Born in Peshawar on December 14, 1924, the greatest showman of Indian Cinema, Raj Kapoor, was a motion picture craftsman par excellence. He left an indelible mark as an actor and a filmaker. The blue-eyed wonder was a talented visionary who charted a complete diverse course for cinema in the years to come.
Social media sensation both, the dashing dad and the darling daughter break the Internet whenever they post aww-inspiring snaps or videos. The zillion likes their posts garner bear testimony to our statement. Not to mention how Mahi sets many hearts aflutter any time he talks about “daddy’s duties”. For instance, the video where he blow-dries Ziva’s hair with perfection and rightly captions it as, “Game over, had a nice sleep now back to Daddy’s duties.” Or when he plays with the munchkin in the sand and titles the video: “As a kid whenever v got sand this was one thing v would do for sure.”
RK Films churned out gems like Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Jagte Raho (1956), Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960) and many more. Most of these movies had the thespian playing a poor, good-hearted naïve tramp whose goodness stands tall amist greed, corruption and vices of the contemporary society. His superlative histrionics bore stark resemblance to the character of The Tramp played by Charlie Chaplin. He established his talent as an actor in Anhonee (1952), Aah (1953), Chori Chori (1956), Anari (1959) and Chhalia (1960). Children-centric movies Boot Polish (1954) and Ab Dilli Door Nahin (1957) produced by him are hailed as examples of the finest cinema till date.
The Clark Gable of Indian cinema was not only popular worldwide but was a heart throb and a super sensation in then Soviet Union. For his four-hour-four-minute-long magnum opus Mera Naam Joker (1970), he scouted Russia for an entire circus troupe ensemble. Many an anecdotes have been shared about how the versatile actor was adored and respected by his admirers in then Soviet Union.
In later years, themes like women empowerment, critiquing evil customs imposed on womankind, widow remarriages, etc took centrestage in his movies Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), Prem Rog (1982) and Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985).
His classics, interspersed with timeless music, never failed to make social comments. Some of them rode high on patriotic themes too. Graced by Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Raj Kapoor was also a Padma Bhushan awardee who received International recognition for his work. His demise at the age of 63 on June 2, 1988, brought the curtains down on the cinematic magic conjured by the greatest showman.
A thespian ahead of his time, he immortalised his life with the lines “kal khel mein, hum hon na hon, gardhish mein tare rahenge sada…”.