Raj Kapoor Little Known Facts
1. At the age of 24, Raj Kapoor became the youngest film director India in 1948 to make Aag ,a blistering film way ahead of its time about a man whose face is horribly disfigured by fire.Many years later he tackled the same theme in Satyam Shivum Sunderam. This time it was Zeenat Aman with a scarred face. Both Aag and SSS were major flops , putting Raj Kapoor’s RK Studios in the red. Moral of the story: do not disfigure matinee idols. Indian audiences do not like it.
2. Satyam Shivum Sunderam released in 1978 was to be made much earlier with Lata Mangeshkar….yes, the Nightingale …playing the lead as a woman whose voice reflects the beauty of her soul. Lataji who had experience as an actor during her childhood decided against donning the greasepoint. Raj Saab decided he won’t make the film without his muse. But changed his mind many years later. Lataji sang the soul stirring songs of Satyam Shivum Sunderam to immortality.
3. Music was the soul of Raj Kapoor’s cinema. It is an open secret among the close confidantes of RK that he composed many of the evergreen melodies , and let his official composers take credit for them. When asked why he didn’t take credit for his songs Raj Saab said, “I don’t want to take away the meal of my artistes.” Years later Sanjay Leela Bhansali followed the same model of ghost-composing his songs. Now of course Bhansali takes credit for the music score of his film,something that Raj Saab never did.
4. Lata Mangeshkar was Raj Kapoor’s muse .He openly acknowledged her and Mukesh as the two voices of his cinema. Mukesh was RK’s ghost-voice in every film that Raj Kapoor directed or acted in. Holi and Diwali and Raj Saab’s birthday on December 14 the Mukesh family had to be there at the Kapoors’ residence in brand new clothes. Mukesh would get new clothes for the entire family for all the three occasions at Raj Saab’s place.The friendship between Mukesh’s and Raj Kapoor’s family has continued over the years.
5. Raj Kapoor shared a beautiful relationship with Nargis. She was his leading lady in all his directorial ventures from Aag in 1948 till Shree 420 in 1955.After this, they parted ways as Raj Saab couldn’t offer Nargis marriage that she wanted. Her last appearance in an RK Film was in Jagte Raho where she did a cameo as the woman singing Jago mohan pyare in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice who offers water to a parched Raj Kapoor