Achala Sachdev : The ” Zohara Jabeen ” of ” Waqt ” Fades Away


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           May 07 , 2012           00.55         A.M.

I was busy writing my pending travel diaries of Madhya Pradesh visit , when the news came of the death of Achala Sachdev . She died in Pune on April 30 , 2012 at the age of 91 .

She was not the leading actor but was a very popular character artiste and did many significant and important films in her illustrious career spanning 64 years [ ” Fashionable Wife ” 1938 toNa Tum Jaano Na Hum ” 2002 ] . In total she did 130 films . I came to know her through Yash Chopra directed film ” Waqt ‘ [ 1965 ] .

I still remember the first encounter with her on-screen . The year was 1967 . The cinema hall was Amarjyoti Talkies , Deoria . A film called ” Waqt “ was being screened there . Every one in the town was going gaga over it . So I decided to watch it . One fine evening I went  , bought ticket and entered the auditorium . Film started and the first scene was greeted with claps , loud uproar and whistles . Soon Balraj Sahni appeared on-screen and started crooning  in the voice of Manna Dey ‘ Aye meri zohra jabeen ; tujhe maloom nahin ; Tu abhi tak hai haseen aur main jawan , tujh pe qurban meri jaan , meri jaan ………………. ” . Throughout the song sequence , close – up of a lady , who was smiling coyly , continuously appeared on-screen in intercut . My film pundit friends informed me that name of the lady is Achala Sachdev .

Waqt (1965 film)

Waqt (1965 film)

Opening Scene of " Waqt "

Opening Scene of ” Waqt “

Some Scenes of  " Waqt  "

” Waqt ” – Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen Song Sequence

Last week , when I read about her sad demise , a floodgate of memories got opened and I was transported to my home town Deoria in Uttar Pradesh . Evening of that day in 1967 appeared on my mental firmament . Even after 45 years , the first encounter of Achala Sachdev is not obfuscated even a bit . It is so uncanny that music director Ravi , who created ” Aye meri zihra jabeen …….. for her , also died last month .

After ” Waqt “ , I started following her career and watched some of the important films . Out of all the 130 films , her most memorable films are :” Foot Path ” [ 1953 ] , ” Pardesi ” [ 1957 ] , ” Miss Mary ” [ 1957 ] , ” Adalat ” [ 1958 ] , ” Char Dil Char Rahen ” [ 1959 ] , ” Kalpana ” [ 1960 ] , ” Manzil ” [ 1960 ] , ” Nazrana ” [ 1961 ] , ” Meri Surat Teri Aankhen ” [ 1963 ] , ” Dil Ek Mandir ” [ 1963 ] , ” Shagun ” [ 1964 ] , ” Sangam ” [ 1964 ] , ” Raj Kumar ” [ 1964 ] , ” Haqueeqat ” [ 1964 ] , ” Chitralekha ” [ 1964 ] , ” Arzoo ” [ 1965 ] , ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , ” Mere Sanam ” [ 1965 ] , ” Janwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Himalaya Ki God Mein ” [ 1965 ] , ” Bahu Beti ” [ 1965 ] , ” Akashdeep ” [ 1965 ] , ” Shagird ” [ 1967 ] , ” Hamraaz ” [ 1967 ] , ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ 1968 ] , ” Mere Hamdam Mere Dost ” [ 1968 ] , ” Kanyadaan ” [ 1968 ] , ” Aadmi Aur Insaan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Bandhan ” [ 1969 ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ 1970 ] , ” Mera Naam Jokar ” [ 1970 ] , ”  Heer Ranjha ” [ 1970 ] , ” Hare Rama Hare Krishna ” [ 1971 ] , ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ 1971 ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ 1971 ] , ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] , ” Kora Kagaz ” [ 1974 ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ 1974 ] , ” Julie ” [ 1975 ] , ” Laila Majnu ” [ 1976 ] , ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] , ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ]  and ” Na Tum Jaano Na Hum ” [ 2002 ] .

Poster of Nazrana

Poster of Nazrana

Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Dil Ek Mandir

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Sangam

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Rajkumar

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Chitralekha

Poster of Arzoo

Poster of Arzoo

Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Himalaya Ki God Mein

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Poster of Mere Hamdam Mere Dost

Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Aadmi Aur Insaan

Poster of Kora kagaz

Poster of Kora kagaz

Geeta Mera Naam

Poster of Geeta Mera Naam

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Poster of Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Out of her 64 – year – long career ; 3 particular years ; 1964 [ 5 films ] ; 1965 [ 7 films ] and 1971 [ 6 films ] could be considered her most successful years in films . After ” Chandni ” [ 1989 ] she disappeared from the films for 6 years . She again returned with Yash Chopra’s ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ 1995 ] . And after 6 years gap , she again gave a super hit ” Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham ” [ 2001 ] .

