‘Mughal e Azam’ at 60: One man’s quest for perfection created celluloid historical past

Mumbai, August 10

The footwear was costly and custom-made for the actor already on his method to turning into a legend and the movie black and white, however director Okay Asif was candid if just a little brutal, “If I give normal footwear, he will walk like Dilip Kumar and if I give expensive shoes he will walk like Salim”.       

‘Mughal e Azam’, the epic extravaganza on the doomed love between the rebellious prince Salim and the headstrong dancer Anarkali, turned 60 this month. And movie historian SMM Ausaja’s recall of Asif’s reply when requested why he would spend a lot on sneakers in a movie the place the colors wouldn’t present illustrates the hunt for perfection that led to a traditional that has stood the take a look at of six decades—and counting.

Nothing might come between the imaginative and prescient of a filmmaker, who was solely in his 20s when he began the movie that was 12 years within the making, and its realisation. There may very well be no compromise, not even on sneakers.

‘Mughal-E-Azam’, starring Prithviraj Kapoor within the title position as Emperor Akbar, Durga Khote as Jodha Bai and Dilip Kumar and Madhubala because the star-crossed lovers, was born of Asif’s obsession to create a grand celluloid occasion that might be a beacon for Hindi cinema forever.

With beautiful detailing, music by Naushad and songs equivalent to ‘Mohe Panghat Pe Nand Lal’ and ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kiya’, the lavishly instructed story of forbidden romance launched on August 5, 1960. And Asif’s dream was realised with many 1000’s pouring into theatres to observe the movie a number of occasions.

Some tales, anecdotes and quotes turn into a part of folklore. In truth, the making of ‘Mughal e Azam’ may very well be a movie all its personal with these related to it, movie historians and aficionados doffing their hats to the cussed perfectionist that was Okay Asif.

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar stated music performed a pivotal position in taking the story ahead.

“I met K Asif sahab maybe two-three times. Most of our interactions were with Naushad sahab. He would interact with the director first, understand things and then take the responsibility of scoring the best music. Asif sahab would always be happy with the songs. Shakeel Badayuni sahab wrote such beautiful lines. Every song is so beautiful,” Mangeshkar instructed PTI over telephone.

Recalling the recording of ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ in an period with out the tech gimmicks of right now, she stated, “Naushad sahab wanted to add a few things and we didn’t have the technology. He told me to sing the lines ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ and then slowly step back while singing so that my voice comes from a little distance”. Actor Tabassum was about 14 years outdated when she acted within the movie.

“Asif sahab used to say, whenever a film will be made and will be ‘lajawab’ (perfect), people will ask, ‘Are you making ‘Mughal-E-Azam?’,” she instructed PTI.

“Asif sahab believed in perfection. Usually, directors would say ‘ok’ to a shot given by an artiste. He was adamant on getting the perfect shot and if he wouldn’t get one he wouldn’t move ahead. Due to Asif’s sahab desire for perfection, the film took a lot of time to be made,” she stated.

Asif, she recalled, approached her mother and father for a job the place she could be proven having a tiff with Jalal Agha, who was to play the younger Salim. She stated the taking pictures happened for 35-40 days however she was just a little damage as most of her scenes have been reduce.

The recollections are treasured nonetheless, she stated, recalling that the movie and the taking pictures of it represented one of the best of composite Indian tradition with stars and junior artistes mingling freely, sharing meals and bonding like an enormous household.

The movie was shot at Mohan Studios in Andheri.

“It was like a happy family. It seemed like a prince was getting married as there was a crowd on the sets. There was no difference or distinction between actors and technicians, rich or poor or on the basis of religion.”         “Asif sahab was a foodie so there were so many delicacies. There was Mughlai food for Dilip Kumar and Madhubala and I, Durga Khote loved Maharashtrian food, Punjabi dishes were for Prithviraj Kapoor ji. Everyone from actors to technicians, including lightmen, would gorge on food.”           The tales abound.

Writer Rajkumar Kesvani, who researched for 15 years to jot down his bestseller ‘Dastan-E-Mughal-E-Azam’, recalled individuals repeating the dialogues of the movie on the streets when he was only a baby.

One day his household took him to observe the movie and that’s the day he stated his life modified eternally.

He stated it was like being touched by the magic of Asif’s insanity, his “faqirana mizaj”.

“The aim behind writing this book was the magnetic personality of K Asif. I wanted to know what kind of a man would make something that people have been trying to recreate for 60 years but have failed,” he instructed PTI.

“He was a man who never cared for money, made a movie worth crores but lived in rented accommodations and never owned a car. He would roam around in taxis. His fourth marriage was with Dilip Kumar’s sister Akhtar Asif,” he instructed PTI.

Akhtar as soon as instructed him that he didn’t know learn how to write a cheque. And one time, he gave away Rs 10,000 of the Rs 15,000 he had simply withdrawn from the financial institution to a stranger who wanted it for his daughter’s marriage ceremony.

“He was an obsessive man. There was a kind of stubbornness about this film because he faced a lot of hardships in making it. He had a different star cast when they did the ‘muhurat’ in 1945. One fourth of the film was already made by the time Partition happened. The film’s financier went to Pakistan and Chandramohan, who was playing Akbar, died, forcing Asif to abandon two years worth of work,” stated Kesvani.

Asif discovered a financier, Shapoorji Palanji Mistri, however there have been points galore due to the filmmaker’s spendthrift methods.

“He had become the butt of jokes in magazines about the unending shoot of the movie but these things only deepened his obsession,” added Kesvani.

In 2004, ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ turned the primary black-and-white Hindi movie to be digitally colored, 44 years after the movie launched.

The success of the movie endured over the a long time.

The color avatar of the movie ran for 25 weeks in cinema halls, stated Deepesh Salgia, CEO and director of Grandview Estates Pvt Ltd, part of what’s now the Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

“In the 1990s, when TV became the preferred mode of entertainment, it experienced huge viewership across TV channels. In 2004, in its colour avatar the film again ran for 25 weeks in cinemahalls. In 2016, its musical play adaptation saw packed house during its 180 performances across eight Asian cities,” he stated.

In what iss a part of movie historical past, Anil Zankar, creator of “Mughal-e-Azam – Legend as Epic’, stated Asif was an in depth buddy of author Saadat Hasan Manto and part of the Progressive Writers Movement. Asif, Zankar stated, shot for nearly two to 3 months to shoot the battle scenes in Rajasthan with multi cameras and deployed 7,000 to 10,000 individuals. In the movie, it was decreased to a seven-minute sequence.

The pleasure over the Salim-Anarkali romance and certainly the off display screen relationship between Dilip Kumar and Madhubala constructed up with ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ taking greater than a decade to make. Filmistan Studios cashed in on the craze to make ‘Anarkali’ in 1954.

The film, starring Pradeep Kumar and Bina Roy, was additionally a superhit. PTI


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