Indian cinema has been a subject of massive interest for audiences worldwide. In the modern day, the global presence has further widened due to intensive campaigns, liberalised regulations and technological advancements.
But the yester-era Bollywood also had a significant presence globally despite all limitations. One of those pioneers who were responsible for the levitating status of cinema was Ranveer Raj Kapoor, famously known as the Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema.
He was born in 1924 in the same locality of Peshawar of British India (present-day Pakistan) where the king of tragedy Dilip Kumar was born. Both grew up as childhood friends to undisputed kings of the Indian entertainment fraternity.
Raj is also considered the Charlie Chaplin of India, because of his superb command of comedy and, natural resemblance to Charlie. He even adopted the look of the world-famous comedian Chaplin, in movies such as Awaara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955).
The multi-talented Kapoor was one of the finest actors of his era and a prolific director and producer. His movies were produced under the famous R.K. banner which gave the country some of the finest movies of all time.
Raj Kapoor was a great friend of singer Mukesh, whose voice had an uncanny resemblance to Kapoor on-screen. Most of the Kapoor starring films featured songs of the vocal artiste cum close friend.
Here are five iconic songs from Kapoor’s movies;
1. Awaara Hoon (Awara 1951)
Knowledge Corner: The movie Awaara featured the real-life father of Raj and veteran actor Prithivi Raj Kapoor alongside his famous co-star Nargis. The film went on to become a worldwide sensation by being widely accepted by audiences in Russia (Soviet Union), China, Europe and Middle-East countries. It was added to 2012, Times Magazines’ 100 greatest movies of all time.
2. Mera Joota Hai Japani (Shree 420, 1955)
Knowledge Corner: The film became a subject of controversy by using the term 420 in the title. In the Indian Penal Code, 420 is used against criminals involved in fraudulent activities.
Raj carried a similar look to Chaplin’s The Tramp character in the movie and was featured as a fraudster who goes through reformation upon realising his mistakes. The movie was an instant hit with its song “Mera Joota Hai Japani”, which represented modern-day India.
3. Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe Ho (Anari, 1959)
Knowledge Corner: The comedy-drama Anari become the highest-grosser of the year 1959, claiming the position of a box-office Super hit. Raj’s simple and honest character in the movie was greatly appreciated by the audience along with the critics who appreciated the screenplay and all actors in the lead role.
4. Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam, 1964)
Knowledge Corner: The 3-hour 58 mins long romantic-drama movie is considered one of the longest Indian movies with the longest running time. It was Kapoor’s first colour movie and was shot extensively abroad making it the most expensive movie of its time. The film featured actress Vyjantimala and, Rajendra Kumar in the lead roles.
5. Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan (Mera Naam Joker, 1970)
Knowledge Corner: This two-interval romantic drama was one of the lengthiest movies of all time. Loosely based on Raj’s life story, the movie revolves around a clown and his failed romantic relationship. This film revolutionised the idea of “the show must go on!”