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61 Years Of Mughal-e-Azam!




61  Years Of Mughal-e-Azam, On August 5 , As  The Iconic Film Turns 61 SubhashJha  Brings Some Unknown Facts

Mughal-e-Azam: There were stampedes outside theatres; people clamoured to catch a glimpse of the poster of Dilip Kumar stroking Madhubala’s face with a feather. K Asif’s pseudo-historical epic which was nine years in the making, was indeed something people were looking forward to.The sheer opulence and magnitude of the epic, Naushad’s magical score, the enduring charm of the Salim-Anarkali story and the star power represented by Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s real life romance, took Mughal-e-Azam to the peak even before its release. Kamal Haasan A diehard Mughal-e-Azam fan says, “They said Mughal-e-Azam won’t work. But look at what it has done. I went to see Mughal-e-Azam again to see what it did to me. It took me by surprise. I could crib to K. Asif about the length. But that would just be professional jealousy.”

  1. What made Mughal-e-Azam Hindi cinema’s most beloved film? The magic of Madhubala as Anarkali, and her  love scenes with  ‘Salim’ Dilip Kumar. True,  the onscreen  Salim and Anarkali were actually in love. But the romance had been called off halfway  through  the  film.  It won’t be wrong to say that Madhubala’s life was as tragic as her character’s. Like Prince Salim, Dilip Kumar was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her. But her father refused to bless the alliance. In his autobiography the veteran actor revealed that their relationship fell through because her father refused to part with the sole breadwinner of his family.
  2. Lata Mangeshkar  sang better  more accomplished songs  in  Mughal-e-Azam than Pyar kiya toh darna kya. But none as  successful as this one. Recalls  Lataji, “The response to this particular  song  was beyond anything we had  imagined. Naushad Saab had composed some other very beautiful songs  for me  in Mughal-e-Azam such as  Mohabbat ki jhoothi kahani pe roye and Beqas pe karam  kijiye. We never knew Pyar  kiya toh darna kya would become one  of  the  film’s USPs. People  went back to see  the  film over and over again for this song.They showered  coins on  the screen. I’d credit Madhubala’s beauty  and dancing with  its  success as much as  my singing,  if not more. People  say to get   echo effect  in the song I  went to the bathroom of the recording and studio and sang parts  of it  from there. That’s all nonsense. We recorded the song like  any  normal  song.”
  3. The  original choice  for  playing Anarkali was Suraiya. Director K Asif  actually began  shooting  another version  of Mughal-e-Azam  with  Nargis in the lead. But that  was scrapped and a new  version  of  the eternal tale was started in 1950. The  film took nearly ten years  to complete, and at several points  of the shooting K Asif  thought of shelving the film. At one point  Kamal Amrohi heard that the project had actually been abandoned. He  quickly announced  his own Mughal-e-Azam , only to  be severely reprimanded by  Asif.
  4. Dilip Kumar  was  most reluctant  to play Salim. “The heavy costume, the ornaments, the wig and  the  shooting in  the intense heat of Rajasthan  was  all very  daunting to me,” Dilip Saab explained.  He  nonetheless plunged  into it. However  there were  differences  with the  director all through. Dilip Kumar  did not attend the film’s lavish premiere at Maratha Mandir.Junior version  of Salim was played  by Jalal Agha, the  ebullient actor best remembered  for  lip-syncing Mehbooba  oh mehbooba in Sholay.
  5. Asif  insisted  on  re-shooting  portions including  the iconic  song Pyar kiya  toh darna  kya in  colour. He wanted  the whole film in  colour. And he got his wish in  2004 when the  entire  film was  colorized and released. This  time, Dilip  Kumar attended  the  premiere. K Asif was   gone. He  didn’t win  the  Filmfare  award  for Best director. He lost it to  Bimal Roy in Parakh.Madhubala  lost  it to  Bina Rai  in  GhunghatPrithviraj Kapoor  lost  it to Motilal  in ParakhDilip Kumar  was not even nominated  for  Mughal-e-Azam. He  won the Filmfare award  for best actor for  Kohinoor  during the year  of  Mughal-e-Azam. Go ahead,laugh.

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