If Rajkumar is the trademark ‘Shammi Kapoor at his peak’ film, then Tumsa Nahin Dekha is an equally – if not more – important film, because this is the one that made Shammi Kapoor into the icon he was by the mid-60s. Till Nasir Hussain got Shammi Kapoor to shave off his moustache and act as the devil-may-care hero of this film, Shammi was (as my father puts it), “Just another actor with a thin moustache and the usual roles. Nothing exceptional.” Tumsa Nahin Dekha gave him the opportunity to transform from the half-hearted, unexceptional sort-of-hero into a Shammi Kapoor who became almost an institution in himself.
Someone – I’ve forgotten who, now – said that Nasir Hussain “came to Bombay with one story in his briefcase, and made four blockbusters out of it.” The story was a simple one, of separated parents and offspring who are reunited years later. The details and the plot changed a little with every film (the other films were Dil Deke Dekho, Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai, and Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon), but the basics were the same. The first film of this particular formula was Tumsa Nahin Dekha, written and directed by Nasir Hussain – and starring a new, vastly improved Shammi Kapoor.
The film begins in the village of Ghatpur in Assam, where the wealthy and imperious Sardar Rajpal (BM Vyas) has estates, stables, a large cattle-yard, and a much-loved foster daughter, Meena (Ameeta). Meena is Rajpal’s old (now long dead) friend’s daughter, and has been brought up by Rajpal, who’s had her educated in the city. Now that she’s come home from the city, Rajpal tells her a little bit about his own history.
Rajpal, it transpires, wasn’t always a goodie-goodie (not that he’s one now, but he seems to have mellowed a little with age). Twenty years ago, Rajpal lived in ‘the city’ too, with his wife Kamla ‘Kammo’ (Anjali Devi) and his baby son Shankar. One evening, having squandered away even his wife’s jewellery on gambling, a desperate Rajpal turned on the two cheating gamblers – brothers – and killed one of them (though in self-defence) before running for his life.
The brother who remained alive, Vishnu (Raj Mehra) called the police, and Rajpal (whose actual name, back then, was Gopal), having said a hurried goodbye to Kammo, escaped.
He ended up here in Assam, where’s he built a new life for himself. But he still yearns for Kammo and Shankar. Worse, he had read a newspaper article, long ago, that both of them – his wife and son – had gone missing after their house caught fire.
Meena is getting ready to go to the city for a friend’s birthday, and Rajpal asks for a favour: while she’s in town, can she insert an ad in the newspaper? He needs two men (both of whom should be able to ride a horse and shoot a rifle) to look after his stables and cattle-yard.
Meena agrees, and suggests another idea: how about a notice addressed to the long-separated Kamla and Shankar, giving them his whereabouts? Perhaps they’re still alive. Rajpal is hesitant – even though he thinks he covered up his trail well enough, the police may get suspicious – but Meena persists. Perhaps he could address the notice to Kammo – surely no-one would guess that the erstwhile Gopal’s affectionate nickname for his wife Kamla was Kammo? [This sounds like a shot in the dark to me. If Hindi films of the 50s are anything to go by, Kammos were as common as fleas].
But it works. Of those many Kammos floating around the country, the correct one – Rajpal’s long-lost wife – sees his notice, alongside his ad asking for two employees for the estate. Kammo is excited beyond belief at finally having heard from her beloved husband. [Why she still worships him – literally, since she sits with folded hands before his photo – is beyond me. This man deserted her years ago and hasn’t uttered a squeak ever since]. Shankar, now grown up (Shammi Kapoor), has more sense, and tells his mother off for mooning over such a neglectful man.
Kammo, therefore, keeps mum about the fact that the ‘Sardar Rajpal’ who has inserted both ads – for employer and for ‘Kammo’ – is one and the same, Shankar’s father and her husband. Instead, all Kammo does is to encourage Shankar to travel to Ghatpur to Sardar Rajpal, going in response to the ad for an employee. On her own, she writes a quick letter to her long-lost husband, telling him that the young man bringing him this letter is his own son, who now harbours a deep hatred for his father and so has not been told that Rajpal is that father…
Kammo seals the letter and gives it to Shankar, telling him it’s a recommendation from an official whom she knows, who also happens to be acquainted with Rajpal. Shankar takes the letter, bids goodbye to his mum, and goes off to Ghatpur. Kammo plans to go on a two-month long pilgrimage, after which she’ll go to Ghatpur. Hopefully, by then Shankar will have come to know Rajpal well enough for a reconciliation to take place.
