50 Years Of Padosan: It is the favourite movie of many cricketers of the 1983 Cricket World Cup Winning Team. That is because during the World Cup winning campaign with the final against Clive Lloyd’s mighty West Indians, Kapil Dev had watched it together. What a movie Padosan was, it is one of the best comedies ever in the history of Hindi cinema. Today, on 29th November, as it completes 50 years, I take a nostalgic journey to discuss some trivia about this fun movie and its evergreen songs
Based on Arun Chowdhury’s Bengali story Pasher Bari, a Bengali movie by same name was directed by Sudhir Mukherjee. It was remade into Telugu in 1960 and Tamil in 1961 before Padosan was made in 1968. Later it was once again remade in Telugu in 1981 and Kannada in 2003.
Padosan was produced by Mehmood and NC Sippy and directed by Jyoti Swaroop. It stars Sunil Dutt, Mehmood , Kishore Kumar and Saira Banu. Urban legend has it that Kishore was disinterested to act and wanted to only sing. However Mehmood requested him to act as it was his 1st production. Even so, Kishore refused and relented only after Mehmood spend an entire night standing outside his house with his request. Thank God Kishore agreed. His depiction of Vidyapati, singing with pan juice dripping down from his lips is one of the all time great characters of Hindi cinema
The song Ek Chatoor Naar is one of the highlights of the movie. The song has Kishore Kumar lip syncing for Sunil Dutt while Manna Dey sings for Mehmood. A peculiar situation arose when Manna Dey raised his objection as in the movie, his character loses to Kishore Kumar in a singing duel. He was perplexed as to how he who was a classical maestro, which was acknowledged by even Mohd. Rafi could lose to Kishore who was not classically trained. With great difficulty Mehmood convinced him.
Ironically, a decade earlier, in Basant Bahaar, Manna Dey’s character had defeated Bhimsen Joshi’s character in the song Ketki Gulab Juhi. To be fair to him though, he had opposed at that time too and agreed only after being convinced that it was the demand of the situation . The same logic was given by Mehmood as well- that the situation demanded it.
Padosan indeed had powerful songs . “Main chali main chali” was beautifully sung by Lata and Asha while Kishore was at his best in “Mere saamne wali khidki mein” and “Kehna hai, kehnaa hai, aaj tumse pehli baar”. These two songs had Kishore dubbing for Sunil Dutt which is an integral part of the story line as the only way to impress the music crazy Saira Banu was through songs and Sunil Dutt being unable to sing at all, Kishore Kumar came up with the idea that he would stand in the background and sing while Sunil Dutt would lip sync. This indirectly also gives two messages (i) singing is an art which not all can master and (ii) behind a hero is a singer.
Two other top songs of Padosan were (i) Bhai Batur which is beautifully sung by Lata and aesthetically shot on Saira and (ii) Meri pyaari bindu by Kishore and featuring Kishore, Sunil Dutt and Mukri which is a laugh riot. The regular choreographer was absent on the day meri pyaari bindu was supposed to be shot but the irrepressible Kishore Kumar came up with his own dance moves which became a hit
Indeed, all the songs of Padosan are popular even today and the movie is one of the all time great comedy classics of Hindi cinema. It will always be remembered for its songs, Sunil Dutt and Saira Banu pair and for Kishore Kumar and Mehmood who reinforced their status as ultimate talented entertainers.