prithviraj does not play the role of the hero’s father, cleverly it was interpreted by Abbas sab, No Raj plays the role of the hero’s son ! Outwitted, Prithviraj delightfully gave in as Raj searched for the silver coin to crystallise the venture.
The romance of Raj Nargis was crackling hot in the aftermath of Aag and Barsaat causing strife in both families as Nargis was already facing the storm in her domestic citadel and diffident as she was of her getting cast opp Raj Kapoor in Awara, couldnt hide her desperation on this score to Shammi who happened to be the hero’s brother, was then still in his knickers was trying to regale Nargis, aas he observed her heart was not in the conversation. She seemed awfully preoccupied
and suddenly she burst out “Shammi if I get to do Awara I’ll give you a kiss”.
The casting of Awara was finalised and Nargis was in and by that time Shammi had grown
another 4 inches with a straggly moustache as one day Shammi went to Nargis to collect his dues. Nargis was scandalised as she shrieked “Shammi you are a big boy now how can I kiss you !
Shammi was denied the promised kiss by Nargis as she adoringly requested him for an exchange of anything else in lieu.
Shammi thought of a gramaphone, fully convinced it was an exacting demand difficult to concede, but was amazed at Nargis consenting and bought for him not only the gramaphone but also a complete set of twenty records and thus his tryst with the musical destiny began, as music entered him that day. It was the best bit of buisness trading, a kiss for music,as he got intoxicated with music to synchronise his bodily expressions, eventually rendering him the most phenomenal leading musical hero of his time, as any new heroine would fancy opposite him and vouchsafe guaranteed success to its producer.
The only other prerequisite being an MD who knew the bodily acrobatic nuances of Shammi.
Enter OPN with Tumsa nahin dekha and Usha Khanna with Dil Dekhe Dekho and the public imagination swung with Shammi’s shaved off pencil moustache, swept back hair,
a couple of jackets and dived “Tum sa nahin dekha” head first to surface with a hit, followed by another hit “Dil Deke Dekho” with a few others to follow
and then came “Junglee”one of the biggest musical hits of its time celebrating a Silver Jubilee even in Chennai where the language was hardly understood, so much for the musical prowess of SJ . The “Yahoo” shook not only the Kashmir valley but a few of Shammi’s contemporaries and more than anything else it was a cry of victory and redemption from the days of despair.
I have been obseving Shammi’s interviews at varous times and two music director’s names he generally mentions, one is SJ and the other invariably OPN, eventhough as far as I remember OP has scored only for two film’s for Shammi as against SJ’s appx 22 films unless I missed out on a few..
Maybe his gratitude for an initial sucess after a row of 19 flops,
Tumsa nahin dekha was musically an OP Rafi delight, to be followed again
only in Kashmir Ki Kali which was among Shammi’s all time best remembered outside the SJ umbrella.
Shammi recalls that OP composed all the films tunes in about two hours time over a full bottle of whisky !.Incredulous and amazing.!!
Strangely It is RD who takes pride to have scored for Teesri Manzil much as he was privileged to convince Shammi, that he could give music a-la SJ who were the initial choice of Shammi as he replaced Dev, the original choice of Nasir Hussain.
It was natural for RDB to bask in the glory of appreciation he received on fine morning on the telephone by Jaikishan for the score rendered and for all die heard listeners of film music know for certain that RD’s score in Teesri Manzil was but an echo of SJ.
When you look at the list
Amazing it is that Ravi with his brilliant score’s of China Town, Pyar kiya tho Darna kya
KA with Bluff Master and Preet na jaane reet, and Usha Khanna with Dil Deke Dekho’
are hardly remembered as these films are identified more with Shammi and less with the the MD’s eventhough they are among the one’s who have also contributed towards the star’s career and success.
A comprehensive list of Shammi’s films by and large by SJ and others are given as under
which will give an idea of the stars impact with SJ and the celluloid world then
SJ Non SJ
CHAR DIL CHAR RAHEN
RAAT KE RAAHI
TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA OPN
DIL DE KE DEKHO UK
BLUFF MASTER KA
PAGLA KAHIN KA
DIL TERA DIWANA
PYAR KIYA THO DARNA KYA RAVI
PREET NA JAANE REET KA
CHINA TOWN RAVI
AN EVENING IN PARIS
TEESRI MANZIL RDB
TUMSE ACHHA KAUN HAI
KASHMIR KI KALI OP
Though Jaikishan is assosciated with Shammi’s flamboyance it is in films like Ujala in black and white and Professor in colour that have an articulate rendering of some very melodious songs where Shankar has come out dazzling with numbers like
“Ab kahan jaayen hum…….” and “Khuli palak me jhootha gussa……. “..
can you put your hands on your heart and earnestly tell,
“is there a more soulful number than the former
and a more melodious romantic number than the later.”