How Raj Kapoor's loss became B. R. Chopra's gain!

How Raj Kapoor's loss became B. R. Chopra's gain! news
img By Mansoor Khan | 23 Dec 2014 17:24:00.8130000 IST

B.R. Chopra’s WAQT is a priceless gem in the treasure of Indian cinema. It is Indian Cinema’s first ‘Multi-starrer’ movie starring Balraj Sahni, Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Sadhana, Sharmila Tagore etc.

Readers would be surprised to know that initially writer Akhtar Mirza had written the script for Raj Kapoor but how Raj Kapoor’s loss became filmmaker B. R. Chopra’s gain is an interesting tale. Read on…

B.R CHOPRA and RAJ KAPOOR
B.R CHOPRA and RAJ KAPOOR

In an interview B. R. Chopra said, “Akhtar Mirza, my regular writer, called me up one day and requested me to spare a few minutes for him as he had written a script for a very ‘big’ producer. Before meeting him he wanted my opinion on the script. When Akhtar landed at my place, he looked quite excited and rightly so, because the filmmaker whom he was about to narrate the script was none other than the showman of the film industry, Raj Kapoor.”

Chopra continued, “To avoid getting disappointed, Mirza had cleverly equipped himself with two scripts - one written to appease Raj Sahab, with his kind of flavour i.e. an ‘arty’ social tackling children’s issue, on the lines of Raj Kapoor’s earlier BOOT POLISH, and the other a complete commercial script with a novel conception of grouping the full Kapoor clan in one single movie for the first time!”

“When Akhtar narrated his commercial script of a father and the separation of his three sons, I was overwhelmed and immediately ‘booked’ the script. But since he had written it for Raj Sahab, I told him to go ahead and narrate the same to the filmmaker. If Raj Kapoor didn’t like it, then he should straight away drive back to my place and collect his signing amount,” informed Chopra.

Recalled Chopra, “While Akhtar went to Raj Sahab, I kept my finger crossed as I was bowled over by the script. Lekin, kismet mujpe meherbaan tha. (But destiny was with me) That’s probably the reason why Raj Kapoor declined the commercial script and instead selected Akhtar’s other story, which he made as AB DILLI DUR NAHIN, while I made the commercial script into WAQT, which became an all-time super hit.”