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Anand 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About This Rajesh Khanna Classic



Anand  marked  the  first  of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s  3 historic  collaborations with  RajeshKhanna,  the other two being Bawarchi and Namak Haraam. Anand is  without a  shred of doubt Rajesh Khanna’s career’s finest performance.Just how  he got the role is a story of its own. Read on.

1.     Anand  was based  on the friendship between  Hrishikesh Mukherjee  and Raj Kapoor. Hrishida  told   me  he was so close to  Raj Saab  that not a day passed when they didn’t meet at least once. So close were the two that Hrishida  would  often get morbid  thoughts  about the two of them being separated  by death. That’s how Anand was born. In fact Hrishida wanted to  make  it  with Raj Saab  playing  the role that Amitabh Bachchanfinally played. Hrishida got to work with his  best friend Raj Kapoor only once in Naukriwhich  was  a  fiasco.

2.     After Raj  Kapoor as  Anand didn’t work  out  Hrishida’s   choice for playing Anand  was Kishore Kumar . But we  all know how  eccentric  Kishoreda could be . So  Hrishidawent to  Shashi Kapoor  to play Anand. That too didn’t work out. It  was Rajesh Khannawho  offered to step in  as Anand  at the peak of his  career. The rest as they say is hysteria.

3.     Lalita Pawar  who was always cast in  vampish  roles here played the stern but softhearted nurse D’Sa. This was not the  first time that Hrishida  had cast the powerful  Pawar as a  kindly Catholic. She had played one in Hrishida’s Anari as well. This director liked casting vamps in sympathetic  roles:  Shashikala in Anupama, Bindu in Abhimaanand  Arjun Pandit.

4.     Real-life  couple Ramesh Deo  and Seema Deo  played   husband and wife  in the film also. Anand Sehgal grows very fond of  Seema Deo’s character. On her  birthday he  says the  immortal line on  mortality, “Main toh yeh bhi nahin keh sakta ki meri umar tumeh lag jaye.”

5.     The Manna Dey song Zindagi kaisi hai paheli  was to be  played  in background with the  opening credits. When  Rajesh Khanna  heard  it  he  asked Hrishida, “Why do you want to waste  it in the background?”  The songs was shot on Rajesh Khanna at  the Juhubeach and became  a  hit. Songs  used  as part of  the background  score were known to flop.

6.     Rajesh Khanna  had no  leading lady in Anand(or in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Bawarchi).Sumit Sanyal was cast  opposite  Amitabh Bachchan. Though there  was  no song situation for her, Hrishida created  one, as he wanted at least one  song by his favourite Lata Mangeshkar  in the film. That’s how composer Salil Chowdhary  composed the  timeless Na  jiya lage na for Anand.

7.     Anand  was ripped off many times by many filmmakers. The most notable  of  the spinoffs  was Karan Johar-Nikhil Advani’s  Kal  Ho Na  Ho in 2003  with Shah Rukh Khan playing the do-gooder who  dies of cancer. The   most famous dialogue in Anand  was Maut tu ek kavita hai which Gulzar wrote.Anand  remains the most  vibrant  comment on life’s ephemerality. It’s  not the size that matters. It’s how you use that thing that matters.Life, silly.

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