Born in Peshawar in 1920 , she started her career as child artiste . She did her first film ” Fashionable Wife ” [ 1938 ] at the age of 18 years . She rose to prominence at the age of 45 years with ” Waqt ” [ 1965 ] , a film produced by B. R. Chopra and directed by Yash Chopra . She worked with Ashok Kumar , Dilip Kumar , Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand . Then she worked with Shammi Kapoor , Rajendra Kumar , Sunil Dutt and Dharmendra . Generations changed but she continues to play stellar roles . She , during her later years , worked with Amitabh Bachchan , Rishi Kapoor , Shah Rukh Khan and Hritik Roshan also . She was there in ” Sapno Ka Saudagar ” [ debut of Hema Malini ] , ” Prem Pujari ” [ debut of Dev Anand as director ] , ” Mera Naam Joker ” [ debut of Rishi Kapoor ] , ” Paraya Dhan ” [ debut of Rakesh Roshan as actor ] , ” Kal Aaj Aur Kal ” [ debut of Randhir Kapoor as actor and directed ] , ” Daag ” [ debut of Yash Raj Films ] , ” Geeta Mera Naam ” [ debut of Sadhna as director ] and above all ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” [ debut of Aditya Chopra as director ] .

She worked , before partition , for All India Radio , Lahore and after partition for All India Radio , New Delhi .

During her later years she married Clifford Douglas Peters and settled in Pune . From there she occasionally came to Mumbai for Yash Chopra’s films .

i3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

3 Phases of Achala Sachdev

In 2011 she fell in her kitchen and since then was admitted in a Pune hospital . Her end came on April 30 , 2012 .

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

Beginning & End of Achala Sachdev

I was saddened to see her these two photos . A young Achala Sachdev of ” Waqt “ and a bed – ridden Achala Sachdev befor her death . Her only son from her first marriage is settled in U. S. A. and had no time for her . I am no one to comment on his relationship with his mother but it is heart – wrenching to know that Achala Sachdev died a lonely death . From September 2011 to April 2012 , she was bed – ridden with fractured leg , total paralysis and loss of vision and her only son was leading a comfortable life in U. S. A. with his nuclear family . I have no authority to say anything to him but I know that I would not have abandoned my mother like this .

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

Achala Sachdev on Death Bed

I can only offer my prayers for Achala Sachdev ji . May God give her peace and tranquility .

Farewell ” ZOHRA JABEEN ” !!  You are gone but ” star – like glitter of your forehead ” shall always remain with us .

As long as we have prints of  ” Waqt “ , you will live in our heart .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Aah Shammi Kapoor ……….” Tum Sa Nahi Dekha ” !!


Shammi Kapoor
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA          NOVEMBER 16 , 2011          08.15 P.M.

When I got the news of Shammi Kapoor‘s sad demise on August 14 , 2011 at the age of 79 , flood of memories engulfed me and inundated me completely . Though , initially , I was not a huge fan of Shammi Kapoor , but later on , as I watched his films and understood his importance in Hindi films , I succumbed to his charm completely.

That golden era  of Hindi films belonged to film industry’s towering triumvirate ; Dilip Kumar , Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor . Like other youngsters of my age , I was very much enamoured by the trio . So naturally for me , Shammi Kapoor was nowhere in the picture . While in school and college , I was intrigued by the fact that whenever any new film of Shammi Kapoor used to hit the cinema halls, class – rooms wore deserted look and seeing the empty class , our irritated teachers used to say few nasty words for Shammi Kapoor because majority of the boys had no quam in bunking the class for the first day , first show of a Shammi Kapoor film . I got intrigued and decided to uncover the persona and unravel the mystique of Shammi Kapoor , the dancing star , the rebel star . I started watching his films and to my amazement , realized that Hindi Cinema doesn’t belong to the above mentioned triumvirate alone but it consists of the quartet ; Dilip Kumar , Dev Anand , Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor . Without these four one cannot even think of Hindi cinema .

I took this picture when he paid a visit last ...

Dilip Kumar

With Dev Anand in His Office

With Dev Anand in His Office

In those days of my asinine childhood and carefree adolescence , Dilip Kumar symbolized romance and pain of the Nehru era , while Raj Kapoor was the face of Nehruvian socialism . Dev Anand represented urbane and educated youth of this nascent nation . Shammi Kapoor was unique because he gave face and voice to the aspirations of the emerging middle class youth . His first hit ” Tum Sa Nahin Dekha “ came in 1957 . It was the year of second general election also . First general election was held in 1952 .  So after testing democracy for five years , youth of India were bubbling with enthusiasm and ” I don’t give a damn ” kind of attitude . Their aspirations , their liking for good clothes and better life – style was palpable and Shammi Kapoor Saheb represented these feelings to the fullest . And naturally he became icon of the liberated youth of the nascent , new and emerging democratic India .It is not for nothing that he is called Rebel Star and Dancing Star of Hindi films .

So obviously , when I heard the news of his demise , an era ended for me . One more chapter of my growing years was lost completely .  I wanted to write the obituary  immediately but I thought that best moment to pay my last respect would be on the occasion of the release of his last film ” Rockstar “ . Ranbir Kapoor starrer ” Rockstar “ got released on November 11 , 2011 and it created history . It became legendary Shammi Kapoor‘s last film. It signals the end of one of the most glorious chapters of Hindi Cinema . It brings curtain down on the memories of legendary Shammi Kapoor . One more icon of my childhood left the world finally and ” Rockstar “  is the cruel reminder of that fact . The journey , which started with ” Jeevan Jyoti ” [ 1953] , ended with ” Rockstar ” [ 2011 ] . It is 58 years long , gigantic and glorious reel journey .