But Rajpal’s ads in the newspaper haven’t gone unnoticed. The police have seen them, and an officer realises that this Rajpal just might be the same criminal, Gopal, who absconded after a murder twenty years back. [Okay, I didn’t know the Indian police was that vigilant, or prescient, or just plain without any other work to do than read the ‘Help wanted’ ads]. Let’s investigate, they decide.
As if that wasn’t all, Vishnu (Remember? The brother of the man Rajpal killed) is still alive, still thirsty for revenge, and – worst of all – as observant as the cops. He remembers Gopal referring to his wife as Kammo, and guesses that Gopal must be Rajpal. And Rajpal has obviously – if he’s got such large estates – done well for himself. He, Vishnu, must lay his hands on that wealth.
Vishnu also remembers that long-ago bit of news about Kammo and Shankar having died in a fire. He tells this to his equally evil son, Sohan (Pran), and it is Sohan who comes up with a scheme to wreak vengeance on Rajpal. Rajpal, after all, has been amassing wealth all these years in the hope of someday passing on that wealth to his beloved son. He doesn’t know that the son is, in fact, long dead. The greatest revenge will be if Rajpal were to end up giving all that wealth to his enemy’s son!
Sohan’s plan is that he will answer Rajpal’s ad and present himself at Ghatpur as Shankar.
Meanwhile, our hero boards the train to Soonanagar – the railhead for Ghatpur – and finds himself travelling in the same compartment as the fiery Meena. [Of course. Where would a Nasir Hussain flick be without coincidences?] Sparks fly at once. He is insolent, she is imperious, and they have a brief argument before they finally disembark at Soonanagar…
…where, after a tussle, they end up having to share the lone tonga that’ll take them on to Ghatpur. It’s an entertaining ride (at least for the tonga-wallah, though even Meena, by the end of it, is secretly looking less and less huffy with Shankar). Unfortunately, it comes to a sad end, because a wheel comes off.
Meena gets a lift in a passing bullock cart, but when it begins pouring cats and dogs, is forced to seek shelter in the bungalow of a colonel known to Rajpal. The colonel isn’t home, but his servant lets her in, albeit reluctantly.
And who should arrive soon after, also looking for shelter, but Shankar?
Some madness ensues – Meena and Shankar are in adjoining rooms, their wet clothes hung out to dry on clotheslines in the balconies, while they themselves traipse around, wrapped in sheets (a circumstance that later forces Shankar to tell a suddenly-returned colonel that Meena and he are husband and wife):
Late that night, when everybody’s asleep, a thief, Johnny (Ram Avtar), comes by and steals both Meena’s and Shankar’s clothes. He doesn’t notice it, but the letter that Shankar had been carrying in his jacket pocket, falls out onto the ground while Johnny is creeping out of the house… and is picked up by Sohan, who’s been sheltering, unknown to the inhabitants of the house, in the shed nearby.
Sohan opens the letter and reads it: it’s the one Kammo has written to Rajpal. The bearer of this letter is your son, Shankar, but he hates the very thought of you as his father, so I have not told him that. Ah! What more could Sohan want? This is serendipity, indeed. He tucks the letter into his own pocket –
– and presents himself the next day, calling himself Shankar, to Rajpal. ‘Shankar’ hands over the letter, and Rajpal is overjoyed to discover that this young man is his long-lost son. But, following Kammo’s instructions, Rajpal refrains from revealing the relationship.
He does, however, tell Meena, who is happy for Rajpal and tries to be sweet to this Shankar, but finds herself remembering the other, vastly more attractive and rakish Shankar more often than she would like to.
And here he is, back again! A few days later, another man arrives in response to Sardar Rajpal’s ad for an employee. He too introduces himself as Shankar. He too carries a letter from Kammo – Rajpal recognises the handwriting, all over again – telling Rajpal that this is his son who hates him (Shankar had written to let her know that he’d lost her letter of recommendation, and could she send him another? That’s why he’s arrived so much later; he’d been waiting for her letter to come).
Now this is a dilemma indeed. Who is the real Shankar? Rajpal is puzzled. Meena is equally puzzled and frustrated too, because she’s attracted to a man who may well be a thief and a murderer, for all she knows.
As if that wasn’t enough of a complication, there’s another element in the story: the tribals who live nearby. They’re led by Bhola (Kanu Roy), and they’re not on good terms with Rajpal, who they think has been robbing them of their land. When Sohan tries to rape Bhola’s fiancée Seema (Sheila Vaz), things begin to get out of hand – but could this just be what it takes to finally settle matters?
Fortunately, the real Shankar – our Shankar, the fun, upright, honest, Meena-loving Shankar – has a lot on his side. Meena, for instance. Johnny, the ex-thief (the one who, not so long ago, stole Shankar’s clothes) for another – he is now Shankar’s friend. And virtue, of course. Right is right.
