The film industry has seen very few who made the cut when it came to re-orienting themselves to technological challenges and who managed to stay...
The film industry has seen very few who made the cut when it came to re-orienting themselves to technological challenges and who managed to stay afloat even as others were falling by the wayside. Ramanand Sagar (1917-2005) is surely one such icon.
Having lived till the ripe age of 87, he kept himself occupied with various activities of the film world, beginning with the silent movie era, shaping the finer aspects of the craft under the able guidance of legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, directing films and making them successful at the box office and later branching off to the small screen as one of its pioneers. The epoch-making TV series ‘Ramayan’ was his contribution during the 1980s, which was lapped up all across the country.
Sagar started his career with the 1949 film ‘Barsaat’, which was helmed by Raj Kapoor, who also is a December born titan. He wrote the story, dialogues and screenplay for the film which was a hit and enabled the showman to buy RK Studios with its proceeds. Till the 1980s he directed only less than 15 films, with mixed luck at the cash counters. Yet a few of them like ‘Aankhen’ and ‘Geet’ are remembered for their pathbreaking genres and their entertainment value. The celebrity that he was, he remained active till 2005, coming up with religious TV serials, a few being repeat telecasts from Doordarshan over other satellite channels. Ramanand Sagar’s birthday falls on December 12 while he died on December 29, 12 years ago.
Raj Kapoor (1924-1988) was another notable who was born in the last month of the year. He may have lived only till he turned 63, having died nearly 30 years ago, but the body of work he left behind is still unmatched. Known for his daring approach and a larger-than-life canvas, Raj Kapoor was incomparable for his repertoire of films from the black-and-white to the colour era, which ended with the 1985 blockbuster ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’.
In all he directed around 10 films even as he was featured in five times more ventures as a leading man, under the able batons of many film directors ranging from Hrishikesh Mukherjee to CV Sridhar on the other. The colourful life that he led, the many dalliances that were reported between him and his leading ladies from Padmini on the one end and Nargis on the other are all too oft reported to be repeated here.
Rather interestingly, the birthday of Raj Kapoor coincides with the death of one of his lyricists, Shailendra, who lived a shorter life than the Kapoor titan yet left behind his own indelible impressions in the field of music.
By: K Naresh Kumar