Kamal Amrohi and the magic of his words

As Julia Andrews’ Maria would croon in The Sound of Music (1965) chart-topper, “Let’s start at the very beginning.” There’s a marriage in the household, and whereas a gaggle of younger women sing and play the
dholak, a boy of round 14 runs round attempting to impress them. Suddenly, his brother, 18 years older and a father determine to him, strides in. He’s been summoned from Saharanpur by the elders who imagine his youthful sibling Chandan, allowed to run wild after the demise of their father six years in the past, is getting out of management. They need Raza Hyder, who’s a cop, to set him proper.

Chandan greets his bhai with an
adaab and responds to his sarcastic,
“Suna hai tum khandaan ha naam roshan kar rahe ho” (I’ve heard you might be doing the household proud) with a
“ji” (sure). Enraged, Raza slaps him laborious, sending him flying and making the women giggle. Chandan is locked in his room, with out lunch and dinner, all day. The subsequent morning, at his mom’s behest, he’s allowed out. He refuses to the touch even a morsel, and at evening, steals out of his dwelling in Amroha.

“With the Rs 9 he got from selling his sister’s silver bangle, baba made his way to Lahore,” shares son Tajdar Amrohi, including that writer-filmmaker Kamal Amrohi, fondly known as Chandan, believed to the finish that if he had Rs 10 in his pocket, together with a pencil and paper, he may overcome any calamity with the energy of his words.

“But back then, the money quickly ran out and he had to assuage his hunger and thirst with water from the municipal taps. Weak and starving, he parked himself below a neem tree opposite Oriental College,” Tajdar says. That’s how he caught the eye of the faculty’s German principal Wolner and his spouse once they drove previous. They presumed the boy was ready for somebody, however the subsequent night, when out on their common drive once more, they found that he had not moved, Wolner approached him, asking about his household and whereabouts. He refused to disclose any particulars, solely saying that he wished to hitch the faculty. Since they’d no kids, Wolner requested him if he’d want to stay with them as their son, to which he quietly replied, ”
Koshish karonga” (I’ll strive), pondering of his
ammi again dwelling. He was extra assured when Wolmer advised him he should be the Punjab University topper. “I will,” he assured him.

Always self-respecting, he refused to ask the Wolners for pocket money, as a substitute he walked over to the office of an Urdu newspaper, Humayun, and requested the editor if he may write for them. The man laughed, telling him to return when he was older. Undeterred, he mailed a chunk. Since the editor hadn’t bothered to ask him his identify, it obtained revealed, and he was paid Rs 50. He wrote many extra items, which made him standard with the readers. On their request, the editor wrote to him, asking for his {photograph} to go along with his items. When he didn’t oblige, he was warned that they might not publish him with out it.

This necessitated one other go to to the newspaper office. As he had feared, the editor believed another person was writing in his identify. “Baba simply asked for some blank sheets, a pencil and a desk, and sitting right there, penned another brilliant article. He was immediately hired as a sub-editor on a salary of Rs 10 per day even though he could work for only three hours as he was still studying,” Tajdar recounts.

Soon, his admirers urged Kamal saab to maneuver to Kolkata, the ‘City of Learning’, from the place he made his technique to Mumbai, the ‘City of Dreams’ the place in the future, whereas looking for books at a footpath stall in Bhendi Bazaar, a stranger approached him and steered he meet Sohrab Modi of Minerva Moviestone who was in search of a narrative. The man was Khwaja Ahmad Abbas whose Saat Hindustani launched Amitabh Bachchan.

Hema Malini as Razia Sultan

saab known as the studio and was advised him to come back over the subsequent afternoon at 4 pm. He arrived at 3.30 pm. Modi didn’t spare the 17-year-old boy even a look. When he lastly invited him in at 4.15 pm, he couldn’t imagine he was a author. Kamal
saab confidently advised him that midway via his narration, Modi would step out and inform his stenographer to begin typing a contract. And as he had predicted, that very same night, he was signed for Pukar, a 1939 historic, which revolved round emperor Jehangir, who believed the legislation makes no class distinctions. This notion is examined when a washerwoman accuses his begum, Nur Jahan, of unintentionally killing her husband, and calls for justice. Pukar featured Sohrab Modi, Chandramohan and Saira Banu’s mom Naseem Banu. S Ameer Hyder “Kamal” is credited as the display story, music and dialogue author. Tajdar reminds that the well-known line used to announce the arrival of the Emperor in court docket,
“Ba adab aa mulahiza hoshiyar, Badshah salamat tashreef laa rahe”, got here from his baba’s pen.

Kamal Amrohi went on to change into the highest paid author of his time with movies like Bharosa (1940), Shahjehan (1946) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960), making his directorial debut with Mahal (1949). He insisted on a second display check for Madhubala after she had failed the first, organising the lights himself and beating cinematographer Josef Wirching at his personal sport. She was cast over standard alternative Suraiya.
“Ayega Aanewala” made each Madhubala and Lata Mangeshkar family names, beginning the pattern of suspense dramas and of crediting singers.

Image courtesy: Wirsching archive

He continued to gamble with movies like Daera (1953), which an Allahabad High Court decide opined was approach forward of its time, and Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960), a love story that blossoms in a hospital. In ’83, he resurrected Delhi’s solely feminine monarch, Razia Sultan, with dialogues like
“Falak se awaaz hai ke aao, tumhare layak na thi woh duniya; tumhare khatir hum aasmaan mein ek aur duniya saja rahe hain, Khuda ka Irshad ho raha hai, falak nasheeno salaam bhejo, lahu mein doobey shaheed-e-ulfat meri panahon mein aa rahe hain…”

Meena Kumari in Pakeezah

In Pakeezah (1972) his pencil ka kamal is obvious in the strains Raaj Kumar’s Salim leaves for a sleeping Sahib Jaan earlier than he disembarks,
“Aapke paaoon dekhe, bahut haseen hai, inhe zameen par mat utariyega, mailey ho jayenge”. The words of the stranger have a significant impression on her and again in the kotha Meena Kumari’s Sahib Jaan poignantly tells her saheli,
“Bahut dinon se mujhe aisa kuch lagta hai jaise main badalti jaa rahi hoon, jaise main kissi anjaane safar mein hoon aur kahin jaa rahi hoon, sab kuch choota jaa raha hai, Sahib Jaan bhi mujhse choot rahe hain aur main Sahib Jaan se door hoti jaa rahi hoon.” Only Kamal Amrohi, who would have turned 103 this Sunday, would describe a dancing lady’s ft as “pure” and use the words to take her on a quest for respectability.

Produced by Mansi Bhasin


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