Yes, I know. It sounds like a horrifically complicated plot, but it isn’t. Nearly everything does tie into the plot somewhere or the other, and there are few digressions from it (the scenes between Shankar, Meena and the colonel are pretty pointless, but short, so they don’t get tedious). There is no comic side plot (you don’t really need one, with a livewire like Shammi Kapoor in the lead, do you?), and there’s plenty to please.
What I liked about this film:
Everything, really. This is one of my favourite Shammi Kapoor films, an out-and-out entertainer. But two special likes:
OP Nayyar’s music. Yes, Shankar-Jaikishan later became almost synonymous with Shammi Kapoor’s films, but Tumsa Nahin Dekha was scored by OP Nayyar – and from the casual joie de vivre of Jawaaniyaan yeh mast-mast bin piye, to the madcap-romantic Yoon toh humne laakh haseen dekhe hain, to the fun-romantic Dekho kasam se to the Punjabi folksy-romantic Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal… this is a winning album.
Shammi Kapoor. From his pre-Tumsa Nahin Dekha films, I’ve seen a few – Hum Sab Chor Hain, Shama Parwana, and Rail ka Dibba among them. If I hadn’t already admired and adored the later Shammi Kapoor, I’d have probably not looked for any more films of his after just seeing these ones. Tumsa Nahin Dekha was the watershed. The Shammi Kapoor here is a far cry (literally – Yoo-hoo! – as he keeps whooping every now and then in this film) from the Shammi Kapoor of the earlier films. He’s impossibly handsome, very likable, and more than enough reason for Meena’s dreamy-eyed look.
Incidentally, for those looking for early glimpses of future ‘familiar faces’: there’s a very young Shetty here, as one of Bhola’s men:
And Bela Bose appears in a couple of songs. Here she is, sitting on the left of, and a little behind, Ameeta in Aaye hain door se milne huzoor se (Bela can also be spotted as one of the dancers in Sar par topi laal haath mein resham ka roomaal).
What I didn’t like:
Except for Ameeta’s very unflattering Western outfits in some of the scenes – nothing much, really. And that’s something I can easily overlook.
… And now, a completely unrelated topic:
For those of you who’re interested in my writing other than this blog, here’s news. The second of my books on the 17th century Mughal detective Muzaffar Jang is finally out. It’s called The Eighth Guest & Other Muzaffar Jang Mysteries, and it was released on August 19th.
The book’s available in the Indian subcontinent, the UK and Ireland. It consists of ten short mystery stories, with Muzaffar pitting his wits in a wide range of crime and puzzles, with settings as far apart as the Royal Elephant Stables and a nobleman’s garden in Mehrauli, to a baoli (a step-well) and the Imperial Atelier.
Here is more about the book (including where you can order it online), and here is the book trailer. if you liked The Englishman’s Cameo (to which this is a sequel), don’t miss this one!
Madhu, congratulations! I wanted to pick up the Englishman’s Cameo this time, but this was a very tightly packed trip; but my husband is going down in October, so I shall get him to buy both books. :)
And we are on the same trajectory (not very surprising, I’d say!) – I was dithering between Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Dil Deke Dekho for my next – you have made it easy to choose…
I really did like OP Nayyar’s tunes for this and for Kashmir ki Kali -and never mind that SJ were Shammi Kapoor’s favourites. One thing I have always noticed is that it doesn’t matter who the music director was (Ravi, SJ, OP, RD), the music was always Shammi Kapoor-ish. Much like you couldn’t mistake Rafisaab singing for Shammi Kapoor – there was a difference.
Thank you, Anu! Hachette will be putting out more copies of The Englishman’s Cameo in bookstores along with the newly released The Eighth Guest, but I’d suggest ordering them online and getting copies delivered to any friends or relatives you might have in India from whom your husband can then pick them up – much more convenient (not to mention cheaper! – you get good discounts online)
Aren’t both Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Dil Deke Dekho wonderful films? I love them to bits – though I think OP Nayyar’s music for the former is better than Usha Khanna’s music for the latter (realising that she lifted four Western tunes for the score of Dil Deke Dekho certainly put me off!) But Shammi Kapoor in Hum aur tum aur yeh sama is absolutely unbeatable. You’re very right about songs picturised on Shammi Kapoor, irrespective of the MD: they were invariably very ‘Shammi Kapoor’ songs!
