Sunday, August 8, 2010


The Hindi film,' Mughal-e-Azam', was released on the 5th August 1960 and is now celebrating its golden jubilee year of release. The release of the film, 'Mughal-e-Azam' was a golden milestone in the annals of Indian film industry and its impact on the film goers was such that they cannot remember the film but with awe. The most expensive Indian film till then, Mughal-e-azam', was spectacularly made with years of research and hard work put in by the director,K. Asif with liberal support from the producer, Shapoorji Pallonji, for Sterling Investment Corporation.

The star cast included the thespian Prithviraj Kapur, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala,Nigar Sultana, Ajith, Murad, Durga Khote etc. Gorgeous settings like that of the royal palace ,Sheeh Mahal, and spectacular battle scenes involving 8000 soldiers and numerous horses of the Rajput Regiment, camels and the rest, beautiful dances performed on wonderfully made sets, outstanding performances from Prithviraj Kapur, Madhubala and Dilip Kumar all made the film a memorable experience.The acting of Madhubala, arguably the most beatiful face of Indian cinema, especially in the dance scenes emoting every nuance of the songs, was a treat to the eyes.The Urdu rich dialogues, penned by Kamal Amrohi and others, typically rendered by Prithviraj Kapoor in his sonorous voice still echo in the ears.Madhubala, as Anarkali, challenging the might of the emperor by singing,"pyar kiya to dar na kya?'was a treat to the eyes with the image of the dancer reflecting from the tiny mirrors fixed on the walls and roof of the royal palace. It was said that artisans were brought from different parts of the country to make the costumes of the characters and the weaponry to give them authentic look. The meticulous planning and the efforts deployed showed in the box-office success of the film. It was said that thousands spent sleepless nights outside the theatre, Maratha Mandir,Bombay, in the queue to see the first screening of the film on the 5th August 1960!

Perhaps the best feature of the film is the music of Naushad forming an in
tegral part of the film. The richness of the compositions, the lyrical charm, and the soulful rendering of Lata Mangeshkar who had sung seven out of the ten songs of the film. One song,'Zindabad", was sung by Muhamed Rafi. Another feature is that two songs, 'Prem jogan ban', and 'Subh din aayo' were sung by none other than Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan (first time for a film) adding to the spirit of the period film.

The Gramophone Company of India had released two albums on the film. One is a two LP album titled, 'K.Asif's Mughal-E-Azham', featuring the dia
logues of Prithviraj Kapur, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and the rest of the characters of the film and all the songs of the film. It is wonderful to listen to the dialogues and the songs and it takes one back nostalgically to the memories of seeing the film when it was released.The other is a single LP Album of the songs of the film, titled,K. Asif's Mughal-E-Azham'. One outstanding feature of the songs is that,while listening to them, the song scenes come flashing to one's mind, especially the dance scenes featuring Madhubala. The songs 'Muhabat ki jhooti kahani', 'Mohe panghatpe' and'Pyar kiya to dar na kya?' are brilliant in this context. This also raises another point. Music lovers, especially those who love old film songs, generally like to listen to music on pure audio players than with video on small screen. But there are some songs which can be enjoyed equally well along with video because of the beauty of the picturisation of the songs. All the songs in Mughal-e-Azham fall into this category. They are visual beauties too. Video CDs of these songs are available in plenty in music stores.

Yes, Mughal-E-Azham was an outstanding film making every Indian proud of our cinema.

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