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Sharmila Tagore -a Lone Witness To A Landmark Film Made To Be Remembered For All Times (‘Waqt’))

9

ALI PETER JOHN

True , we have been making the number of films in the world, but how many of these films can we really be proud of ?  How many films do we make have been.abke to stand the test of time ? How many directors and actors have been.abke to make a name that will be remembered for all time? How many films can we count and rank as the best films ? Hardly a handful and  if you ask me, I think a film like Waqt” made in India more than 55years ago is certainly one of them…
Yash Chopra who was supposed to be an ICS officer found his metier in the film and after a struggle with himself, he has joined his elder brother Dr B.R.Chopra, the pioneer amongst filmmaker in India as an assistant director. He was quick to learn and his brother had given.him two breaks as a director and he directed films like ‘Dharmputra’ and’ Dhool ka phool ‘and had made a name as one of the better directors…
Yash was now looking for a bigger film to direct and it was during this time tjat his brother gave him a subject which was  based on the lost and found concept. The script demanded a good starcast and Dr Chopra wanted to have a casting coup by having Prthvi Raj Kapoor and his three sons Raj Kapoor  Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor but didn’t work out and just had to settle for Balraj Sahni, Raj Kumar, Sunil.Dutt and his friend Shashi Kapoor. The film which was named waqt had Balraj Sahni.playing a rich father who looses his three sons after an.eartjquake and how time chamged where the entire destiny of the family.
Once Yash had his main actors, he got on board two popular acyresses of the timrs  Sadhna and Sharmila Tagore . There  was to be no actress opposite Rajkumar but…
Yash soon had some of the first character actor like Rehman  Achla Sachdev, Manmohan.Krishna , Madan Puri , Shashikals, the veteran actor and singer Surendranath and above all Motilal who was and still is known as the first natural actor of Indian cinema.
It had its lyrics written by Sahir Ludhianvi, the favourite poet of Yash achopra who was one of tjr major reasons for  Yash to take up a career in films and music by Ravi. The welknown Urdu wtiter Akhtarul Imam wrote  dialogue and kaydee was the cinematographer. ‘WAQT’ was the firsy of the many films to be mafr on the theme of lost and found and was also the first genuine multi starrer and a major hit. I was a schoolboy in 1965 when.the film was released and half seen it thrice even when I had no money to.buy my next meal. And I still remembered the day snd night long party at the Sun n Sand hotel in Juhu where Yash Chopra celebrated the success of Waqt” where all his main stars got drunk and went for a swim early in the morning and the only man who was.not drunk was.Yash Chopra who had all the right to celebrate his victory but didnt because of the promise e he had made to his father before leaving home..
As I look back un time sitting somewhere close to where Sahir Ludhianvi lived during the maling of Waqt and not very far from the bungalow of Yash Chopra,I remember all those who made ‘Waqt’ a great experience , I think of all the names associated with the film and find how time has taken away all those great people and realize that the only one who time has been kind to is Sharmils Tagore who was the youngest in the team and who is now nearing 80 and is a grandmother..
Dr BR Chopra who gave Yash the freedom to make Waqt as he wanted to establish onenof the most significant banners  BR films fulfilled his best dream, made ‘Baghban” and lived a long and fruitful life and died of old age.
Yash Chopra who was like a cub director qent on to be the most successful filmaker and had his own banner, Yash Raj.Films in his office of which he was stung by a dengue mosquito and died leaving all those who knew him and his work stunn.
Raj Kumar who lived according to his own rule of living his life and died of throat cancer
Sunil Dutt went on to be a leading filmmaker among a mesiah, politician and a great human being and died in his sleep in 2005.
Shashi Kapoor had a colourful, controversial and chequered life and died of several health complications but not before being honoured with the Padmabhushan and the Dadasaheb phalke award
Sadhna lived a troubled life when she died tnree years ago .
All the other major actors like Balraj Sahni, Achla Sachdev, Rehman,Manmohan Krishan, Madan Puri and Surndranath have become a part of history.
All the three most creative men, Sahir, Ravi and Akhtar ul Imam have left leaving their work behind whoosh will stay alive for all time
Only recently , there was an effort being made by Mrs Renu Chopra,the daughter in lae of BR Chopra to remake Waqt, she had called me to her office to find out if Waqt could he madr again wnd I have told her that there could be many other films like Waqt made, but there could never be another Waqt like the Waqt Yash Chopra made 55 years ago.
Sometimes a film too have a mission and Waqt was certainly one of them. It was the most powerful way of sending a message about how time can make and break history, civilization and even country’s and that man would do himself a favour by respecting time all the time.
‘AADMI KO CHAHIYE WAQT SE DAR KE RAHE,NA JANE WAQT KA KAB BIGRE MIJAAZ’