Am looking forward to your review of Dil Deke Dekho. :-)
I haven’t seen Tumsa Nahin Dekha, but I can bet it’s as delightful as Dil Deke Dekho! And congrats Madhulika on your new book! I saw it online and I forgot to ask you about it :) It’s on its way to my bookshelf very soon :)
Thank you for the congratulations, and for buying the book, Neha! I hope you like it. :-)
I think Shammi Kapoor is more self-assured in Dil Deke Dekho, but Tumsa Nahin Dekha has by far the better music… and, of course, the back story of the film is so fascinating, it’s worth watching at least once just for that!
Congratulations DO for your second publication. Can’t wait to read more about Muzaffar Jung, who you’ve told us is a Hrithik Roshan type :)
I do hope I’ll get this without difficulty.
Like the description of history-mystery.
I’m going through Shammi’s films one by one. Have already watched Teesri Manzil, Rajkumar (after reading your review) and will watch this one next. The songs are really really fantastic.
Thank you, pacifist! (And, guess what? Someone at the launch function asked me – and I’ve been asked this at a lot of interviews now – “So if this series were to be televised or filmed, whom would you want to play Muzaffar Jang?”)! :-)
Yes, the songs of Tumsa Nahin Dekha are fantastic. The story is utterly unreal, but at least it (sort of) fits together, and is coherent and light – no melodrama here.
Just finished watching Tumsa nahin dekha ….again.
It’s really one of Shammi’s best films and can be watched several times.
He looks so handsome. Those eyes!!!!
Oh, yes. Those eyes!!! He makes me (as Greta would put it), “melt into a puddle”. Every time!
Have to check it out. they do nothing to me! but his films were most of the times good entertainment!
I just rewatched one yesterday that was a dud. :-( Vallah Kya Baat Hai – I’d seen it on DD as a kid, and couldn’t remember anything except the songs. Bought the DVD last weekend, saw it yesterday – and realised that, except for the songs (Roshan) and Shammi Kapoor – who looked awesome – the film was a complete no-no. Haven’t come across such a terribly incoherent script in a long time. :-(
Hahahaha! harvey. I don’t mean all the time. It’s during those romantic moments or when he gives ‘that’ look that his eyes have that puddle making effect.
Wow, wow, tumssa nahin dekha and muzaffar jung inone post is two in one! Great combo!
tumsa nahin dekha, though I don’t remember anythingof the plot, I remember it as a quite entertaining film with lovely music and Ameeeta, whom I liked at thatt time a lot.
will try to find your book in london tomorrow!
I don’t think The Eighth Guest will actually be out in stores this early, Harvey – I just checked on Amazon UK too, but though The Englishman’s Cameo is available there (both the English and French editions), this one hasn’t arrived yet. In a while, I suppose.
Ameeta was pretty in this, wasn’t she? Especially in Dekho kasam se – she looks lovely in that, and I like the way she teases Shammi Kapoor. Cute!
true, i didn’t find it!
sabr ka phal mitha hota hai is my only consolationand I still haven’t read any of the books hwich i brought from bombay, if i had bought any inlondon, then I wouldn’t have been able to cover the backlog ever and then they jsut lie there and collect dust.
but surely yous book wouldn’t suffer that fate. atleast not unread! ;-)
Somehow, the books that remain unread in my house are the ones people have gifted me – people with no idea of what I like to read! So I have Man Booker Winners, etc, lying untouched – because I’d much rather buy Wodehouses and Gerald Durrells and Bill Brysons and Peter Mayles…! :-)
My soulmate! Sigh. Come into my arms! Gerald Durrell *and* Wodehouse *and* Mayle. Now say you also read Georgette Heyer and I will die happily :)
What do you think? ;-) After Wodehouse (of whose books I own some 20-odd), my largest collection of books written by a single author are Heyer’s. She is fabulous, and I was on cloud nine when two people – each of their own accord – compared my writing in The Englishman’s Cameo to Georgette Heyer’s! (Well, I don’t think the humour – I don’t use that much in the Muzaffar Jang series – but the language, to some extent, I suppose).
I was wondering what to watch next (I just finished watching Junglee…) And then I go over to Anu’s blog and find she has reviewed China Town, and I come here and you have reviewed Tumsa Nahin Dekha! Between the two of you, I think I will have my to-see list ready for me :)
I *love* the songs – Ameeta has never been a favourite of mine (I kept wishing for Sadhana), and the story is ghisa-pita but, Shammi, oh…
Do you have any suggestion on which DVD I should be looking at? I cannot understand HIndi (I am not Indian, just married to one) and while he does his best, it would help to get a DVD with good sub-titles.
If I had to weigh China Town against Tumsa Nahin Dekha – and I am ambivalent about Ameeta (though I did like her here when she wasn’t being petulant – her voice got childishly shrill)… I’d probably settle for China Town. Personally, I think Shammi Kapoor in a suit looks even more delectable than in T-shirt and pants, and Helen has a good juicy role in that film.
