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A potpourri of trivia for cinephiles & nerds
PAWANPREET KAUR  16th Sep 2012

Sanjeev Kumar

id you know that Sanjeev Kumar made his stage debut under the direction of A.K. Hangal? Or that at 21, he played a 60-year-old father-of-six, pairing opposite Shabana Azmi's mother, Shaukat? Well, the Indian cinephile cannot be blamed for knowing too little. Our film industry's rich history is often left to rot in the umbra of super stars. Thankfully, here is a website that throws recycled folklores to the winds and brings you little known or seen vignettes of the film industry. This website features articles, interviews, profiles of actors and films that have been forgotten or overlooked in the popular film encyclopaedias and stiches together a fine collection of articles from varied publications over the years. In one such piece, Madhubala's sister, Madhu Bhushan talks about her sister's first day at work with Dilip Kumar. "I remember the way she described Dilip saab. She had faced the camera with him for the first time, and came home very excited. We all wanted to know why, and this is how she described him... "Ankhon main itni kashish thi, jaise kisine moti koot kar bhar diye ho." Among the lesser known actors, the site features the likes of Vijay Arora, who was paired opposite Zeenat Aman in Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Shashi Chand Kapoor, a popular face in the '40s and '50s who played the lead role in the 1934 film Bhakt Dhruv, music composer Jaidev (Verma) who composed the song Abhi na jaao chhodkar from the 1961 film Hum Dono and Meenakshi Shirodkar, who rose to fame with the 1938 film Brahmachari in which she donned a swimsuit. You can also find reviews of rare films and even film posters and never-before-seen photographs like that of Kishore Kumar, who is seen dabbing sindoor on his wife Yogita Bali's forehead at their wedding. Cine lovers can also find fascinating vintage titbits. Sample this: the song Tang aa chuke hain kashma-kashi zindagi se hum from Pyaasa (1957) was actually written by Sahir Ludhianvi for an earlier film Khet, which never got released. And this song, originally in Manna Dey's voice, was re-recorded by Mohammad Rafi.

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