The Struggling Steps Yash Chopra Had To Take To Reach Before He Became The Immortal Yash Chopra!!!
Ali Peter John
His father was already a worried man because his elder son, Baldev Raj not listening to his advice and taking up job in the civil services and instead taking to film journalism, writing reviews of Hindi films, editing a film magazine and ultimately taking to making his own films and even launching his own banner, BR Films. The father was determined to see that his younger son, Yash Raj would not have anything to do with films and did all he could to encourage and inspire Yash to join the Indian Civil Services, which Yash who had fallen under the spell of the great Urdu poet Sahir Ludhianvi was not interested in going for at all, but was scared of telling his father about his reluctance to go to London to do his ICS.
The father however succeeded in fulfilling his on ambition on Yash and sent him to his elder brother, Baldev Raj, who had established himself as a filmmaker in Bombay. The father had however warned Baldev Raj not to attract or tempt Yash Raj in the ways of the film industry. Baldev Raj followed the father’s orders and did not allow Yash Raj to come anywhere near a film shooting or even his own office. But what was destined to happen had to happen. The young Yash Raj saw some of the biggest stars, poets and filmmakers visiting his brother’s house almost every evening. His heart skipped several beats when he saw the poet of dreams himself, Sahir sitting with his brother in the evening and drinking and the scene was like heaven for him. He soon saw his other ‘god’, Dilip Kumar and goddess Lata Mangeshkar talking to his brother on a first name basis and he decided that this glorious world of films was going to be his world and that it was not going to London or any other place to do his ICS or any other course.
That was the time when he started pursuing his elder brother to let him stay with him as he was interested in making a career in films. His brother told him that he couldn’t go against the wishes of their father, but Yash told him that he would be able to convince their father and when Baldev Raj so his passion, he decided to take a risk, but he did not give him a job even as an assistant with him. He finally spoke to another filmmaker, I.S Johar, who was also incidentally the writer of his first film as a director. Yash was very bitter and he worked with Johar only for two days and came back crying to his brother and told him that he couldn’t work with a man as he was very abusive and did not even know how to direct a shot. The elder brother felt sorry for Yash and finally decided to take him on as his assistant during the making of “Naya Daur”. It was like opening of a new world for Yash Raj Chopra because “Naya Daur” had all his favorites, Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala and above all Sahir.
“Naya Daur” was planned as a start to finish shooting on locations in Poona. It was work during all day and games and fun during the evening. Dilip Kumar and the young Yash got together and built grounds on which games like cricket and volleyball and other games could be played. It was during this long shooting that Dilip Kumar, Sahir and Yash became very good friends and whose friendship was going to last for long, both personal and professional. It was also during the making of “Naya Daur” that Yash picked up the essentials of making films and had gained the complete confidence of his brother.
He took one big leap with his next film, “Waqt” which was one of the first big multistarrer with stars like Balraj Sahani, Raajkumar, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Sadhna, Sharmila Tagore, Rehman, Madan Puri Archana Sachdev and the actor who was known as India’s first natural actor, Motilal. The film naturally have its songs written by Sahir and and when released, it was one of the biggest hits made under BR banner.
Yash was now accepted as star-director, but this was also the time when the first signs of breaking away from his brother were being sowed in him. He made other films for BR like “Aadmi Aur Insaan” and “Ittefaq”. But the time to break off had come and he had the active support of the leading financier and distributor Gulshan Rai, who gave him and his wife a place to live in and the backing to make a big film like “Daag”and V Shantaram give him a place to have his office in his own Rajkamal Kala Mandir studios from where he took off.
From that office in Rajkamal, he and Yash Raj Films flew Vikas Park, a three storeyed office in Juhu from where he not only made some of the biggest and most successful films, but also branched out into making TV serials and finally saw his son Aditya Chopra fly into new skies with “DDLJ” and “Mohabbatein” and saw him make so much money that he once told me,“itna paisa toh maine sari jindagi mein nahin dekha”. He saw Aditya building his dream studio and was very lucky to see Aditya complete the building of the studio together with a posh garden office for him which he said he could not even dream of. He had done more work than he could have ever imagined but he had never complaint of being bored or tired of his only passion and his first love which was film making, but it was only when he was planning his last film “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” that he talked about having had done enough and wanted to retire and settle down in some hill station somewhere with his wife who he said was the one he had neglected all his life to fulfill his own selfish ambitions. A few months later, he had completed “Jab Tak Hai Jaan”, it was the success, but one single mosquito proved that it had the power to take away one of the most beloved creations of God, Yash Chopra, the man who had made life and love look had left forever but not before he had left the lakhs of memories to cherish for all time.
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