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`Andaaz' then and now...


IT WAS exactly 54 years, one month and one week ago that Mehboob Khan's "Andaz" kissed the silver screen. Its grand success continues to inspire film-makers more than 50 years later - the latest example being Raj Kunwar's "Andaaz", starring Akshay Kumar with beauty queens Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra, which is ready for release in May.

Khan's was a path-breaking film as far as man-woman platonic relationships go. It was the first time that the legendary Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar shared the screen space. With Nargis playing the female lead, it marked the beginning of Raj-Nargis success story. They were to give 14 hits together later in their career.

However, the film is remembered to this day for its absolutely haunting music by Naushad. While Nargis won a lot of hearts with her portrayal of "O Meri Laadli... " it was Mukesh whose songs are remembered with great fondness. His "Jhoom Jhoom Ke Nacho Aaj" was a classic. While it established a durable bond between Raj Kapoor and Mukesh, unfortunately, the latter had to wait for quite a while before teaming up again with Dilip Kumar in "Yahudi". It was also the first time that Naushad and Lata Mangeshkar joined hands and the lady got to sing all the songs for the heroine while the more popular Shamshad Begum had to be content with one dance number.

After Khan's film in 1949, Ramesh Sippy, who was to later give Bollywood its greatest hit with "Sholay", made his debut as a director in 1971 with "Andaaz". This time, too, there was a triangle with Shammi Kapoor and Rajesh Khanna vying for Hema Malini's attention. This film too had some memorable tunes, the best of which was undoubtedly Kishore Kumar's "Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana... ". Nobody could yodel like Kishore then. Nobody can now.

Then in the mid-90s David Dhawan decided to use the same title - "Andaaz" - for the Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla romantic comedy. It fell flat at the box office and got a lot of flak for an absolutely obscene number, "Main Hun Rail Gari, Engine Garam Hai"

Now comes Raj Kunwar's film with music by Nadeem-Shravan and Sameer's lyrics. Its music is said to be doing well. But bet as you might, come December 2003, you are more likely to find yourself humming "Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana" or "Jhoom Jhoom Ke Naacho Aaj". `Andaaz Apna, Apna', one would say but don't they also say that old is gold?

ZIYA US SALAM

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