On the other hand, though China Town has a couple of really good ones, I think OP Nayyar’s score for Tumsa Nahin Dekha is uniformly better. If you like suspense and Helen, China Town. If you like really good music and don’t mind a very predictable story, Tumsa Nahin Dekha. Best of all, both!
I just checked out the DVDs for both films on Induna (the copies I own are really old – from when we used to get only VCDs, not DVDs, in India). Both items on Induna seem like they wouldn’t be bad copies – T Series and Ultra – so I’m guessing the subtitles should be good enough.
Thanks, dustedoff. I am definitely going to watch both! I was talking to Anu and her copy of China Town was Eros, which she said was quite good and is easier to get here. The sub-titles leave much to be desired (I saw Caravan recently which translated ‘Mohan Bete’ as ‘Child Mohan’ – I mean, seriously!) but I am hoping that it will be better than T Series.
Heh! That “child Mohan” thing is why – even when I’m watching a Hindi film on a DVD that has English subtitles – I always keep the subtitles turned off; it’s too distracting. I remember my husband having bought a Spiderman VCD years ago in Kuala Lumpur. It had hard-coded subtitles in English – and they were awful. Did you know, for instance, that Spiderman’s arch enemy in one of the films was the Green Goblet? Honestly! We were watching The Rise of the Planet of the Apes the other day, and I asked my husband: “Wasn’t James Franco the son of the Green Goblet?” It stumped him for a moment or two, before he remembered! :-)
Good luck – and yes, I think Eros would certainly be better than T Series.
Dustedoff, ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ is one of those films you can watch again and again. I like Ameeta in this one, and Shammi of course, is …
Flipkart should be delivering my copy of ‘The Eighth Guest’ today. :)
I hope you like the book, Banno! Let me know what you think of it. :-)
And yes, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Tumsa Nahin Dekha…
Very good review, Madhu.
Tumsa Nahin Dekha has a special place in my heart because it was the movie that transformed Shammi’s image and fortunes. I absolutely love this movie and can watch it any number of times. Shammi is wonderfully livewire in this. I loved Ameeta too in this film – and the songs are worth listening to and watching again and again. Just a superb score by OP.
As for the story’s predictability, we need to put it in context. TND was such a big hit that many movies (esp Shammi movies) borrowed liberally from this storyline. As a result, it now feels very commonplace but way back in 1957 were there many movies with this storyline? I can’t think of any. So maybe the story was not all that ghisa-pita for the time it was released.
You have a point there, Raja… yes, this storyline inspired a whole lot of other movies, but the lost-offspring-parents trope, especially with this particular angle of the lost offspring falling for the ‘lost parent’s’ fostered offspring… I don’t think I’ve ever come across that before Tumsa Nahin Dekha.
Now that I think of it, my favourite Shammi Kapoor films fall into just one decade, beginning with Tumsa Nahin Dekha, and more or less coming to an end with Teesri Manzil. I don’t really mind later films like Prince, Pagla Kahin Ka or Tumse Achcha Kaun Hai, but I think he was at his best from 1957 to about 1967. And prolific!
Shammi is heartbreakingly attractive here. Remember the song, Chhupne waley saamney aa… he just stabs at my heart with his easy jumping around. And that hair wisping in the wind… Aahhh!!
Ameeta was also sooo gorgeous. I’ve heard that this film was made to rev up Ameeta’s career. Special attention was paid to her get-up and clothes and character but fortunately for Shammi Kapoor it became a magic potion for his career. Yahooo to that!!
Poor Ameeta! To have a movie specially tailored to rev up your career, and end up having it actually change your co-star into a superstar! I believe something similar happened with Goonj Uthi Shehnai – it was meant as an Ameeta showcase, but ended up giving Rajendra Kumar’s career a boost. At least, Ameeta proved a lucky charm for some actors, even if her own career never made her a big star. :-)
that reminds me of Naam, which was to showcase Kumar Gaurav’s ‘talents’, whatever they might have been.
Okay he had a cute face, just like Ameeta!
I remember Kumar Gaurav being quite a hit with Love Story. I couldn’t believe back then that he was Rajendra Kumar’s son, he looked so much better than his father! Honestly, though, his acting wasn’t that great, no? (I haven’t seen Naam, but I don’t think his career went anywhere after that – or even before that, come to think of it!)
Love the songs of Tumsa Nahin Dekha.
I agree! The songs are fantastic – each and every one of them.
The songs are amazing.. the movie sounds equally good.
I was in a second hand books market yesterday and spotted The Englishman’s Cameo there. Its being recycled now.. whooo.
