A MUSICAL SOJOURN REMEMBERING MADHUBALA’S LESSER KNOWN SONGS

By

Sharada Iyer

The very mention of Madhubala’s name brings to our mind her dazzlingly beautiful face, her enticing smile and her charmingly sensuous persona. Acknowledged by fans and industry people across all generations as the most beautiful face to have graced our industry, she has rightfully been accorded the title of ‘Venus’ of Indian cinema!

Veiled behind this beautiful face was also a brilliant actress, who could do both light-hearted as well as intensely emotional roles with equal ease. However, most of the time her beauty did not allow her to get the appreciation she deserved as a superlative actress of the ‘Golden era’ because of which she was mentioned only after Nargis and Meena Kumari…

Though articles on her invariably focus on her on-screen and off-screen- romance with Dilip Kumar and her comedy roles opposite husband Kishore Kumar, what is overlooked is her superb chemistry with her other co-stars like Ashok Kumar, Prem Nath, Pradeep Kumar, Bharat Bhushan as well as Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor , Sunil Dutt and Guru Dutt.

Her repertoire boasts of entertaining films like Howrah-Bridge, Barsaat ki Raat, Badal, Jhumroo, Passport, Gateway of India, Do Ustaad, Boyfriend, etc. with these actors. She belonged to an era when there was magic in the Black &White cinematography and melody set to brilliant lyrics reigned supreme. With the result her close-up shots during song-sequences remain etched in our minds and singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Geeta Dutt added their own inimitable charm to her appeal …

Many of her popular songs are played on radio and television quite regularly but there is a treasure trove of songs from her lesser known films as well which remain buried and somehow seem to have been relegated to the background with the passage of time…

This blog is an attempt to reminiscence some of these hidden treasures. So instead of the usual songs from Mughal-e-Azam, Howrah-Bridge, Mahal or Kaala Paani, the blog includes some unusual yet delightful songs which reveal some more enigmatic facets of her personality.

BASANT (1942)

At the tender age of nine, little Madhubala entered the film industry as a child artist. Born on 14th February, 1933 as Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi , it was Devika Rani of Bombay Talkies who changed her name to Madhubala when she started coming in lead roles. She is said to have been very impressed with the beauty and charm of the youngster when she saw her on the sets of Neel Kamal and felt her original name was too long and needed a change to suit her sweetness.

NEEL KAMAL (1947)

Five years after Basant, she made her debut as  a heroine. This film is remembered for introducing to the industry Raj Kapoor and Madhubala in their first lead role. Looking at these two youngsters it is difficult to imagine that they were destined to become icons of our industry…

MEHLON KE KHWAB (1960)

Madhubala is seen with her younger sister Chanchal in this fun-filled 1960 starrer where they play best friends. When one of them wins a hefty amount in a lottery ticket, they decide to pack the dough and run away for a while to have some fun and the film deals with the incidents that happen to them. Her sister bears an uncanny resemblance to her and is ironically paired opposite Kishore Kumar while Pradeep Kumar is Madhubala’s hero…

 

AMAR (1954)

This Mehboob Khan directed love triangle starring Madhubala , Dilip Kumar and Nimmi had a bold story and was way ahead of its time which probably accounts for its failure at the box-office. The film had our hero raping a village girl in a drunken stupor on a stormy night but does not have the guts to own up to his act the next day. The girl played by Nimmi meanwhile keeps mum as she loves him secretly. There are ten songs in the film and the song chosen here is my favourite. In this song, he is seen in a pensive mood (maybe out of guilt) while Madhubala unaware of his act sings on playfully…

SHIRIN FARHAD (1956)

This love story of doomed lovers Shirin and Farhad tells the tale of unrequited love much on the lines of Laila Majnu, Sohini Mahiwal etc. and starred Pradeep Kumar opposite her. A film with lovely songs of which I have chosen two songs …

A beautiful solo…

 

A lovely duet…

RAJ HATH (1956)

This Sohrab Modi directed film is about two youngsters from two warring camps unknowingly falling in love much to the chagrin of their parents. Expectedly their path is not without obstacles but their love wins in the end but Sohrab Modi kills himself in an unnecessarily violent way…he  song chosen here is popular, though not many are aware that this is picturized on Madhubala…

SANGDIL (1952)

