Mughal-e-Azam (1960)

Mughal-e-Azam’, a historical, had the grandeur of a Mughal court and a heady defiant note. Each and every scene in the film is a masterpiece moving in front of your eyes. The film took almost fifteen years in the making and cost Rs 1.5 crores in those days. The cast had the superstars of that time including Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor. People from all over the country were brought to Bombay to work on the elaborate costumes, props and sets. It had a grand premiere held simultaneously in 150 theatres all over the country, a big thing in those days. The filmmaker K. Asif left no stone unturned to make sure that his film becomes a part of the cinematic folklore. Its a classic tale of rebellious love between Prince Salim and the courtesan Anarkali. Their love is opposed by the powerful king Akbar leading to a father-son rift. Naushad’s music is spell binding specially “Prem Joga”, ”Pyaar Kiya to darna kya ” and “ Mohe panghat”. The recreation of the Sheesh mahal and the shots where the reflection of Madhubala in a giddy twirl is captured in loads of glittering glass pieces is fascinating. The humongous set for this legendary song took all the lights available (even 500 truck beams) and about 100 reflectors to bounce off the light. An intoxicated Madhubala declaring her love with bold lyrics like ‘ Parda nahin jab koi khuda se, bandon se parda karna kya’ in front of the whole world and the powerful King himself is awe-inspiring. It has one of the most talked about erotic scenes in Hindi cinema; Dilip Kumar teasingly caresses an impassioned Madhubala’s radiant face with a long white feather. She shuts her eyes slowly with her lips turned towards her lover and there is a suggestion of a kiss when the two go behind the veil of the feather. The classical notes of ‘Prem Jogan Banke’ sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan add a timeless quality to the moment. It had some most heart wrenching dialogues remembered even today, such as “Anarkali, Salim tumhe marne nahin dega aur hum tumhe jeene nahin denge” (by Akbar), “Jahe Naseeb, Kaanton ko murjhaane ka khauf nahin hota”(by Anarkali); And who can forget the clash scene between Jodhabai and Salim, where the most famous dailogue of the movie was said “Hamara Hindustan koi tumhara dil nahin hai, koi laundi jispar hukumat kare”; “Toh mere dil bhi aapka Hindusthan nahin hai, jo aap uspar hukumat kare” Aww, The aura, the voice modulation, the anger and the frustation that has been brought out in this scene still gives me goosebumps. Its coloured version which was released in 2004 met with stupendous success, just reiterating my point of the beauty of this timeless classic.


Writes for the love of Books, Movies, Music & Cricket. He opines that best investment ideas are often cracked by being on the road.

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Amit Kumar Gupta

Writes for the love of Books, Movies, Music & Cricket. He opines that best investment ideas are often cracked by being on the road.