Really?! (about my book being recycled) That’s interesting. But as a writer friend of mine (Amit Varma, author of My Friend Sancho) said, “You’ve arrived when your books are being pirated!” I’m not sure I’d want that to happen, though. ;-)
And the movie’s loads of fun!
Have ordered both Tumsa Nahin Dekha and An Englishman’s cameo after reading this review :) The eight guest once I am done with its predecessor:)
Thank you, Piyush! – and I hope you enjoy both. :-) Will be looking forward to hearing what you have to say about them…
Your second book on MJ is out.THAT’S REALLY GOOD NEWS.i will definately buy it sooner or later.coming back to TND,it’s surely a very good entertainer.Most nasir hussain films are good entertainers for that matter.Also,TND does not have the foolish and over the top villiangiri that later nasir films like HKKN and YKB had.Now time for some trivia on this film[THE TRIVIA MAN IN ME JUST POPS OUT ALMOST EVERYWHERE AND I JUST CAN’T HELP IT].So,here we go
1] Before this film, SHAMMI KAPOOR was a struggler with a moustache and had about 11 flops to his credit .some of those films were with top heroines like madhubala.During that time,most of the producers had lost their faith in him although he was a member of the illustrious Kapoor family and Geeta bali’s boyfriend.At that time,Shammi Kapoor used to dance and practice at the famed Filmistan studios.Filmistan’s owner S.Mukherjee was the only one producer who had tremendous faith in Shammi’s potential.He told Shammi ‘BOY,YOU HAVE GOT TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL BUT YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRESENT YOUIRSELF.GO AND SHAVE YOUR MOUSTACHE AWAY,CROP YOUR HAIR AND THEN COME BACK AND DANCE THE SAME DANCE THAT YOU WERE JUST DOING FOR ME.’In reality,it was S.mukherjee’s idea to get a clean shaven shammi although there is a popular misconception that it was nasir’s idea.
2] After shammi did exactly what the producer had wanted,still he had no project in hand.At that time a new project was being started at filmistan by the name of Tumsa Nahin Dekha with Subodh Mukherjee as director,Dev Anand as hero,Sahir as lyricist and O.P.Nayyar as music director.Even a song was recorded and that song was TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA’S TITLE TRACK.Suddenly,due to some reason ,Subodh Mukherjee left the film.On knowing this ,Dev anand too left the film as he was a dear friend of Subodh Mukherjee. .It was at this stage that S.mukherjee roped in Nasir Hussain as director.Nasir recommended Shammi’s name for the hero and S.mukherjee happily agreed as he himself had tremendous belief in shammi’s ability..This way Shammi finally bagged the role of the hero in TND.
3] Now ,when devsaab left the project ,the film’s lyricist Sahir too left the project.But,the tile song written by sahir which was recorded with devsaab in mind was still retained.If you carefully notice the picturisation of the song,you will find how wonderfully Shammi has incorporated some of dev anand’s style in the song.This was done intentionally as both the director and producer wanted it that way
4] After its release,TND turned out to be a hit even though it was released in a very competitive year -1957,which saw blockbusters
like Mother india,Naya Daur,Pyaasa,Do Ankhen Barah Haath etc..Filmistan too had a very good year as The hit duo of dev-subodh captured the boxoffice with Paying guest while a New hit duo of Shammi-nasir hit boxoffice gold with TND.
5] With TND,Shammi became a star and continued his success story with Nasir and Filmistan in DIL DEKE DEKHO.But his superstar status came with the diamond jubllee blockbuster Junglee in 1961 which firmly established his mad ,eccentric hero image in the audience’s mind and the people of that era loved him for his madcap energy and his lovable eccentric attitude.Interestingly,Junglee again was supposed to star Dev anand as the hero but again as fate would have it ,Shammi got that role.Shammi Kapoor himself once said that all the three most important films in his career i.e.TND,JUNGLEE AND TEESRI MANZIL were planned with Devsaab in mind.Shammi even thanked Devsaab in an interview for Devsaab’s unknowing contribution to his career.With This the TRIVIA MAN will take some rest.
It feels genuinely good that people on the net are paying their well deserved respect and tribute to an icon like SHAMMI KAPOOR since the media has been too busy with all that corruption , anna hazare and lokpal bill stuff to give him his due respect.Infact, i feel sad that Shammi sir choose the wrong time to die[though it was not in his hands] .whatever it may be ,icons like Shammi never die and remain alive in people’s hearts and memories.I am sure that SHAMMI SIR will now entertain the Greatest one-The God the way he entertained us and I am dead sure that God to will laugh his heart out and scream Out YAHOOOOOOO… at the top of his voice.So,don’t get afraid if you suddenly hear Yahooo resounding over this earth,
Re: my book – thank you, Raunak! I hope – when and if you get around to reading it – you’ll enjoy it.