This film was directed by R C Talwar and had an intriguing storyline written by Ramanand Sagar laced with suspense and a psychological angle. Their acting in the film is simply brilliant and their romantic scenes endearing. Easily one of the most lovable pairs of the industry their powerful on-screen chemistry is amazing…

 

EK SAAL (1957)

This film has an interesting theme wherein Madhubala is suffering from brain tumour and has only one year to live. Ashok Kumar in a slightly negative role has a girlfriend-Kuldeep Kaur but pretends to love Madhubala in order to get her property after her death. Madhubala looks stunningly beautiful in this film and acts so naturally. She sings this song after discovering his reality…

 

NIRALA (1950)

This romantic movie has Dev Anand playing a doctor but Madhubala who loves him is forcibly married off to a ‘Raja Saheb’ whose three earlier wives have already died. Even in this weird film, her acting is flawless as usual…Here is a lovely song form the film…

 

RAIL KA DIBBA (1953)

Directed by P N Arora, Madhubala teamed up with Shammi Kapoor for the first time. Today it is difficult to imagine yet it is a sad fact that two of the industry’s most charismatic stars could not deliver a hit film whenever they came together. In 1962, they tried to recreate the magic  when Ashok Kumar’s super hit Kismet was remade again as Boyfriend but the magic of the original was missing…

 

 

DO USTAAD (1959)

After Neel Kamal and Dil Ki Rani both of which released in 1947, the two glamorous stars teamed up again after a gap of 12 years in Do Ustaad which had several foot-tapping numbers. Here are two rare  duets from the film. Interestingly it is Rafi who is singing for Raj Kapoor who apparently is in disguise and his gestures remind us of his younger brother Shammi Kapoor…

 

 

MAHAL (1949)

Written and directed by Kamal Amrohi this suspense thriller turned out to be super-hit at the box-office launching both Madhubala and singer Lata Mangeshkar into stardom. Madhubala was just 16 years old in the film and was paired opposite Ashok Kumar. Instead of the famous ‘Aayega aanewaala…’ here is another beautiful song from the film…  

 

PASSPORT (1961)

A racy suspense thriller involving diamond theft and murder, the film has music by Kalyanji Anandji. Here is an outstanding song from the film…she looks stunning!

 

 

KAL HAMARA HAI (1959)

In this film Madhubala has a double role that of twin sisters-Madhu and Bela. Bharat Bhushan is her hero. While one of them is a simple girl the other is slightly westernised in her approach and is a dancer in the club. Her acting in both the roles is superb…

 

BADAL (1951)

This film had her opposite a slim and handsome Premnath and they became a popular pair. The story involves princely states and is on the lines of Robin Hood. Madhubala is rescued by Premnath who keeps his identity hidden for a while from her. Here are two fabulous songs from the film…

 

 

 

DULARI (1949)

One of the highest grossers of 1949, the film was a triangular love story starring Madhubala , Shyam and Geeta Bali. Naushad came up with some memorable songs…

 

INSAAN JAAG UTHA (1959)

The film starring Sunil Dutt opposite Madhubala had a rural backdrop and it was director Shakti Samanta’s attempt at a social-genre theme.The story involved industrialization and construction of dam in the village but somehow the film flopped. Music by S D Burman was superb. Here is a lesser heard number from the film…

 

MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960)

For someone who never lived to see or act in colour films, she immortalized herself in the pages of Indian cinema with her mesmerizing portrayal of Anarkali in the film. This classic film was released in a digitally mastered and restored coloured version fifty years after its release. Each song is a nugget but this song chosen is probably marginally lesser heard than the others. This is the only film of hers where we can get to see her in colour…

 

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “A MUSICAL SOJOURN REMEMBERING MADHUBALA’S LESSER KNOWN SONGS

  1. Brilliant Lata toomuch of effort and research taken by U to give this outstanding write up abt beauty queen of Bollywood Madubala.songs are very good!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely lovely post about a soul nourishing beauty!! Saw the songs on the desktop..mobile cannot do justice to madam Venus. Her glamour and charm with her expressive eyes are no less even in her lesser known songs. I guess it’s a case of other songs simply being more popular. I wonder what made you think of this topic for your blog! Who is more enigmatic sis? She or you?….ha ha ha. Keep them coming!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow!Mala… What can I say…I am really touched by your lovely feedback… Thank you so much for your love and encouragement always… 🙂 🙂 And super thrilled that you enjoy my posts as much as I love writing them… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s