Tirangaa: 31 Years On, The Making Unveiled by Filmmaker Mehul Kumar

On the day of the Muhurta of the film ‘Tirangaa’, people scared the producer-director Mehul Kumar and said that if the film was made then it would be fine...

By Bollyy
New Update
Tirangaa 31 Years On

'Tirangaa: Why didn't Rajinikanth and Naseeruddin Shah do this film?

For the past few years, there seems to be a passion among Bollywood filmmakers for making patriotic films. But unfortunately, these films being made in the name of patriotism are neither surviving at the box office nor making an impact on the hearts and minds of the audience. Famous filmmaker Mehul Kumar made the film ‘Tirangaa’ which talks about patriotism 31 years ago. The film ‘Tirangaa’ starring Raj Kumar and Nana Patekar was released on 29 January 1993. This film created new records of success at the box office. Even after 31 years, this film remains a necessity for every TV channel and electronic media. The film is telecast on several TV channels every year on two national days, 26 January and 15 August, for 31 years. Every year, during these two days, it is natural for the song 'Yeh Aan Tirangaa Hai' from this film to be played everywhere. The interesting thing is that this film about two hours and forty-nine minutes has been watched by more than one crore people on YouTube also.

Rajinikanth and Naseeruddin Shah had refused to do ‘Tirangaa’

The film ‘Tirangaa’ is such a film for which Mehul Kumar had first contracted Raj Kumar, the most powerful actor of that time, for the role of Brigadier Suryadev, with whom many actors were afraid to act. Mehul Kumar wanted to add Rajinikanth in the role of Police Inspector Shivajirao Wagle along with Raj Kumar in his film. For this, he had gone to Chennai to narrate the story of his film to Rajinikanth. Rajinikanth liked the story, but as soon as he came to know that Raj Kumar was in the film, he refused to do the film. Not only this, on hearing the name of Raj Kumar, Naseeruddin Shah also refused to do this film. Then on the advice of a friend, Mehul Kumar talked to Nana Patekar.

Nana Patekar had placed this condition

Mehul Kumar himself says, before starting the shooting of the film ‘Tirangaa’, I had announced the film by giving a three-page advertisement in a broadsheet film magazine, but till then Nana Patekar had not been associated with the film, so on the second page only There was a photo of a policeman's back. Before Nana Patekar, I had also offered this film to Rajinikanth and Naseeruddin Shah. For the role of a policeman, I went to Madras and narrated the script to Rajinikanth. He didn't even muster the courage to work with Raj Kumar. Then I told the story to Naseer Bhai. He also said no giving the same reason. At such a time, our publicity designer Atma Ram suggested taking Nana Patekar. When I approached Nana Patekar for the film ‘Tirangaa’, he also refused to work on the film saying that he had problems with Raj Kumar. Whereas he also liked the story and character very much. We explained a lot to him, then Nana Patekar put a condition in clear words 'If Raj Saheb (Raj Kumar) interferes during the shooting, I will leave the set and will never come back.' Then I told him that Raj Saheb (Raj Kumar) interfered in the shooting. This is my third film with Kumar. Till now he has never made any changes in my script on the set. Well, Nana agreed to work in the film ‘Tirangaa’ on this condition.

Raj Kumar was also apprehensive about working with Nana Patekar

On the other hand, Raj Kumar was also apprehensive about working with Nana Patekar. Because Raj Kumar was fully aware of Nana's carefree nature. Mehul Kumar himself says, 'Raj Saheb said that hey, Nana Patekar fights on the set.' Then I told Rajkumar about Nana Patekar's condition, then he started clarifying, 'Mehul, I have never fought with anyone on your set. Have you said anything to Nana Patekar?' Well, Raj Kumar accepted to work with Nana Patekar.

On the day of the film's Muhurta, people scared me

On the day of the Muhurta of the film ‘Tirangaa’, people scared the producer-director Mehul Kumar and said that if the film was made then it would be fine... Mehul himself says - "On the day of the Muhurta, a very big maker of the industry came to congratulate me. When he reached there, he pressed my hand and said, 'May this 'tricolor' of yours fly a lot, Mehul! You are making a film taking one East and the other West.' But this film was completed in just six months and made records of success.

Mehul Kumar further says, 'In the beginning, Raj Saheb and Nana Patekar were not able to get along with each other. But when the song ‘Pi Le Pi Le O Mere Raja, Pi Le Pi Le O Mere Jaani’ was shot on the occasion of a birthday, the friendship between the two became good during the filming of this song. Then both of them used to eat together. They kept chatting for a long time.”

How Santosh Anand wrote the songs for this film

Mehul Kumar had signed Laxmikant Pyarelal as the music composer for the film “Tirangaa”. Laxmikant Pyarelal advised Mehul Kumar to get the songs of this film written by Santosh Anand, whereas by then Santosh Anand had stopped writing songs for films and had also said goodbye to Mumbai. Well, when Mehul Kumar called Laxmikant Pyarelal with Santosh Anand's number, Santosh Anand said that he had stopped writing songs for films. But as soon as he heard the name of the film, he agreed. Mehul Kumar says, 'When I called Santosh Anand, he refused. Then I told him that the name of my film is ‘Tirangaa’ and I want you to write the song. After hearing the name of the film, he said that he would write a song. Then he asked me to send him his ticket. He came to Mumbai. Stayed in a hotel for eight days and wrote eight songs in eight days. One day I told him that everyone calls Raj Kumar Johnny. If this name could be used in any song, without wasting any time Santosh Anand said, 'It is easy. He is an army brigadier. They kept the song in the army quarter and wrote the song ‘Pi le pi le o mere raja, pi le pi le o mere jaani…’ Nana Patekar did not drink even a sip of alcohol during the filming of this song. Not only this, many people feel that this song has been sung by Rajkumar Saheb himself. However, it is not like that. Sudesh Bhosle has given voice to Rajkumar's voice in the song.

A masterpiece cult film

Rajkumar and Nana Patekar won a lot of applause from the film ‘Tirangaa’. But the work of actor Deepak Shirke, who played the role of villain Pralayanath Gendaswami in the film, was also in the news. Gave the character of Pralayanath Gundaswamy a dangerous look in his style. Apart from this, ‘Tirangaa’ also featured Suresh Oberoi, Varsha Usgaonkar, Firoz Khan, Alok Nath, Satyen Kappu, Dabboo Malik, Bob Christo, and Harish Kumar.

When Raj Kumar arrived in a taxi on the first day of shooting for ‘Tirangaa’

Describing the incident of the first day of shooting of the film ‘Tirangaa’, Mehul Kumar says, "I was preparing for the first shot on the first day. Then I saw that some people had surrounded a taxi. After some time, I saw Raj Kumar Saheb getting out of that taxi. He was giving a note of five hundred rupees to the taxi driver and the taxi driver was not ready to take the money from him. Then I went closer. After understanding the whole matter, I explained to the taxi driver that he would only respect Raj Kumar Saheb by taking the money. The taxi driver left. Then I asked him why he had come in a taxi. In response, Rajkumar Saheb said that his car had broken down and he did not want to have to listen to the other artists because of coming late. So he reached there by taxi.”

Famous filmmaker Mehul Kumar was the first film journalist. Then he directed 18 films in Gujarati language. Whereas in Hindi he directed 19 films including ‘Marte Dum Tak’, ‘Jangbaaz’, ‘Mrityudata’, ‘Kohram’, ‘Tirangaa’ and ‘Krantiveer’. All his films were successful.

-Shantiswarup Tripathi

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