Re: Tumsa Nahin Dekha: oh, thank you so very much for all that interesting background trivia. I had no idea! (I knew about Dev Anand being the initial choice for Teesri Manzil, though – and knew also that when Dev Anand left, Vijay Anand was given the choice of opting out, but he decided to go ahead).
Looking back on Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Junglee and Teesri Manzil, I can’t imagine anyone but Shammi Kapoor in each one of those films. He is just so perfect for all three roles. I’m glad he ended up in them – he did them full justice!
“I am sure that SHAMMI SIR will now entertain the Greatest one-The God the way he entertained us and I am dead sure that God to will laugh his heart out and scream Out YAHOOOOOOO”
That IS sweet! I’m sure he will, too! :-)
For some reason, among the Nasir Hussain movies, I liked Teesri Manzil, Baharon Ke sapne and Caravan very much.
I haven’t seen Baharon ke Sapne yet, though I’ve heard a lot about it (all good! – and I like the songs). But yes, I do like Caravan, and Teesri Manzil is an all-time favourite of mine. I love that film, it is so perfectly the epitome of the 60s’ Bollywood suspense thriller.
I hope to watch TDN today, I settled for Dil Tera Deewana last week which too was thoroughly entertaining :-)
Long time since I saw that one! Somehow I’m not very keen on Mala Sinha in those kittenish roles – it irritates me (I like her the best in either sophisticated Westernised avatar – as in Aankhen – or in more serious roles, such as Pyaasa or Gumraah). And the music didn’t impress me too much. But Shammi Kapoor always sparkles! :-)
What about the 1963 film Bluff Master. Not bad IMO. Shammi is great as usual, and the film itself has good songs and is generally entertaining. It’s in a very good black and white crisp print. I saw it online.
Yes, I’ve seen Bluffmaster a couple of times. What I find especially interesting about that film is that four different playback singers – Rafi (of course), Mukesh, Hemant and Shamshad Begum (!) sang playback for Shammi Kapoor in this film.
I did note the different singers every time a song came up, but it didn’t strike me that there are 4. LOL!
That proves my absent mindedness and your alertness :)
Incidentally, the Hemant song is one I particularly like:
I hadn’t thought Hemant’s voice would suit Shammi Kapoor (I still don’t think it’s anywhere close to as good a fit as Rafi’s), but somehow the tone of the song – the general despair, etc – make it quite suitable. And the music, of course, is good.
yes ,this hemant kumar song ‘aye dil ab kahin na jaa’ is really very good.Interestingly,this song is heavily influenced by ‘petite fleur’ , a 1952 instrumental piece written by Sidney Bechet which became a huge hit for Chris Barber’s jazz band in 1959.Anyways,this song is very lovely but so is the original one.
Yes, I read about Petite Fleur too, and went and checked it out… very similar, but both songs are good in their own way.
Tumsa Nahin Dekha brings back such wonderful memories for me – I saw it with two of my favorite uncles, one of whom is no more, but he was the one who got me interested in Hindi songs, and O. P. Nayyar’s musical style, and I was all of six or seven years old at the time! Time to see it again, and drool over Shammi Kapoor this time, since I was too young to do it last time! Thanks for the terrific review, and I am hoping to be lucky enough to find your book in one of our libraries one of these days, even though you have not mentioned about its availability in the US.
I am envious that you were able to discover Shammi Kapoor when you were just six or seven! I didn’t get to watch a film that I understood anything of till I was nearly 9 (my parents took me to watch CID, though I saw Bobby when I was 1). And Shammi Kapoor I first saw when I was perhaps 10 or 11. I’ve been hooked ever since. :-) OP Nayyar’s music I’ve enjoyed from much before, because our home used to be full of LPs, and my father especially is very fond of OP Nayyar.
You won’t be able to find my book in the US for a while – my agent is trying to see if he can sell it to an American publisher, though. But it’ll become available in the UK within the next month or so, so I’m guessing it should appear within a couple of months on Amazon as well – that’s what happened the last time.
First time here. Pleasure to read this post. Rafi + Shammi is the best possible combination for me personally. For me the best among the all time Shammi Kapoor hit songs is actually a little less known songs – Dheere Chal Dheere Chal Aye Bhigi Hawa from ‘Girlfriend’. It has this magical rhythm that moves me the most.
