Monday, October 27, 2014

REMEMBERING HINDI CINEMA'S VERSATILE ACTOR RAAJ KUMAR OR " JAANI "


                                                                  



“KAUN AAYA KI NIGAAHON MEIN CHAMAK JAAG UTHI ? ”
AND WE FORGOT “JAANI ”( 1926-1996 ) ALSO .


October is waning fast now . I kept waiting for someone to write or publish something on Raaj Kumar Born Kulbushan Pandit( 6th October 1926 -3rd July 1996 ).Nothing appeared . No one remembers his inimitable dialogue delivery style with stylish emphasis on words “HUM “ and “ JAANI “.

Some of his most memorable dialogues that come to my mind are …..

( 1 )“Chinai Seth, chhuri bachchon ke khelnay kee cheez nahin hoti hai , haath kat jaye to khoon nikal Aata hai. ”
And
(2) “ Chinai Seth , jin ke apnay ghar sheeshay ke hon, Woh doosaron ke gharon pe pather nahin pheinktay
( FILM ..WAQT )
(3) “Aapke paon dekhay . Bahut Haseen hain. Inhay zameen pe mat utariyegaa. Mailay ho jaayengay “
( FILM …PAKEEZAH)
(4 ) “Na Talwaar ki dhaar se, na goliyon ki Bauchaar se… banda darta hai to sirf Parvardigaar se”
And 
( 5) “ Hamari zubaan bhi hamari goli ki tarah dushmanon se seedhe baat karti hai “
( FILM …TIRANGA )
( 6 ) “Jaani… Hum Tumhein maarenge, aur zaroor maarenge, par Bandook bhi hamari hogi, goli bhi hamari hogi, aur Waqt bhi H amara hoga!”
And 
( 7) “ Kaash ke tumnay hummein aawaaz di hoti ... to hum maut ki neend se uth kar chale Aatay “
(FIL M..SAUDAGAR )

( 8 ) “Bootiyan nochnay waala geedarr ... gala phadnay se sher nahin ban jaata “
( FILM … MARTAY DUM TAK )
( 9 ) “ Doctor, jis baat ka faisla ho chuka us sey ghabrana kya aur darna kya. Such sunanay ki Taaqat mujh mein hai. Mera dil itna kamzor nahin...”

( FILM … DIL EIK MANDIR )

( 10 )“Tumhaaray prem mein main mar kar bhee na mar saka aur Neel Kamal, tum zinda ho kar bhee mere prem ko bhool Gayee”
( FILM ….. NEEL KAMAL )
( 11 )“Jab hum dushmanon ka khayal kartay huve apne paaon neeche rakhtay hain , to hamaaray dushman maut ka tassawur kartay huve zameen se Oupper uthanay lagtay hain “
( FILM … BETAAJ BAADSHAH )

(12 ) “ Hum ko Mita sakay yeh zamaanay mein Dum Nahin 

Hum se zamaana khud hai zamaanay se hum nahin “

( FILM … BULANDI )
Undoubtedly , he was the emperor of a style in dialogue delivery that became quite popular and caught the fancy of cinegoers of his age.
He was not the usual handsome hero , Not tall either and totally ignorant of the present day much needed foot tapping or dancing skills. Inspite of all these drawbacks , he had a unique style of presenting himself in his films. In WAQT he makes an impressive appearance ; walking confident steps while playing with his key ring , picturized superbly with Sahir’s song “Kaun Aaya Ki Nigaahon Mein chamak Jaag Uthi “ in background. Songs like “ Chhu leinay do naazuk honthon ko “ totally matched with the aura of his style when picturized . I vividly remember how remarkably he presented himself in picturization of the song “Kiss tarah jeetein hain yeh log Bataa do Yaaron “ penned by Rajindra Krishen for NAI ROSHINI .

During my recent visit to Mumbai ,I was shown the house at WORLI SEAFACE where he and his family lived . I saw the police station at MAHIM in Mumbai where he had served as Sub inspector sometime in 1950. I also came to know that he had sought senior actor D K SAPRU’s help to locate some kashmiri Pandit who could prepare the Horoscope and then suggest some good name for his Anglo Indian Wife Jennifer ( former Air Hostess whom he married in 1960 ) whom he Finally named “GAYATRI “. I also learnt that apart from various books in his personal library , he would proudly display Kalhana’s “ Rajataringini ”.

A lover of Ghalib’s poetry , Raj Kumar had a mastery over written and spoken Urdu . He equally loved reading Hindi and English writers . He Was a regular subscriber to READERS DIGEST and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE which habit he passed on to his children as well..

