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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Romancing the tonga

The colourul team of Vyjayanthimala and Dilip Kumar have decided to bury the hatchet. Raju Bharatan writes on the controversial lead pair of Naya Daur.

entertainment Updated: Aug 01, 2007 17:48 IST
Raju Bharatan
Raju Bharatan
Hindustan Times

This must come as sweet music to vintage ears. News is that the colourful team of Vyjayanthimala-Dilip Kumar has decided to bury the hatchet wielded with such success, as the labour leader, by that matinee idol in Naya Daur.

Maang ke saath tumhara (that memorable tonga song), Uden jab jab zulfen teree, Saathee haath badhana - those were the three O P Nayyar Asha-Rafi duets, on this captive star-pair, that saw the Bhosle diva begin her leap into the big singing league.

Hattricks and tantrums
B R Chopra's Naya Daur fetched Dilip Kumar his third-in-a-row Filmfare Best Actor award. His second consecutive Best Actor prize, for Bimal Roy's Devdas, had seen Chandramukhi Vyjayanthimala tartly quitting the Filmfare stage upon being voted Best Supporting Actress! <b1>

Vyjayanthimala raised staid eyebrows all over India, by insisting that she was no mere support, but the Best Actress in Devdas!

Her Chandramukhi - maintained Vyjayanthi was Devdas Dilip Kumar's real heroine in the Bimal Roy film, not Parvati played by debutante Suchitra Sen. Starting with Ab aage teree marzee, in Raag Maaru Bihag, Vyjayanthimala certainly showed her acting paces in Devdas.

J C Jain, as the all-powerful Times Group Manager, persuaded Vyjayanthimala back on centrestage by ensuring she secured the Filmfare Best Actress award for B R Chopra's Sadhna. Sahir Ludhianvi's Aurat ne janam diya worked the oracle on Vyjayanthi here.

Songs of love
Even if that celeb writer could preserve his poetry - in near-tarannum by Lata Mangeshkar via Sadhna - only after O P Nayyar opted out of the film.

Could Vyjayanthi in tandem with Dilip have been more eyecatchingly Filmfare-awarded for Madhumati in 1958? Maybe she had but one duet in Madhumati with Dilip - Dil tarap tarap ke. <b2>

But her Aa jaa re pardesee – symptomatic of Madhumati desire unfulfilled through use of the seventh chord as basic melody, abides as tellingly symbolic of the on-song Vyjayanthi-Dilip togetherness those days.

A togetherness that reached its peak, by 1961, with Gunga Jum na, Dilip's own production in which he determined even the shade of Vyjayanthi's saree! The wedding-night scene in Gunga Jumna with Dhoondo dhoondo re saajana for its joyously dawning climax - remains an unforgettable take, as visually conceptualised by Dilip Kumar.

Compare Dhoondho dhoondho with Naa maanoo naa maanoo on the same Vyjayanthimala in the same Gunga Jumna - and make your Raag Piloo Lata choice between two Naushad nuggets.

Unless, of course, your pet recall from Gunga Jumna, on Vyjayanthimala, is Lata's Do hanson ka jodaa in Naushadian Bhairavi. Note how, by the time the teaming with Dilip came down to Sunghursh, Naushad's Bhairavi sounds striking as ever, on Vyjayanthimala, in Mere paas aao.

But the famous Dilip-Vy vibes are no longer there. The pair's personal equation had not been the same even in S Mukerji's Leader in the face of Naushad's coming up with two of his finest duets on Vyjayanthi-Dilip here.

Twist in the tale
Tere husn kii kya taarif karoon, in Raag Yaman, and Ek shahenshah ne, in Raag Lalit, fall so serenely on the ears. But Raj Kapoor had begun to work his Sangam charms on Vyjayanthimala soon after Leader went on the sets in 1962. A Leader, in which Naushad was initially teamed with Sahir.

But, the moment Sahir ventured to assert himself, Naushad was dismissive in tones of: "Yeh sab yahaan naheen chalegaa!" Saying which, Naushad went back to Shakeel Badayuni, merely ‘informing' Dilip he was doing so.

First Published: Aug 01, 2007 14:38 IST