Yup, that’s one of my favourite Shammi Kapoor songs too. Sung beautifully, with lovely music and great picturisation too. Pity Boyfriend was not too good a film at all. :-(
OMG, did i say the film ‘Girlfriend’? too bad :)
I saw this movie as a kid- wonder what I’d make of it today. The comment on Boyfriend is somewhat ironical, since it was the remake of Kismet (1943)- one of the biggest hits in the history of Hindi cinema. Couple of trivia here regarding Kanu Roy: (a) he had a rather more significant role in Kismet and (b) he was the brother of Geeta Dutt.
I hadn’t known that Kanu Roy was the brother of Geeta Dutt! I have seen (and reviewed) Kismet on this blog, so I do know that he has a fairly significant role in it – and that Boyfriend was a rather lacklustre remake of that film.
It happens to us all.Or shall we say the Shammi Kapoor-Madhubala combination has that effect? ;-)
yes, Dheere chal dheere chal is one of my favs too.Interestingly,the tune of this song was first used as a piece of background music by SJ in a movie that i like quite a lot, the Dev Anand-Mala Sinha starrer Love Marriage in 1959.If you watch Love marriage , then you can keep on the lookout for when this piece comes on.Coming back to Boyfriend film,i think it was a terrible remake of a pathbreaking film kismet.It [boyfriend] just ruined the essence of the original one.Interestingly, it was shammi kapoor’s idea and initiative to remake Kismet as it was his favourite film[which he watched 11 times in a cinema hall] and ashok kumar was his favourite actor,although Shammi kapoor himself admitted that something went wrong in the remake,even though it starred big stars like him and madhubala in the lead.
Yes, I’ve seen (and reviewed on this blog) Kismet. I liked Ashok Kumar’s acting in it – he was such a natural, a refreshing change from some of the more theatrical acting of that era. That was one reason (the Shammi Kapoor-Madhubala pairing and the superb music were others!) that I wanted to see Boyfriend. But oh, how disappointing!
I just cant remember but the tune was used in a mukhra – not very recent but 4-5 years back. tried a lot but it just refuses to be caught :)
That’s interesting – but not surprising. A lot of old tunes keep getting rehashed and remixed and coming back into our lives, don’t they? Invariably nowhere as wonderful as they originally were…
So i have a confession to make. A few years back I guess I thought i was too clever for Shammi Kapoor movies and I conciously looked down on them (having only seen Teesri Manzil which for some reason I didn’t like at the time but think I would enjoy on a re-watch). I preferred (and still do) the films of Dilip Kumar and Balraj Sahni. However, after Shammi’s death I decided to check out more of his films and I can now happily say I fully appreciate what he brought to Hindi cinema and how well he did it. I spent a few weeks watching Junglee, Jaanwar, Professor, Rajkumar, Ujala, Dil Tera Deewana, Andaz, Brahmachari, Kashmir ki Kali and yes of course Tumsa Nahin Dekha. What energy he had – charming and utterly mad! And the music in just about all the films was awesme. So now I too am a fan of Shammi Kapoor.
I LOVE the songs of this film, and I really really liked Ameeta – I was sad to read that she never really made it big – such a shame as I was very much impressed by her.
I saw above that your say Boyfriend isn’t good? What a shame. I was gonna check it out as I found it online. How about Prince? And Dil Deke Dekho and Pagla Kahin Ka (you mentioned it in the madness post)? Any other favourites of his?
My absolute favourite is Professor (which, I can see from your list, you’ve already seen). Then Junglee, followed by some of the others. Boyfriend, despite the Shammi-Madhubala combination (and some fairly good music), was a disappointment. It’s not a bad film, just not as good as I’d expect a Shammi film to be. Prince is fairly entertaining, though Shammi was a little too old and pudgy to be indulging in some of the antics he does. Dil Deke Dekho is one of my favourites – a total Shammi Kapoor film, in that it’s entertaining, romantic, fun, and has lots of really good songs (plus, he never looked better).
Pagle Kahin Ka is good, too. Slightly unusual, and worth a watch.
when me and my mother was watching mere mehboob my mother said kya voh sundar nahi hain sadhna sey zayda and the answer is yes. ameeta was beautiful. but she lacked luck. my favourite of hers in loveable next girl door is Maa beta cause of she is very sober. extremely less than mere mehboob. she was lucky for her co actors like shammi, Rajender kumar ji . i think she lacked naseeb . like manoj is only one artist from the industry who is mocked brutally unlike others where there is humour and appreciation while mocking other artists. ameeta was muslim so may be she easily played in mere mehboob. want to say suhaan allah. my heart melts. i really wish ameeta ji should have been more successful. i really really wished. i think she is alive and wish her good life. i do want to see piya milan ki aas for hers. hero is i think again Rajender ji.
professor my favourite too of shammi ji.