Shammi Kapoor in Teesri Manzil

Shammi Kapoor in Teesri Manzil

Shamsher Raj Kapoor , better known as Shammi Kapoor started his career with ” Jeeva Jyoti ”  [ 1953 ] , a film directed by Mahesh Kaul , who incidentally , years later gave break to Hema Malini inSapno Ka Saudagar ”  , who incidentally was his last romantic lead in ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ]. Chand Usmani was Shammi Kapoor’s first heroine in ” Jeevan Jyoti ” .

” Rail Ka Dibba ” [ 1953 ] , ” Laila Majnu ” [ 1953 ] , ” Shama Parwana ” [ 1954 ]  ,  ” Chor Bazar ” [ 1954 ] , ” Miss Coca Cola ” [ 1955 ] , ” Daku ” [ 1955 ] , ” Mem Sahib ” [ 1956 ] , ” Rangeen Ratein ” [ 1956 ] , ” Mirza Sahiban ” [ 1957 ] , ” Mujrim ” [ 1958 ]  and ” Char Dil Char Rahen ” [ 1959 ]  “ came in quick succession and most of them bombed miserably .

Teesri Manzil

Shammi Kapoor in Teesri Manzil

Very few hits and 18 flops later, Shammi Kapoor became a major star with ” Tumsa Nahi Dekha ” [ 1957 ] , ” Dil Deka Dekho ” [ 1958 ] and ” Ujala ” [ 1959 ] . After this there were blitzkrieg of hugely successful films like ; “College Girl ” [1960 ] , ” Singapore ” [ 1960 ] , ” Boyfriend ” [ 1960 ] , ” Junglee ” [ 1961 ] , ” Dil Tera Diwana ” [ 1962 ] , ” Professor ” [ 1962 ] , ” China Town ” [ 1962 ] , ” Bluff Master ” [ 1963 ] , ” Rajkumar ” [ 1963 ] , ” Kashmir Ki Kali ” [ 1964 ] , ” Janwar ” [ 1965 ] , ” Teesri Manzil ” [ 1966 ] , ” Budtameez ” [ 1966 ] , ” An Evening In Paris ” [ 1967 ] , ” Laat Saheb ” [ 1967 ] , ” Brahmchari ” [ 1968 ] , ” Prince ” [ 1968 ]  , ” Tum Se Accha Kaun Hai ” [ 1969 ] , ” Sachchai ” [ 1969 ] , ” Pagla Kahin Ka ” [ 1970 ] , ” Andaz ” [ 1971 ] , ” Jawan Mohabbat ” [ 1971 ] , and ” Jaane Anjane ” [ 1971 ] . After last mentioned film , he stopped playing romantic lead .

Shammi Kapoor in Kashmir Ki Kaali

Shammi Kapoor in Kashmir Ki Kaali

There after he started playing character roles and created some major milestones as well , ” Zameer ” [ 1974 ] , ” Manoranjan ” [ 1974 ] , ” Bundal Baaz ” [ 1976 ] , ” Parvarish ” [ 1977 ] , ” Shalimar “[ 1978 ] , ” Meera “[ 1989 ] , ” Rocky “[ 1981 ] , “Naseeb “[ 1981 ] , “Prem Rog “[ 1981 ] , ” Vishaata “[ 1982 ] , “Desh Premi “[ 1982 ] , “Hero “[ 1982 ] , ” Betab “[ 1983 ] and finally ” Rockstar “[ 2011 ] .


Among the above mentioned films ; ” Manoranjan ” [ 1974 ] and ” Bundal Baaz ” [ 1976 ] were his directorial ventures .

I consider myself fortunate that of the quartet of Dilip Kumar , Dev Anand , Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor , I Could meet all the three barring Raj Kapoor . In early 90s I had written a serial ” Mitti Ke Diye “ and along with my director , went to Shammi Kapoor Saheb‘s Malabar Hills apartment to narrate the story to him . We reached his Blue Heaven apartment in the morning and were ushered into his room . He was working on his computer . He greeted us warmly , told us to sit down and ordered tea for us .I narrated the story in trembling voice and to my utter shock and dismay he liked the story and agreed to work in the serial immediately .

The serial was not made because of my bad luck . But I still remember his towering personality , his booming voice and benign smile . He made me feel important , though he had achieved gigantic successes and I was a struggling nonentity . After some years I again bumped into him at the marriage reception of grand – daughter of legendary singer Mukesh . After that I could not meet or see him . I followed him on twitter , though . And then came the news of his illness and the death .

I feel blessed to meet you sir . I imbibed your spirit , your love and zest for life . I got your blessings and I know that it will guide me in the slippery world of film industry . Farewell sir ! I will definitely meet you in heaven to learn cinema from you . Till then , rest in peace sir !

There shall never , ever be another Shammi Kapoor .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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