Friday, May 15, 2020


                        ( With Suraiya)

                 ( With his daughters)
                    ( With Madhubala)

           ( In his Library withdraw poet Sahir )


If we go back to 1950s , we find  some larger than life actor like Raj Kapoor , Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar dominating  Indian films.  We also come across some actors like Bharat Bhushan , who were able to create their space inspite of  the supremacy enjoyed by  the larger than life actors . Bharat Bhushan  created space for himself with  quiet demeanour , good looks and an inclination to play tragic characters    . He  was not a  swashbuckling hero , yet he remained the only choice  with producers for roles showing a  suffering sensitive poet or  musician  or a Sanyasi  in films like  Baiju Bawra, Mirza Ghalib, Basant Bahar, Kavi Kalidas, Anand Math , Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , Barsaat Ki Raat , Bhakta Kabir,  and Sangeet Samraat Tansen . He also did memorable roles in films like  Suhaag Raat , Chitralekha , Aankhein , Maa,   Dooj Ka Chaand , Jahaan Ara , Gateway of India,  Phagun, Chandi ki Deewar , Naya Kanoon,Gyaraah Hazaar Ladkiyaan ,Shabaab ,Ladki , Raani Roopmati, Ghoongat, Mud Mud ke na dekh , Taqdeer and Pyar Ka Mausam .

He made his debut with the Kidar Sharma hit, Chitralekha (1941). However, he struggled for over a decade to make a mark in Hindi movies till Baiju Bawra (1952), which gave him instant stardom and legendary status along with Mohammad Rafi, Meena Kumari and Naushad Ali.

In Baiju Bawra , he played the role of a musician who challenged ‘Tansen’ to a musical duel to avenge his father’s death. In this movie , he  wooed the ascetic guru Swami Haridas with Man Tarpat in Malkauns, and romanced Meena Kumari with ' Tu Ganga ki Mauj mein Jamuna Ka dhaara' in Bhairavi. With  ‘O duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhare mere nale,’ Bhushan deftly  translated the despair and angst of Baiju on celluloid.

Then something happened after  1960s. People were fed up with watching tragedies on screen.. Cinema had evolved as a medium of entertainment . People wanted  to come out from cinema halls smilingly .Accordingly After 1960, Bhushan's career  was clearly on the wane. Further,  the rise of Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar ,Sunil Datt,, Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra  and Shashi Kapoor left no space for the delicate, sensitive hero.

In 1964, he  decided to turn to production .  Along with his brother , he produced Basant Bahaar and Barsaat ki Raat . Both films  proved hits at the  box office .He earned good money and bought some property and luxury cars . He took up another production project ‘Dooj Ka Chaand’  . For Dooj ka Chand , he  wrote the script and engaged Nitin Bose , Roshan , Sahir and Rajinder Singh Bedi .  The film flopped at the box office inspite of this great team. The failure of this project brought him under heavy debt. He had  to sell  his  bunglows at Pali Hill and Linking Road ,  Bandra .The Pali Hill Bunglow   had been  purchased after the release of  Baiju Bawara. Actor Jeetendra purchased  the Pali Hill Bunglow. He also  sold his Bunglow in Pune .  He sold his cars and also his library that had about one Lakh  books to clear his debts . Once a very  rich  actor, Bhushan went  bankrupt. . He moved to a small flat  located at Malad. This he had also purchased during the peak of his acting career.  Thereafter ,  he would be seen travelling by buses and  standing in long queues at bus stops  totally unnoticed .  Inspite of  all these losses , he never had any complaint or grudge, or bitterness against  anyone or any event in his life!. And for  the movies produced in 1970s , his stature had  reduced to doing bit roles in insignificant films.   By the 1990s, Bhushan was reduced to the status of a junior artist with movies such as Humshakal and Pyar ka Devta.

Recently , I saw his daughter Aparjita Bhushan in Ramanand Sagar's TV serial Ramayana. She played the role of Ravana’s wife Mandodari. His another daughter   Anuradha was polio stricken . Nothing is known about her .
He remained a great lover of books and  literature till his death. 

 Bharat Bhushan’s close friend , Sahir Ludhanavi  used to spend many evenings with him especially in his library .  Many actors visited his library .Music director Naushad was also a visitor to his library .

For  an Urdu magazine ,  Sahir wrote this:

“ The first time we met  Bharat Bhushan was inside  a bank , hardly a place for me, a poor poet. Bharat had been in films for about four¬teen years; I for about nine. I had seen his portrayal of Kabir and he had read all my verses. We knew each other only through our work. Few are aware of the warmth, affection and friendship which exist between him and me. We have the unquestioned run of each other’s house. I do not know of a better way of spending my leisure than with him. Often we have sat together for hours and not ex-changed more than a few sentences in all; for between true friends a silent communion often grows which makes words sound empty.
It was during the planning stages of “Barsaat Ki Raat” that we saw much of each other. Sitting to discuss the story of the film, its characters and other preliminaries afforded me an opportunity of knowing the man. Simpli¬city is his virtue; so is humility. Everyone who knows Bharat superficially tells me that he has one great failing—that of never being able to muster courage to say ‘no’ to anyone or anything. But I know to the contrary. It is not because of lack of courage, but because life has mellowed him to the point of never wanting to inflict pain. When, on rare occasions, he does say ‘no’ to someone, he is as firm as a rock, while at the same time remaining gentle as a lamb.
Bharat is the supreme example of an introvert. He is always withdrawn and mostly takes refuge in a book. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, he impresses the listener deeply. To my mind Bharat’s personality has been greatly influenced by the bio¬graphical roles he has played. There is Kabir, the mystic poet-saint; Ghalib, the eloquent poet with a life time devoted to the flavor of wine and the music of words; Chaitanya, the great founder of the Krishna Bhakti cult; Baiju, the singer who sang from his heart and loved with his soul; and Kalidasa, Sanskrit’s supreme poet. While playing the parts of these great men of the past, Bharat had an invaluable opportunity to probe deeper into their hearts and souls; study their character, mannerisms and the stuff they were made of. This in turn influenced his personality to a great extent. Whenever the youth of today calls to mind Kabir, Kalidasa, Ghalib or Chaitanya, he immediately thinks of Bharat.”

Bharat Bhushan   was born in Meerut, U P in1920 .  His father was a  leading lawyer . His father wanted him to be an advocate . Going against his parents’ wishes, he decided to pursue acting and went to Kolkata initially, after which he moved to Mumbai.

He worked with top heroines of his period including  Meena Kumari , Beena Rai , Nargis ,Madhubala , Nutan and  Mala Sinha . Despite whatever happened to him in his later life , Bharat Bhushan can never be forgotten  for his  films and the lilting  songs that portray human suffering , tragedy and  failings

 Bharat Bhushan  passed away  on 27 January , 1992 at the age of 72  .  He  died a quiet death  , unnoticed and unsung.

( Avtar Mota )

Creative Commons License
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.