A KASHMIRI AT HEART

Raj Kumar belonged to a kashmiri Pandit family that had moved to Balochistan many years before partition of the country on account of employment of his father .He had his initial schooling at Loralai in Balochistan.
He was fond of KASHMIRI KAHWA TEA , ROGAN JOSH , DUM ALLU , PANEER COOKED IN TURMERIC AND MILK , and KHEER.
In Mumbai , I also came to know that he Would speak a good number of kashmiri words like CHAAMAN ( Paneer ), ORZU ( Good Health ), VAARAI CHHIVA ( Are you fine ) and would often make an attempt to speak complete sentences in somewhat broken kashmiri .
Kashmir always remained close to his heart . He would often send his family to kashmir during summer holidays (every year upto 1987 ) joining them as and when he could be free from his shooting schedules. The family was seen many times at Gulmarg and Pahalgham staying in huts and enjoying Horse riding , trekking and evening strolls . Once he visited his ancestral village in kashmir and traced his distant relatives . He maintained contact with a few amongst his ancestral clan even at the high point of his film career though he himself never grew up in kashmir valley.
Raj kumar was first cousin to writer Surendra Kaul and consequently uncle to Director Pawan kaul ( Surendra’s son )
He loved his GOLF, CARS ( He owned Chevrolet, Mercedes, Volkswagen and a Willy’s Jeep) , HORSE RIDING , SMOKING PIPES ,TRENDY SHOES , FASHIONABLE CLOTHES ( shirts and Kurta Pyjamas ) and PAANS ( from a particular shop located at Pedder Road in Mumbai ). 

He is reported to have taken keen interest in 

selecting the names of his children. He selected these names from some epics and ancient texts. For example PURU ( his son ) is named after the great Puranic King PURU who is believed to be the ancestor of PANDAVAS. PURU also finds mention in Mahabharata and RigVeda . His another son is named after the Great sanskrit Grammarian and ancient scholar from GANDHARA known as PANINI. Panini is reported to have visited kashmir , a place that finds mention in his master work “ASHTADHYAYI “ . 
He also named his daughter VASTAVIKTA ( originality ). 

                                                                                                                                     


FILMS


From RANGEELI ( 1952 ) to GOD AND GUN ( 1995 ) , Raaj Kumar acted in about 95 films . During this journey , he performed some memorable charcaters that had long and lasting impression on his admirers His unforgetable roles include CHITRASEN OF NEEL KAMAL , CAPT. RAJESH OF HUMRAAZ, A PERVERTED ZAMINDAAR OF LAAL PATHER , PRAKASH OF ARDHANGINI ,HORI of GODAAN (Based on Munshi Prem Chand’s Novel ) , THE CANCER PATIENT OF DIL EK MANDIR , RAJA OF WAQT , NAWAB SALIM OF MERE HUZOOR , INSPECTOR SHREEKANT OF OONCHE LOG ,THE MILL WORKER OF PAIGHAAM , DR SUSHIL VERMA OF DIL APNA AUR PREET PARAAI , SHAMU THE POOR FARMER OF MOTHER INDIA and BRIGADIER SURYADEV SINGH OF TIRANGA .
Other films wherein he played some impressive roles include HEER RANJHA , KUDARAT , EK NAI PAHELI , DULHAN, JAILOR , NEELMANI , AAJ AUR KAL , KAAJAL, UJAALA, VASAANA , NAI ROSHINI , CHAMBAL KI KASAM, HINDUSTAN KI KASAM , and -ITIHAAS .

Never before him and never after him have cinegoers witnessed the exceptional poise , exclusive acting style and unique dialogue delivery that “JAANI “brought to Indian films . Battling cancer ,he finally breathed his last on 3rd July 1996 at a not so advanced age of 69 years .

I conclude this brief post with a couplet of Faiz Ahmed Faiz…
Yeh sukhan jo hum ne raqam kiye 

Yeh hain sab varaq teri yaad ke ,

Koyee lamhaa subh e Visaal ka 
Kayee Shaam e Hijr Ki Muddatein….


( Autar Mota )


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Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

2 comments:

  1. A TRUE ARISTOCRAT,WHO TOTALLY ECLIPSED ACTORS LIKE DILIP KUMAR,DHARMENDRA,RAJENDRA KUMAR AND RAJESH KHANNA.HE COULD NEVER BE OVERSHADOWED IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LENGTH OF HIS ROLE.

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  2. Nice article. Yes it's really strange that people don't remember him despite being so much popular during his times than other actors.

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