Saturday, July 24, 2010

Legendary Manoj Kumar turns 73

Legendary Manoj Kumar turns 73Veteran Bollywood actor and cynosure of all eyes Manoj Kumar popularly known as Mr Bharat blows his 73 candles. This man brought out patriotism in all his fans and followers. Indeed his era in films was of jingoism.

This very down to earth person entitled his gaudiness and persona and showed the Indian cinema the true colours of Nationalism.

As a youth, he admired Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar, and decided to name himself Manoj Kumar after Dilip's character in Shabnam (1949).

After making a little-noticed début in Fashion in 1957, Manoj landed his first leading role in Kaanch Ki Gudia (1960) opposite Sayeeda Khan. Piya Milan Ki Aas and Reshmi Roomal followed, setting the stage for the Vijay Bhatt-directed Hariyali Aur Raasta (1962) opposite Mala Sinha. Kumar then appeared with Sadhana in Raj Khosla's Woh Kaun Thi (1964), and reunited with Vijay Bhatt and Mala Sinha in Himalaya Ki God Mein (1965).

Manoj Kumar’s image as the patriotic hero started with the 1965 film Shaheed, based on the life of Bhagat Singh, a martyr in the struggle for India's freedom. After the Indo-Pak War of 1965, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri asked him to create a film based on the popular slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kissan.

The result was Kumar's magnum opus and his directorial debut, Upkaar (1967). In it, he played both a soldier and a farmer. The film was also noted for the famous song Mere Desh Ki Dharti, written by Gulshan Bawra, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji and sung by Mahendra Kapoor. Upkaar was a hit and won Kumar his first Filmfare Best Director Award.

In his later years of life Manoj Kumar tried hand at politics but didn’t work. He also got into some controversies with Shahrukh on his movie Om shanti Om on some moral issues. Manoj Kumar is a name that itself spells patriotism.

We all wish this inimitable person goodness and well being in his life!


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