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|MERA NAAM JOKER|
For a man like Raj Kapoor whose life was an open book, one may feel that we know everything that is to know about him. But when one reads THE GOLDEN AGE OF CINEMA edited By Ziya Us Salam one finds that there are some interesting facts associated with the life of the biggest showman that Hindi cinema has ever produced arguably.
Lekh Tandon, father of Raveena Tandon, writing in the book informs that Raj Kapoor loved her daughter Ritu so much that following the tradition that a father of the bride does not eat or drink water till the bride leaves her father’s place for her new abode, he did not touch water till her daughter reached Delhi. How many of us would be aware about the fact that Raj Kapoor had signed Khwaja Ahmed Abbas for a princely sum of Rs. 1 lakh to write SHREE 420 after AAH had flopped miserably.
During the shooting of SHREE 420 Master Nisar had come to meet Raj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor found out that Master Nisar was in a very bad financial state. So he stopped the shooting of MUD MUD KE NA DEKH and created a song for him – Tumhare hain tumse Daya Mangte hain– and paid him an amount of Rs. 25000 as a token of gratitude for his contribution to the world of Hindi cinema.
Whatever be the kind of films that Raj Kapoor made, one defining motif of all his films was his stark comment on poverty, a threat that continues to vex the nation, but it never was done in a manner of preaching, but rather as a matter of fact statement and he could do it as he had a writer like K A Abbas to convey these sentiments.
Raj Kapoor was an unabashed admirer of Nehruvian brand of socialism and tried to project the same till the time he met with a disaster in the form of MERA NAAM JOKER which perhaps paved the way for teenage romance in the form of BOBBY and what better director to evolve this genre of film making than through the master. After BOBBY scores of teenage romances have been made but the freshness of perspective that Raj Kapoor injected in BOBBY makes it a rich watching experience every time one watches it.
One only hopes that on the eve of his 90th birthday, now that his grandson Ranbir Kapoor has made a mark for himself, he would initiate steps to resurrect the banner of RK films once again.